There is so much talk about Ohtani and Stanton right about now, that there is not much buzz about changes to teams and the game of baseball itself. Rob Manfred is intent on speeding up play and will implement a pitch clock, likely as soon as 2018 but there will be other changes as well… maybe not all next season, but they are coming.
- Designated Hitter in the NL – In the NBA, NHL and NFL there are not different rules for each conference. Baseball is the only sport that does that. It’s silly that there is a DH in the AL but not the NL. Some would like to eliminate the DH period. It ain’t happening. The DH is coming to the NL! Probably not next season, but it’s coming… like it or not.
- Expanded Rosters – Maybe up to 27 players, especially if they expand the use of the DH. Maybe there are two DH’s per team and maybe they can each bat 3 times a game without having to take who they hit for out of the game. Think about it….
- Limit Pitching Changes – Unless he is injured, a pitcher has to complete an inning and if a new pitcher comes in, he has to get three outs – no mid-inning pitching changes.
- Expansion – Manfred wants to have 32 teams, but first they have to fix Oakland and Tampa Bay, which means helping them get new stadiums or letting them move. Here’s a list of America’s TOP 50 cities ranked by population. The cities in RED already have a team (I counted Dallas, Ft. Worth and Arlington as one market). Cleveland is #51 and they have a team. St. Louis is #61 and St. Paul is 64 to go with Minneapolis at #46. Cities like San Antonio, Austin, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Columbus and Charlotte have to be given some consideration.
Of course, I am biased toward Indianapolis, but in the past, MLB has felt that Indy was too close to Chicago and Cincinnati as each of those cities are approximately 2 hours away. Indy has been the home of the Indianapolis Indians, one of the most (if not the most) successful AAA franchises for over 50 years. I think Indy would support a MLB team. It should at least be considered.