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Here are even more MLB rule changes for 2022 and 2023

Some of these should actually make baseball more fun.

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers were supposed to host the All-Star Game in 2020, but that was cancelled due to the pandemic. Instead, the Dodgers will host this summer’s game, which will take place July 19.

Per this Associated Press article by Ronald Blum, this year’s game could have some quite different features, per the memorandum of understanding signed between owners and players ending the lockout:

“If the All-Star Game remains tied after nine innings, the game will be decided by a Home Run Derby between the teams, subject to the parties’ agreement on details and format,” reads exhibit 13, titled “Tentative Agreement — All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.”

And hear this, fans: As part of the overall agreement, “the parties agree to discuss further details and logistics of a potential mid-All-Star Game concert.”

First of all, I love the idea of a Home Run Derby ending a tied All-Star Game. The ASG is supposed to be for fun! League identities have been blurred so much that neither one is “superior,” as many fans used to believe. What’s more fun than a Home Run Derby? The derby they do hold the day before the game is generally fun and gets good TV ratings. I’d think this would get fans actually rooting for a tie!

Regarding a “mid-All-Star Game concert,” well... I dunno. This is an apparent attempt by MLB to make the ASG more like the Super Bowl with its halftime entertainment. I suppose they’d simply stop the game in the middle of the fifth inning and have, say, a 15-20 minute concert. I guess if the musical guest were popular enough, it might juice TV ratings.

Also noted in the AP article, and I had mentioned this as well the other day:

The sides agreed to have regular-season games at Mexico City each May from 2023-26, at London in June 2023, 2024 and 2026, at Paris in June 2025 and at San Juan, Puerto Rico, in September 2025 and 2026. A season-opening series is planned for Asia in 2024 and Tokyo specifically in 2025.

Spring training games are envisioned for Puerto Rico and/or the Dominican Republic in 2024, and World Baseball Classics in 2023 and 2026. Postseason tours are planned for South Korea and Taiwan this year and for Latin America in 2023.

Players would receive $70,000 each for regular-season events in Europe and Asia, and $20,000 for Latin America.

Based on this, the Cubs are almost certainly headed to London a year from this June:

This is great. I had plans to go to London in 2020, tickets, airfare and a place to stay all set until the pandemic cancelled that. I’m glad the Cubs are getting another chance and I plan to go next year.

I’m also glad to see the World Baseball Classic returning twice over the period of this labor agreement, three years apart in ‘23 and ‘26. I’m a big fan of the WBC and hope to see some of those games too.

The postseason tours to various parts of the world are an excellent idea to promote baseball worldwide.

This is also a good thing for player creativity:

Footwear restrictions were loosened, provided they comply with permitted commercial marks and are not offensive.

We will likely start seeing players wearing many different types of creatively-decorated shoes, similar to the way NHL goalies decorate their masks.

This is also a good thing for reducing player fatigue:

Teams must be scheduled for seven off days after July 31, including three after Aug. 31.

Since the 2022 schedule was already complete before this agreement was made, this will start in 2023. The Cubs have five off days in that period this year.

Lastly, this is a good thing for everyone involved with baseball:

MLB and players also agreed to a revised “Workplace Code of Conduct” that states: “If you see an individual harassing or discriminating against someone, tell that person to stop and report it to your field manager, your general manager, the commissioner’s office or players’ association.”

Harassment is defined as “any verbal, physical or visual behavior directed at another individual because of a protected characteristic tahat (i) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading humiliating or offensive environment or (ii) materially interferes with an individual’s work performance.”

It does seem as if, beyond the salaries and CBT numbers which were the biggest holdups to the labor agreement, that MLB owners and players were quite thoughtful in setting out other kinds of working conditions, and also things that can make baseball more fun for players and fans. Good for them. As I have previously mentioned, there’s no completed text of the CBA yet. The memorandum of understanding mentioned above, per the article, was 182 pages long!

As I learn more about this deal, I’ll post it here. In the meantime, let’s play ball!

Poll

A Home Run Derby ending an All-Star Game after nine innings...

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Love it! Have some fun with this exhibition game!
    (240 votes)
  • 16%
    Hate it! I like tradition in baseball
    (76 votes)
  • 33%
    Don’t care either way
    (157 votes)
473 votes total Vote Now