The 2020 MLB season will be like none other. Besides the health and safety protocols put in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 60-game season itself will make it a strange summer and fall of baseball.
For some, the shortened season brings up the argument that the eventual World Series Champion shouldn’t be looked at in the same light as past winners. The reasoning is due to the view that 60 games are not a big enough body of work to determine a true championship contender.
With 162 games typically being played, the sport is a marathon rather than a sprint. It’s not uncommon for eventual playoff contenders to not assert themselves until a good portion of the season is in the rearview mirror. Just ask the 19-31 Washington Nationals from 2019. Additionally, part of the lore of being a champion comes from grinding it out through a long, grueling slate of games.
In 2020, that will not be the case. There are fewer games and less time for true teams to separate themselves. A slow start by a favorite could doom them, a fast start by a less-talented team could bring unexpected success.
Despite this, Davey Martinez and Max Scherzer don’t agree with the idea that the winner should be viewed differently. To them, a champion is a champion. Whether it’s 60 games or 162, a World Series doesn’t come easy.
“The team that finds a way to get through 60 games, stays healthy and goes through the postseason and wins, that’s a winner,” Scherzer said to Dan Kolko on 106.7 The Fan Radio.
“Whoever wins this year is a winner in my eyes,” Martinez said to Kolko. “Don’t matter if they play 10 games, 20 games, 30 games. For me, you get a little bragging rights going into 2021.”
RELATED: NATS WILL STILL HAVE FUN DURING 2020 SEASON
Additionally, Scherzer feels that the 2020 season presents even more challenges given the current climate of the country. The virus will be a threat to all rosters at any time, and new procedures in place will make the game feel different than usual.
Players are also jumping into the season after three months off, a shortened spring training and only scrimmages and practices in July. Durability and stamina will be put to the test greatly in a season that has become a sprint, and teams will need contributions from everyone. Scherzer understands that stats can become a topic of debate in terms of success for the unique season, but wins in 2020 will be just as — if not even harder — to come by.
“Whoever wins it, wins it. You’ve had to grind this whole 2020 through all the c— we’ve had to deal with. Whatever team goes out there and wins, wins it all,” Scherzer said. “That means a lot, because that means you functioned as a team extremely well. On and off the field even more so than ever.”
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST
Seeing no difference in a champion this season compared to year’s past, Martinez sees no reason to switch up the team’s mentality for the campaign. It will once again be a “go 1-0 everyday” type atmosphere in Washington.
By doing that, Martinez, Scherzer and the rest of the roster hope to earn the bragging rights for the 2021 season. Though the regular season is just 60 games, they’ll celebrate another World Series all the same.
“So, let’s just focus on the here and now,” Martinez said. “Let’s try to win this thing again.”
Stay connected to the Nationals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE NATIONALS NEWS:
Davey Martinez and Max Scherzer won’t put an asterisk on the 2020 World Series champion originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington