Andrew Friedman on potential 2020 season and Mookie Betts
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman provided some thoughts on how the 2020 season could look.
Baseball will return in 2020, at least that is the expectation and optimistic viewpoint of Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
Appearing as a guest on SportsNetLA on Tuesday, Friedman offered his thoughts on how the 2020 season could emerge from the doldrums of the coronavirus pandemic.
A report circulated earlier in the day that baseball could return to Southern California, albeit with no fans, as soon as the end of June. Friedman was cautious in focusing on any particular plan to play, but optimistic about a season.
“I certainly think it’s possible. I wish I knew how to handicap one [plan] verse the other,” Friedman said in reference to the different MLB plans for playing in 2020 that have been leaked to the media. “I guess, for me, we could play on Mars and it would be fine. I think it’s important for us to play. Baseball has a rich and deep tradition of being a cathartic outlet for people when going through challenging times.”
Friedman noted how everything is fluid and there is a lot of “spit-balling” going on among MLB decision-makers. As the league and public health officials learn more about easing social distancing restrictions, he believes, different plans will emerge as more viable options than others.
How will a compressed schedule impact the Dodgers?
“From our standpoint, we came int Spring Training with a lot of optimism,” Friedman said. “Spring Training only reinforced that for us. We feel like we are an incredibly talented team, and when you are that talented, obviously, you are happy to play as many games as possible because it gives you even more of a chance for that talent to shine through.”
With a full, 162-game schedule impractical at this point, Friedman is still confident the Dodgers are talented enough to prove the cream of the crop in a shortened season.
Another concern over a shortened schedule is player injury. The Dodger president is sensitive to trying to ramp up starting pitchers too quickly, especially after starting and stopping due to the work stoppage. As a result, he expects teams to be able to carry more pitchers on their roster, and they will monitor workloads.
“Every year if you graph pitcher injuries, April is always the highest month,” Friedman noted.
SportsNetLA host John Hartung tried to sneak in a question about the possibility of losing Mookie Betts for nothing if a season is ultimately canceled, but Friedman didn’t give him much of a response.
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He said he is so busy focusing on the next day, week, let alone next winter.
“I certainly appreciate and understand that is a possibility,” he said. “I’m optimistic that won’t be the case. But if it were to play out that way, obviously then I’ll have more thoughts on it. But right now our focus is on having him being a real key piece in us winning a championship in 2020.”
Here’s hoping we see Mookie in Dodger blue soon enough!