With the 2020 MLB season in full swing, I have seen more new rules come into effect. I’m going to list the three major new rule changes and state my opinions on them.
The universal DH is not a rule I like simply because, in my opinion, it just isn’t baseball. To be able to play in the field and not have to bat or vice versa is not what I think the game is. Along with that, it removes much of the strategy in the game; double switches are non-existent, as is figuring out when to take out your pitcher because of when he bats . Further, it extends the game time because it is reasonable to anticipate longer at-bats and fewer quick outs. While this is all when the MLB is trying to shorten the length of their games. But with the addition of this rule it ends up extending the length of games.
I was surprised when I heard that this rule was being added into the game because it has always felt like, even though baseball has slowly made the amount of teams in the playoffs larger, that baseball has prided itself by making their playoffs hard to get into and worthy of a champagne shower for the teams that make it. While, with the shorter season the MLB wants teams and their fan bases to be more engaged and excited throughout the season and into the playoffs, in short, I feel like this rule takes some of the spirit out of baseball, and it feels like they are continuing to turn this season into an experimental one. I feel like one of the main things that sets baseball apart from other sports, other than the length of the season, is the playoffs and how the MLB rewards the six division winners and makes it really hard for the four wildcard teams to be successful.
Extra Innings Runner on Second:
In simplest terms, this rule is not good. The trouble with this rule is that while leagues like the NHL have a different overtime then regulation the difference is that the NHL has a point system that rewards teams for making it to overtime the MLB does not. To clarify, the NHL runs on a point system that gives the losing team a point if they lose in overtime while in the MLB it is based on win percentage. This means that a team that got a walk but nothing else while batting in extra innings would lose to a team that got a single but nothing else while batting when both situations only put a runner on first. As a result, the main problem with this rule is that if you lose in overtime with these rule changes it gets graded as a loss, when if you’re going to grade a game as a loss if it goes into extra innings the game should stay the same the whole way rather than making a change to the rules. The MLB has to implement a point system rewarding the teams a point or similar for making it into extras for this rule to be reasonable.
Overall, I'm not a big fan of the changes to the rules made for the short season in 2020. I feel as if the MLB has turned this year into more of an experimental year than an actual season. Though I think that one rule is probably going to stay in the universal DH, I feel like the other two need significant changes to be permanently implemented in the future.