We don’t yet know if there is going to be a 2020 season for MLB. There is no hard deadline for a deal to be struck between the players and the league on safety and economic measures to make a season happen, but the indications seem to be that it would need to happen sooner than later. That makes sense, particularly in the context of a desired July 4 start date since they’d need at least a few weeks of “spring training” to get ready for a season.
If there is a season, however, it seems like the league is going to try and cut down on travel some. There have been a bunch of proposals to this end over the last couple months, but it seems the one that has stuck involves regionalizing the season with games being played within a team’s own division and the corresponding division in the other league. So, the Red Sox would play the AL East and NL East. That’s not set in stone, but any format that is agreed upon would involve increased interleague play, which in turn would mean, at least for the year, a universal DH. That is the topic for this week’s SB Nation Reacts.
Should the NL add the DH?
Yes. Of course. There is no argument that has convinced me that the NL not having a DH is good. The best I’ve heard is that people like the two leagues having this kind of difference, and while I disagree I can at least understand that point. As for the strategy argument, it’s nonsense. There is very little strategy in having a pitcher bunt any time there’s a runner on base. Even things like double switches aren’t really around much anymore with benches continuing to shrink to allow more arms in the bullpen. The NL is one of two professional leagues I know of that still uses the DH. At this point, it’s just being stubborn.
What do NL fans think?
No surprise here. People tend to like what they know and what they grew up with. While I am staunchly pro-DH, I’ll acknowledge that if I grew up rooting for an NL team I may very well feel differently.
What about roster sizes in 2020?
This seems like a no-brainer to me. First off, I will not even respond to anyone who thinks they should decrease roster size, which I assume are either trolls, people who misread the question or clicked on the wrong answer. But this season is almost certainly going to be condensed with fewer days off than players are used to, coming off a strange start and stop and with a spring training that frankly will be shorter than it should be. There needs to be more players available on a daily basis to prevent injuries and overextension.
Is spitting gross?
Look, I played baseball and I have spit. But it’s gross. Come on now.