Major League Baseball agrees to play ball
Yes, Virginia, there will be a Major League Baseball season in 2022.
Following a long lockout imposed by the owners, a new collective agreement between the owners and the players was concluded.
Now that the money squabble is over, at least until the new work contract expires, we can start playing again.
And in a few weeks the new season will begin.
There will be some changes in Major League baseball for 2022.
Beginning this season, the designated hitter rule will be used in the National League.
The post-season will be expanded to 12 teams.
There will be no man on second base to start extra innings in postseason play.
A draft lottery will be used to discourage losing teams from tanking games late in the season in order to secure a higher spot in the draft. For the first time ever, player uniforms will feature advertising, including patches on jerseys and decals on batting helmets.
And there will be other changes coming for the 2023 season, including the use of field clocks, a ban on defensive changes, an automatic ball/striking area, larger bases, and a balanced schedule that will offer teams a chance to play at least one series against each opponent in both leagues.
DH for all
For nearly 50 years, the designated hitter rule was used only in the American League.
But from this season, the DH will be used by both leagues.
The rule, adopted by the American League in 1973, allowed someone to bat in place of the pitcher.
They implemented the DH rule in an effort to inject more offense into the game.
As a lifelong fan and baseball purist, I never liked DH.
Baseball is a team sport and I believe all players should bat for themselves, including pitchers.
At one time in football there were 11 athletes who played both in attack and defense.
Then, in the mid-1940s, two-pack football changed things.
Although many high school football athletes play both offense and defense, you don’t see that at the college or professional level anymore.
Will there come a day in professional baseball where there will be nine players who hit only and nine who play in the field?
I know it sounds ridiculous, but 50 years ago the idea of a designated hitter seemed a little weird.
The DH rule is the last thing that really sets the two MLB leagues apart.
I wonder now if the two leagues will be deleted.
MLB could take the 30 teams and divide them geographically into six groups of five teams.
As for the new rules in 2023, I’m not a fan of the height clock, taller bases, ban on defensive shifts, or auto strike/ball zone, but like it or no, these changes are coming.
At least they will play ball in 2022!