So after months of negotiations which have yielded little to no progress, the MLBPA proposed to the owners a 114-game season on Sunday, much longer than what anyone thought would be possible at this point. The owners countered on Monday, giving the players what they've wanted this whole time — their full prorated salary for however long the season ends up being — but it would be for a season that is just 50 games.
That's right, 50 baseball games.
I know how badly we all want baseball back, but if we're going to play a 50-game season, we need to just shut it down and prepare for 2021. The entire premise of a baseball season is its massive sample size and the indicativeness that sample has on who is good and who is bad. Last year's World Series champions were terrible though the first 50 games of the season.
Here are some stats from 2019 to show how fluky a 50-game season could be.
Obviously all of those stats show why a Postseason field and World Series champion can not accurately be determined from a 50-game sample, but those last four in particular prove that a season of this length just can't work. Jackie Bradley Jr. had 50-game stretches with a .554 OPS as well as an .893 OPS. The team that won the World Series was 12 games below .500. The Giants were 12 games above .500 — they went 46-66 the rest of they season.
You can't play a 50-game baseball season. It's simply too antithetical to the purpose of the game. I hope these two sides can work something out, but it needs to be something other than this.