What Was Different About Major League Baseball This Season?

The MLB has been hit hard by COVID-19. Some of the changes made this season occurred behind the scenes, but hardcore fans noticed almost everything. Not everyone was happy with the way this season ended. That seems obvious enough from the criticisms, which were harsh even in Tampa where the World Series finale match was played. Critics wonder if fans will bother to tune in if the MLB faces similar problems next year.

Many fans believe the increasing use of analytics to determine the future of the MLB series isn’t doing the game any good. And even the Chicago Tribune likened the end of the season to “baseball’s version of ‘Dumb and Dumber.’”

There was especially distaste for Dodgers player Justin Turner, who celebrated with his fellow players after they won the series — despite having tested positive for COVID-19. 

Dodgers President Andrew Friedman said of the decision: “For him, being a free agent, not knowing exactly how the future is going to play out, I don’t think anyone was going to stop him. From my perspective, I think he was mindful of other people. This is something we’re going to wrap our arms around tonight and in the morning and figure out where we’re going from here.”

The MLB called out the behavior as unacceptable to the standards it represents, especially when considering how the entire season played out due to coronavirus restrictions.

A statement read: “While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.”

It was even more concerning after the MLB did so well in maintaining those coronavirus standards throughout the series. They made it through the entire season without a single case of coronavirus infection due to players. 

The MLB will now investigate Turner for his violation of mandated protocols, even after he was warned. What will happen to him in the future is anyone’s guess, but it might be possible that we see him banned from the major leagues.

The Tribune commented on the MLB and baseball as a whole in the current era, discussing the possibility that there isn’t a single all-star player worth watching — or rather, one who forces us to watch. Players like Tom Brady or Kevin Durant don’t have equals in baseball. While there will always be Hall of Famers, their popularity will never rise to the heights obtainable in other sports.

The trusted news source also suggested that the influx of new rule changes could be doing irreparable damage to the game. One example is when home-plate colliding was banned all the way back in 2014. There is also now a universal designated hitter, which is blamed for increasing the strikeout percentage nearly 10 points in the last decade, from 16.4 percent to 23.4 percent. Is anyone interested in watched one in four balls fail to connect?