You’re going to have a very hard time getting me bothered by ANY change in rules this year. Whether it’s the DH or the runner-on-second-to-start-extras thing, or whether it’s a change in rules on the fly as the season goes on. Trying to complete this season as safely as possible in a dang pandemic means extreme flexibility, and extreme chill when it comes to beefing about rules.
To that end, I see this and I say, whatever. If they think it could help, fine:
Sources: Union is asking players to consider rules adjustments to maximize their health, according to a memo sent today. On doubleheaders, consideration is a 9-inning & 7-inning game or two 7-inning games. On rosters, question is whether to extend 30-man limit for additional time
— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) July 29, 2020
The seven innings will get most of the attention, but let me start with the roster, because that strikes me as the bigger deal. As you’ll recall, rosters are currently expanded to 30 for just the first two weeks of the season, then they drop to 28 for two weeks, then down to the normal 26. But what about just staying at 30 for the duration?
To make that happen, you’d have to get owners on board with more compensation (more big league players for longer means more big league pay, even if the fringe guys tend to be Major League minimum types). But if you’re worried about player health and about trying to be overly cautious when situations pop up like in Cincinnati (guys being held out for longer than negative tests), then a longer period with larger rosters sure makes a lot of sense to me.
As for the doubleheader thing … whatever. I was fine with the seven-inning approach back when the contours of this season were originally being discussed, because this is a weird season. Does this make a huge difference in exposure risk? Probably not. But I guess less risk is less risk. And if you’re in a situation where you’re suddenly expecting a lot more doubleheaders, then fine, reduce the risk any bit you can.