With ongoing negotiations still happening to begin the 2020 MLB season, there are some changes to the game that could stick around after an abbreviated season. SI senior writer Tom Verducci shares some of the ways the 2020 season could impact the future of the sport.
If Major League Baseball players and owners can take the framework of a deal and actually turn it into an agreement. Well, that's 2020 baseball season, the year of the pandemic, might go down as the year that changed the future of the sport. Several changes are in store in a short season that are likely to become permanent. Number one, the universal DH, say goodbye to a National League-style baseball in which the pitcher hits. Number two, an expanded postseason. Both sides want 16 of the 30 teams to qualify for the postseason. Say goodbye to wild card games, no more one game knockouts. And it also gives the owners an inroad towards future expansion to get to their preferred 32-team schedule. Remember after the lockout in 1990 and the strike in 1995, owners expanded three years after those work stoppages. Number three, ads on uniforms. Now, the owners have toyed with this idea before. They've done it for international games. But this and a short season allows them the opening to make the change permanent. And number four, players mic'ed up before and during games. It's part of the effort MLB and the players want to make the showcase more of the players personalities. That is likely also to become permanent. Now, if the two sides could only do something about improving the pace of play, now we've got something.