Workouts for Major League Baseball teams start Friday according to a press release from Major League Baseball. And the season will start Thursday July 23 or Friday July 24. The press release really confirmed a lot of things that have been leaking out and have been reported in the media for the past month or so. What interested me in this press release are the things that haven't gotten a lot of speculation or discussion in the media.

For example, with spitting, finger licking and saliva all but outlawed by Major League Baseball how can pitchers keep their fingers moist? Well, Major League Baseball says pitchers can "carry a small wet rag in their back pocket to be used for moisture in lieu of licking their fingers." Sounds good to me. I wonder if any umpire will check those rags to make sure there isn't anything besides water on those rags?

Or this one, "Clubs must provide expanded dugout and bullpen space at their ballparks." How is this going to be accomplished?  Are we thinking teams will put a gate or a few steps up to the stands behind the dugouts expanding them that way? Or is there going to be some major construction projects? Seems like it would be more challenging to expand bullpens too.

How will teams argue with the umpires? They won't, or they will at their own peril. According to Major League Baseball, "players and managers should maintain physical distancing from all umpires and opposing players on the playing field whenever possible. Players or managers who leave their positions to argue with umpires, come within six feet of an umpire or opposing player or manager for the purpose of argument, or engage in altercations on the field are subject to immediate ejection and discipline, including fines and suspensions."

And of course Major League Baseball's press release offers some information on how players will social distance during the course of a game. Here's some examples provided by the league:

  •    When the ball is out of play, fielders are encouraged to retreat several steps away from the baserunner.
  •   If the batter is in the batter’s box and the catcher needs to stand to relay signs to the infielders, the catcher can step onto the grass towards the mound to give the signs before assuming his position behind home plate.
  •   First and Third Base Coaches should remain in or behind the Coach’s Box and shall not approach a baserunner, fielder or umpire on-field.
  •   Players on opposite teams should not socialize, fraternize, or come within six feet of each other before the game, during warm-ups, in between innings, or after the game.

It's going to be an interesting 60 game sprint to the playoffs. In other words, a real sh*! show. Time to get the popcorn and watch some baseball. Hopefully it will, at the least, be an entertaining distraction.