Yankees Are One Up And One Down On 2020 Rule Changes

Aaron Judge reaching new heights

The Yankees are liking the rule changing double-dips to 7-inning games. The man on second extra-innings rule – not so much. They’ll tell us why.

The Yankees get their first taste of MLB’s crackdown on rules governing players’ and coaches’ behavior while on the road when they travel to the COVID hotbed of Florida for four games in three days against those pesky Tampa Bay Rays.

Careful - Someone Is Watching
Careful – Someone Is Watching

Complete with the threat of suspensions and high-school like “monitors” guarding the entrances to team hotels, the Yankees will be inside the bubble for a minimum of three nights in Tampa.

A Yankees player can, however, ask the teacher for a pass to leave the classroom, but he must have a stated destination and the okay to do so before venturing out – or face a visit to the principal’s office.

The intention is not to be funny as this is a severe health situation, and it was only a matter of time before MLB, in cooperation with the player’s union (MLBPA), would be forced to up the ante that helps ensure the 2020 season is completed.

The Yankees can be expected to treat the new protocols with the professionalism they’ve displayed with what by now is becoming a – “Ho-hum, what do you expect, this is baseball played during a pandemic” – approach to everything.

Yankees Give Thumbs Up To 7-Inning Doubleheader Games.

In the meantime, the Yankees got their first taste of playing seven-inning doubleheader games when they split one versus the Phillies the other day.

The like it, and it’s that’s a good thing because they have another scheduled for Saturday against the Rays.

“I like it,” Luke Voit said. “It’s not as much wear and tear as nine. … It goes quickly.” Speaking with Kristie Ackert (New York Daily News), Voit added, “I think it’s something that pitchers like because they have a chance to throw 75-80 pitches and … every pitcher wants to go [a complete game]”.

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“But it’s different. I like it a lot. And I think it’s good for the players and injury prevention.”

Yankees outfielder Mike Tauchman took it one step further suggest MLB should consider scheduling doubleheaders for all teams every Sunday, followed by an off-day on Monday.

Hear, hear! Ernie Banks would love this guy. I would only add that all games be played in daylight, harkening back to the days when double-dips were a treat for the whole family, and ballparks were packed.

Yankees Join With Others To Pan Man On Second Rule

However, the Yankees are not as enthralled with the man on second base to open each half of extra-inning games.

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“I like real baseball,” Adam Ottavino said last month when asked about that extra-inning rule.

Ironically, it seems Major League Baseball agrees with him, and that’s why the new rule does not apply to postseason games that’ll run their ordinary course, in theory, lasting forever.

Parse that out, though, and it’s MLB’s way of admitting that postseason games are “real baseball”, while regular-season games are, well, just regular.

Speaking for the minority in today’s Washington Post, veteran reporter Tom Boswell argues the new rule is “gimmicky, untraditional, and worth keeping”. He also adds, “shoot me if you don’t like it”.

But Boswell points out that Harvey Haddix once pitched a 12-inning perfect game, then lost in the 13th. Washington’s Tom Cheney struck out 21 batters, still the record, in 16 innings. The O’s Tippy Martinez once picked off three men in the 10th inning. Fans remember regular-season games like that forever”.

Today’s players beg to differ, and the likelihood of continued debate on both rule changes adds another dimension to what is fast-becoming baseball’s most unusual and fascinating season in a long, long, time.

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.