Sunday, September 20, 2020

Baseball for Breakfast: My New Podcast! 9/20/20

 Hey baseball fans!

Myself and two of my college friends have started a baseball podcast. It's called "Baseball for Breakfast," with new episodes releasing every Monday morning for the foreseeable future. Click here to access all our episodes so far. We're really excited for you to listen!

So, why did we start a podcast? Well, me and my friends, Brendan and Logan, love baseball, but as you could probably guess, have different opinions going across all topics relating to America's Pastime. We figured it would be quality entertainment to listen to us bicker for an hour about who knows what in the world of baseball. What you could also probably guess is that I'm the historical perspective on "Baseball for Breakfast," using my knowledge of baseball history to win arguments spanning generations of baseball fans. So, I figured for this post, I would go into greater detail about our last podcast topic from a historical point of view. If you want to hear the full episode before reading this post, click the hyperlinked words in the first paragraph of this blog post. 

So the topic of the most recent episode of "Baseball for Breakfast" was the rule changes for the 2020 season. We discussed things like the seven-inning double-headers, the universal DH, the expanded playoff format, and the hastened extra innings. For the most part, we as a trio like the changes for this season alone and don't want to see these same rule changes in future seasons. The only rule we all like for the rest of the MLB's existence is the universal DH. The designated hitter has been a position in a baseball lineup going as far back as 1973, when Ron Blomberg of the Yankees became the first DH in baseball history. The DH, solely a rule in the American League, was originally implemented because of the crazy pitching years of the late 1960s, a la Bob Gibson posting a 1.12 ERA in an absurd 1968 year for pitchers across Major League Baseball. The situation is much different today, as home runs have exploded in recent years, but the DH rule for the National League would, as I said in the podcast, homogenize the league. Baseball is the only American professional sport with a noticeable rule differentiation that alters the play between conferences. There's no four-point field goal in the NFC, nor is there s two-point foul shot in the NBA's Eastern Conference. Giving the NL the DH would stabilize lineups across the Senior Circuit and will even out claims that the NL is the "better pitching league," but only in theory. 

The only other rule change I'll go into for this post is the expanded playoff format. For the 2020 season, eight teams from each league will make the postseason, by far the most for a single postseason in MLB history. I don't like the rule going forward, but commissioner Rob Manfred has said that the expanded playoffs are here to stay, so I might as well criticize the decision. Baseball has probably the least equality among its teams out of the over 120 teams in America's four biggest sports. What I mean by that is big-market and small-market teams are much more pronounced in baseball. In addition, the MLB is the Big Four sport where the one seed is least likely to make the championship round. So, having an expanded route to the World Series would give teams that don't generally compete a chance to wreck the league's powerhouses. A perfect example of this is seeing the Marlins in the postseason picture this year. For all we know, they could win their third World Series in franchise history this year. This move would make the World Series trophy a true dogfight, which I personally don't want to see, but will try to accept when the rule change becomes permanent and official. 

Again, make sure to check out our podcast, "Baseball for Breakfast." You can get it anywhere you normally listen to podcasts. And while you're at it, let me know what you think of the 2020 MLB rule changes. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz." 

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