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2020 World Series

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2020 World Series
2020 World Series logo.svg
Team (Wins) Manager(s) Season
Los Angeles Dodgers (4) Dave Roberts 43–17 (.717), GA: 6
Tampa Bay Rays (2) Kevin Cash 40–20 (.667), GA: 7
DatesOctober 20–27
VenueGlobe Life Field
MVPCorey Seager (Los Angeles)
UmpiresBill Miller (crew chief), Jerry Meals, Mark Carlson, Laz Díaz, Chris Guccione, Marvin Hudson, Todd Tichenor[1]
Broadcast
TelevisionFox (United States – English)
Fox Deportes (United States – Spanish)
MLB International (International)
TV announcersJoe Buck, John Smoltz, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci (Fox)
Adrian Garcia Marquez, Rolando Nichols, Edgar Gonzalez, Carlos Álvarez and Jaime Motta (Fox Deportes)
Matt Vasgersian and Buck Martinez (MLB International)
RadioESPN (English)
WDAE (TB – English)
WGES (TB – Spanish)
KLAC (LAD – English)
KTNQ (LAD – Spanish)
KMPC (LAD – Korean)
Radio announcersDan Shulman, Chris Singleton, Jessica Mendoza and Buster Olney (ESPN)
Andy Freed and Dave Wills (WDAE)
Ricardo Taveras and Enrique Oliu (WGES)
Charley Steiner and Rick Monday (KLAC)
Jaime Jarrín and Jorge Jarrín (KTNQ)
Richard Choi and Chong Ho Yim (KMPC)
ALCSTampa Bay Rays over Houston Astros (4–3)
NLCSLos Angeles Dodgers over Atlanta Braves (4–3)
World Series Program
2020 World Series program.jpg
← 2019 World Series 2021 →

The 2020 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's 2020 season. The 116th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the American League (AL) champion Tampa Bay Rays and the National League (NL) champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers defeated the Rays to win the series in six games for their first championship since 1988. Los Angeles shortstop Corey Seager was named the World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP) after batting 8-for-20 (.400) with two home runs, five runs batted in, and an on-base percentage of .556.[2]

The series began on October 20 and ended with Game 6 on October 27. To reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the postseason proper was conducted at neutral sites rather than at teams' home stadiums. The entirety of the World Series was hosted by Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas (which also hosted the National League Championship Series), making this the first World Series to be played at a neutral site, as well as the first since 1944 to be held at only one ballpark and the first since 1993 to be played entirely on artificial turf.[3][4] With 2020 being the inaugural season for Globe Life Field, it became the first ballpark to host the World Series in its first year since Yankee Stadium II in 2009.

Background

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) agreed to shorten the standard 162-game season to 60 games, the shortest since 1878. They also agreed to hold an expanded 16-team playoff tournament for only the 2020 season. In addition to each league's three division winners, each league's three division runners-up qualified, and two additional wild card teams per league qualified based on win-loss record. The first round was the Wild Card Series, a best-of-three playoff hosted by the higher seeded team. After that, the postseason maintained its standard format of a best-of-five League Division Series, best-of-seven League Championship Series, and the best-of-seven World Series.[5][6]

Rays manager Kevin Cash (top) and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts

After COVID-19 outbreaks among several teams resulted in the postponement of about 40 regular season games, MLB and the MLBPA agreed to hold the division series, league championships, and World Series in protective "bubble" environments at neutral sites to limit the chances of experiencing another outbreak. MLB chose Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, as the site of the 2020 World Series.[7] The Texas Rangers, who play their home games at Globe Life Field, failed to qualify for the postseason.[8] It was the first time since the 1944 World Series (played between the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns, who shared Sportsman's Park as their home field) that the entire series was held at one ballpark.[9]

While fans were not permitted to attend MLB games during the 2020 season, Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed his hope that fans would be able to attend the World Series in a limited capacity.[10] This proved prescient as it was announced on September 30 that fans would be able to attend the NLCS and World Series at 25% capacity, allowing a maximum of 11,500 people to attend each game at Globe Life Field.[11] Both teams stayed at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas as the designated bubble hotel.[12]

Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays of the American League made their second appearance in the World Series in franchise history and their first since 2008. They finished the shortened regular season with a 40–20 (.667) record, the best in the American League. They then swept the Toronto Blue Jays in two games in the Wild Card Series, defeated the New York Yankees in five games in the Division Series, and defeated the Houston Astros in seven games after leading 3–0 in the League Championship Series.[13][14]

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League made their 21st appearance in the World Series, passing the Giants for most all-time in the National League, and third in four years, having lost in 2017 and 2018.[15] They finished the shortened regular season with a 43–17 (.717) record, the best in all of MLB.[16] They then swept both the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card Series and the San Diego Padres in the Division Series, before defeating the Atlanta Braves in seven games in the League Championship Series after trailing 3–1 in that series.[17]

Series notes

Both teams' 2020 season were shaped by off-season trades made for outfielders. The Dodgers had a World Series caliber team, but entering the 2019–2020 off-season, the team felt pressure to improve the club after World Series losses in 2017 and 2018 and an upset defeat in the 2019 National League Division Series at the hands’ of the eventual World Champion Washington Nationals. On February 10, 2020, the Dodgers traded outfielder Alex Verdugo and minor leaguers Connor Wong and Jeter Downs to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Mookie Betts, starting pitcher David Price and cash considerations.[18] Betts finished the 2020 60 game regular-season hitting .292/.366/.562 with 47 runs (fourth in the NL), 16 home runs (third), 39 RBIs, a .928 OPS, and 10 stolen bases. In the National League Championship Series, Betts made three straight series saving defensive gems in elimination games for the Dodgers as they were the fourteenth team in MLB history to come back from a 3–1 series deficit.[19]

Tampa Bay's significant off-season trade was less publicized but just as impactful when they sent Matthew Liberatore, Edgardo Rodriguez, and a Competitive Balance Round B Draft Pick to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Randy Arozarena, along with José Martínez and the Cardinals’ Competitive Balance Round A Draft Pick. Due to having contracted COVID-19 and injury, Arozarena played in just 23 games, but his impact on the Rays would not be felt until the 2020 postseason. Arozarena carried Tampa Bay's offense hitting seven home runs in 14 postseason games prior to the World Series, becoming the first rookie position player to win the ALCS MVP. After his performance in the World Series, Arozarena would break records in home runs, hits, and total bases in a single postseason.[18][20] Betts and Arozarena were on the cover of MLB's official 2020 World Series program.[21] Ironically, Arozarena was given the nickname “Cuban Mookie Betts” by his teammates in spring training.[22]

The 2020 season rule change, calling for each extra half-inning to begin with a runner on second base, was not implemented for any postseason round, including the World Series.[23]

This was the fourth time in the Wild Card era when both teams with the best record in each league faced each other in the World Series.[24] This had previously occurred in 1995, 1999, and 2013. Additionally, the Dodgers and Rays combined for a .692 winning percentage in the regular season, the highest combined regular-season winning percentage for a World Series matchup ever, surpassing the 1906 World Series between the Cubs and White Sox (.690).[25]

This was the first World Series to feature two cities that held either the NBA or the NHL title the same year, as the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2020 NBA Finals on October 11 and the Tampa Bay Lightning won the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals on September 28.[26] With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers qualifying and eventually winning Super Bowl LV the following winter, Tampa's NHL, MLB and NFL teams all made the championship round within a six-month span.[27]

This was the first World Series since 1993 to have all games played on artificial turf.[28]

Andrew Friedman, the current Dodgers President of Baseball Operations, was the Rays general manager from 2004 to 2014. Under Friedman's tenure as general manager the Rays saw their first run of success as a franchise, which was highlighted by a World Series appearance in 2008 and five 90-win seasons from 2008 to 2013. The 2020 Rays had only five players that were originally acquired by Freidman: Kevin Kiermaier (drafted in 2010) Blake Snell (drafted in 2011), José Alvarado (signed as an International amateur in 2012), Diego Castillo (signed as an International amateur in 2014), and Willy Adames (traded for in 2014). Only Alvarado was not on Tampa's World Series roster. Current Rays GM Erik Neander also received his start in baseball under Friedman in 2007 as an intern.[29] Other connections between the two teams included Brandon Gomes, the current Dodgers Vice President & Assistant General Manager, who was a Rays middle relief pitcher from 2011 to 2015; and Joel Peralta, the current Dodgers Special Assistant, Baseball Operations, who was a popular Rays reliever from 2011 to 2014.[30] Dodgers relievers Adam Kolarek was also a member of the Rays from 2017 to 2019, while Dylan Floro pitched briefly for Tampa Bay in 2016.

The 2020 World Series was a homecoming for long-time Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who grew up in Dallas, Texas, just minutes away from Globe Life Field.[31]

Summary

Los Angeles won the series, 4–2.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 20 Tampa Bay Rays – 3, Los Angeles Dodgers – 8 Globe Life Field 3:24 11,388[32] 
2 October 21 Tampa Bay Rays – 6, Los Angeles Dodgers – 4 Globe Life Field 3:40 11,472[33] 
3 October 23 Los Angeles Dodgers – 6, Tampa Bay Rays – 2 Globe Life Field 3:14 11,447[34] 
4 October 24 Los Angeles Dodgers – 7, Tampa Bay Rays – 8 Globe Life Field 4:10 11,441[35] 
5 October 25 Los Angeles Dodgers – 4, Tampa Bay Rays – 2 Globe Life Field 3:30 11,437[36] 
6 October 27 Tampa Bay Rays – 1, Los Angeles Dodgers – 3 Globe Life Field 3:28 11,437[37]

Game summaries

Game 1

Game 1 winning pitcher Clayton Kershaw
Game 1 winning pitcher Clayton Kershaw
October 20, 2020 7:11 p.m. (CDT) at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, 82 °F (28 °C), partly cloudy
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tampa Bay 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 3 6 0
Los Angeles 0 0 0 2 4 2 0 0 X 8 10 0
WP: Clayton Kershaw (1–0)   LP: Tyler Glasnow (0–1)
Home runs:
TB: Kevin Kiermaier (1)
LAD: Cody Bellinger (1), Mookie Betts (1)
Attendance: 11,388
Boxscore

For the pregame ceremony, Pentatonix performed the national anthem and four first responders threw out ceremonial first pitches.[38]

Cody Bellinger hit a two-run home run off Tyler Glasnow in the fourth inning for the first runs of the series.[39] Kevin Kiermaier reduced the Tampa Bay deficit to one run with a solo home run in the fifth inning. The Dodgers scored four runs in the fifth inning on an run batted in (RBI) fielder's choice by Max Muncy, followed by RBI singles by Will Smith, Chris Taylor, and Kiké Hernández. Glasnow finished with six runs allowed (all earned) in 413 innings on three hits and six walks, with eight strikeouts. Betts homered off Josh Fleming in the sixth inning. Muncy then doubled home Justin Turner for another run. Clayton Kershaw came out of the game after the sixth inning, having only allowed two hits (one of them the solo homer) and one walk while striking out eight. The Rays scored two runs in the seventh inning, when Mike Brosseau and Kiermaier singled in runs off reliever Victor González. The Dodgers held on to win 8–3.[40]

The Dodgers tied several postseason records in Game 1. Kershaw's 11th postseason start tied Greg Maddux for second-most in MLB history,[41] and he recorded his 200th postseason strikeout in the fifth inning, surpassing John Smoltz for second-most all time.[42] The Dodgers as a team tied the New York Giants (1912) for most stolen bases in a single World Series inning, with three.[43]

Game 2

Brandon Lowe had two hits and three RBIs in Game 2.
Brandon Lowe had two hits and three RBIs in Game 2.
October 21, 2020 7:08 p.m. (CDT) at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, 81 °F (27 °C), partly cloudy
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tampa Bay 1 0 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 6 10 0
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 4 5 1
WP: Nick Anderson (1–0)   LP: Tony Gonsolin (0–1)   Sv: Diego Castillo (1)
Home runs:
TB: Brandon Lowe 2 (2)
LAD: Chris Taylor (1), Will Smith (1), Corey Seager (1)
Attendance: 11,472
Boxscore

Following Game 1, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced that Tony Gonsolin would start Game 2.[44] Blake Snell started for the Rays.[45] Brandon Lowe hit a solo homer off Gonsolin in the first inning to give the Rays their first lead of the series. Gonsolin allowed no other hits or runs and left after 1+13 innings, the shortest start in the World Series since Jake Peavy in 2014. Joey Wendle doubled in two runs off Dustin May in the fourth inning to extend the Rays' lead to three. The teams traded two-run homers in the fifth inning, with Lowe hitting his second of the night, this time off May, and Chris Taylor, whose home run off Snell was the Dodgers' first hit of the game. Snell pitched 4+23 innings and allowed two hits and four walks while striking out nine. A sacrifice fly by Wendle off Joe Kelly in the sixth added another run for the Rays and Will Smith homered off Nick Anderson in the bottom of the inning for the Dodgers. Corey Seager hit a home run in the eighth inning off Pete Fairbanks to close the gap to two, and set a new postseason record for most home runs by a shortstop (seven). The Rays held on to even the series with a 6–4 win. The Dodgers struck out 15 times in the game, tying the World Series franchise record set in the 18-inning third game of the 2018 World Series.[46] Ji-man Choi became the first Korean-born player to record a hit in the World Series.[47]

At 11,472 attendance, this game was the most attended MLB game of the season.

Game 3

Game 3 winning pitcher Walker Buehler
Game 3 winning pitcher Walker Buehler
October 23, 2020 7:08 p.m. (CDT) at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, 74 °F (23 °C), roof closed
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 1 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 6 10 0
Tampa Bay 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 4 0
WP: Walker Buehler (1–0)   LP: Charlie Morton (0–1)
Home runs:
LAD: Justin Turner (1), Austin Barnes (1)
TB: Randy Arozarena (1)
Attendance: 11,447
Boxscore

Walker Buehler started Game 3 for the Dodgers,[48] and the Rays countered with Charlie Morton.[49] Justin Turner hit a solo home run off Morton in the first inning for the first run of the game. In doing so, he tied Duke Snider for the most postseason home runs in Dodgers franchise history with 11.[50] Max Muncy drove in two runs with a single in the third inning and the Dodgers set a new record for the most runs scored with two outs in a single postseason with 48. The Dodgers scored two more runs in the fourth inning on a safety squeeze by Austin Barnes and an RBI single by Mookie Betts. Morton was removed from the game after 4+13 innings; he allowed five runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out six.[51]

A double by Willy Adames in the fifth inning gave the Rays their first run. Barnes hit a solo home run off John Curtiss in the sixth inning for the Dodgers,[51] becoming the first player since Héctor López in 1961 to have both a squeeze bunt and a homer in the same World Series game.[52] Buehler pitched six innings and allowed one run on three hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts, becoming the third-youngest pitcher with 10 or more strikeouts and three or fewer hits in a World Series game, behind only Ed Walsh in 1906 and Josh Beckett in 2003.[53] Randy Arozarena hit a solo home run for Tampa Bay in the bottom of the ninth inning off Kenley Jansen, to give him a record-tying eight home runs and a record setting 23 hits in the postseason,[54] but the Dodgers held on to win 6–2 to take a 2–1 lead in the series.[51]

Game 4

Justin Turner's (pictured in 2016) solo home run in the first inning surpassed Duke Snider for most postseason home runs in franchise history.
Justin Turner's (pictured in 2016) solo home run in the first inning surpassed Duke Snider for most postseason home runs in franchise history.
Brett Phillips (pictured with the Omaha Storm Chasers) drove in the game-tying run, and an error allowed the game-winning run to score, with a single in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 4.
Brett Phillips (pictured with the Omaha Storm Chasers) drove in the game-tying run, and an error allowed the game-winning run to score, with a single in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 4.
October 24, 2020 7:09 p.m. (CDT) at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, 57 °F (14 °C), cloudy
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 1 0 1 0 1 1 2 1 0 7 15 2
Tampa Bay 0 0 0 1 1 3 1 0 2 8 10 0
WP: John Curtiss (1–0)   LP: Kenley Jansen (0–1)
Home runs:
LAD: Justin Turner (2), Corey Seager (2)
TB: Randy Arozarena (2), Hunter Renfroe (1), Brandon Lowe (3), Kevin Kiermaier (2)
Attendance: 11,441
Boxscore

In Game 4, Julio Urías started for Los Angeles[55] and Ryan Yarbrough for Tampa Bay.[56] For the second game in a row, Justin Turner hit a solo home run in the first inning. With that, he passed Duke Snider for most postseason home runs in franchise history[57] and became the first player in MLB history to homer in the first inning of back-to-back World Series games.[58] Corey Seager hit a solo home run in the third, for his eighth of the postseason, tying for the most all-time in a single postseason with Randy Arozarena, Barry Bonds, Carlos Beltrán, and Nelson Cruz.[59] Yarbrough pitched 3+13 innings with two runs allowed on five hits and one walk. Arozarena hit another home run leading off the bottom of the fourth inning, for his ninth of the postseason and sole possession of the record. Muncy hit an RBI single off Fairbanks to score Seager in the fifth inning. Hunter Renfroe hit a solo homer in the bottom of the inning to return the lead to one run. Urías pitched 4+23 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk with eight strikeouts. The Dodgers scored again in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Kiké Hernández against Diego Castillo. A three-run home run by Lowe, his third of the series, off Pedro Báez in the bottom of the inning gave the Rays their first lead of the game. Joc Pederson drove in two runs with a pinch hit single in the seventh inning off Nick Anderson to put the Dodgers back ahead. Kevin Kiermaier hit a solo homer in the bottom of the inning off Báez to tie the game. Seager, with his fourth hit of the game, drove in Chris Taylor on a single in the eighth against Anderson to put the Dodgers back up again.[60]

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and down in the count 1–2, Brett Phillips singled off Kenley Jansen for his first career postseason hit. As Kiermaier scored to tie the game, Taylor misfielded the ball in center field. As Arozarena rounded third base, he fell and began to head back to third base after getting back on his feet. With Muncy cutting off the throw from the outfield, his relay throw to Will Smith went off of Smith's mitt, allowing Arozarena to dive in safely at home to give the Rays an 8–7 win and tie the series at two.[60] It was the first World Series game to end on an error since Game 6 of the 1986 World Series and Jansen was credited with his record fourth blown save in World Series appearances.[61] Phillips also became the first player since Kirk Gibson in the 1988 World Series to get a game-winning hit with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Game 5

Max Muncy was 2-for-3 including a home run in Game 5.
Max Muncy was 2-for-3 including a home run in Game 5.
October 25, 2020 7:08 p.m. (CDT) at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, 74 °F (23 °C), roof closed
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 6 1
Tampa Bay 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 0
WP: Clayton Kershaw (2–0)   LP: Tyler Glasnow (0–2)   Sv: Blake Treinen (1)
Home runs:
LAD: Joc Pederson (1), Max Muncy (1)
TB: None
Attendance: 11,437
Boxscore

Game 5 featured a rematch of Game 1 starting pitchers; Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers and Tyler Glasnow for the Rays.[62] This was Kershaw's sixth World Series start, tying him for second most all-time in Dodgers franchise history behind Sandy Koufax and Carl Erskine.[63] The Dodgers got the early lead again in this game, with Betts doubling to start the game and being driven in by a single by Seager, who advanced to second and third on wild pitches, and then scored on an infield hit by Cody Bellinger. Pederson hit a solo home run in the second to extend the Dodgers' lead to three. An RBI triple by Yandy Díaz drove in the Rays' first run in the third inning. Díaz then scored on a single by Arozarena, who collected his 27th hit, the most in a single postseason.[64] In the bottom of the fourth inning, Manuel Margot walked, stole second, and advanced to third on an error; he attempted to steal home with two outs, but was tagged out at the plate on a throw from Kershaw to catcher Austin Barnes.[65] Charley Steiner, long-time Dodgers’ radio announcer, pointed out that with the stands near the field mostly empty, Kershaw could hear his teammates in the dugout with the early warning.[66]

Muncy hit a solo homer in the fifth inning as the Dodgers set a new major league record for different players on the same team hitting a home run in a postseason series, with nine.[67] Glasnow pitched five innings (the first Rays starter to do so in the series), allowing four runs on six hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. Kershaw's strikeout of Kiermaier in the bottom of the fifth inning moved him past Justin Verlander for the record of most career postseason strikeouts. He finished with 5+23 innings pitched, two runs allowed on five hits, and two walks with six strikeouts. The bullpens held the game scoreless the rest of the way and the Dodgers won 4–2 to regain the series lead.[68]

Game 6

October 27, 2020 7:09 p.m. (CDT) at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, 74 °F (23 °C), roof closed
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tampa Bay 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 0
Los Angeles 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 X 3 5 0
WP: Victor Gonzalez (1–0)   LP: Nick Anderson (1–1)   Sv: Julio Urías (1)
Home runs:
TB: Randy Arozarena (3)
LAD: Mookie Betts (2)
Attendance: 11,437
Boxscore

Facing elimination, the Rays started Blake Snell, who had a no decision Game 2.[69] The Dodgers countered with Tony Gonsolin,[70] who allowed one run as an opener in Game 2 and took the loss. The Rays scored first with a solo home run by Randy Arozarena, his tenth during the postseason and third of the World Series, extending the record he broke back in Game 4. No other player had hit more than eight homers in a single postseason, and Arozarena was also the Rays’ career postseason home run leader after just his first year with the team.[71] Gonsolin faced 10 batters in his second start, lasting 1+23 innings while allowing Arozarena's home run plus two hits and two walks. After Snell allowed a hit to Austin Barnes with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Rays manager Kevin Cash controversially decided to remove Snell from the game, who allowed only two hits throwing 73 pitches while striking out nine and walking none in 5+13 innings. Cash brought in reliever Nick Anderson, who gave up a double to Mookie Betts before throwing a wild pitch with Corey Seager at bat that allowed Barnes to score the tying run. The Dodgers then took the lead on a fielder's choice grounder by Seager that scored Betts. The Dodgers added another run in the eighth inning when Betts hit a home run off Pete Fairbanks. Julio Urías pitched the last 2+13 innings for the save, closing out the series by striking out Willy Adames looking, as the Dodgers won their seventh World Series championship and their first since 1988.[72] This was the first World Series since 2013, where what was considered the “home team” won in what was considered “home field.”

Postgame, Seager was presented with the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. He was the eighth player—and the first since Madison Bumgarner in 2014—to be named MVP of both the World Series and League Championship Series in the same season. He batted .328 in the Dodgers' 18 postseason games.[73] It was also announced that Justin Turner was removed in the eighth inning due to a positive COVID-19 test result. Despite tweeting that he was asymptomatic, Turner nevertheless took part in the celebration after the Dodgers had won the game, violating MLB protocols.[74] He was the first player to test positive for the virus during the postseason bubble.[75][76] The next day, Major League Baseball announced that Turner would be under investigation.[77] On November 6, Turner apologized for the incident and received no punishment from Rob Manfred, who admitted that MLB could have handled the situation better.[78]

The Dodgers were the first team since the 2010 San Francisco Giants to win a World Series with fully homegrown rotation starting every postseason game.

With the World Series win, the only team to beat the Dodgers in a series in 2020 was the Rockies, who won two out of three at Dodger Stadium in early September.[79] With the best record in baseball, the Dodgers were also just the seventh team in the Wild Card Era (since 1995) to have at least a share of the best record in baseball and win the World Series, joining the 2018 Red Sox, '16 Cubs, '13 Red Sox, '09 Yankees, '07 Red Sox and ‘98 Yankees on that list.[80] Because of an expanded 16-team postseason field, the Dodgers’ 13 postseason wins were the most in MLB history.[81]

Broadcasting

Television

For the 21st straight year, the World Series was televised in the United States by Fox.[82] Joe Buck called the games as play-by-play announcer, along with John Smoltz as color analyst and Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci as field reporters. Kevin Burkhardt hosted the network's pregame and postgame shows, joined by analysts Frank Thomas, Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, and Dontrelle Willis. Due to the pandemic, Fox's pregame and postgame shows all took place in their Los Angeles studios, as opposed to traveling on the road. Fox Deportes aired the series in Spanish, with Rolando Nichols, Edgar Gonzalez, Adrian Garcia Marquez, Carlos Alvarez, and Jaime Motta.[83]

MLB International fed the series to broadcasters outside the United States, with Matt Vasgersian providing play-by-play and Buck Martinez as color commentator.[83]

Ratings

Game Ratings
(households)
Share
(households)
U.S. audience
(in millions)
Ref
1 5.1 11 9.195 [84]
2 5.0 11 8.950 [85]
3 4.3 10 8.156 [86]
4 4.8 12 9.332 [87]
5 5.3 11 10.059 [88]
6 6.8 15 12.627 [89]

Game 1 was the least-watched World Series game ever, in terms of number of viewers, per Nielsen Media Research records dating back to 1968; it was also the first World Series game to draw less than 10 million viewers since Game 3 in 2008, which underwent a 90-minute rain delay.[90] Games 2 and 3 subsequently established new lows.[91] Game 6 was the least-watched title-clinching World Series game on record,[92] and the average of 9.785 million viewers per game set a new World Series low.[89]

Radio

ESPN Radio broadcast the series in the United States, with Dan Shulman on play-by-play, Chris Singleton and Jessica Mendoza as color analysts, Buster Olney as reporter, and Marc Kestecher hosting the pregame shows. Mendoza became the first woman to serve as a game analyst on a national World Series broadcast. Shulman, Singleton, and Mendoza called the games from ESPN's studios in Bristol, Connecticut due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[93] The flagship radio stations for each team broadcast the games locally with their own announcers: WDAE (in English) and WGES (in Spanish) for Tampa Bay; and KLAC (in English), KTNQ (in Spanish), and KMPC (in Korean) for Los Angeles.[83]

Aftermath

Dodgers

Minutes after the final out, LAX Airport, LA City Hall, LA Live, the Santa Monica Pier and many other Los Angeles landmarks lit up blue to celebrate the Dodgers’ World Series championship.[94] Retired Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, who called Dodgers games from 1950 to 2016, congratulated his former team on Twitter and it was announced a few days later that Scully would narrate the team's year-end championship documentary.[95][96]

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris with the Los Angeles Dodgers
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris with the Los Angeles Dodgers

With the Lakers having won the NBA Finals, Los Angeles repeated its achievement of having NBA and World Series champions in the same year, as both the Lakers and Dodgers had won in 1988.[97] In fact, just 16 days had passed between the Lakers and Dodgers championship wins, which was the shortest timespan for two championships in the same city.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti advised fans not to gather for large celebrations. Nevertheless, many fans took to the streets of Los Angeles, lighting off fireworks and taking over street intersections, in areas such as Pico Boulevard, Broadway and Figueroa Street before being dispersed by police.[98] The day after the World Series, the Dodgers released a statement regarding a public victory parade, stating any celebration would be postponed.[99] In lieu of a rally, the Dodgers set up a drive-through holiday festival event. The event, which was held from November 27 through January 3, featured a light show, LED video displays, fake snow and interactive displays honoring the Dodgers World Championship and celebrating the holidays. When the Dodgers went to go face the Washington Nationals in July 2021, the team visited the White House and President Joe Biden to honor, and celebrate their World Series victory.[100] [101]

Rays

Kevin Cash would receive tremendous backlash for his decision to remove Blake Snell after just 73 pitches in the sixth inning of Game 6.[102] Cash defended his decision, stating he did not want Snell going through the Dodgers order a third time, even despite his dominance for 5+13 innings. Yahoo Sports immediately named it one of the worst decisions in World Series history, while Deadspin called it the third worst in World Series history.[103] FOX Sports post-game analyst and former big leaguer Alex Rodriguez said it was the worst decision he had ever seen in baseball.[104] Upon his removal, opposing manager Dave Roberts said during postgame, "Mookie looked at me with a little smile. We were all just excited that Snell was out of the game."[105] Cash's decision sparked a discussion in whether modern managers were using too much sabermetrics and statistical analysis when making decisions rather than going with their instincts.[106][107][108] Some noted that while the decision was controversial, the Rays offense had only scored one run and the Dodgers, who hit starters remarkably better the third time through the order, had not been shut out all season.[109][110] Cash had also managed his starters with a short leash the whole season. In a similar move, Cash pulled Charlie Morton from Game 7 of the ALCS at 66 pitches, even though Morton only allowed 2 hits and no runs through for 5+23.[111]

Following their series loss, Tampa Bay placed Blake Snell on the trade block and later sent him to the San Diego Padres for a major-league catcher and three minor-league prospects.[112] Veteran pitcher Charlie Morton signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent after his club option was declined.[113]

A week after the World Series ended, Wonderfilm Media announced plans to produce a biopic based around Randy Arozarena's life and his journey from Cuba to Major League Baseball. Arozarena broke the record for home runs in a single postseason with ten, including three home runs in the World Series.[114]

Recognition

During and after the COVID-19-shortened season, there was widespread discussion over whether players' achievements, and in particular the championship itself, should come with an asterisk; the overwhelming consensus among players, coaches, and sports writers and pundits was that it should not.[115] Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts said "there will be no asterisk";[116] Rays' manager Kevin Cash said he "wouldn't want to do it again".[117] Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times suggested a gold star instead.[118]

See also

References

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Further reading

External links

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