Given the unfortunate circumstances brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the 2020 Major League Baseball season was shortened to just 60 games, followed by an expanded postseason with an extra Wild Card Series for all teams.
The Los Angeles Dodgers nonetheless forged ahead as they won their first World Series since 1988, breaking a long drought that was filled with plenty of October heartbreak.
Since the Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to win it all, many have again discussed how legitimate this year’s championship is because of the shortened regular season.
The Dodgers finished with the best record in all of baseball at 43-17, which would put them on pace to win 117 games in a normal 162-game season. They then defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card round before sweeping a tough San Diego Padres teams in the National League Division Series and then coming back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Atlanta Braves in the NL Championship Series.
Because of the journey that it took to win it all, Cody Bellinger was adamant the Dodgers winning this year’s title doesn’t carry any less significance or validity, via Sam Alipour of ESPN:
“I mean, if you watched the playoffs, it was about as real as playoff baseball gets. And us and the Rays were the two No. 1 seeds in the regular season, deservingly so. No, it’s earned. It is so earned. It was a challenging year, and it’s earned.”
As short as the 2020 season was, there isn’t a single player that wouldn’t attest to how difficult the grind was, needing to follow protocols and get tested for coronavirus every day in addition to all of their other responsibilities as a baseball player.
Bellinger, in particular, came up with some huge plays for the Dodgers in the postseason, notably robbing Fernando Tatis Jr. of a home run and then hitting the game-winning home run in Game 7 of the NLCS against the Braves.
Bellinger: Dodgers took motivation from Lakers winning championship
The Dodgers weren’t the only L.A. team to win a championship under unique circumstances in 2020 as the Lakers did the same in their Orlando bubble just a few weeks earlier.
Bellinger revealed that the Dodgers took motivation from the Lakers winning it all during their own playoff run.
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