A decision has been announced by the MLB that has to do with implementing some new changes to the rules so that games will be more interesting.  The purpose behind this is to speed up the action and have shorter games. The season was already knocked down to 60 games, after several months of fighting between owners and players, and the updated list of rules will make the season appear gone in the blink of an eye.

New MLB Rules Will Make Baseball Seem Very Different

The baseball league has planned on this because of the COVID-19 pandemic and, while it’s true that MLB is back, fans will have to get used to some different new rules and formats.  In the first place, this season, the stadiums will have no audience – empty stadiums will provide recorded noise meant to resemble an excited crowd cheering players on.

It might seem awkward to play in a field with no fans, but players are going to accept the challenge.  It’s possible that there will be audience until next year season if things return to normal.

The announcement of some of the rule changes was reported before the coronavirus pandemic caused the cancellation of the spring training.  The MLB is trying to accelerate the pace of the game, and the idea is to save some time and protect players from COVID-19 exposure.

The American leagues have gone through a hard time when it came to deciding when to start the games; now players must remain sound and safe if we want to see them playing next year and beyond.

In terms of the new rules, most of these were expected to be implemented even before the MLB decided on the shortened 60-game season.  Then, some more few rules were added later on.  The 2020 season will turn more competitive and dynamic for players themselves and for fans, and most of the rules are going to be seen as soon as the bats start cracking in the Spring Training games this week.

The Designated Hitter

There will be a designated hitter in both leagues.  All baseball teams will assign a specific batter in their lineups this year.  It’s possible that other changes are made after the collective bargaining agreement is renegotiated.  For the time being, having a designated batter in both leagues (National League and American League) expects to lessen the players’ burden during the abbreviated season.

Extra Innings If Games Go Past Nine

Another new rule to the MLB for this season is that there will be extra innings and an extra runner.  This means that the person in the batting position who precedes the inning’s lead-off batter will be assigned to second base at the beginning of every half-inning after the ninth, if necessary.  This could be particularly beneficial to a team like the Oakland As, which has MVP Mike Trout, 2019 World Series champion Anthony Rendon, Shohei Ohtani, slugger Albert Pujols and All-Stars Justin Upton and Tommy La Stella.  These players reached an incredible target, hitting 79 homers across their first 60 games last season, at an average of 13 each.

No Fighting Allowed

No fights or arguments between managers and umpires will be allowed this season, which will make things very interesting.  The operations manual indicates the following, “Players or managers who leave their positions to argue with umpires, come within six feet of an umpire or opposing player or manager for the purpose of argument, or engage in altercations on the field are subject to ejection and discipline, including fines and suspensions.”

Undoubtedly, this new rule will avoid unpleasant moments in the MLB that might end up in unwanted fights or detract the umpire from doing his job in an accurate way. All distractions should be minimized in order to have a more fluent baseball match.

No Licking

Having played baseball since a toddler, this may be one of the more difficult changes to make.  Pitchers won’t be allowed to lick their fingers while on the mound.  Instead, they can use a wet rag that they can keep in their back pocket, as long as it is only wet with water – no oily substances.  If they use the rag, they have to dry their fingers before touching the ball.