Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 22, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well sports fans we’re right on the brink of getting all four major sports back. NFL training camps open tomorrow, the NBA and the NHL are just about a week and a half away from restarting their seasons, but most importantly starting tomorrow we’re going to get baseball games that count.

Baseball gets rolling with two showcase games tomorrow. Opening the season the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals host the New York Yankees. While the nightcap features old rivals as the Los Angeles Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants.

Both games will be shown on ESPN. The Nationals/Yankees games has a scheduled start time of 6:00p.m. While the Dodgers/Giants game has a scheduled start time of 9:00 p.m. Both start times are for the Central time zone; which is the time zone I live in.

Now there has been some questions about how much starting pitchers will impact these games right out of the gate and we should get an idea tomorrow how teams might handle their starters. Three of the games top four starter pitchers will take the rubber tomorrow. Max Scherzer makes the start for Washington The Yankees will counter with their big free agent signing Gerrit Cole. The Dodgers are going with Clayton Kershaw as their opening day starter and he’ll face off against Johnny Cueto; who’s getting the opening day start for San Francisco.

You have to wonder if these pitchers will be on a pitch count or if they’ll be allowed to work as long as they can. Out of the four opening day starters Cueto may be the one with the most questions since he’s returning from Tommy John surgery. Cueto did make 4 starts last season, but totaled just 16 innings and posted an E.R.A. of 5.06. My guess is that he’ll be on the shortest leash of the four opening day starters, but you never know what a team might have planned.

What would you consider to be a good start for these starters? Do you think it’s possible that we’ll get a “quality start” out of any of these opening day starters? The definition of a quality start is 6 innings pitched while permitting no more than 3 earned runs. Going 6 innings might be too much to ask out of even these big name pitchers to start this odd season.

After opening the season with two games on Thursday the rest of the league get started on Friday. The Dodgers and Giants will play their second game of the season on Friday, but the Yankees and the Nationals get Friday off.

With just the start of the baseball season a day away; how are you feeling about baseball?

I’ve been back and forth about this shortened 60 game season, but we had our fantasy drafts this past weekend and that helped me start to look forward to baseball coming back. When the first announced that this was the format they where gong with I was less than interested in baseballs return and was convinced that I wouldn’t watch an inning.

My stance has softened on that as the start of the season has gotten closer, but I do have some concerns. I think my biggest issue is; are we going to get spring training baseball to start off with? With expanded roster to start the season and the designated hitter being universal managers are going to have a lot of flexibility. Will we see a lot of situation substitutions? Also if starting pitchers aren’t going to be going deep into games to start the season; how many pitching changes will there be?

Now besides the DH becoming universal and the expanded rosters to start the season there are a few other new rules this season.

We have the three batters minimum for relievers. Instead of teams being able to match up pitchers to hitters this season when a pitcher comes out of the bullpen he’ll have to face three batters. The only way they won’t face three batters will be because the inning came to an end or that reliever became ill or got injured.

Placing a runner on 2nd base in extra innings. This is easily the new rule I dislike the most, but in a shortened season like this Major League Baseball is trying to avoid marathon games; so starting in the 11th inning A baserunner will magically appear on nd to start the inning.

I didn’t remember hearing about this one, but there’s a wet rag rule. Apparently pitchers will be allowed to bring a wet rag with them to the mound. The pitcher will be allowed to use this rag to moisten his fingers instead of licking them. I’m not sure if this rule is just for this year do to the pandemic or if it’s something that will stay on the books.

There is also a no brawl rule for this season. Since MLB is going to try and have players, managers and coaches maintain social distancing it’s understandable why they wouldn’t want teams fighting. MLB has mentioned that the possible penalty for breaking the no brawl rule could be immediate ejection and subsequent discipline, including a possible fine and suspension.

What do you think of these rules? As I’ve mentioned I don’t like the runner being placed on 2nd bae rule, but I’m okay with the other changes.

I’m not a big fan of the DH being universal a I liked the differences between the two leagues, but remember the collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season and there was a very good chance that the Major League Baseball Players Association was going to be asking for the DH to be added to the National League. Let’s face it with al of the complaining that the media does about pitchers hitting this was going to happen sooner or later. This way the media will have one less thing to cry about when it comes to baseball, but I’m sure they’ll still find plenty of other things to whine about.

Don’t forget to listen to the live edition of the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want to.

You can also look me up on Twitter @Burketime

Comments
  1. Boys will be boys! What happens, in the heat of the moment, if there is a full scale bench clearing brawl after a player, for example, is hit on purpose? Will they stick to their word and heavily fine the teams and suspend the players?
    Stay tuned.
    I still it will be eerie watching the games without spectators in the stands. Something truly important will be missing from the games but it does beat the alternative.

    Like

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