The Los Angeles Dodgers were crowned World Series Champions this year. This was their first win since 1988 and their seventh overall, while The Tampa Bay Rays have never won a World Series. This season was one of the best seasons I have watched in the past few years.
I think the MLB did a fantastic job at keeping the league safe with their new protocols and traveling rules. The season was over quickly, but it was still enjoyable. Spring training usually begins in February, and I wonder if the MLB will stick to the same protocols and season format.
The Dodgers were first in the National League with 43 wins and 17 losses, a record for the best in their league. The Rays had an outstanding season, beating out the New York Yankees for the American League Divisional Series Championship and the Houston Astros for the American League Championship.
The Rays’ first appearance in the World Series was in 2008, and they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies. Their overall record this season was 40 wins and 20 losses. The Rays achieved the best winning record in the American League.
As a New York Yankees fan, I usually do not watch the rest of the postseason unless the Yankees are playing. I continued to watch the games till the end of the season, because it was the shortest season in a long time. The MLB chose to have each home stadium open this year except Rogers Centre in Toronto, while other professional sport leagues used “bubble” stadiums.
This World Series was interesting. The Rays were the hopeful to win this year even with the changes and COVID-19 protocols. They have had some great seasons dating back to their beginnings in 1998. I was expecting them to beat the Dodgers.
The Dodgers were the safest and healthiest team this season and had remained COVID-19-free until a positive test result from Justin Turner. The team was aided by all the new rules and protocols put in place because of the pandemic.
The World Series let spectators into the “bubble” stadium, which was a first for this season, and I was honestly surprised to see people in the stands. I am not sure, however, if those spectators were teammates and families of both teams or if there were actual fans.
There were some key players on the Dodgers that became standout stars during the postseason.
Mookie Betts won his first World Series Championship in 2018 with the Boston Red Sox. He was traded to the Dodgers at the beginning of this year before spring training was cancelled. Betts became the starting right-fielder for the Dodgers when Opening Day happened in July. This season, Betts finished with 16 home runs and 39 RBIs. He was awarded his fifth consecutive Gold Glove award.
Corey Seager was also a standout Dodgers player this year, leading his team in batting averages, hits, doubles and RBIs.
In addition to his World Series MVP win, he was named the National League Championship Series MVP. Seager had a batting average of .328 during the postseason and scored two home runs. He was also named the National League Championship Series MVP.
Finally from the Dodgers, Justin Turner was a star player. Unfortunately, he was removed in Game 6 during the eighth inning because of a positive COVID-19 test result. Turner was the only player in MLB postseason to test positive. His original test results were inconclusive, and the doctors said he was allowed to play. He violated MLB rules by participating in the team’s celebrations after the game. He joined the team for pictures, hugged teammates and their families, all without a mask on. The MLB is now conducting an investigation with Turner.
This was the most exciting and interesting year for the MLB. After the ratings were released from Game 1, it was named the least-watched World Series Championship game in history. The next two games had ratings that were just as low and failed to draw in more than 10 million viewers. This was shocking to hear, since American sports culture is based around baseball. What I had read about this season gave me the assumption that baseball fans were going to be watching the sport this year more than then ever.
The MLB set the stage for professional sports this year by changing a large number of protocols and rules. Some of these rules will remain in place even after the pandemic ends to keep teams and clubhouses healthy.
I think the MLB was smart to keep all the stadiums in use this season. Fans all around the country could watch their teams from home play in their respective stadium. I hope that this next season allows for in-person spectators, and that I will be able to enjoy a refreshing beer and hotdog at Yankee Stadium soon.