MLB 2020 Coronavirus Protocol
During these abnormal times, several changes were required to execute the MLB plan to return. One of the biggest differences fans will notice (while watching from home) is the use of a universal designated hitter. The 2020 MLB season will not feature pitchers hitting and instead will put the use of the DH in both the American and National League. The official reason is that this will help pitchers maintain safety by eliminating them from swinging a bat or running the base paths. While true, this is been a hot topic of discussion amongst owners and fans alike and this situation presented a perfect opportunity to use it.
Another big rule change will come in extra innings. No longer will we see a six-hour slugfest (hopefully) after nine innings are completed, as a runner will now start on second for each half-inning it's needed. It’s been a rule that has seen success in the minor leagues and during the 2018-2019 season led to 70% of games decided with only one extra inning needed.
Other rules to ensure safety but will likely go unnoticed by fans include practicing distancing when possible, retrieving only their own belongings, especially if a player was on base when an inning ends. Players are no longer allowed to spit or lick their fingers, which was used to aid with grip. Brawls, although never technically allowed, are also completely out of the question. Finally, if a manager or player is arguing a call, you best believe they’ll be doing it with their outdoor voices, as social distancing is required.