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No Spitting, But MLB Returns for 60-Game Season


By David A. Avila

No spitting. Ouch!

No sunflower seeds. Double ouch!

Among the new restrictions for playing Major League Baseball in 2020 are those two requirements for all players in this shortened season due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic worldwide. There are many other new rules.

“Keeping everybody healthy is of the utmost importance," said one correspondent on MLB Network on Wednesday.

Baseball will reboot on either July 23 or July 24 according to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. Details on virus protocol are still being researched by both the owners and players after it was mandated that this year will be a 60-game baseball season. Camps re-open on July 1.

Another question regards the locale. Where will the teams play?

It’s a major concern but has not been decided as of yet.

New rule adoptions

Matters that have been decided are that the designated hitter rule will be in effect for both the National League and the American League. Though, it was decided that the NL will return to the former non-designated hitter format in 2021.

All extra-inning games will begin with a runner at second base. This is intended to speed up the game.

Rosters will be bumped to include 30 players for this new season. After two weeks rosters will reduce to 28 for another two weeks. After four weeks all rosters will reduce to the normal 26 players. Also, taxi squads consisting of three players will be kept without pay as insurance in case a team loses a player. There is a 10-day injury list for both pitchers and position players.

A significant new rule change that was imposed before the season started includes one for relief pitchers. All relievers must face a minimum of three batters.

A trade deadline has been at August 31.

If any player contracts the coronavirus or is a high risk they must opt out but will still receive their salary. Players will receive temperature checks twice a day. They will also be tested for coronavirus every other day. Antibody tests will be taken once a month.

All players who test positive for the virus cannot return until they test negative twice.

Players not playing in the game and other personnel will sit outside the dugouts in the stands. All not playing in the game must wear masks.

Other restrictions include that no high fives, fist bumps, or hugs can be given. As mentioned before, no spitting or sunflower seeds will be allowed. Chewing gum will be one item allowed.

No schedule has been released but 60 games will be played in 66 days. Teams will play 40 games within their division and 20 against the rival league division.

The playoff format has not changed with the same number of teams remaining intact.

MLB has the right to relocate a team if a city has a severe outbreak.