BallparkGuys

Cool Rules for 2020

Posted By: PowerBoater69

Cool Rules for 2020 - 24/06/2020 12:35

Some big rule changes for 2020. Some of them will become permanent.

1) 60 game season - fans are acting like the 162 game number was handed down by God, that 60 isn't enough for a "real" season. As long as every team has double digit wins and double digit losses the standings matter, after that the end point is an arbitrary number. Definitely a short season but plenty to separate the good teams from the bad.

2) Runner on 2nd to start extra innings - another rule that I'm seeing a lot of the writers and the fans criticizing but I like it. Prevents ties and long numbers of innings after the benches have been used up. I don't see it having that much of an impact though, the number of 13+ inning games was very small so it won't dramatically change the length of games.

3) Universal DH - why??? I hate the DH. Without it the manager position becomes less about strategy and more cheerleader. One of the most interesting parts of baseball to me is watching which of his limited number of bench bats and bullpen arms the manager will use during the game. This is where baseball is most like chess.

4) 60/30/28/26 man rosters + taxi squad - The taxi squad is a fine idea since there won't be AA and AAA teams to pull from when guys get hurt. I hate the expanded rosters almost as much as the DH and for basically the same reason. Scarcity of players late in games is what makes it fun to analyze the manager's decisions. September baseball with 40 players on the bench is terrible to watch and even 26 is one too many for me. MLB is trying to make the games shorter by limiting extra innings, this will have a much bigger impact and in the wrong direction.

5) Trades until 8/31 - I'm not so sure amount this one, I always want the Nats to add talent before the deadline but I see the point of not allowing too many late season trades because it changes the character of the teams. Being able to reload with a month before the playoffs will really benefit the big spending clubs.

6) Mixed minors - having two minor league teams that the rest of the league can use to draw from will be really interesting to watch to see which GMs are able to grab the best talent. I doubt if this continues beyond this year but could the next baby shark type addition come from this pool?

5) Covid injury list - the idea of having a special injured reserve list for players testing positive is fine as a concept but the issue is that there will be outbreaks where multiple members of a single team are on the list. What will MLB do if an entire team has to drop out for 14 days?
Posted By: TBP

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 24/06/2020 17:09

Those of us old enough to remember know how utterly horrid the original Mets were. They played .250 baseball and invented new ways to lose. Their two rainouts were a blessing.

If you win the exact number of games that that team won, you're probably the #1 seed for the playoffs. It would be the equivalent of 108-54 over a regular season.
Posted By: SilverFox1

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 24/06/2020 17:28

Originally Posted by PowerBoater69
Universal DH - why??? I hate the DH. Without it the manager position becomes less about strategy and more cheerleader. One of the most interesting parts of baseball to me is watching which of his limited number of bench bats and bullpen arms the manager will use during the game. This is where baseball is most like chess.


Either keep it for both leagues or bag it for both. NL teams lose too many veteran hitters in FA to AL teams who are willing to spend whatever for a DH to give them 400-500 AB's. Always been unfair to NL teams.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 24/06/2020 17:44

In the other post I was just mentioning the impact of the DH on roster building. We'll see a lot more specialists.
Posted By: TBP

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 24/06/2020 18:06

I don't like the runner on second at the start of an inning. I don't mind lots of extra innings. I don't mind long games; what I mind is slow games with people standing around a lot. You want base runners? Earn them.

But the people who run baseball and the people who market baseball don't seem to like or understand baseball.

I hate the DH too. It reduces strategy and leads to more pitching changes (making games a little longer), all for half a run per team per game (on average.) I don't see the payoff. And the game isn't all about hitting anyway. Again, the people running the game don't understand it. But I can put up with it for this year only, given the virus-related restricted travel and regional schedule. And it does give the Nats a chance to get more use from Howie, Zimm, Thames, Cabrera, etc.

The 30-man roster gets cut to 28 a couple of weeks in and then to 26 a couple of weeks after that. I'm not thrilled with the 26-man roster, but it's a give to the Players Association (30 extra jobs), and given the excessive number of pitchers on most clubs' rosters, I'm OK with it. I'm fine with 30 this year to start, because it's temporary. it's like the old May cutdown rule, where you would start the season with 28 players, then cut down to 25 on May 1. Next, they'll bring back some version of the old bonus baby rule. smile

The taxi squad is fine as an expedient for this year, given the unusual circumstances. I'd find some way to get them playing actual games, though. Maybe you could set up the 14 guys on the 40-man roster who aren't on the 26-man roster, plus the 20 taxi squad players, divide them, and play essentially intrasquad games. Maybe the Nats could keep them in Fredericksburg.

August 31 as the trade deadline doesn't bother me -- again, as an expedient for this year, given that the season is starting about a week before the usual deadline. So they just picked the old waiver trade deadline (for getting players into postseason eligibility.) That still leaves about a month of season to play, so I'm OK with that -- THIS YEAR.

What is this mixed minors? I hadn't heard about that one. it sounds like a sort of affiliated/independent ball. Kind of a Continental Basketball Association for baseball.
Posted By: TBP

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 24/06/2020 18:08

Then there is a change they seem to have abandoned: the 20-second clock.

It's a bad idea, but it may be necessary. The average time between pitches is 23 seconds. The average major-league game includes about 300 pitches. That's 900 seconds, which works out to 15 minutes of dead time gone, in increments so small that nobody will really notice.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 24/06/2020 20:49

Quote
Hitters will now have to bring their own pine-tar rags, bat donuts and other equipment to and from the on-deck circle — and will have to retrieve their own caps, gloves and sunglasses from the dugout if an inning ends with them on base or batting


No chance Bryce Harper plays under this rule.

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What is this mixed minors?


I might be misunderstanding that one. I think that they will have two teams of players in Nashville who are available to be picked up by any MLB team that needs replacement players during the season. This is instead of the full minor league system.

Quote
Then there is a change they seem to have abandoned: the 20-second clock. It's a bad idea, but it may be necessary. The average time between pitches is 23 seconds. The average major-league game includes about 300 pitches. That's 900 seconds, which works out to 15 minutes of dead time gone, in increments so small that nobody will really notice.


15 minutes earlier to bed on average every work night would make a difference to me. I think that the issue is more with the batters than with the pitchers, I like the pitch clock but they also need to get the hitters to stop stepping out after every pitch. Unless there is a foul ball the batter should stay in the box and be prepared for the next pitch.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 25/06/2020 16:04

Interesting thing I just noticed is that the playoff format is staying the same, three division winners and two wild cards per division. But with the AL/NL divisions combined the teams competing with each other for the wild card will not only not play each other, they won't even be playing the same teams. The AL Central was the weakest division in baseball last year, if that holds true again this year the NL Central teams will have a big advantage in the wild card race.
Posted By: SilverFox1

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 26/06/2020 12:52

Originally Posted by PowerBoater69
Interesting thing I just noticed is that the playoff format is staying the same, three division winners and two wild cards per division. But with the AL/NL divisions combined the teams competing with each other for the wild card will not only not play each other, they won't even be playing the same teams. The AL Central was the weakest division in baseball last year, if that holds true again this year the NL Central teams will have a big advantage in the wild card race.


Clark was asked couple days ago if the extended 16 team playoff format is still on the table with MLB. He said No, but was open to talking about it. I dont see how they can add 6 more teams unless they extend things into November, which the owners have opposed.

At this point, the thought of these 2 sides negotiating anything gives me a headache.




Posted By: TBP

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 26/06/2020 19:07

Clark says he's open to talking about it.

I would say there is a chance it happens, but not a particularly good one. It would be interesting, though.

In a sense, expanding the playoffs just for this year validates the reason you don't normally do it. Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint, so it lets fewer teams into the playoffs. the more games, the truer the champion. But in a sprint of a season like this one, letting more teams in does make a kind of sense.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 27/06/2020 00:42

Bryce Harper suggested a college world series playoff format with a losers bracket. I'd like to see a round robin format with six teams per league. You get one more team in the mix and a lot more games in the same number of days. But since the owners and union can't agree on a lunch order I don't see any changes coming.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 23/07/2020 22:10

MLB approved 16 team playoff format.
Posted By: TBP

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 26/07/2020 21:13

Under this format, a 72-90 team would have made the playoffs last year.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 27/07/2020 01:18

Originally Posted by TBP
Under this format, a 72-90 team would have made the playoffs last year.


Best of three series for all 16 teams, ripe for major upsets. I'm going Stras, Corbin, Sanchez with Scherzer as the long man if one of the starters struggles.
Posted By: SilverFox1

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 27/07/2020 11:36

Not getting the 72-90 thing. 8 teams from each league make the playogffs. No worse than a 77-85 team wouldve made the playoffs last year based on a look-see. Probably gonna see 3 teams from NL East get in.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 27/07/2020 13:39

Having more than half the teams make the playoffs will definitely lead to sub .500 teams making it on occasion, but I looked back over the last 10-15 years and that was less common than I expected. Often the bad teams tank so bad that there are 16 or more teams with 80+ wins. 77 wins might have been the least number that I saw that would have qualified.

You never know though, a 77 win team might have had players coming back from injury and added talent at the trade deadline. Meanwhile some teams with monster win totals have their pitching staffs falling apart heading into October.
Posted By: SilverFox1

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 27/07/2020 19:22

Really like the Nats' chances in the playoffs, as long as they get in. I dont care if they win the East or not. Stud starting rotation to give anyone fits, and tons of versatility: 5 infielders who can each play 3 or 4 infield positions in case of injuries and covid .

After watching the Yankees series with no fans, does it really matter if you have home field advantage? Hell, with no fans, is there such a thing?!
Posted By: TBP

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 27/07/2020 21:48

Originally Posted by PowerBoater69
Having more than half the teams make the playoffs will definitely lead to sub .500 teams making it on occasion, but I looked back over the last 10-15 years and that was less common than I expected. Often the bad teams tank so bad that there are 16 or more teams with 80+ wins. 77 wins might have been the least number that I saw that would have qualified.

You never know though, a 77 win team might have had players coming back from injury and added talent at the trade deadline. Meanwhile some teams with monster win totals have their pitching staffs falling apart heading into October.



Last year, the 72-90 Texas Rangers would have been the #8 seed in the American League.
Posted By: SilverFox1

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 27/07/2020 22:49

They finished 78-84.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 30/07/2020 10:30

I like the new extra inning rule, it adds more pressure on the relievers and will lead to more wild finishes. Bo Porter had a good point, that often fans tune out in extra innings because they need to get to bed and they have no idea how long the game will last. Now you know that the extra innings will be extra exciting.

I hate the fake crowd noise. The cheers after each play are obviously fake and distracting. The constant humming of ambient crowd noise is maddening. Hopefully the Nats will figure that out, but probably not.
Posted By: SilverFox1

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 30/07/2020 11:58

Saw that the league is considering 7 inning games for Doubleheaders, either for 1 or both games. Hear ya on the fake noise, I bet listening to games in the car would be the best experience. This season is a trip.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 30/07/2020 21:50

Seven innings sounds crazy but this is the year for crazy ideas, have some fun and then keep what works.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 31/07/2020 12:50

There was some chatter about the Nats playing the Blue Jays this weekend. That was a great idea, wish it was happening. No extra travel, we'd have games to watch, and the Phillies and Marlins can play double headers to make up for the postponed games.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 04/08/2020 11:26

Soto is back and rosters drop from 30 to 28. The Talk Nats blog has a good article speculating on which players might get dropped.

I saw an interview with Martinez over the weekend that got me thinking. Martinez spoke of balancing playing time to keep the bench guys fresh. In a short season with a DH I don't agree with that approach. I'd use more of a playoff rotation, shorten up the bench and play to win every game.
Posted By: SilverFox1

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 04/08/2020 17:30

Braves ace Soroka out for the season with torn achilles. Braves take a HUGE blow.

Nats have 55 days to play 53 games in a schedule heavy with backtobacks, west coast trips. Next week it's 10 away games in 10 days, with 7 coming against Mets & Braves. Gotta stay fresh. Even tho it's a 60 game reg season, Davey needs to resist the urge he had in 2018 to wear guys out. He did a great job last season keeping vets like Kendricks fresh for the playoffs.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 04/08/2020 17:50

I'd agree with a 25 man roster, but 28-30 players is too many to worry about getting them playing time. Particularly with a DH and three batter rule for relievers. We don't need as many players per game and we can't waste starts on guys at the bottom.
Posted By: TBP

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 05/08/2020 01:35

It's 28 for the rest of the year, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Posted By: PowerBoater69

Re: Cool Rules for 2020 - 07/08/2020 14:24

The Nats will play the Marlins home and away on 8/22, both at Nats Park.
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