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  • Dan Rattiner

New Rules

How Major League Baseball will return observing social distancing.


At a press conference late yesterday, Major League Baseball officials announced that the 2020 season will shortly get underway. This is great news for all sports fans, especially those on the East End who drive or take the Jitney to Yankee Stadium or Citi Field.


Many rules have been changed, though. Here are the major ones.

Outfielders may not leap up against the outfield walls to rob a batter of a home run by putting a hand, even a gloved one, within six feet of a fan.


If two outfielders accidentally run into one another while trying to catch a fly ball, the game is immediately cancelled.


A team of players rushing out of a dugout to attack a pitcher who hit a batter on the bean immediately forfeits the game.


There are two first bases. The first is three feet closer to home plate for the runner. The second is three feet further from home plate for the fielder. If a runner gets to his first base before the fielder catches the ball and steps on his first base, the runner is safe. If the reverse is true, the runner is out.


The same is true for second and third base.


Stealing a base is not allowed. Sliding into a base is not allowed. Tagging a runner with the ball is not allowed. Running down a baserunner between two bases is considered an out as soon as any infielder on the baseline between the two bases received the ball. A pitcher picks off a base runner if he throws to a fielder who steps on the fielder’s base before the baserunner steps back on the runner’s base. Throwing a spitball gets a pitcher thrown out of the game and banned from future play for a month.


If a pitcher falters and the manager comes out to talk to him, the pitcher puts on earphones and listens to his coach talking into a lapel microphone from a six-foot distance. He responds by nodding or shaking his head.


At home plate, the batter stands over the plate with his bat ready for a pitch, but the catcher is six feet behind the batter.


Originally published in Dan's Papers.

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