We are not three months removed from MLB’s owners and players coming together on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, that was put into place for the next five years. That agreement was, by all outside evaluative accounts, well constructed for the owners, and maybe not-quite-as-well-constructed for the players.

That’s important background for a revelation today from Commission Rob Manfred, which we will discuss at greater length when we have a little more context. For now, the breaking news:

To be quite sure, some of the rules changes proposed by MLB were met by mixed reactions, and were justifiably expected to get some push back from the players. Others – a time limit on instant replay? limits on mound visits? – seem to be reasonable and modest, which makes you wonder if the MLBPA is pushing back aggressively for broader reasons. Without more context, I can’t yet say for sure.

So, there you go: as things stand right now, we won’t see any rules changes (strike zone, intentional walks, pitch clock, instant replay, etc.) this season. But after this season, apparently MLB has more leeway to act on its own.

As long as it doesn’t do the terrible extra-innings, runner-on-base rule change on its own …


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