MLB News: The Fine Print of the Latest Plans to Start Games
Jeff Passan dropped another surprise on the quarantined world earlier this week when he reported on a new MLB plan. That plan was aimed at getting baseball started as soon as possible, with May being a likely date for players to report. But buried in that article were a few interesting pieces on how the new game of baseball could potentially be played.
It’s worth noting that while all of these ideas have been discussed in meetings over the last few weeks, Passan specifies that these topics were not touched in the most recent MLB meeting.
Electronic Strike Zone
Electronic strike zones have long been in the works for MLB. It has been tested in the independent league as well as in some minor league games, and most experts think it will be at the big league level soon. If the league wanted this as part of the new season for 2020, it could be utilized to keep umpires clear of players. In fact, a game could theoretically operate without any umpires on the field at all, given the video equipment available throughout the league.
No Mound Visits
This one is pretty straight forward. In MLB’s efforts to limit player contact, the mound visit would probably be one of the first things to go. Not only would it speed up the pace of play, but it would keep groups of players from gathering. It seems strange that we’re talking about a world of baseball where coaches cannot go out to talk to their players, but that’s where we are.
Shortened Games, But Doubleheaders
This option would likely be used to get more games completed within the shortened year. If MLB was deadset on getting the full 162 games in without extending the season, this would be the best bet. Have doubleheaders often, but shorten up the game so that there is only a total of 14 innings of gameplay rather than the 18. This helps keeps players fresh in what would be a grueling season.
Use of On-Field Microphones
The aspect of on-field microphones has been wildly popular in Spring Training games and All-Star games. So much so that even before the season was suspended, fans were hoping to see more of it. If fans are not allowed in the stands, MLB might consider upping the entertainment value for fans by putting mics on players more often to engage with commentators.
Players Sitting in Stands
Perhaps the strangest but also the most effective idea, having players sit in the empty stands could prove beneficial. If fans are not in attendance, this does not cause any problems. It would really only be designed to help enforce the six-foot social distancing guidelines but could help keep players healthy if the pandemic continues to grow.
What do you think? If all of these rules were implemented for the new 2020 season, would that be too much of a change from the MLB you’ve loved for so long? Let us know in the comments below.
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I the player’s are tested, clean and living in a bubble why would they need to continue practicing social distancing? Players sitting in the stands? No mound visits? That sound stupid to me. Isn’t the whole of this is to create a safe, clean, protected bubble?
I’m against 7 inning games but I am for ending games after 9 or 10 innings w a home run derby. I think these professional athletes and expanded rosters can do an occasional doubleheader. They do it now!
Bring back baseball. It won’t be a permanent change but it would however bring some much needed happiness. A distraction for those playing and those watching. A sense of normalcy amongst all the happenings in our world today.
This is utterly ridiculous. If there is a Shelter in Place order or social distancing in effect then there should be no games played. I’m a die hard baseball fan that lives and breaths the game all year long, so this pains me to say. It’s impossible to think that players will be able to maintain a 6 feet distance from one another throughout the course of the game. Tag plays, pick off moves or players colliding during a play. These are just a few examples. I say “play ball” once the order is lifted, even if it means playing in a stadium with no fans (temporarily).
Sadly, I must agree wholeheartedly!
Because they will interact with their family members, at least, who may have been exposed.
If baseball does this I’m done with baseball!!
You don’t have to be done just come back in 2021 for a real season. I may watch a few games out of boredom but it’s all exhibition as far as I’m concerned even whatever playoffs they have unless there’s crowds by then but I doubt it.
Everyone knows this season will have a huge asterix next to it in the record books. All of the changes are good if they speed up the game so we can have some sort of season. The only tough part is for players that are married with kids, they could not be around them until Covid 19 is under control.
I do not want a championship under this format what a joke our first title in 32 years would be. But given our luck this will be the year the Dodgers don’t fold or get cheated
Yes everything sounds good! Let’s get started as soon as possible!! It would be nice to have opening day on Memorial Day Weekend May 22 and what a great time to honor the Fallen, the military’s response and first responders from this crisis all weekend long!! It would be a great show for tv which would draw ratings off the charts!! Go for it!