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Which of the new rules do we like/think will stick or roll down to NCAA/youth baseball? Will they have any impact on opportunities in baseball? Which ones do you like, not like or don't understand (as in why did they do that)?

Here are the new rules and their description from

Universal designated hitter
While the American League adopted the DH rule in 1973, pitchers have continued to hit in games played at National League ballparks. That won't be the case in 2020, as both leagues will use the DH to avoid overtaxing pitchers by having them hit.

Runner on second to begin extra innings
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.

The runner placed on second base at the start of each half-inning will be the player in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning’s leadoff hitter, or a pinch-runner. However, if the player in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning’s leadoff hitter is the pitcher, the runner placed on second base may be the player preceding the pitcher in the batting order. This rule will not be in place for the postseason.

Over the past five years, 8.26% of all regular-season games have gone to extra innings. There were 208 extra-innings games in the 2019 regular season, counting for 8.56% of all games.

Position players pitching
There will be no restrictions on position players pitching in 2020.

A rule change installed this past offseason would have required teams to designate every player on the active roster as either a pitcher or a position player, and position players would have been unable to pitch unless it was extra innings, their team was ahead or trailing by more than six runs, or they had qualified for the "two-way" designation. That rule won't be in place during the 2020 season.

Suspended games
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.

Unsportsmanlike conduct
Players and managers will be expected to maintain physical distance from all umpires and opposing players on the playing field whenever possible. Players or managers who leave their position to argue with umpires, come within six feet of an umpire or opposing player or manager for the purpose of argument, or engage in an altercation on the field will be subject to immediate ejection and discipline, including a fine and a suspension. Discipline will be consistent with past precedent, and shall not be reduced or prorated based on the length of the season.

Wet rag
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. Pitchers will not be able to access the rag while on the rubber, and they must clearly wipe the fingers of their pitching hand dry before touching the ball or the rubber. Water is the only substance that will be allowed on the rag.

Original Post

I hate the extra innings, runner on second rule. ASA softball used it when my daughter played. I would rather MLB play twelve innings and call the game a tie. 

Wet rag, LOL. I can imagine what will be on pitcher’s rags.

Can you picture Earl Weaver managing under COVID rules? He would burst into flames if forced to follow the rules.

Then suspended game continuation works for this year playing a lot of the same teams in the same region in a short span. It’s not needed in the long run. 

I believe DH for all will be a permanent move.

Universal DH is interesting. And the wet rag seems so specific that I want to know what the story was....was someone putting glue powder in their mouth? :-) And I agree RJM...I don't love fighting as a rule and I understand why they did it but the unsportsmanlike conduct rules seems antithetical to some of the posturing that is baseball (in general baseball always managed to have huge bench clearings without real harm being done)... Most people I know can't stand the runner on second base. Makes the MLB feel like a youth tournament where they are trying to get as many games done so they don't lose money for not honoring the minimum games promised on their website. LOL

@Dominik85 posted:

Regarding the runner on two and pace of play I'm not sure that helps that much long term. Extra inning games tend to be quite interesting, what is boring is the 7 to 1 blowout that still takes 2.5 hours.

But if it is a tight game it taking longer is not the worst unless you have to get up early next day and game is going late.

MLB has discussed for several years how to get rid of long extra inning games. #1 they deplete pitching staffs. #2 they typically go late into the night and get turned off. Most are boring. 

@PTWood posted:

Which of the new rules do we like/think will stick or roll down to NCAA/youth baseball?

1) Universal designated hitter

2) Runner on second to begin extra innings

I'll give #1 a thumbs down, and #2 a thumbs up.

1) DH.. Never liked it, never will. I seemed to always follow National League ball and like the strategy (double switches, pitchers needing to bunt, etc)

2) Adds some excitement, and effort to rid the long inning. Got to watch it in action Milb.A number of games where RipkenFanSon would tell us "he wasn't scheduled to play" (his games were West Coast which was a 9:30 PM EST start.  We knew that wasn't always true as he would often then be that "runner on second" if the game went extras.


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