Taking less time than last season, the MLB and MLBPA agreed to a set of health protocols. Obviously, the league will still be playing amidst a worldwide pandemic.
Two key rules are going to be brought back for this season, presuming health concerns. What are those two rules?
The Seven-Inning Doubleheader Returns
One of the two exclusive rules being brought back from the 2020 season is the seven-inning doubleheaders. This rule made by the MLB is to get the players off of the field faster and in less contact with each other. For safety reasons, it seems like a good call.
Hopefully, when the pandemic slows down, this rule is removed because quite frankly it has no purpose in a non-pandemic situation. But don’t be surprised if this rule is brought back for pace of play-like reasons.
Looks like the pitchers won’t be able to throw no-hitters or perfect games during double dips once again.
Man On Second Base During Extra Innings
Yes, the MLB will retain this ridiculous rule. The man on second base to start extra innings will return to games again. Now I am not sure if this is health-based or to regulate the pace of play, but the rule is one of the most ridiculous of them all. It really seems like more of a gimmick.
Put aside my negativity, both players and managers have praised the returns of these rules.
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker claims that the rule “saves pitching” during a global pandemic. He also said “I don’t mind either rule. Besides, what are you gonna do?”
Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Stephen Vogt remarked, “During a season with the possible delays from COVID, I think the seven-inning and runner on second rules will help any teams make up for lost time.”
The MLB and MLBPA are making the best of it to put their players first.