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June 24, 2020

Eytan Shander: A 60 game baseball season is a waste of time, one big fat asterisk

Opinion MLB
Bryce-Harper_030520_usa Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper.

Does it even matter? I think we can honestly ask ourselves this question without having to answer if we are a “Philly Guy” or something to that effect. 

A baseball season with 60 games? Who cares? This is background noise and shame on you for giving in to a bunch of idiots. I hope you realize we can separate the love for the sport of baseball with the disdain for the people running (ruining) it. This is about stepping up and being the better person in the relationship, to put it simply, we don’t need MLB this year. Nope. Not one game.

First, none of this matters. You barely have enough room to hit in 56 straight games, and ERA/offensive numbers are cooked. Nobody will respect anyone going on some tear this year, hitting 25 HR in 60 games. It will be met with more asterisks than Skip Bayless the morning after LeBron James wins another title.

These numbers are already deflated and won’t be able to match up against anything in history, nor should they. It’s not fair to anyone to have this season judged alongside anything else, including a work stoppage in the history of the game. It stands alone. The entire season is one big fat asterisk. This should have always been some push to be a playoffs, something like a WBC tournament. Don’t worry, the O’s and Marlins would still be out early.

“But we have Bryce Harper!”

This is a tough one because it’s early in this long term deal. One that would be nice to see an early jump for the team – especially from last year – with the new addition of Joe Girardi. Not sure what we can really expect from this team that will carry over to next year. It’s like watching 60 exhibition games that may lead to some fake championship.

Which begs the necessary question. How can you – me, all of us – accept any banner that would honor this season. No parent should have to bring their child to a Phillies game and have to explain why there’s a huge * after NL East Champions. It doesn’t honor anything, it’s a constant reminder to how ugly this whole thing became, and why these games don’t matter.

Still not convinced? Try thinking about it this way. How often do you miss a Phillies game during the course of a 162-game season? I’m betting – despite your best interests and social media boasting – you fall short of your 162 for 162 goal. Chances are you are missing at least 60 games each year, which is why I see no harm in sitting this one out.

What happened to all the people with platforms – me included – who said MLB did this irreparable damage? The PR hit that the sport will take as a result of failing to negotiate in a timely manner? It would seem that there’s no real action nor repercussion dealt by the same people who were demanding it earlier this month. I have no problem pushing this season off and waiting until next year to enjoy a full season.

Go ahead and hang that World Series banner as high as you want, above the NLDS and NLCS banners. The Phillies can make some amazing run and while there will be some sort of participation trophy at the end of it, nobody who was there would acknowledge it on any real level of accomplishment. Save that for our Sixers and Flyers.

Coping with the COVID-19 Virus from Wuhan

I want to keep this as open of a forum as possible. Please send any questions you have to my DM on Twitter @shandershow

Dr. Aryeh Shander MD, FCCM, FCCP, FASA

Director of TeamHealth Research Institute
Emeritus Chief Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Hyperbaric Medicine Englewood Health,
Courtesy Clinical Professor, UF College of Medicine
Adjunct Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, Medicine and Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, Adjunct Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Rutgers University, Newark New Jersey

Pop Culture Pick of the Week: The Match III 

Don’t fall for any hype. There will be no rematch. We will all be spared another round of watching Tom Brady put balls into the woods. It’s going to be a major sense of relief to watch someone who isn’t club hopping while lying about his handicap. Two big bets here to look at starting with how many eyes will be on this one. It’s only fair to expect the amazing access, Tiger Woods, watching two NFL athletes humanized by the sport, Tiger Woods, and not much going on to rival it; more people will be watching.

These things are getting better and that’s a huge credit to Tiger and Phil, as well as the broadcast crews. Charles Barkley didn’t “steal” the show, he was the show. Live bets tweeted in by golfers and celebs alike mixed with live reaction from the participants. The third installment of the match will see MORE than five million viewers, so comfortably take the over here.

As for Phil’s partner, it’s a little tricky, but there remains good value on one player. Brady is out, cooked. He lied about his handicap. Reggie Bush and Aaron Judge aren’t carrying this event. No offense to either, but there needs to be a larger celebrity to Phil’s partner. Steve Young could provide some entertainment value, with his fellow broadcasters having fun with him. I do think he’s a little too old – Manning and Brady were pushing it – to reach a broader audience. Remember, this guy is going to have to carry more than a hole or two, he’s going up against the monster celebrity of Woods.

Brees is out. Rodgers would be truly intriguing but might be too quiet to get any audio. Plus, does he have any friends who would even tweet in? Steph Curry is the pick ONLY because he will lose more value as we get closer to this event. That awful golf show continues to pick up steam, and Curry is growing his association to the game. He’s also old enough to carry two bookend generations, the younger crowd new to the NBA to the old heads who still debate if he’s an all-time PG. Take Curry at -150 before he hits -200.

Courtesy of BetOnline (Twitter: @betonline_ag).


I want to personally thank Joe Krause and Jakib Media for making this column a reality. Jakib Media is one of the leaders in providing top independent radio programming, and I’m so excited to bring them to such a powerful digital place at PhillyVoice. There are some tremendous opportunities to work with both myself and Jakib Media through this amazing platform. Please join me in thanking Mr. Joe Krause. Please email me shandershow1@gmail.com for any interest in working with us.


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Follow Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow

You can listen to Eytan on SB Nation Radio (Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; weekends from 6-9 p.m.) and @foxphlgambler (Mon.-Weds., 6-8 p.m.). You can also catch him on FOX 29 Good Day.

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