We don't know what the 2020 Major League Baseball season will look like. In fact, we're still not entirely certain there will be one. If there is, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts doesn't think the unique circumstances should take away from whichever team raises the World Series trophy.
Speaking to USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Wednesday, Roberts says "no asterisk" that might indicate a less grueling or less meaningful path to a championship should appear next to the World Series winning team's place in history.
“There will be no asterisk. When you look at all of the hurdles, keeping your team together emotionally, and what your players have to do differently to prepare for this season, you can argue it would mean more than going through the duration and grind of an eight-month season."
Hey, we're right there with you. Beyond expressing frustration, though, Roberts has taken the high road every time that subject has been brought up in his presence.
In regards to the 2020 season, Roberts feels it will be an even playing field with all 30 teams facing the same challenges to prepare and ultimately live up to their potential.
“To get to the finish line, and be the last team standing holding that trophy, and knowing what you had to go through to get there, would be as satisfying as any World Series championship.’’
He's not wrong.
Not knowing where games will be played, how many games will be played, against whom those games will be played, and what the postseason format will look like, puts everyone in the same awkward position. The Dodgers, specifically, are used to showing up and running through the NL West and then playing in October. Now they don’t know for sure who will stand in their way during the regular season. It could even be the Astros. That would present a new, potentially more difficult challenge.
Roberts also knows the importance of this season for his franchise. After winning seven straight NL West titles but continually falling short of winning the World Series, anything less than a championship, regardless of the circumstances, will not be accepted in Los Angeles. With prized offseason acquisition Mookie Betts being a potential one-and-done into free agency next winter, the urgency reaches an even higher level.
So yes, when you factor in the circumstances, the journey, the pressure and the urgency, you can understand why Dave Roberts would value this season and this potential opportunity to win the World Series as much or even higher than any previous season.
And he’s still not wrong.
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