If you had a chance to pick which rule changes for the abbreviated 2020 season would stick around, which would you choose? A runner on second in extra innings? Seven-inning double-headers? Three-batter minimum?
What about the universal designated hitter?
Of all the topics to circulate as a potential change in future MLB seasons, the one people have held to the strongest is the notion of keeping the DH out of the National League. As both teams were forced to embrace the DH in 2020 what was saw was... well... not much impact. Sure, we saw fewer pitcher strikeouts, that’s for sure, but it didn’t rock the boat by any means.
So as we approach planning for the 2021 season, however that might look, people are wondering which of the new rule changes are here to stay, and it seems quite likely that the universal DH is one of them. What did you think about its use in 2020?
Now let’s jump into this week’s links.
- If a majority of MLB pitchers are cheating by using substances, is it time to change the rules, wonders Eno Sarris. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- There are some very big names looking for a home this offseason, and the market for George Springer is getting hot, writes Jay Jaffe.
- Dan Mullen looks at what won the NL MVP for Freddie Freeman.
- He also takes a gander at what won the AL MVP for Jose Abreu.
- Katie Baker wonders if, with Steve Cohen at the helm, Mets fans might finally get everything they want.
- Jeff Luhnow, in a quest to be the least-popular man in baseball in 2020, is suing the Astros. Story by Evan Drellich and Jake Kaplan. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Roger Cormier asked a question no one else was wondering about when he decided to look into what the AL radio broadcasters were talking about during 2020’s biggest blowout. (Baseball Prospectus Premium membership required.)
- Michael Baumann wonders what the return of A.J. Hinch and Alex Cora means for baseball.
- Trevor Bauer wasted no time updating his profile. (Look, we all think Yu Darvish was robbed, but this is a non-Cubs links post, guys.)
Life update:— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) November 12, 2020
Did I do this right? pic.twitter.com/fcrA188ZAH
- Peter Gammons brings us the story of Mark Hamilton, a former ballplayer who is now a doctor in the fight against COVID-19. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- As mentioned in the intro, some of the 2020 rule changes are here to stay, and Jay Jaffe looks at which are the likely candidates to keep.
- Similarly, Keith Law thinks the DH is going to stick around but that other rules need to be ditched. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Should pitchers win the MLB MVP award?
- In light of recent events, how can the White Sox continue to justify their decision to hire Tony La Russa? Story by Ken Rosenthal. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Stephanie Apstein looks into what comes next for World Series winner Clayton Kershaw.
- Is baseball really baseball anymore? Patrick Dubuque takes a dive into what MLB has become in its evolution to this point.
- Already bored of thinking about this season of free agents? Kiley McDaniel brings us a list of the most exciting free agents of the next three-ish years.
- Richard Justice spotlights this season’s MVP winners.
- Sorry, Justin.
Can’t nobody throw shade on his name in these streets— Cut4 (@Cut4) November 11, 2020
Congrats to the ~unanimous~ 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner, Shane Bieber! pic.twitter.com/eGYtoC3Ckn
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.