New Rules for 2020 for MLB

There have been some new rules in MLB this year. I don’t argue much because of the situation. I don’t see a problem with funky rules this year because of the sixty game regular season. I’m happy they are playing because it gives us some normality…a little we can all hold on to.

The rules were set for just this year because of what is going on but I know that Manfred sometimes wants to change for the sake of change…I guess to leave his mark… The rules are italicized in bold below and my responses are below each one. I’m sure some of you will disagree with me and that is fine…who ever reads this is probably passionate about the game…all opinions are welcomed.

Now to the rules…

1: Universal DH (No need for the official wording in this) – Ok all of you American League fans… I know that most of you like it and that is fine. I like it also…for the American League. Personally I don’t want to see this go past this year for the NL. I don’t understand why it’s so bad for the leagues to be different. I like the leagues different…at one time they had two sets of umpires…one for the AL and one for the NL… The reasons for and against doesn’t change but I have a feeling Manfred will try to pass this one. This one I don’t want to see change. I like ball parks all different and the leagues different…it separates baseball from the rigid normality of the other major sports…It’s ok to be different MLB.

2: 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.

I don’t see a reason why this shouldn’t be in place for ever more. I want the pitchers that have 90 mph fastballs to have decent control. Yes I know someone will try to cheat the system… hey it’s baseball…but I don’t see this as a big problem.

3: 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.

I thought this was a joke when I saw this rule… even for only this year.  I’ll quote Clayton Kershaw…”No, it’s not great, it’s Mickey Mouse garbage that belongs in the minor leagues and ONLY the minor leagues.” Is this really worth it for only 8.56% of the games? It’s not baseball and there should not be a valid reason to keep this. This reminds me of wiffle ball we played while we were younger…what’s next MLB? Ghost runners?

They say baseball is too long…have you ever watched a NFL game? They also can last 3 hours or more. Try watching the NBA in the last 2 mintues…you can raise a family in the time it takes them to finish it. This is the rule I disagree with the most…

4: 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.

I don’t mind this one at all… it makes sense to me. The famous game that comes to my mind is the George Brett pine tar game…they started that game when it ended…of course weather had nothing to do with that one.

5: 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.

I think this should stand. If the player is alright with pitching under emergencies why not let him? If he is ok with it I don’t see a problem. Personally I like seeing some position player pitch…some like Russell Martin did really well. Yes they could get hurt but the player either says yes or no.

Ok this is just my two cents but the recent intentional walk rule. Why make it automatic and the batter go to first? I have seen pitchers make wild throws and games were decided because of it. I have seen pitchers fool the batter into thinking it was an intentional walk and strike them on a 3-2 count…and batters lean over and hit the ball…and who can forget the A’s fooling Johnny Bench with a fake intentional walk in the World Series?  This one doesn’t have anything to do with this year but I wanted to get it in.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

13 thoughts on “New Rules for 2020 for MLB”

  1. Good points, Max. As an American League guy, I can tell you I’d rather keep DH here. Most AL pitchers really suck at the plate. I always felt like it was an easy out for the NL team when an AL pitcher was at bat.

    I agree on the wet rag. Just water – no spit.

    The automatic runner on 2nd…..I am in complete agreement! What a dumb rule. I understand why they put it there, but you are right, this should not be in place for the majors!

    I guess I was unaware that an interrupted game was started over…I think they just pick up where it left off.

    For what it’s worth, I kinda thought it was neat to see someone who is not considered a pitcher pitch.

    I miss baseball already! LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yes…the AL is fine with the DH…I just don’t want to see it in the NL which I think will happen.

      Yea the extra inning rule isn’t right to me.
      That is like a kids rule and should not be there.

      The other ones are fine with me…yea I like seeing a position player pitch…that is cool with me if it’s cool with the player.


  2. The Bench 1972 was great- DIck Williams runs out to talk to the pitcher and catcher- then Tenace behind the plate signals for an intentional walk- everyone buys into it including Bench- Tenace slips back into his catching position- strike 3… The runner on second base in extra innings is awful- I do think the DH in NL is here to stay we will never see another pitcher hit unless its an unusual situation. I hope that they quit the experimentation on things next year let the minors experiment with rules.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also beleive the DH will be there. The reason is…is because the players will be behind it probably because it means another roster spot.

      I saw that clip of Tenace back in the spring again. It was a thing of beauty.

      The extra inning rule just baffles me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am in almost 100% agreement with you. I do like the DH and think it makes the game better (rare to see a pitcher who can hold his own at the plate, also less pitching changes as teams don’t have to pull a hot pitcher just because they need a crucial run) but I also am in the mind that if a strong majority of fans in NL markets don’t like it, the league should heed them. If a well-run poll found indifference or a favoring of the DH there, then switch to it permanently.
    Other than that, yes, I agree totally including the intentional walk move he brought in a few years back… rare perhaps, but I have seen runs scored on wild pitches when pitcher was trying for an intentional walk, and I know along the way there have been base hits when the batter didn’t want to take that 1 base! It made it more fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have no problem with the DH for the AL…in fact I love it…it makes that league different. You just mentioned something that purists will argue for…the double switch and the strategy is lost with a DH…but that’s up what whoever is watching wants.

      So on the whole with these rules there are only two I don’t like…the other ones in this batch is fine…The extra inning thing is a joke.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The only one of these I disagree with is the DH not being universal. In the days when the leagues were separate and only times you had interleague play was spring training, the All-Star Game, and the World Series, you could have two separate sets of rules. I don’t think you can now.

    Personally, I’d like to see the two leagues be separate again. Add a team to each league, split the leagues into two divisions, teams would play 14 games against the teams in their division and 8 against teams in the other. Playoffs would be similar to what we did this year (3 games in the wild card round, 5 games in the division round, 7 games in the championship round), with the top 4 teams in each division playing. I know, ain’t gonna happen, but that’s my idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea I want it separate again also…I like your idea but I just hate the DH for the NL…I love it for the AL. If I were king we would have no interleague games. I liked it when the WS was special and those teams could not have faced each other…

      John what about the extra inning rule? I don’t see any reason why they cannot play the game and not be given a runner. But that is just me.

      I like your idea…that is fine with me


      1. I probably should have said that I agree with you on all except #1. I think we can agree that going back to having a separate AL and NL (complete with umpires) would make going back to one league having the DH and the other not much easier.

        I haven’t paid much attention to baseball this season, but the “man on 2nd in extra innings” rule is just dumb. I like the suspended game rule: there’s no reason to throw out statistics just because the game didn’t go 5 (or 4.5) innings. And I never realized that there was a rule for which position players could pitch, so letting anyone take the mound is fine with me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t understand the suspended game thing either. That makes no sense. It should be taken back up where it left off.

        I think Manfred is making changes to make changes…

        Well John I hope it’s a good series starting Monday…I gotta root for my team but I hope it’s a good series.
        I’ve been waiting since 1988…they finally have a team now for the future also. The Braves are built to last as well.

        My dad was a Brooklyn Dodger fan because his brothers were Yankee fans…when I was 10 in 77 I started to follow the Dodgers with Cey, Lopes, Baker, Garvey, and etc…I so hope they can break the winless streak.


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