What the 2020 Season Will Look Like: Crowdsource Results Round 2

Not long after Opening Day was originally postponed, I asked our readers for their thoughts on how and whether the 2020 season would play out. I wanted to get a sense of everyone’s expectations. Those results were published on the last day of March. At the time, some in the comments wondered how the results might change in the weeks to follow, given the speed with which new information on the pandemic was becoming available. To see if perspectives had changed, I asked the same set of questions again last week. In the first round, we generally ended up with 1,000 to 1,500 responses per question. This time around, we received about 500 more responses per question. Here are those results.

First, I asked whether there would be a 2020 season:

Overall, there was still a considerable amount of optimism, but the number of people who believed we will get a season dropped about three percentage points from late-March.

In looking at the number of games played, 76-100 remained the most popular response:

This is what the responses look like side-by-side:

As for when the season will begin, July was still the most popular response:

Both June and July dropped slightly, with “Never” gaining ground, but more than 2/3 of readers thought the season would begin in one of the first two summer months.

The big change versus the first round of polling came when readers were asked about regular season games at spring training sites. Two weeks ago, 59% of the responses said that no regular season games would be played at spring training sites, with just 10% saying that only Arizona would be used for regular season games. After details regarding an Arizona plan emerged, that response shot to the top of the list:

Florida and Arizona both actually dropped 10 percentage points from the previous poll, though that view might have changed given the reports of a potential Arizona-Florida plan to start the regular season. In a somewhat related change, 35% of people believed that no regular season games would be played without fans in the first iteration of this poll. That response still take the top spot, but it has dropped considerably:

Last time, only 17% of the responses indicated that there would be at least 50 regular season games played without a crowd, but now 42% of people expected a great number of fanless games. A majority expects 26 or more games without crowds.

As for the playoffs, there was a decrease in the number of people expecting the standard playoff format, which received roughly half the responses last time:

More rounds/teams saw the biggest spike, moving up from around 20% of responses last time. In terms of when the playoffs would actually end, the latter half of November held strong in the top spot and gained a few percentage points, but December and no season also saw some gains that took away from early November:

For the most part, there’s still a good deal of optimism from readers. People generally expect a season to start in July with the teams playing half a season, though there will be many games played without fans. That was the biggest shift from the previous pole, with many changing their expectations regarding fanless games, and in particular, fanless games at spring training sites.





Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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Andy__Failed
Member
Andy__Failed

If they’re using the Designated Hitter than I’m not going to watch. DH baseball is like watching a hamster run on the wheel. I don’t watch AL baseball unless it’s the postseason because of the higher intensity of play. The DH must go. Shohei Ohtani should be the ambassador for getting rid of the DH.

Baron Samedi
Member
Baron Samedi

Simmer down.

David Klein
Member
Member

Watching pitchers up at the plate is beyond embarrassing— and its past time to move away from that the whole strategy thing simply doesn’t hold water to me. I mean Noah Syndergaard struck out like 70% of the time and pitchers get worse and worse at the plate and really might as well stop giving away outs.

dukewinslow
Member
Member
dukewinslow

I mean, at that right, might as well do the same for short stops. And what about light hitting catchers? Why do we need to watch them flail around at the plate?

TomahawkChopper
Member
Member
TomahawkChopper

A team can use the DH to hit for any position, including shortstop and catcher if they wish.

BenZobrist4MVP
Member
BenZobrist4MVP

Actually, while that rule would make sense, as it stands now, only the pitcher can be DHed for.

originallyRags
Member
Member
originallyRags

Federation Rules (high school) allow you to use a DH to hit in place of any position. I think the high school rule causes people to think, sometimes, that it’s part of MLB’s Official Baseball Rules.

David Klein
Member
Member

Besides for Jeff Mathis none of those guys “ hit” like pitchers

NetflixnRichHill
Member
NetflixnRichHill

Because catchers, on a whole, have bottomed out at 84 wRC+ over the last 3 years; shortstops at 88 (and they were up to 98 in 2019). Meanwhile, pitchers turned in their best season last year at -18 wRC+. Adding the DH to both leagues solved the PERCEIVED issue of “too little offense”, it could extend more careers, or it could give guys like, oh I don’t know…. Mike Ford a better chance of finding a home – and I’m guessing 10 out of 10 of us would rather watch Mike Ford hit over Alex Wood.

carter
Member
Member
carter

Tbh I don’t have a strong preference, I like baseball either way. I enjoy how bad pitchers are at hitting in a perverse sort of way.

3cardmonty
Member
Member

OK boomer