- Senior writer ESPN Magazine/ESPN.com
- Analyst/reporter ESPN television
- Author of “The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty”
When new Chicago Cubs manager David Ross spoke to his players at the outset of this strange season, he mentioned to them that they really had nothing to lose. If you don’t play well over the 60 games, nobody is going to hold that against you because the sample size is so small, and if you play well, you can win some ballgames and have some fun.
Ross might not have meant every word literally, because yes, results matter to some degree, even in 2020. Some players who have struggled have been pulled from rotations and lineups or demoted to alternate sites, and some players who have thrived have seen their roles enhanced. But evaluators around baseball say that a lot of this year’s performances, good or bad, will not necessarily be taken at face value because of the staggering number of variables at play.
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