Major League Baseball resumes today, after a four month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After months of discussion between the players union and the league, the decision was made to have a 60-game schedule.
Here are few changes and rules that are taken place in the age of COVID-19
- No high-fives, fist bumps, hugs or spitting
- Most of superstitious traits are going to be disallowed
- Both leagues (American League & National League) will use the Designated Hitter Rule to avoid overtaxing pitchers by having them hit
- During the regular season, every half-inning after the ninth will begin with a runner on second base. If that runner scores, the pitcher won’t be charged with an earned run.
- There will be no restrictions on position players pitching
- If weather forces a game to be cut short before it is official, it will be continued at a later date rather than started from scratch.
- Players and managers will be expected to maintain physical distance from all umpires and opposing players on the playing field whenever possible
- Pitchers will be permitted to carry a small wet rag in their back pocket to be used for moisture in lieu of licking their fingers.
- The three-batter minimum, a rule change that was instituted this past offseason, will remain in place
- Roster sizes: Opening Day rosters will feature 30 active players (up from the normal 26) culled from each team’s 60-man player pool. The active roster will be trimmed to 28 players on the 15th day of the season and then to 26 players on the 29th day.
Each team will play 60 regular season games, scheduled to begin on July 23 with the defending World Series winners Washington Nationals facing the New York Yankees, and end on September 27. Teams will play 40 games within their division and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographical division (i.e. AL and NL Central). A conventional postseason tournament is then scheduled to begin on September 29. The World Series is set to begin on October 20, and a potential Game 7 would be played on October 28.
Tonight’s doubleheader on ESPN will see Anthony Fauci throw out the ceremonial first pitch in the nation’s capital.
7pm ET: Yankees (Cole) at Nationals (Scherzer)
10pm ET: Giants (Cueto) at Dodgers (Kershaw)
Who will have a great season? Who will win the World Series. Leave your answers in the comments below.
Santiago Leon is the Founder and CEO of the Sports Cast. He covers NFL, NBA, and world soccer. He’s also founder of sleon productions, which he specializes in technology and serves clients with solutions to make their business grow.