MLB Chatter Thread

Iamtdg

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Well, sounds like the two sides have come to an agreement. I haven't found a decent story about it yet, but I will post when I find one.
 

Iamtdg

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Twelve questions about the return of baseball in 2020
By Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich 6h ago

Here we go. Players will report to Spring Training 2.0 by July 1. Major League Baseball has submitted a 60-game regular-season schedule for the Players Association to review. The league anticipates Opening Day will be July 23 or 24.

A normal season is full of questions. An abbreviated, unprecedented season taking place in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic will produce even more. The league produced a 101-page operations manual, a copy of which was obtained by The Athletic, that covers health and safety protocols, modifications of playing rules and other items for 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous and unprecedented impact on our daily lives, our families and our communities,” the introduction to the manual states. “This is a challenging time, but we will meet the challenge by continuing to work together. Adherence to the health and safety protocols described in this manual will increase our likelihood of being successful. We hope that resuming baseball will, in its own small way, return a sense of normalcy and aid in recovery.”

The manual almost certainly will evolve if additional issues arise from the pandemic. Even if the season proceeds without interruption, it will be unlike any we have seen before. Here are 12 of the questions that occurred to us, followed by answers that in some cases are subject to change.

What is the biggest fear among executives?

An outbreak of COVID-19 obviously ranks as No. 1. Otherwise, the answer is the same as it is in a normal season, but at a time of a greater risk: Injuries.

Players have been working out individually and in some cases groups, but the sport will have been shut down more than 3 1/2 months when Spring Training 2.0 starts on July 1, and camp will last about 3 1/2 weeks. Executives expect the rapid buildup after the long layoff might create trouble.

The larger rosters at the start of the season will help: Teams will carry 30 players for the first two weeks and 28 for the two weeks after that before reducing to 26, the new limit that was to take effect this season. But a greater number of soft-tissue injuries — hamstrings, groins, obliques, etc. — generally occur in the early months. And the rate of those injuries might be even higher once play resumes, as players return to game speed.

Pitchers, too, figure to be at even greater risk than usual as they seek to quickly regain arm strength. The proposed schedule — 60 games in 66 days — will be more condensed than a typical 162-game season, creating additional concerns about usage.

What happens if teams run out of players?

Such a problem seems unlikely to arise with each club drawing from a 60-man player pool, but it’s not out of the question a team could lose, say, all of its catchers to some combination of injuries and COVID-19.

So, with the minor leagues dormant, MLB plans to obtain scouting video and data from independent leagues that plan to operate around the country. The Triple A Nashville Sounds are talking about organizing a “league” for their ballpark. The league would sign players, stage games, sell tickets, the works. Plenty of minor-league free agents, some with major-league experience, are looking for work.

MLB expects other minor-league teams to do something similar to Nashville and allow major-league teams to sign their players for a fee, operating the same way independent leagues normally do.

What about that crazy extra-innings rule?

Let’s start with other changes first.

For the first time, the designated hitter will be used in both leagues. All pitchers may carry a small wet rag in their back pocket to be used for moisture in lieu of licking their fingers. And in spring training games, the retire-the-side rule will be relaxed, so that a defensive manager might end a pitcher’s inning prior to three outs following any completed plate appearance, provided the pitcher has thrown at least 25 pitches.

Extra innings, you ask? They will take on an entirely different look — a look that originated in the minor leagues.

Each half-inning following the ninth inning will begin with a runner on second base. :crazy The runner will be the player in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning’s leadoff hitter. But if that player is to be the pitcher, the manager can opt for the player preceding the pitcher in the batting order instead.

For the purpose of calculating earned runs, the runner who begins the inning on second will be deemed to reached that spot because of a fielding error. No error, however, shall be charged to the opposing team or to any player. The pitcher would not be charged with an earned run.

Stupid software wouldn't let me post the whole article. The rest of the article you can find at Twelve questions about the return of baseball in 2020
 

Iamtdg

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What we know so far about the 2020 MLB season – and other new wrinkles


By Jayson Stark Jun 23, 2020

It will be a season like no other. It will be a schedule like no other. (And that’s if it goes off as planned.) So here is what we know about the proposed 2020 schedule so far — and other innovative wrinkles MLB revealed to the 30 clubs Tuesday night:

The schedule
In an effort to minimize travel as much as possible, teams will play all 60 games only against their own division and the corresponding interleague division. Those 60 games will be laid out this way:

• VERSUS OWN DIVISION: Every team will play 10 games apiece against each of the other four teams in its division, for a total of 40 games. Those games would largely be broken down into three-game and two-game series.

• VERSUS INTERLEAGUE DIVISION: Each club will play a total of 20 games against the corresponding interleague division (i.e., East versus East, Central versus Central, West versus West). Six of those games would be against a team’s interleague “rival” (Yankees-Mets, Cubs-White Sox, etc.). The breakdown of the other 14 games has yet to be finalized, but is expected to involve each team playing two interleague opponents three times apiece and the other two clubs four times apiece.

• EASIEST TRAVEL: The 10 NL East and AL East teams will never leave their time zone, so they will have by far the most manageable travel load. The Yankees and Mets, for instance, will play just four teams located more than 240 miles from New York (Rays, Blue Jays, Marlins, Braves).

• HARDEST TRAVEL: The 10 NL West and AL West clubs will be forced to cover three time zones (West, Mountain, Central). And while that’s nothing new in a normal year, it’s a major travel challenge in a season like this, at least compared with the other four divisions.

• EASIEST SCHEDULES: In such an aberrational year, this is tough to predict. But if we go off last season’s standings, the Twins and Indians will play just four teams that had a winning record last year.

• HARDEST SCHEDULES: See above. But again, going off last season’s standings, the Marlins, Orioles and Blue Jays will play seven teams that had records of .500 or better last year.

• LET’S NOT PLAY TWO: Three months ago, there was talk about playing doubleheaders as regularly as once a week, in an attempt to squeeze as many games as possible into a tight window. Now, with health-and-safety protocols dictating teams spend as little time at the park as possible, the tentative schedule will include no scheduled doubleheaders. But with only a handful of off days in a nine-week season, virtually every postponement — either for weather or virus-related reasons — would now have to be made up as part of a doubleheader. So because scheduled doubleheaders would actually limit the ability to reschedule postponed games, that’s one more reason the schedule was laid out with zero doubleheaders.

• INDIVIDUAL TEAM SCHEDULES: For the moment, this schedule is just in tentative form because the players’ union has the right to approve and propose changes to it. So until that process is complete, no further details will be released. As of Tuesday night, teams we surveyed hadn’t even seen drafts of their own schedule, let alone final versions.

Rule changes

• UNIVERSAL DH: For at least the 2020 season (and postseason), all teams will use a designated hitter, marking the first time in history that pitchers won’t hit at any point in a major-league season. As of now, that is for one year only, so the rules in 2021 would revert to their previous incarnation — meaning pitchers would bat in the National League next year (for now). But that’s subject to negotiation, and it’s viewed as unlikely that pitchers will ever hit again in North American professional baseball, except under unusual circumstances.

• EXTRA INNINGS: In an experiment fueled by health-and-safety concerns, all extra innings will now begin with a runner on second base until one team wins. Despite reports that some games could end in a tie, that would be for spring-training exhibitions only. This rule applies only to the regular season only and would be dropped during the postseason. According to Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper, after the minor leagues adapted this rule two years ago, the percentage of extra-inning games decided in the first extra inning rose from 45 percent in 2016-17 to 73 percent in 2018-19.

• POSITION PLAYERS PITCHING: MLB will reverse its new rule which would have allowed position players to pitch only in blowout games or in extra innings. The new rule for 2020 permits position players to pitch at any point of any game.

• SUSPENDED GAMES: You know those games that start and get rained out before the fifth inning (i.e., before they’re considered “official’)? You won’t be seeing any of those this year. Any games that start, but are then halted by weather, will now be considered suspended games — meaning they will be resumed at the point where they were stopped. The purpose of this rule is to avoid long weather delays in an era in which health officials advise having players together at the ballpark for as little time as possible.

Other new wrinkles

• SIGNINGS AND TRANSACTIONS: All 30 teams have been working under a transactions freeze since March, preventing them from adding major-league players. That freeze ends Friday at noon ET.

• THE 60-PLAYER POOL: With no minor-league season to serve as a reservoir for extra players, all teams will carry a pool of 60 players — about half of whom will be part of a taxi squad assigned to an alternate site not located at the team’s home park. Teams will need to submit the names of those 60 players by Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. Clubs can invite as many as all 60 of those players to their major-league spring training camp, but players not on the 40-man roster also can be assigned to an alternate spring training site.

• ROSTER SIZE: Teams will be allowed to carry 30 players on their big-league roster for the first two weeks of the season, then get down to 28 on the 15th day of the season and then to 26 two weeks after that. The new rule that was supposed to limit the number of pitchers on a roster has been waived because of the unusual circumstances of the season.

• THE AGE OF PERSONALIZATION: All hitters will now have to bring their own pine-tar rags, bat donuts and other equipment to and from the on-deck circle — and will have to retrieve their own caps, gloves and sunglasses from the dugout if an inning ends with them on base or batting. All pitchers will now have to bring their own rosin bag to the mound and use only their own baseballs for bullpen sessions. And baseballs used in batting practice can be used only that day, then need to be cleaned and sanitized, and not be re-used for at least five days. So one thing is clear: Teams are going to have to have thousands of baseballs in the old storage closet.
And that’s just one of a zillion ways this season will be different from any that preceded it.
 

Chocolate Lab

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I'm still going to miss the old ballpark. I know it's hot, but I hate that they did all that just for A/C. Hopefully they won't be like Jerry and will open it as much as possible.

And is that logo on their twitter official? I've never seen that with the "TX" before.
 

Rev

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I'm still going to miss the old ballpark. I know it's hot, but I hate that they did all that just for A/C. Hopefully they won't be like Jerry and will open it as much as possible.

And is that logo on their twitter official? I've never seen that with the "TX" before.

It should have been domed when they built it. When you are still talking about upper 90s at 10pm. Its just too hot. That doesnt even take into account the crowd near you. They pack them in like sardines. Its just miserable during the mid summer months. Now I can go watch games in june, july, and august.
 
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