Major League Baseball Spring Training is underway! A rule that was stated in a previous update to this article is now likely of being changed back. The rule is for teams placing a runner on second base to begin extra innings against opponents. The MLB is planning to reinstate that rule for this season, and possibly even beyond. More details are to come in the next two weeks! Enjoy your Spring Break Falcons!March 14, 2022 Article Update
Last Thursday, March 10, 2022, the MLB and the MLBPA reached a tentative agreement to a new 5-year collective bargaining agreement. The agreement was agreed to be ratified later that same day, but the news that everyone cares about is that there will be a season of Major League Baseball in 2022. Opening Day (which was originally scheduled March 31, 2022) has been rescheduled for April 7, 2022. The original canceled games will be made via doubleheaders. Here are all of the rule and policy changes coming to this season and beyond.2022 Season Rule Changes
The MLB and MLBPA’s work is not done, despite getting a deal together to save the season. Rule changes in 2023 are still under construction. The MLB and MLBPA have 45 days from March 10 (April 24, 2022) to agree on the following rules: larger bases around the infield (making the bases an 18” square, instead of the current 15” square), pitch clocks (pitchers would have 12 seconds to pitch, only when there are no runners on base), and the shift ban (not allowing infielders to move throughout the infield and outfield).
While there may be many rule changes that could come next year, this year is full of many. Whether agreed upon or not, this is what has been agreed upon:Universal Designated Hitter
Before the 2021 season, if the home team was in the American League the designated hitter rule was in effect. For those unsure about the DH, it is when someone takes the pitcher’s spot in the lineup and hits instead of the pitcher hitting. This season both the American and National Leagues will be using the designated hitter, no matter the home team.Full Nine-Inning Double-Headers
In opposition to the seven-inning games last year and in 2020, the MLB will go back to the original nine-inning games. This means longer days for the players, but no more seven inning no hitters, like Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner.Extra Innings
In 2020, the MLB tried a new rule putting a runner on second to begin extra innings. This is no longer the case. The games will go back to the normal rules as they were in 2019 and before.2022 Postseason and Beyond
The MLB Playoffs will expand from 10 total teams to 12 total teams. There will be three division winners from the American and National Leagues (East Division, Central Division, West Division). The top two division winners will receive first round byes, and automatically go to the second round. The third and final division winner will be the top seed in the first round, and play the wild card team with the worst record. The final two teams will play each other. These matchups will be a series of the best-of-three.
There will be no reseed going into the second round of the playoffs, the only difference is that this will be the divisional series and be the best-of-five. From that point on, the American and National League championships will be a series of the best-of-seven as well as the World Series.
The good news is that we will have a season this year! Spring Training will begin with the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox playing at 10:05 AM PST on Thursday, March 17.