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MLB and MLBPA Finalizing Protocols That Do NOT Include the Universal DH

The 2021 season will see some rules return, but not the DH.



With just over a week until players are set to report to Spring Training camps, the league still has some details to figure out. MLB and the Player’s Union have been in ongoing discussions, most recently reported as a desire to delay the season. The Union did not give in on that matter out of fear of giving Rob Manfred too much power heading into the 2021 season. 

The latest update is that the two sides have progressed toward establishing health and safety protocols for the new year. These protocols are supposed to include rules changes for the MLB season and it sounds like a few from last year will stick around. 

The report from Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports said that seven-inning doubleheaders will be a part of  MLB’s plans. That rule instituted as part of the 2020 season was very popular among teams in baseball, cutting back on the number of potential injuries and giving players rest. 

The new protocols are also going to be bringing back the extra-innings rule from 2020. That rule was sort of a toss-up among MLB teams, but for the most part, there were not any major complaints. Overall, that rule change did speed up extra innings games by placing a runner on second base. 

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The biggest part of the report from Keyer though is that the Universal DH is not in the new protocols. MLB has insisted that it is not a health and safety issue and was not an important part of finishing out all 162 games. In all likelihood, they are holding out on that issue in hopes of the MLBPA agreeing to extended playoffs. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Brilliant!!! NOT!! MLB is absolutely dead wrong about their saying that the DH was not part of the health and safety protocols. How in the world does ANYONE in MLB think that its safe to force pitchers to bat after a whole year off. I honestly don believe any NL team feels that the risk of pitcher injuries isn’t increased 10 fold. All I know is that Dodger lineup will be far from formidable with the pitcher batting and killing scoring chances. I can’t wait to see and hear a team’s reactions and responses should any of their front line pitchers get injured as a result of an AB. I just don’t get why this has to be an issue contingent on an expanded post season.

  2. Having the pitcher bat IS a health and safety issue after a rear away from the batters box. Not sure why the MLBPA would accept that when it means having only 8 hitters in the lineup.

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