Stark: This Will Be The "Strangest Season Ever On Every Level"

From COVID-19 to a 60-game season, baseball fans should expect the unexpected in 2020

The DA Show
July 14, 2020 - 11:12 am

From COVID-19 to a 60-game season, baseball fans should expect the unexpected in 2020. Jayson Stark, a senior MLB writer for The Athletic, most definitely is.

“I think this is going to be the strangest season ever on every level,” Stark said on The DA Show. “Just look at how crazy a 60-game stretch of any season can be. We actually posed the question: could the Tigers win the World Series?”

The Tigers went 47-114 last season. It was the worst record in baseball and the second-worst record in Tigers history.

“Look, that’s obviously crazy,” Stark said of the Tigers winning the World Series in 2020. “But then you remember there was a team last year that spent most of the season playing like a 108-loss team but also had a 60-game stretch that would probably give it the best record in baseball if it happened this year.”

That team was Colorado, which went 37-23 during a 60-game stretch last season but 34-68 in its other games.

“If the 37-23 Rockies showed up, they wouldn’t just make the playoffs; they would literally be a No.1 seed,” Stark said. “We’d be thinking, ‘This is the best team in the league.’ That’s a really strange thing to contemplate.”

And, as baseball has shown time and again, anything can happen in the playoffs.

“Once you get in, so much random stuff happens in a postseason – any postseason – that once that team gets in, you can’t say it’s impossible that they would win,” Stark said. “We’re not nuts. We don’t want to give people the impression that the impossible is sure to happen; but could the impossible conceivably happen? I think we demonstrated that.”

Hopefully, Major League Baseball will be able to start – and finish – its season. At this point, though, it’s impossible to say whether that will happen.

“I don’t think optimism or pessimism really describes this,” Stark said. “I just think everybody’s nervous because it’s all the great unknown. The territory is totally uncharted. There are a lot of days where it looks normal – as normal as you can get under these circumstances. But then you have stuff happen. You have stuff like the Washington Nationals saying, ‘It’s not safe to work out because we didn’t get our test results.’ What happens if that flares up during the season? Don’t you have to cancel the game? These are the questions that nobody knows the answers to – and that baseball hasn’t really provided answers to. They’re trying to deal with things as they come along and not deal with every what-if. How many what-ifs are out there? More than I can count.”