After months of disagreement, Rob Manfred has finally announced that the MLB will hold a shortened season starting July 23-24. Teams are to report to Spring Training 2.0 on July 1.
What this means is that teams will play 60 games, 40 of which will be division opponents, and the remaining 20 will be interleague games, depending on each teams location.
This shortened 2020 season also brings some new rules, some of which have been discussed even before the Coronavirus pandemic that stalled the nation.
Due to the shortened season, the trade deadline will be pushed back to August 31, instead of the regular July 31 deadline. Teams will start with a 30-man roster, which will be shortened to 26 after the first month.
The impending cancellation of the minor leagues prompted teams to have a pool of 60 eligible players, 40 active and 20 “taxi-players.” This means that teams will have 20 players who are essentially practice squad, with up to three being allowed to travel with the team at any time.
Also, the playoff eligibility deadline will now be September 15, meaning any player not on the 40-man roster by 11:59 p.m. ET on September 14 will not be eligible for the postseason.
Some new gameplay rules include the National League adopting a DH in the lineup, regular and postseason. For AL teams this means very little, as their pitchers would only hit in a few interleague games anyway.
For National League teams, this changes how their lineup is crafted day in and day out. Unfortunately, some managers in the league may miss the strategy of the double switch, often seen in the NL in late game situations.
Another rule being put in place is one no baseball fan wanted to see. Starting in 2020, extra innings will begin with a runner being placed on second base. This is meant to speed up a long extra inning game, however it takes away from the magic of a tightly contested game.
One small adjustment made was prohibiting the use of spitting. This includes saliva, sunflower seeds, peanut shells, and tobacco. Chewing gum, however, is allowed.
After the last couple of months being a complete devastation for baseball fans, the return of the game we love in any form is something we all can be happy about. Whether it’s 60 or 162 games, it’s great to see some baseball!
Let us know how you feel about the return of Major League Baseball in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!