Extra-inning garbage reinstated
The Commissioner's office and the MLB Players Association have agreed to reinstate the "zombie runner" rule in the upcoming season. The rule, which places a baserunner at second base at the start of each extra inning, had initially been added only as a special COVID-related adjustment and was intended to be in use only in 2020 and 2021.
The new normal: CBA changes leave a sour taste
The lockout is over. Yesterday the negotiating parties—Commissioner Manfred and the Major League Baseball owners on one side, the MLB Players' Association on the other—signed on the dotted line and enacted a new collective bargaining agreement that will be in place for five years. Opening Day will be a week late, but we will get a full 162-game season, COVID-era rules are gone (i.e. no more free baserunner in extra innings and no more 7-inning doubleheaders), and all is once again right with the world.
Expanding playoffs again is a bad plan, but here's an OK way to do it
Commissioner Rob Manfred and the Major League Baseball Players' Association have a lot on their plate right now. The lockout continues with no apparent progress and the matters under alleged discussion are many. One of those matters is the structure of MLB's playoffs.
Solving the issues around the Lockout
Commissioner Rob Manfred and the ownership groups of Major League Baseball have officially imposed a lockout of the players, the first work stoppage in the sport since the catastrophic 1994-95 players' strike.
What will MLB look like in 2022?
The World Series is over and the bad guys defeated the worse guys four games to two in one of the more forgettable Fall Classics in history. It's now officially the offseason, one that figures to be significant for Your Seattle Mariners. But more on that in a future post.
My dad forwarded me a Washington Post column by George Will yesterday. Politically, George Will and I don't see eye to eye and I rarely find myself in agreement with him . . . unless he's talking about baseball. On that topic, George Will and I would probably get along famously, it's a subject upon which his conservatism is a virtue.
Just a couple of notes as we await the start of tonight's All-Star Game from Denver:
Minor moves & notes
As we get ready for the Mariners' third game in this week's four game set in Houston, a few minor notes to pass along:
More rule tinkering!
The Mariners were rained out again today in Baltimore—meaning we'll suffer through another lame 7-inning doubleheader tomorrow, weather permitting—but there is news on the greater baseball front. Or maybe "news" isn't the right word; it's more of a continuation of an ongoing machete attack to baseball.
Manfred's mark is a bloody stain
The Mariners won their fourth game of the young season this afternoon in Minneapolis, overcoming another blown save to earn a 4-3 victory in extra innings against the Twins.
Baseball for first-graders
The 2021 baseball season started yesterday, and from Miggy's home run in the snow to the Mariners' eighth-inning comeback against the Giants (which our closer gave back on four pitches in the ninth), there was much joy in Mudville, particularly after last year's pandemic-shortened, fan-free season. But a few things could still use fixing. I'll start with the easy one first.
Mucking about with the rules (again)
Rob Manfred cannot leave well enough alone.
Game notes - 8/2/20
Some thoughts as I watch Sunday's game between the Mariners and the Oakland Athletics:
The weird 2020 faux-season is scheduled to begin in a few weeks, and considering its various rule alterations and pandemic protocols, one issue continues to rankle me like no other, because it threatens to last a lot longer than this bizarre year of coronavirus: The "universal DH."I loathe the designated hitter rule. It was a bad idea when the American League implemented it in 1973 and it's bad today and it'll be bad tomorrow. It should not be made universal, it should be metaphorically burned with fire until no trace of it remains.
If I were Commissioner
There is a lot of disagreement among baseball fans. Is the DH a good thing? (Answer: no.) Is it better to hit 50 home runs or bat .350? (Answer: .350.) Do newfangled sabermetric stats like WAR mean anything? (Answer: sort of.) Views on these and many other topics big and small will differ and be fodder for arguments in the bleachers until the end of time.
Quit Screwing With My Game
As you may have read elsewhere, Major League Baseball is considering yet more changes to be implemented in 2022. This is in addition to the changes already enacted last year and several that will begin this coming season. And I'm getting pretty damn tired of it.
Changing the rules
Major League Baseball is once more tinkering with its rules. Is that a good thing? Bad? Just weird? Grandsalami.net's Erik Lundegaard and Tim Harrison try to sort it all out.
The lack of activity around baseball this offseason has generated a lot of fretting and anxiety with the Major League Baseball Players' Association, with some voices alleging collusion among clubs not to offer high-priced free-agent contracts. Though the current collective bargaining agreement between the MLBPA and ownership, represented by commissioner Rob Manfred, is in place through 2021, some in the players' union are already talking about a strike if negotiations on the next CBA don't go their way.
Manfred pumps the brakes on big rule changes
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred today said that the MLB Players' Association's proposals for major rule changes—universal designated hitter rule, draft rules that penalize losing teams—are not under consideration...for now. Rather than declare such ideas dead on arrival, Manfred instead declared that the time for discussing such things is in the negotiations for the next collective bargaining agreement. The current one expires at the end of 2021.
On the Eve of Destruction: Universal DH proposed
Acouple weeks back, we noted that Major League Baseball had proposed some small rule changes for next season and beyond, tweaks to do with time a player would have to spend on the disabled list and time necessary to spend in the minors after being optioned down. Now, according to a piece by Ken Rosenthal in The Athletic, the players' union has responded with a counter-proposal that expands on MLB's change ideas and adds an explosive to the conversation.
Manfred's wish list
Unable to leave well enough alone, the powers that be at Major League Baseball are seeking more changes to the league rules, according to a source that spoke to the Associated Press this week. The proposed changes just heard about would be in off-field rules concerning the Disabled List and minor-league options, and they're not necessarily bad ideas, but these days when I see "new rule coming" I immediately become suspicious.
MLB seeks new rules on DL, options
According to sources speaking with the Associated Press this week, Major League Baseball has proposed changing the minimum length of a stint on the disabled list back to 15 days and adding to the length of time a player must stay in the minor leagues after being optioned down.
New Minor League Rule Goes Too Far
Commissioner Rob Manfred and baseball executives in general have had a bee in their bonnet about "pace of play" for some time now. They think baseball is allowing games to take too long, that fans don't have the patience for a three-hour game in this modern age of short attention spans and digital distractions.