SI senior writer Tom Verducci shares four changes the MLB could be instituting for the abbreviated 2020 season. The universal DH, which has been a part of offseason discussion for years now will be used for the 2020 season, but going back to the way things were in the National League after this coming season, "will be like putting toothpaste back into the tube," as Verducci says.
If there is a Major League Baseball season this year, it's bound to include many modifications and those modifications may become permanent. Here are four modifications for 2020 that may stick around beyond this year. Number one, the universal DH. This falls under the category of trying to get the toothpaste back into the tube. The National League for years has resisted the DH, but they'll use it this year. And once they do, they'll likely adopt it going forward.
Number two, a pine tar rag for pitchers on the mound. Because of sanitary reasons pitchers will not be allowed to go to their mouth on the mound, but they will be allowed to use a little bit of pine tar. A little dab will do you.
Expanded playoffs - this year, you'll see 14 of the 30 teams qualify for the postseason. The number one seed in each league gets a bye and the wild card game becomes a three game wild card series. What's not to like? Baseball gets a greater inventory of postseason games and players get a greater opportunity to participate in the postseason.
And number four, the schedule. This year, of course, has been modified to really reduce travel. Players staying within their division and the like division of the other league. That may not be exactly the formula going forward, but reducing travel, and creating more rivalries will definitely be on the table going forward. When you watch baseball in 2020, and hopefully we do, we also may be looking at the future of baseball.