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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Arguing, brawling both prohibited under MLB safety protocols

Rob Manfred

Those who are fond of baseball fights and heated arguments between managers and umpires will be disappointed by some of the health and safety protocols instituted by Major League Baseball for 2020.

MLB released a set of rule changes for the 2020 season in Monday. Some of them have been widely reported on, including a universal DH and a runner at second base in extra innings.

Among other changes, however, are two big ones: brawling and arguing will be banned for the 2020 season due to the need for players, coaches, and umpires to maintain social distancing. Violations of these rules will be punished severely, including potentially by immediate ejection.

Obviously, players aren’t supposed to brawl at the best of times, but MLB usually looks the other way and only punishes instigators or anyone who engages in particularly violent conduct. That won’t be the case this year, as it sounds like the league will come down very hard on anyone who gets involved in an on-field brawl.

It will be interesting to see how players handle ban on arguments as well. Often, those are the result of heat of the moment reactions to questionable calls, so players may not really think twice before turning on an umpire.

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