Back to calling balls and strikes

In the name of all things American, baseball will be back.

On or about April 15 — tax day — we should here “Play Ball” for real.

There are some great rule changes and some that I dread. Let’s start with the good ones.

Gone are the 7-inning doubleheaders and the placing of a man on 2nd base to start extra innings. The pandemic-era rule changes were meant to speed up the game, but detracted from the sport too much.

In the new collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association there will be no long a need for a Game 163 play-in game since the league is adapting to a NFL-like playoff structure.

The new playoff system will have 12 teams qualify with no re-seeding for the divisional series – the No. 1 seed will play the winner of the No. 4 and 5-seed series, and the No. 2 seed will play the winner of the No. 3 and 6-seed series, according to reports.

And here’s the one change that hurts many National League fans, the league and the union have adopted the universal designated hitter rule. So gone are the days where managers need to figure out whether he should leave a pitcher in one more inning because he bats third next inning or make the double switch now.

All the same, “Play Ball.”

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