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Dodgers Fans, What’s the Value of a World Series Championship in a Shortened Season?

With a shortened season and expanded playoffs, the meaning of a World Series in 2020 is up in the air.



It’s the middle of June and a meaningful game of Major League Baseball has not been played since last October (for Dodgers fans it’s been since early October). As the embarrassing back and forth shuffle continues between players and owners; Tony Clark and Rob Manfred, the calendar shortens day by day.

Since the shutdown of baseball — and all sports — due to the pandemic, one question that has lingered in the back of our minds is, what’s the value of a championship in a shortened season?

Generally speaking, fans don’t look back and question the Dodgers’ 1981 title that came with a nearly two month long, mid-season layoff thanks to a strike by the players union.

But things seem to be a whole lot different in 2020. Moreover, if you include current playoff seeding structure over that in place 39 years ago, the question gets even more convoluted. And in the latest proposals between players and owners, it gets even muddier than that.

Currently on the docket is a 16 team playoff system that really further devalues Rob Manfred’s “piece of metal” handed out to the World Series winner. On Thursday, ESPN’s Buster Olney shared his thoughts on the value of a championship in 2020…

Here’s what he had to say:

[A World Series championship in 2020] would be considered the outlier. It would be considered the year everyone’s going to remember as the ‘coronavirus season’ in baseball because the season’s so short. But let’s face it, all along I think the quest for Major League Baseball and the players — let’s try to make the best of a bad situation.

Not sure if the MLB insider showed enough of his work in that equation.

Sure it would be only a 60-66 game season. Sure there would be added playoff teams under this current proposal. But this is the hand that was dealt — every single team is playing with the same cards and the same opportunity. Unlike with the Astros ill-gotten title in 2017, here the playing field is even… why does that change the value of a ring over any other regular, full season?

There are absolutely cases to be made for and against in this argument, but the true value all along was friendship. Lame joke aside, what would a Dodgers championship mean to you in 2020, if it happened?

NEXT: How is Rob Manfred so Terrible at his Job?

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. Baseball is a game of momentum where ordinary teams can have their moments of win streaks. But the teams with depth, with fewer injuries, and strategic excellence are those who in the end find themselves deep into the post season.

    It takes all 162 games to determine who have excelled through to the 12th round, beaten as they may be. Teams that excel pace themselves and often start out slowly to save themselves for the end. This is what makes baseball special. In a shortened season of say 60 games, teams that start slow won’t even make it to the playoffs. A single injury to a key player would have him out for most if not all of the season. This is not baseball.

    The chances are great that the eventual World Series champion would not have been were there to have been a full season. No fans, games where the impact of a loss is tantamount to nearly three losses in a real season. A DH in the NL. Advertising on the uniforms.

    It won’t be a World Series. Call it what it is. The Coronavirus Champion Season Winner’s Trophy.

  2. MLB had their chance. Now the virus is setting in. All is lost for baseball, for all fans. Players and owners will be booed next year, some players will be lost by next year. Frank McCourt will lose out too. I didn’t know there were so many babies in baseball, Hey! There is crying in baseball after all. boohoo!

  3. A complete waste of a season playing 50-70 games. What a joke. Greedy players. Do us all a favor and cancel this season. A small number of games in God knows what teams will be in our division with lame playoff formats.
    Like most everything else that is screwed up in this country, add MLB to the insanity!

  4. A World Series championship would have the same value as the strike-shortened season of 1981. It would have far more value the the Astros and Red Sox cheated titles!

  5. 100-114 games would’ve been good enough to be respected but they ruined that chance. Anything they do at this point would be illegitimate and should have no respect. I say it’s less legit than Houston’s because at least they had to get away with cheating for 7 months and still barely won. With our luck this will be the year we win and I pray it doesn’t happen please have some other fanbase get the embarrassment

  6. So, no one wants 40-60 games to be played? If you can’t have $100. you won’t take $20?
    At tax time, why is it, “Well, at least I’m getting something back.” Something is better than nothing. Football plays less than 20 games and football fans are happy. The NBA plays just over 70 games and that is standard.

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