Update (11:55 PM EDT): We’re in a rain delay before the start of the 10th inning. The tarp is on the field.
The Cubs were four outs away from winning the World Series and they had lights-out closer Aroldis Chapman on the hill — just the way they drew it up. Chapman entered after Jon Lester gave up an infield single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Rajai Davis, who to this point had made two defensive miscues, redeemed himself by swatting a game-tying two-run home run down the left field line, knotting the game at six runs apiece.
According to FanGraphs, the Indians’ odds of winning the game shot up to 52.5 percent from 12 percent. In Game 7 of the World Series. There have only been a handful of home runs hit that have provided a bigger swing in the World Series.
And it’s begun to rain in Cleveland. The forecast is calling for rain the rest of the night and through the early morning. There’s a possibility that this could take a while. It hearkens back to Game 5 of the 2008 World Series between the Phillies and Rays. Due to rain, that game was suspended in the top of the sixth inning on October 27 and resumed on the 29th. Let’s hope that won’t be the case here.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.