Stark: What an 82-game season will (and won’t) mean

From SABR member Jayson Stark at The Athletic on May 21, 2020, with mention of SABR members John Thorn and Steve Hirdt:

It’s not a number that rolls off the tongue. It’s not a number that resonates through history — unless you’re talking about, say, Michael Jordan’s history. But you know what we can say about an 82-game baseball season?

A) It would be way better than zero games.

B) It won’t be 162.

So it’s time to start preparing our brains — for what’s to come (let’s hope!) and what it will mean. If there is, in fact, an 82-game baseball season, stuff will happen. Stats will happen. Winning (and losing) will happen. History will happen.

But what should we make of that history? What should we make of those stats? What should we make of the winners (and losers)?

I’ve been asking that question of some great minds over the last week or so. Bob Costas. Joey Votto. Terry Francona. One of my favorite, thoughtful baseball statisticians, Steve Hirdt. And the official historian of Major League Baseball, John Thorn.

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Originally published: May 22, 2020. Last Updated: May 22, 2020.