It didn’t seem plausible a few months ago as the world stopped amid the coronavirus pandemic, but somehow MLB completed its 60-game season.
The wild regular season had a its fair share of rocky moments as both the Marlins and Cardinals dealt with outbreaks, but as the season progressed, the idea that it could finish became reality.
“I think getting to this point, completing 60 games in the middle of a pandemic is a real accomplishment and a lot of people have a lot to be proud of,” president Theo Epstein said. “There certainly was uncertainty and some trepidation as we started and concern for everybody’s well-being.
“I think we all wanted to play baseball, but no one wanted to do so if it meant sacrificing the health and safety of everyone associated with the game — players, staff, fans, etc. So the fact that it hasn’t been perfect, nothing in 2020 has been perfect, but getting through this season means a lot.”
Epstein stated that the Cubs would need to be overly cautious and also have a little luck in order to keep players safe amid the pandemic.
Not only did the Cubs do that, they finished the season as the only team in the league without a single player testing positive for COVID-19 since the initial intake process in July. It will be the organization’s biggest accomplishment in 2020.
“I also want to recognize the families of the players and staff who made a lot of sacrifices,” Epstein said. “There was a lot of separation as part of the season to get through it and families and a lot of spouses took on an extra burden, kids not seeing their parents.
“So a lot of people had to make sacrifices and look out for one another in order to get through this and they should get a well deserved tip of the cap, because it wasn’t easy. And we really appreciate all the effort.”
Marquez makes MLB debut in finale
Top pitching prospect Brailyn Marquez made his major-league debut in the Cubs’ 10-8 victory against the Sox on Sunday. Marquez, who is the No. 64 prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, was named to the 40-man postseason roster Thursday.
The hard-throwing left-hander allowed five runs, two hits, walked three and threw two wild pitches in the eighth inning. He also showed his electric fastball, reaching 99 mph in striking out American League MVP candidate Jose Abreu.
“It’s a special day today,” said Adbert Alzolay, who allowed one run in five innings Sunday. “You know, I said it this morning to the guys, because I’m so proud of the kid. I was working with him for two months in South Bend, trying to help him in whatever ways I could help him.
“Just to let you guys know, we have a good one in him. He’s gonna be great and he’s gonna be so good for this team in the future.”
“It’s been a process to get him to this point,” Epstein said. “He’s worked hard and deserves this opportunity.”