From the Press Box: Predictions for this shortened MLB season

Twitter: 

Beat the drum, and hold the phone...that is after sanitizing them properly of course. That brown-eyed handsome man heading for home? He can stay six feet away.

If your sports-starved eyes hadn’t watched portions of the Summer Camp/Spring Training games since Saturday as mine have, perhaps you watched Opening Day of baseball this past Thursday.

The shortened, 60-game season is the complete opposite of the long, drawn-out 162 regular season games we are used to seeing.

Rather than a triathlon, baseball is in a 100-yard dash to the finish and what will most likely be an asterisked World Series championship.

But it’s not just the game number that will make this year so unique. 

Baseball traditionalists are cringing as they look at some of the rule modifications including the league-wide designated hitter and the automatic base-runner on second for extra innings.

The trade deadline is set for Aug. 31, about five weeks after the season starts. If teams don’t have as good of an August as they would like, they could already be sellers a month into the season. This could set the stage for an even crazier September than normal.

That being said, who does this type of season favor? 

I would say the teams who look the most like their 2019 squad.

Teams with new managers, a lot of new faces and in somewhat of an unstable setting could be those sellers by the end of August.

My Top 5? Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.

My dark horses? New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays.

See you next year? Miami Marlins, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates.

This year is going to be wacky and we probably won’t see hardly, if any, fans in the stands. Enjoy the cardboard cut-outs and the pumped crowd noise; buy some beer and your favorite snacks from United (It’s cheaper there than at the ballpark!) and take me out to the living room? 

John Lee is the editor of The Pampa News and can be reached at pampanewseditor@gmail.com or find him on Twitter @jcl1987.

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