This Day In Baseball History & The Playoffs Ahead
The Coronavirus shortened baseball season is over. It was a weird season. How weird? The Mariners didn't even finish in last place! In fact, the M's were third in their division behind Oakland and Houston. In fact the Mariners 27 Wins were more than a half dozen other American League teams - Angels, Rangers, Royals, Tigers, Orioles and Red Sox, but still not enough to get into the playoffs.
The playoffs have been expanded or the first time in MLB history, two teams have qualified for the playoffs with losing records. The Astros (29-31) are one. The Brewers (29-31) are the other.
The season ended Sunday, the sport collects its breath today and the playoffs start tomorrow (9/29/20)
Major League Baseball lays out the playoff picture "As has been the case since 2012, there will be four rounds. But instead of a round featuring a sudden-death Wild Card Game with the division winners resting, the format will be as follows":
Wild Card Series (best-of-three, with all games at the higher seed’s home ballpark): No. 1 seed vs. No. 8; No. 2 vs. No. 7; No. 3 vs. No. 6; No. 4 vs. No. 5.
Division Series (best-of-five, with traditional 2-2-1 home team/road team format at neutral sites): Winner of 1-8 vs. Winner of 4-5; Winner of 2-7 vs. Winner of 3-6. Home-field advantage goes to the higher seed.
League Championship Series (best-of-seven, with traditional 2-3-2 home team/road team format at neutral sites): Winner of 1-4-5-8 vs. Winner of 2-3-6-7. Home-field advantage goes to the higher seed.
World Series (best-of-seven, with traditional 2-3-2 home team/road team format at a neutral site): AL champion vs. NL champion. Home-field advantage goes to the higher seed.
So, that's the future of baseball, altered by the impact of the Coronavirus. People will no doubt look back on 2020 and have plenty to say about what was, what wasn't and what might have been.
Add all that to what's already happened on This Day in History in the big leagues. September 28:
- 1920, eight members of the Chicago White Sox were indicted for allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series in what became known as the "Black Sox" scandal. Although the players were eventually acquitted at trial, they were banished from baseball for life.
- 1941, Boston Red Sox player Ted Williams got six hits in a doubleheader on the final day of the season to finish the year with a .406 batting average, the last time any player has batted .400 for a season.
- 1960, 60 years ago, Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams, the "Splendid Spinter" hit a home run, his 521st, in his final career at-bat.