The 2020 calendar year is just about over and 2021 promises to be better for many reasons. It would be hard to be any worse. I hope MLB and the MLBPA can put their differences aside and get spring training and the regular season started on time, though I fear I'm being overly optimistic.
Throughout the offseason my fellow CBS Sports MLB scribes and I will bring you a weekly roundtable breaking down, well, pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we broke down J.T. Realmuto's landing spot. This week we're going to discuss our favorite moments of the year.
What was your favorite baseball moment of 2020?
R.J. Anderson: Slam Diego. This is cheating since it's actually multiple moments … but the Padres becoming the first team to ever hit a grand slam in four consecutive games (Aug. 17-20, with Fernando Tatis Jr., Wil Myers, Eric Hosmer, and Jake Cronenworth doing the honors). Baseball has been played for a long while, and it's pretty cool whenever you see something with minimal modifiers happen for the first time.
Matt Snyder: Toward the top of my list would be how it seemed like most of the baseball world came out on the right side of the ridiculous Fernando Tatis 3-0 grand slam "controversy," as it showed how much progress we've made on these absurd and so-called "unwritten rules," but I'll go more feel-good here: Clayton Kershaw pitching well in two World Series outings and winning a ring. It doesn't erase any of the past hand-wringing over his postseason performances, but the best pitcher of his generation has his ring and had a big part in his team getting it done. Looking ahead to five years after he retires, it'll be nice to avoid all the "well, he's a first ballot Hall of Famer, but remember... " nonsense about his playoff stat line.
Mike Axisa: Definitely Slam Diego. The "controversy" surrounding Fernando Tatis Jr. swinging 3-0 with the bases loaded in the seventh inning of a game his team led by seven runs was impossibly stupid, and Rangers manager Chris Woodward was appropriately roasted on social media for insinuating the unwritten rules were broken. The Padres responded by rubbing Woodward's nose in it, and hitting a grand slam in each of the next three games, all against Texas.
Anything that makes a mockery of baseball's unwritten rules is cool with me. Let's get this sport out of the Stone Age already. Shoutout to Clayton Kershaw shoving in the World Series, Daniel Bard's improbable return to the big leagues, Michael Brosseau's revenge homer against Aroldis Chapman, Lucas Giolito's no-hitter, and everything about World Series Game 4.
Dayn Perry: I'll go with Joe Kelly's pouty face in Houston. I'm fully aware of the irony of a member of the 2018 Red Sox taking a valorous stance against sign-stealing, but somehow that makes the moment even more nonsensical. Also, it's obviously not cool to throw in the vicinity of a player's head, but I'm mostly here for what happened afterward set against the backdrop of the 2017 World Series between the Dodgers and Astros. Also, I like street art, and this birthed a pretty fine example of it.