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Thursday, March 04, 2021

Universal DH and expanded postseason unlikely for 2021 MLB season, per report

Although Major League Baseball is scheduled to kick off the 2021 season in four weeks’ time, on April 1, there had still been uncertainty about how the games would be played. Last year, in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB instituted the universal designated hitter and implemented an expanded postseason that had 20 teams qualify. It now appears safer to conclude those elements will not be part of the 2021 season.

Both aspects are “dead issues with no recent movement or planned further discussion, multiple people with knowledge of the communications between Major League Baseball and the players association said this week,” according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic. As Drellich notes, it’s possible the two sides resume talks and hammer out a deal; it just isn’t likely with time winding down and the hurdles between them mounting up.

Drellich explains that the owners had greater incentive to get a deal done, with ESPN granting the league a $100 million credit for more postseason games. MLB, in turn, offered the players essentially the same bonus pool as last year, a figure the union rejected, based in part on the expectation that the COVID-19 vaccination efforts will enable for fuller stands than last year’s tournament allowed. (Players’ postseason shares are based on attendance.)

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2021 at 11:22 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: expanded playoffs, universal dh

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   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2021 at 11:40 AM (#6007623)
Yay!
   2. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: March 04, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#6007629)
Good thing they didn't let this linger until March. I mean teams don't need to know the rules to construct their rosters or anything.
   3. RoyalFlush Posted: March 04, 2021 at 12:10 PM (#6007630)
This new annual tradition of defining the rules of the game during Spring Training is annoying.
   4. caspian88 Posted: March 04, 2021 at 12:12 PM (#6007632)
Major League Baseball is trying to attract today's youth by turning the sport into Calvinball.

They finally overcame their confusion over whether that was a reference to the comic strip or the 16th century religious reformer. Ultimately, the decision to focus on the former was because there was some concern that the idea that the outcomes of the game were predestined might depress viewership.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2021 at 12:14 PM (#6007633)
Good thing they didn't let this linger until March. I mean teams don't need to know the rules to construct their rosters or anything.

It really shouldn't matter much. As long as all teams face the same uncertainty, it's fair.
   6. JJ1986 Posted: March 04, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#6007634)
It really shouldn't matter much. As long as all teams face the same uncertainty, it's fair.
It's not really fair to the players.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: March 04, 2021 at 12:37 PM (#6007635)
It's not really fair to the players.


How so?

   8. AndrewJ Posted: March 04, 2021 at 12:48 PM (#6007637)
I approve these (incredibly belated) decisions.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2021 at 01:12 PM (#6007638)
I approve these (incredibly belated) decisions.

Better late than wrong.
   10. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: March 04, 2021 at 01:14 PM (#6007640)
Major League Baseball is trying to attract today's youth by turning the sport into Calvinball.


It's going to be tough to get the scoreboards changed so they can display "oogie" and "boogie."
   11. Zach Posted: March 04, 2021 at 01:50 PM (#6007643)
Major League Baseball is trying to attract today's youth by turning the sport into Calvinball.

Want to feel old?

The last Calvin and Hobbes strip ran in 1995.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: March 04, 2021 at 02:00 PM (#6007645)
The last Calvin and Hobbes strip ran in 1995.


Sure, but as long as there is a rival college football team or automotive brand for him to unlicensedly urinate on, he'll never truly leave us.
   13. Zach Posted: March 04, 2021 at 02:17 PM (#6007650)
In fairness, I should add that my nephew *loves* Calvin and Hobbes, and always borrows my old books when he visits my parents' house.
   14. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: March 04, 2021 at 02:30 PM (#6007655)
As long as all teams face the same uncertainty, it's fair.
Half the teams are pretty sure they'll need a DH. It's not catastrophic or anything, but what do they know today that they didn't know at Christmas?
   15. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: March 04, 2021 at 02:31 PM (#6007656)
"Universal DH" sounds like one of those 1970s dystopia movies, like "Soylent Green" and "ZPG". ("See the horrors of the far-distant world of 1997!")

Want to feel old?

The last Calvin and Hobbes strip ran in 1995.


In a few months, the last C&H strip will be closer to the first moon landing (1969) than it will be to today.

Sorry.
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2021 at 02:36 PM (#6007658)
Half the teams are pretty sure they'll need a DH.

Right, but all 15 NL teams are in the same boat, and they only compete against NL teams for playoff spots.

It's not catastrophic or anything, but what do they know today that they didn't know at Christmas?

How much the players would demand for working the extra round of playoffs. It's apparently more than the owners are willing to give up. The players rightly figured out the the universal DH doesn't help them.
   17. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 04, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6007663)
there was some concern that the idea that the outcomes of the game were predestined might depress viewership.

Predestination could also adversely affect Manfred's tireless efforts to turn Major League Baseball into Major League Gambling.
   18. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 04, 2021 at 03:21 PM (#6007670)
how bout the runner on second in extras? Is that in or out?
   19. Adam Starblind Posted: March 04, 2021 at 04:14 PM (#6007675)
It probably would have been more unfair if they left the DH question up in the air and then said there *would* be a DH.

For example, JBJ probably would have signed with the Mets if there were a DH (pushing Nimmo to left and Smith to DH). He signed with the Brewers yesterday. If they announced today there would be a DH, and if he would have preferred the Mets, that would've been ... I'm not sure unfair is exactly the word, but they would've been screwing him a little. On the other hand, with no DH he's ending up where he presumably would have ended up either way.

There must be other players who might have fit this narrative if it had gone that way.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: March 04, 2021 at 05:05 PM (#6007680)
Cain and JBJ seems a bit of overkill. Who's in RF? (No, Who's on first.)

EDIT: Per the report I saw, 2/$24 with an opt-out after this year.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: March 04, 2021 at 08:27 PM (#6007700)
Further on #19, there may have been some effect on the various fringe players (NRIs, AAAA and 26th-man types). When they have a choice, their choice often depends (at least in part) on where they are most likely to win a roster spot or are most likely to be called up. The presence/absence of a DH role might impact a bit on that decision. But that's all pretty marginal.

And more along the lines of #19, surely Schwarber has a slightly larger market (or maybe isn't released by the Cubs) if there's an NL DH so presumably the lack of certainty hurt him a bit. But in that particular case, again the effects must have been marginal at best -- he signed with an NL team anyway for the amount he was estimated to get in arb if the Cubs had tendered.

Hopefully all this rule tinkering will calm down once there's a new CBA -- probably around 2039 or so.
   22. AndrewJ Posted: March 05, 2021 at 09:17 AM (#6007724)
In a few months, the last C&H strip will be closer to the first moon landing (1969) than it will be to today.

And the first moon landing is now closer to the Armistice (Nov. 11, 1918) than it is to today.

Pleasant dreams.
   23. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: March 05, 2021 at 09:43 AM (#6007727)
And the battle of Hastings is closer to Julio Franco's debut than it is to today. Chew on that one for a bit.

(And it's even true!)
   24. jmurph Posted: March 05, 2021 at 09:59 AM (#6007730)
Happy to have been proven wrong about the expanded playoff thing being here for good, though I suspect it will reappear at some point.
   25. Astroenteritis Posted: March 05, 2021 at 11:01 AM (#6007734)
And the first moon landing is now closer to the Armistice (Nov. 11, 1918) than it is to today.


Yep, I feel old now. I remember my parents letting me going over to the neighbors' house to watch the moon landing because they had a nicer TV.
   26. John Northey Posted: March 05, 2021 at 11:48 AM (#6007740)
Meh. The more they say nothing is happening the more likely it is happening.

As to feeling old - 1903 was the first World Series (NL/AL), 1969 the first with ALCS/NLCS, 1995 the first Wild Card. That means we've had 26 seasons with the wild card, 25 with just ALCS/NLCS/WS, and 65 'just' a WS (no WS in 1904 or 1994). Getting closer to more with multiple rounds than without.

In other words the Wild Card round has been around longer than the ALCS/NLCS only rounds were. 1994 was to be the first Wild Card for what that is worth. So 14 more playoffs (tentatively 2034) and we'll have had as many with playoffs as with just a WS. The more years with a wild card than without in my lifetime is a bit surprising.
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: March 05, 2021 at 11:58 AM (#6007743)
25 with just ALCS/NLCS/WS,


24, excluding the Let's Leave out the NL's Best Teams Model of 1981.
   28. John Northey Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:04 PM (#6007745)
Doh, forgot about the mess of 1981. How to rank that - only division leaders got in, but not the overall division leaders. Weird one that was.
   29. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: March 05, 2021 at 01:17 PM (#6007770)
I’ll believe that there won’t be expanded playoffs when the first pitch is thrown on April 1st and there is no agreement.
   30. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 05, 2021 at 02:03 PM (#6007778)
The more years with a wild card than without in my lifetime is a bit surprising.

Yes. This is jarring.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: March 05, 2021 at 05:05 PM (#6007802)
And the first moon landing is now closer to the Armistice (Nov. 11, 1918) than it is to today.

Along these lines, if we take 1876 as the start of MLB, we have had more seasons post-integration than pre- and, when we include expansion, 162 games, etc. clearly many more games post-integration. I wonder if we're to the point yet where we now have more games post-expansion than pre-expansion (the expansion era began 60 years ago).

If you push the start back to 1871 then next year will give us 76 pre- and 76 post-integration seasons.
   32. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: March 05, 2021 at 05:07 PM (#6007803)
And we had 60 season of 2 leagues with 8 teams per league, 60 seasons with more teams than that, so exactly half of the "modern era" consisted of no expansion. It feels crazy that the pre-expansion era was so long, but I guess the fact that we have so little footage of it makes it seem like the expansion era is most of baseball history.
   33. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: March 06, 2021 at 05:49 PM (#6007843)
And we had 60 season of 2 leagues with 8 teams per league, 60 seasons with more teams than that, so exactly half of the "modern era" consisted of no expansion. It feels crazy that the pre-expansion era was so long, but I guess the fact that we have so little footage of it makes it seem like the expansion era is most of baseball history.

Not if 1960 seems like yesterday to you. (smile)

   34. Walt Davis Posted: March 07, 2021 at 07:25 PM (#6007902)
It feels crazy that the pre-expansion era was so long

Likely historical accident (or happenstance). One can imagine baseball expanding westward during the 30s if not for the Great Depression (either through expansion or franchise relocation or the top midwest/PCL franchises forming a league). Following WW2, expansion was briefly forestalled by franchise relocation of the poorer sisters of the multi-team cities. Of course that still wasn't enough.
   35. Ron J Posted: March 07, 2021 at 08:07 PM (#6007903)
#34 And WW2 stopped the first move to the west coast.

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