A Closer Look at Major League Baseball’s New Rules

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There won’t be any strike or lockout for MLB this time around. The players have already ratified the hundreds of pages of the proposed five year deal contained in Major League Baseball’s Memorandum of Understanding the owners are scheduled to vote Thursday.

Bill Maher has his New Rules and now Major League Baseball has their own too. Here’s a list of changes that the new CBA will include, some of them practical, others, not so much.

  • Allowing teams from the same division to meet in the playoffs before the league championship series.

- No one wants to see the Yankees play the Red Sox in the ALDS. That’s like commuting to college from home. (Opps, I did that! Saint John’s ’89)

  • A ban on players getting tattoos with corporate logos.

- I guess they are afraid that MLB players will look like NBA players, plastered with tattoos all over their bodies. But the MLB uniform covers everything but the players’ forearms, hand and face? Were they worried about someone doing a Mike Tyson and placing a Nike swoosh on their face? I guess this also extends to the rest of the body so players can’t place a logo corporate logo on their ass and then pose for Playgirl. That sucks. Were negotiating with A-Rod to place a small Rotoxperts “X” logo on his member (very small “X”.)

  • The possibility of players wearing microphones during games.

- I’m excited about this one. Now I can learn the Dominican language without having to pay for the course!

  • Any player who wants to change uniform numbers without switching teams better will need to give eight months’ notice to the league.

- The deal here is that if you do it, you have to purchase the existing finished goods inventory of apparel containing the player’s jersey number; as in, every replica jersey, jacket, T-shirt, mug and anything else with a number that’s anywhere in stock. Rumor has it that Ryan Braun is contemplating doing this just to increase his jersey sales to prove he’s still relevant after taking PED’s.

  • Expand use of replay to include fair-or-foul calls, “whether a fly ball or line drive was trapped” and fan interference all around the ballpark.

- So the umpires are going to try and get the call correct instead of just crying at press conferences after the game claiming they messed up?

  • The All-Star break will be expanded to four days, rather than the traditional three-day gap.

- Throwing a bone here to people like Peter Costa and other Fantasy Baseball participants who are annually already mathematically eliminated from winning their leagues. This lets them play in half-year leagues giving them time to redraft

  • Players on 40-man rosters are assured of single rooms during spring training.

- Now players can gave visitors of any age, sex or species to their room without their roommate spreading gossip throughout the club house. Who consulted on this one, Sandusky?

  • Players and team officials may not ask official scorers to reconsider decisions — clubs must instead send video to MLB to appeal calls.

- This really isn’t a big deal, although Albert Pujols will now have to make it look like he’s making dinner reservations for after the game when he’s seen making phone calls from the dugout during the game after reaching base on a play the official corer has ruled an error.

  • Fines of up to $10,000 each for slow-moving hitters and pitchers for the sixth violation and beyond.

- Players will simply have to grope themselves quickly between pitches. No more elongated strokes of the crotch area. Swift and violent crotch massages will be the matter of course so they can get right back into the batters box. Derek Jeter will now have to “take care of business” on his own time instead of during the game.

  • A ban on players betting with illegal bookies on any sport.

- Players must now bet with legal sportsbooks?

  • New language allowing the commissioner to discipline players for violating federal, state or local law or for conduct “materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of baseball.”

- Bud Selig is going to be the new Judge Judy! (BTW – Has anyone seen Judge Ito? I loved that guy.)

  • Possible suspensions for intentionally throwing a ball or equipment at non-uniformed personnel with the intention of causing bodily harm; for assaulting fans, media or umpires; or for making public statements that question the integrity of the game, the umpires, the commissioner or the commissioner’s staff.

- Does this mean that before it was ok for a player to throw a ball at a fan’s head that was heckling them but now it no longer is?

  • Players also can be disciplined for violating MLB’s social media policy, which still is being developed.

- No tweeting from the dugout fellas…..

  • Nicknames written on equipment should “not reasonably offend fans, business partners, players and others associated with the game.”

- My favorite nickname of all time was “Penitentiary Face” given to Jeffrey Leonard. That’s not offensive is it?

  • No “taxi squads” — calling up players from the minors and not activating them.

- Hey kid, you’re going to the show. NOT! Hahahaha….

  • Teams may only invite players to offseason minicamps if they are not yet eligible for salary arbitration.

- Baseball has offseason minicamps?

  • A new schedule format starting in 2013, when there will be six five-team divisions, with no more than 20 interleague games per team. Teams will play 17 or 18 times against division opponents, with the exact format still to be worked out.

- They want to make sure they don’t break up that huge Rays / Marlins rilvary…

  • For the postseason, the sides agreed to negotiate on tiebreaker rules — do teams tied for the last wild-card berth meet on the field, or will the tie be broken by a formula?

- They have no idea what they are doing here. I’m guessing they flip a coin.


The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.