While the Phillies faithful would take 81 contests in a hot minute, the lords of baseball are having dialogue with state governors and seeking a 100-game schedule: Doubleheader heaven for baseball-starved fan bases.
Viral time zone:
For the Philadelphia Phillies, their stars are most likely spending time with an altered offseason-like regimen, while most baseball questions have partial or no answers. Some involve rules, and others depend on variables affecting the on-field product before, during, and after an unknown number of games. Ergo, no precedent!
"IN OTHER WORDS: “I don’t believe in statistics. There are too many factors that can’t be measured. You can’t measure a ballplayer’s heart.” – Red Auerbach"
For now, the pandemic is accelerating in new places and declining in hot spots, while local and state governments are making critical decisions, medical and financial. Yes, some are using questionable logic and will be accountable if damage occurs.
While some cities and towns are opening partially or semi-completely, the virus may not reveal new cases for two weeks and terminal statistics for 28 days. Basically, the problems will be too late to correct when answers are available. Translation: The open states could be the real-life version of the fictional Amity Island (Jaws).
For fans, their beliefs range from cancelling the campaign to playing without spectators for all or part of ’20. But only a big drop-off of new infections could prove a seasonal element, and the opportunity for an 81-100 game summer as a realistic possibility. However, paying customers will remain an uncertainty.
If you went back to previous 162s, you’d find a different franchise was in first place other than the winner of the league or division if the season ended then. To illustrate, the 1964 Fightins would have been the National League champions, and Philadelphia would have experienced at least four World Series battles to remember.
For ’20, one X factor would be the roster size: would it be 29 or 30 slots? Logically, the players the red pinstripes would have would depend on a universal DH (designated hitter), the number of pitchers a club could carry, and a replacement league for fill-ins due to injury or illness.
Having a breakout year based on three months of play and less pressure with no spectators would offer a unique dynamic this campaign. And a revised schedule would benefit some organizations, not others, but there’d be divisional opportunities for healthy teams to capitalize on.