Flowers on MLB’s shortened season: 'The champagne…will feel just the same'

Joe Patrick
June 26, 2020 - 10:54 am

Major League Baseball’s regular season will look drastically different this year as everyone involved grapples with the effects caused by COVID-19, but perhaps no change will be as glaring as a regular season that will be more than 100 games shorter.

So, will the 2020 champions have an asterisk next to their names in the record books? Braves catcher Tyler Flowers summed it up simply: “The champagne and everything will feel just the same.”

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For Flowers, the reason he doesn’t think a champion should be tarnished—beyond the taste of a dry, sudsy white vintage—is simple: Everybody is playing by the same rules.

“For me, we're all playing the same amount of games, so that's going to determine who's the best team in that period of time,” Flowers told media in a video conference Friday. “Unfortunately, we don't really have a choice on how many games we play. That's what we got. I think everybody's going to be just as anxious to get out the gates running and hopefully solidify themselves in a playoff spot and keep rolling from there.

“I can see a few sides to it, but in my opinion, every team's playing the same number of games. For me, that's a competitive, legitimate season I mean, is a high school season or college season any less legit based on the number of games they play? I don't think so. Maybe some people do.”

Flowers did admit that the drastically shortened season will have some affects to what fans are accustomed to seeing, particularly with regards to how coaching staffs will manage in-game.

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“I think the interesting thing is going to be some of the moves that inevitably have to happen with the uniqueness of the situation,” said Flowers. “The uncertainty of pitchers to be able to go deeper in games, and you have the same expectation out of your opposition. You know that there's a greater opportunity to get to their bullpen in the third or fourth or fifth inning—whether that's another starter coming out or that's running out relievers. I think that's going to be the exciting part of this whole thing.”

As for the affect on players, Flowers said he doesn’t anticipate much changing in terms of routines and preparation.

“I don't think it's going to affect how we play,” said Flowers. “I think it's going to affect how the games are run. Maybe our adrenaline might be a little higher in some of those situations in some of those games. 

“But ultimately, we're all competitors. We hate losing. Whether it's badminton with your neighbors, baseball games, whatever it is—we don't like to lose. So I think that part's going to be in place.”