Dodgers Opinions: Baseball in July, New Rules & Other Thoughts

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As we approach the second full month without baseball, we know that MLB is doing all it can to figure out how to have some actual baseball action this year. Some crazy ideas have been broached in respect to this, both on the location and in-game aspects.

One of the first thoughts was to have all 30 teams sequestered in Arizona for four months with no interaction with the outside world. No family, no fans, nothing but baseball personnel. That did not go over well with some players, especially those with young families.

Now, this particular plan of action seems to be gaining steam: 10 teams each playing in three new divisions, playing clubs only within their geographical areas. It could possibly start in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, being that these locations all have access to multiple domed stadiums, allowing for maximum playing time. If the Covid-19 pandemic allows, then teams could move to their home stadiums, and the realigned divisions would cut down on travel.

The East division would be the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, and Miami Marlins.

The Central division would include the Chicago White Sox and Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, St Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, and the Detroit Tigers.

Most importantly to the Dodgers, the West division themselves, the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, and the Houston Astros.

That last team provides a really interesting wrinkle to the whole shebang. It seems that teams would only play the other teams in their division for the whole season, however many games that works out to be. If there is a 100-game season, teams would play each other around 11 times. With the Dodger players now knowing how the 2017 World Series actually shook out, there could be some awkward moments at best, and some heated moments or fights at worst. (Not that I think that Dave Roberts would allow his club to be anything other than well mannered. But you never know).

In looking at the rest of the division, it still includes all of the normal division rivals, plus the AL West division. The Dodgers were headed towards winning their eighth straight division title in normal circumstances. Now they would theoretically be battling the Astros, A’s and perhaps the Angels for the top spot. Winning the division may not even matter in this season, as 10 to 14 teams would potentially make the playoffs. What that scenario would look like is yet to be determined. But of course the top spot would still be the preferred place to be. (Also, 14 teams is too many especially in a shortened season).

The timetable for the start of the season appears to be right around July 1st. If that start point can be achieved, then there is time for 100 games plus a playoff scenario, that would extend into November. If teams played every day starting July 1, then the season would end October 8. Of course, playing every single day straight is not feasible, so there would have to be some double headers included in that. I’m also wondering if teams might play more than a three game series against each other to further cut down on travel.

In any case, we’ve talked previously about how the Dodgers roster allows them to handle almost any scenario better than most other teams. They have eight starting pitchers on their roster, and their bench is so much deeper than a lot of other teams. The bullpen might be overworked, but is suspect that would be the same for all teams.

There also have been some other rumors flying around, about which changes we might see during this pandemic-shortened season. Some are practical, like a league-wide DH (which as much as I hate the thought of, if just a precursor of what’s to come). Eliminating instant replay, having a shorter pitch clock, and implementing an automated strike zone could move the game along, but still would have some issues to be worked out especially in the case of the automatic strike zone.

Ties and mercy rules could be put into effect. More far reaching ideas such as ghost runners have been broached. Nothing like saying it is really a little kid’s game. There’s also a buzz for every inning starting with the teams 1-2-3 batter, or picking a special batter to hit in a key spot. If the Dodgers could just put Justin Turner or Max Muncy or Mookie Betts or Cody Bellinger in wherever they wanted despite the actual place in the lineup, well I’d be all for that. But also I would put their 1-9 lineup against any other in the league also.

Regardless, there seems to be a lot of movement towards getting an actual season in this year, and that is good news. It will most likely be without fans, but as long as they can do so safely, live sports will do this country a bunch of good. Not getting my hopes up, but if this happens, there will be just two more months until meaningful baseball.

 

20 thoughts on “Dodgers Opinions: Baseball in July, New Rules & Other Thoughts

  1. Eastern division seems to be the strongest.
    We’ll get lots of extra games against Houston to take out our frustration.
    One advantage for baseball, since it’s a weird season anyway, is that they can experiment with all kinds of rule changes that might have been harder to implement in a regular season. They can keep the ones that work and remove or tweak the ones that don’t in time for next season.

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  2. The DH will be negotiated into the next CBA, count on it. Making both leagues the same is something they have been trying to do for quite a while, and actually, with the way MOST pitchers hit, I welcome it. It’s time has come. And pitchers are paid so much now, it just makes sense to avoid an injury running the bases, or batting.

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  3. This seems like a recipe for a lot of injuries! They have to expand the rosters! Which favors the deepest teams. Another shortened season WS title? This could be our year. Finally! Nice write up Andy. Seems like forever since I’ve insulted you by calling you Dennis!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m okay with the DH, tie games after nine or ten innings, as much as I hate the thought of an electronic strike zone it would help with the distancing. I do not understand why they would need to invent the other crap about changing the line ups, putting ghost runners on etc. it sounds like a bunch of eight year olds making rules for a stickball game. The rules have worked pretty good for over one hundred years. Why do they need to make radical changes to the rules? I don’t get it.

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  5. Oh yeah, I’m definitely up for dropping the replay challenge, I hate it in a normal season, I would love for it to go away in its present form for ever.

    I’ve never understood that MLB is doing all kinds of things to the batters, and pitchers, to speed the game, but then, they will let every close play be looked at by a teams video room before they let the umps know if a team wants to challenge. If you the want to challenge you should get about five seconds, if a manager isn’t sure then let it go. I hate when people off the field are involved in the game. A video guy shouldn’t affect a game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, you sound like the Bear who used to hang out here. Not the mellow guy who’s going fishing this weekend.
      So you don’t think a video guy should affect a game, eh? I hope you’ve made your opinion known to the Astros and Red Sox. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am still the same grump, but right now there is nothing to grump about. As for video replay, I like it especially when it turns over a really bad call. And from watching some of the umps K-zones the last few years, the electronic helper is something that takes a really bad ump, like Angel Hernandez, who never knows where the real K zone is out of the equation. It will make hitters better because they cannot just sit and hope it is a ball.

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  6. Looks like when they come back and start ramping up for the season, they will probably be doing it in their own ball parks. The need about 3 weeks. Rosters will be expanded, which will help with injury problems. Since they have had all this time off, I am thinking they might go the 6 man rotation option. so that would add Nelson to the mix if he is healthy. MLBPA rejected the leagues 2020 draft proposal. So that still has to be worked out and the league is seeking a reduction in salary for the umps since there will not be as many games.

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  7. I guess it is time for baseball to resemble football, offensive players and defensive players. I personally hate the DH and think it is a very poor form for baseball to fit into. Yuck!

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  8. I hate it to ijdm, but I resigned myself to it for two reasons, one, pitchers are so important to a team, there are not that many really good pitchers in the game, so if even one pitcher is lost to a hbp, or a bad slide into second, or a pulled hammy running to first, the cost is too high.
    Secondly the DH rule leaves the NL in a disadvantage with their farm system. For example look at what happened with Yordan Alvarez, the Dodgers traded him to the Astros because the knew he would never be able to play on the field so AF had to trade him eventually. The AL teams know the NL teams have to trade DH only prospects, so they offer pennies on the dollar.
    I’m not trying to change your mind, just letting know why I’m ok with a NL DH. But I do prefer watching no DH style baseball.

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  9. Baseball does not resemble football in any form. That is just nuts. And whether you like the DH or not, it is time for both leagues to play by the same rules. Most pitchers cannot hit their weight. The game has been played two different ways for over 50 years. And if you lose a 32 million dollar a year pitcher to an injury from running the base’s or such, that is just crazy. Last good hitting pitcher the Dodgers had was Greinke, who hit over .300 and won a silver slugger award, but the norm for most pitchers is down way under .200. The DH is a fait acomplie Gripe all you want, it is coming.

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    1. Unbunch your undies, Bear, no one is griping that I have heard of, it’s called a conversation. I don’t like the DH rule, to me it takes away some great strategies that managers should have to employ to manage a baseball game. Hell, it is probably to our advantage to have the DH while Roberts is our manager, since he has a tendency to be a VERY poor in-game manager. The DH gives him one less thing to screw up.

      Nope, it is time for specialization, offense and defense teams, no strategy required, just throw them out there and let it ride. Yuck. Next thing you will tell me is you are in favor of plastic trashcans in the dugout, hey cheating is a fait accomplie, you might as well just open the barn door and let all the animals out, why stop at the DH, Bear?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You have no clue who I am or what I think. The conversation was just that and I thought your take, like many was lame. You don’t like it? I really do not give a rats behind. I do not think baseball will ever stoop to the level you seem to be so worried about. For years I have been anti DH, but in today’s game, it just makes sense. And my shorts are never in a bunch, but when I hear a bunch of BS from some disgruntled person like your self, I am going to call you out. . If that makes you angry, well too damn bad.

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      2. By the way, your personal opinion of the DH is just that, opinion. We all have them and are not going to agree on everything. But something we do not tolerate here is personal attacks. You did that to Scoop several times, and it was totally disrespectful of someone you do not even know.I have been on sites where a difference of opinion led to that kind of thing. I do not know you personally, and the likely hood that we will ever meet is pretty slim. But I am not going to let you sit on your computer being totally anonymous and judge my likes or dislikes. I would have a war of wits with you, but I cannot fight an unarmed man.

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  10. Wow Bear, so you don’t like another’s opinions, it’s obvious. Also, you are acting like someone that is not stable. Nice try on the war of wits bit, original stuff too, I have never heard of such wit, you are in a league of your own. /btw, SCoop is a big boy and has dished out plenty of shit, so don’t even get cute, Scoop is more than capable of handling his own business.

    Damn, that War of Wits stuff was really good, how about another witty point from you, I can hardly wait.

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    1. I do not mind other peoples opinions, just not yours. Scoop is a big boy, he is also a friend, and I have never seen him dish out shit as you say. He backs his statements up with solid info. You come on here and most of what you post is negative. Don’t worry about my stability. I just really dislike a person who attacks others from the safety of his computer and the anonymity it provides. Most of the time, people like that are cowards, and face to face they are not so tough.

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  11. Baseball reached an agreement on a salary structure for a shortened season with the Umpires. It had looked like it was going to get nasty. But cooler heads prevailed. I did not realize that the D-Backs are looking for a better location in the Phoenix area. That takes a hit with no revenue coming in. They were going to use Chase field for some non baseball events to raise money for a new park, but that is not happening now.

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