The 2020 Major League Baseball season has been like no other – 60 games, no fans in the seats, 16 teams in the playoffs, and several other rule changes. Though the bulk of these rule changes are temporary, the powers that be could ultimately decide to keep some of these rules for future seasons. As a result, I would like to share my views of which rules I would like to keep and which I would like to toss. I am going to list these in order from “most strongly want to keep” to “most strongly want to toss”. Thus, without further ado, here are my thoughts.
If a reliever enters a game mid-inning, he must pitch to at least three batters or the end of the half-inning – DEFINITELY KEEP
OK, I know that MLB actually introduced this rule pre-Covid, but, since it officially debuted on the field in 2020, I am addressing it anyway. Simply put, I love this rule. I am a baseball purist, and most purists hate this rule. However, the purist in me believes that starting pitchers should pitch until they are no longer effective, and relievers should do the same. I do not love that the game has evolved to a point in which the standard is for teams to use six relievers per game. Thus, I believe that anything that can trim that number is a good thing. Plus, I think that relief pitchers are the biggest reason why games are longer than they were in previous generations. Pitching changes lengthen games, and relievers tend to pitch at a slower pace than starters. After all, starters want to find a rhythm, which is hard to accomplish at a slow pace (unless you are Steve Trachsel); whereas relievers pitch to so few batters that deliberation outweighs any need to find rhythm. The 2020 “three-batter rule” does not address this second issue, but at least it does address the first in allowing for fewer pitching change. I like this rule, even if it means an angry mob of situational lefties will be knocking down my door. Sorry, Jerry Blevins.
The Yankees’ long-standing hair policy was making waves on Twitter on Monday after some comments from former Yankee Andrew McCutchen. McCutchen was only here for the second half of 2018, but he’s an awesome dude and quickly became a fan favorite.
Giancarlo Stanton has not reached expectations so far as a Yankee. Injuries really have set back Stanton and hindered his play throughout his tenure with the Yanks. I know many Yankees fans have become restless when it comes too Stanton, however, I still love the guy. Stanton can do no wrong to me, even after drilling Tanaka in the head with a piss missile off his bat this past weekend. I don’t know how Tanaka is alive let alone how he was smiling later that day in the hospital.Of course when Stanton is healthy, he takes it into his own hands to pass his injury bug on to his teammates.
Brian Cashman is the longest-tenured GM in baseball. After starting as an intern in 1986 and being promoted to assistant GM in 1992, Cashman was named the General Manager prior to the 1998 season. He was reluctant to take the job, as he knew that George Steinbrenner had a history of firing people in power positions any given moment. Luckily for Cashman, the Yankees went on to win the World Series in his first three seasons at the helm.
In the twenty seasons since the Yanks’ 2000 World Series victory, Cashman’s teams have experienced multiple phases with varying levels of success. The 2001-07 seasons were littered with playoff disappointment. The free agency splurge ahead of the 2009 season produced a title immediately, but that core failed to win it all again. The 2013-16 teams were a pathetic group of aging veterans that appeared in only one playoff game. And finally, Aaron Judge helped usher in the “Baby Bombers” era with a team that came within one game of the World Series in 2017.
With the season being just 60 games instead of the usual 162, teams won’t get the chance to mail it in if they’re losing a game. This season isn’t a marathon, it’s a sprint.
2. Old Faces in New Places
Among other moves, World Series hero Anthony Rendon switched leagues and signed with the Angels, Gerrit Cole left the Astros for the rival Yankees, and the Red Sox traded former MVP Mookie Betts to the Dodgers.
Boston Red Sox: Will the Rivalry Be Renewed in 2020?
After the Sox handled the Yankees in the 2018 ALDS, they were a completely different team in 2019. A combination of injuries and an ineffective pitching staff led to the Sox winning 24 less games than they did the year before, as the Yankees coasted to a 14-5 regular season record against them. After trading Mookie Betts and David Price and losing ace Chris Sale to Tommy John surgery, will this year’s group be able to bring back some firepower to the rivalry?
So not everyone loved Long Gone Summer on Sunday night, and I get the criticism. It was disproportionately focused on McGwire instead of Sosa, and kind of glossed over the fact that they were both on steroids. However, I enjoyed it for two reasons. One, the doc wasn’t really supposed to be about the steroid usage or the implications of it. It was supposed to be 120 minutes of dingers, and that’s exactly what they gave us. And two, it’s pretty impossible to make a documentary about the 1998 MLB season and have it not be entertaining. Steroid era baseball content is like pizza, even the bad kinds are still pretty damn good.
There’s absolutely no place for this anywhere, let alone at a baseball game. Yankee fans pride ourselves on making the Stadium a hostile environment for opponents to play, especially in big games. It gets insanely loud, and fans heckle away players. Here’s what Twins’ pitcher Tyler Duffey said after his team came into the Bronx for the ALDS last year.
If our country wasn’t currently imploding, we would be about two months into baseball season at this point. Instead of watching people argue on Twitter about coronavirus, racism, or the upcoming election, it should be ME getting into Twitter fights. I’d be defending Gary Sanchez to Yankee fans trying to trade him after a three strikeout game, or battling an Astros fan who still tries to claim “everyone was cheating.” Maybe I’d even be having a nice argument with a Mets fan about how Aaron Judge is clearly better than Pete Alonso, while still admitting that Jacob deGrom is the superior pitcher to Gerrit Cole.