2020 Major League Baseball season

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2020 MLB season
LeagueMajor League Baseball
SportBaseball
DurationMarch 26 – October 28, 2020
Number of games162
Number of teams30
Draft
Picked byDetroit Tigers
Regular season
World Series
MLB seasons
2021 →

The 2020 Major League Baseball season is scheduled to begin on March 26 and end on September 27. The postseason will begin on September 29. The World Series is set to begin on October 20 and a potential Game 7 would be played on October 28. The entire schedule was released on August 12, 2019.[1]

The 91st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be held on July 14 at Dodger Stadium.

Schedule[edit]

As has been the case since 2013, the American League and National League each comprises 15 teams divided into three five-team divisions. Teams are scheduled to play 19 games against each of their four division opponents (76 games), plus six or seven games against the remaining 10 teams within the same league (66 games). Thus, each team will play 142 games against teams in their own league; the remaining 20 games of the 162-game schedule will be inter-league contests. The primary inter-league match-ups are to be AL East vs NL Central, AL Central vs NL West, and AL West vs NL East.

March 26 will be the earliest Opening Day in Major League history. The 2019 season previously featured the earliest Opening Day (March 28), excluding occasional international opening series.[2]

The San Diego Padres will play the Arizona Diamondbacks in a two game series at the recently built Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú in Mexico City, Mexico on April 18-19.[3]

The New York Mets will play the Miami Marlins in a three game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on April 28–30.[4]

The London Series will feature the Chicago Cubs vs St. Louis Cardinals at London Stadium on June 13–14. It will be the second and (barring new developments) final year of the London Series.[5]

The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox will play on August 13 in the first "MLB at Field of Dreams" game. A temporary 8,000-seat ballpark will be constructed on the Dyersville farm site where the classic film Field of Dreams was shot. This will be the first MLB game played in Iowa since 1875.[6]

The MLB Little League Classic at BB&T Ballpark in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, coinciding with the Little League World Series, will return to the schedule for the fourth straight year. It will be played on August 23 between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.[7]

Managerial changes[edit]

General managers[edit]

Offseason[edit]

Team Former GM Reason For Leaving New GM Notes
Boston Red Sox Dave Dombrowski Fired Brian O'Halloran Dombrowski was unexpectedly fired on September 9, 2019, less than one year after the Red Sox won the World Series.[8]
On October 25, 2019, the Red Sox hired the 36-year-old Chaim Bloom as Chief Baseball Officer, succeeding Dave Dombrowski as head of their baseball operations, with O'Halloran named general manager and reporting to Bloom.[9]
Pittsburgh Pirates Neal Huntington Ben Cherington Huntington was fired on October 28, 2019. Huntington had been the longest-tenured general manager in the National League, as he was hired in September 2007. The Pirates made the playoffs three times during Huntington's tenure after the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons.[10] Ben Cherington was hired as the new general manager of the Pirates on November 18, 2019.[11]
Houston Astros Jeff Luhnow TBD On January 13, Luhnow was suspended for the 2020 season after the Houston Astros were involved an investigation over the use of technology to steal signs during their 2017 championship season. He was then fired by the Astros organization.[12]

Field managers[edit]

Offseason[edit]

Team Former Manager Interim Manager Reason For Leaving New Manager Notes
San Diego Padres Andy Green Rod Barajas Fired Jayce Tingler On September 21, 2019, Green was fired after four seasons with a record of 274–366 (.428) with no playoff appearances. Bench coach Rod Barajas was named the interim manager of the Padres for the rest of the season.[13] Tingler was named the new manager on October 28, 2019. Tingler previously spent the last five years in the Texas Rangers organization as a coach and a front office executive.[14]
Kansas City Royals Ned Yost N/A Retired Mike Matheny On September 23, 2019, Yost announced that he would retire at the end of the 2019 season. He led the Royals to consecutive World Series appearances in 2014 and 2015, winning the championship in 2015. He had been the manager since May 2010. Yost finished his career in Kansas City with a 746–839 (.471) record.[15] On October 31, 2019, Mike Matheny, who spent last season as the special advisor to Royals general manager Dayton Moore, was named the new manager of the Kansas City Royals. Matheny managed the St. Louis Cardinals from 2012 through mid-July 2018. He had a career record of 591–474 (.555). He led the Cardinals to the postseason in his first four seasons as manager and won the National League pennant in 2013.[16][17]
San Francisco Giants Bruce Bochy Gabe Kapler On February 18, 2019, Bochy announced he would retire following the conclusion of the 2019 season after 13 seasons. He led the Giants to three World Series championships in four playoff appearances. Bochy finished with a career record of 1052–1054 (.500). [18] On November 12, 2019, Gabe Kapler, who managed the Philadelphia Phillies for the past two seasons, was announced as the new manager. [19]
Chicago Cubs Joe Maddon Contract not renewed David Ross On September 29, 2019, the Cubs announced that they would not offer Maddon a contract extension following this season. He led the Cubs to four playoff appearances in five years, including the 2016 World Series championship, the Cubs' first since 1908. Maddon finished his tenure with the Cubs with a record of 471–339 (.581).[20] Ross, who spent the 2015 and 2016 season with the team as a player, was named the new manager on October 24, 2019. Ross spent the last three seasons as the special assistant to baseball operations for the team as well as a baseball analyst for ESPN.[21]
Pittsburgh Pirates Clint Hurdle Fired Derek Shelton On September 29, 2019, the Pirates announced that they dismissed Hurdle after nine seasons with a record of 735–720 (.505) with three playoff appearances.[22] On November 27, 2019, Shelton, who spent the previous two seasons as the bench coach for the Minnesota Twins, was named the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.[23] He also spent time as a hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians from 2005 to 2009 and a hitting coach for the Tampa Bay Rays from 2010 to 2016 while also serving as a quality control coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017.[24]
Los Angeles Angels Brad Ausmus Joe Maddon On September 30, 2019, Ausmus was fired after one season with a record of 72–90 (.444). Ausmus served as a special assistant to the Angels general manager Billy Eppler in the 2018 season.[25] Maddon was hired by the Angels on October 16, 2019.[26] Maddon had spent 31 years in the Angels organization (12 years as a coach) before managing the Tampa Bay Rays for nine years and the Chicago Cubs for five years.
New York Mets Mickey Callaway Carlos Beltrán On October 3, 2019, Callaway was fired after two seasons with a record of 163–161 (.503) with no playoff appearances.[27] On November 1, 2019, Carlos Beltrán, who played for the team from 2005 to the middle of the 2011 season, was named the new manager of the team. Beltrán was a special adviser to the New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman last season.[28]
Carlos Beltrán Mutual Decision Luis Rojas On January 16, Beltran and the Mets agreed to part ways before managing a game for the Mets, in light of his reported involvement in the Astros using cameras to stealing signs.[29] The Mets hired Rojas on January 22. He has spent the last 13 years in the Mets organization.[30]
Philadelphia Phillies Gabe Kapler Fired Joe Girardi On October 10, 2019, Kapler was fired after two seasons with a record of 161–163 (.497) with no playoff appearances.[31] Girardi, who served as an baseball analyst for the MLB Network the last two seasons, was hired as new manager on October 24, 2019. Girardi previously managed the Florida Marlins for the 2006 season and the New York Yankees from 2008 to 2017.[32]
Houston Astros A. J. Hinch TBD On January 13, Hinch was suspended by MLB for the 2020 season as part of an investigation against the Astros using hidden cameras to steal signs during their 2017 championship season; he was fired by the Astros shortly after the suspension was announced. Hinch had a regular season record of 481–329 (.594) with a total of four postseason appearances compiling a record of 28–22 (.560), two World Series appearances, and a World Series championship in 2017, throughout his tenure as Astros manager.[12]
Boston Red Sox Alex Cora Mutual Decision TBD On January 14, the Red Sox and Cora officially agreed to part ways with each other after two seasons. Cora had been under investigation by MLB over the Houston Astros' use of hidden cameras to steal signs during that team's 2017 championship season (while Cora was the bench coach) as well as under investigation of allegations that the Red Sox engaged in impermissible electronic sign stealing in 2018 (while Cora was the manager). In his two seasons as Red Sox manager, he compiled a record of 192–132 (.593), winning the 2018 World Series.[33]

Rule changes[edit]

Effective for the 2020 season:[34][35][36]

  • The size of the active roster expands from 25 players to 26 players, through August 31.
    • The size of the expanded roster in September is reduced from 40 players to 28 players.
  • Teams must designate players as either "position players" or "pitchers" before the start of the season.
    • Only players designated as pitchers will be allowed to pitch in any regular-season or postseason game, with limited exceptions (such as one team leading by at least seven runs, or the game going into extra innings).
    • Once a player has pitched at least 20 innings and made at least three plate appearances as a position player or designated hitter in each of 20 games, he earns the status of "two-way player" for the remainder of the season plus all of the next season. Players with this status may pitch at any time during a game.
  • A pitcher must face at least three batters, unless the inning ends or the pitcher is injured.

Uniforms[edit]

On January 25, 2019, it was announced that Nike Inc. would become the new exclusive uniform supplier for all MLB teams, under a 10-year deal beginning in the 2020 season. Under Armour backed out of its existing supply agreement as a cost-cutting measure.[37]

Anniversaries and special events[edit]

Team Special occasion
All Teams #42 patch for Jackie Robinson Day (April 15)
Pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness (May 10, Mother's Day)
"Play Ball" patch in partnership with USA Baseball and USA Softball (May 30–31)
Blue Ribbons for prostate cancer awareness (June 21, Father's Day)
Gold Ribbons for childhood cancer (August 28)
Atlanta Braves 25th Anniversary of 1995 World Series Championship
Baltimore Orioles 50th Anniversary of 1970 World Series Championship
Chicago Cubs 2020 MLB London Series (June 13–14)
Chicago White Sox MLB at Field of Dreams (August 13) [38]
Los Angeles Dodgers 2020 All-Star Game
Miami Marlins Hiram Bithorn Stadium – San Juan, Puerto Rico (April 28–30)
Milwaukee Brewers 50th Anniversary in Milwaukee
Minnesota Twins 60th season in the Twin Cities
New York Mets Hiram Bithorn Stadium – San Juan, Puerto Rico (April 28–30)
New York Yankees MLB at Field of Dreams (August 13) [38]
Philadelphia Phillies 40th Anniversary of 1980 World Series Championship
Pittsburgh Pirates 60th Anniversary of 1960 World Series Championship
St. Louis Cardinals 2020 MLB London Series (June 13–14)
Texas Rangers First season at Globe Life Field
Toronto Blue Jays Canadian flag patch for Canada Day (July 1)
Washington Nationals 2019 World Series Championship (April 2)

Wholesale changes

The San Diego Padres have changed the primary colors of their uniforms from navy blue to brown and gold. [39]

The Arizona Diamondbacks tweaked their uniforms, including removing the darker away uniforms and the diamond pattern on the uniforms. [40]

The St. Louis Cardinals have made some changes to their logo, as it appears on their caps. [41]

The Cincinnati Reds added a new alternate jersey and a new spring training jersey. [42]

The Washington Nationals have added two new alternate hats and one alternate (white) jersey. [43]

The Milwaukee Brewers have introduced new uniforms, including a return to the ball-in-glove logo. They also switched out their gold color to yellow.[44]

The Minnesota Twins have a new alternate, which brings back the powder blue of the past. [45]

The Texas Rangers have introduced a new powdered blue jersey along with a powdered blue hat. They also changed the "Texas" woodmark to "Rangers" woodmark on their white jersey. They also revealed a new red hat with the state of Texas on it with "TX." [46]

The Toronto Blue Jays have a new alternate, which brings back the powder blue of the past. [47]

Venues[edit]

This will be the Texas Rangers' first season at Globe Life Field, replacing Globe Life Park in Arlington where they played 26 seasons, from 1994 to 2019. The team will play its first regular-season game in the new venue on March 31, against the Los Angeles Angels.[48]

The Miami Marlins will convert Marlins Park from a natural grass surface to the same artificial turf variety, Shaw Sports B1K, that the Arizona Diamondbacks installed at Chase Field in 2019. The field's fences will also be moved in closer to encourage power hitting.[49]

Broadcast rights[edit]

Television[edit]

National[edit]

This will be the seventh year of the current eight-year deals with Fox Sports, ESPN, and TBS. Fox will air eight weeks of baseball on Saturday nights leading up to the 2020 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which will also air on Fox. Fox then will televise Saturday Afternoon games for the final three weeks of the season. FS1 will televise games on Tuesday night and on Saturday both during the afternoon and night. ESPN will televise games on its flagship telecast Sunday Night Baseball as well as Monday and Wednesday Nights. TBS will televise games on Sunday Afternoons for the last 13 weeks of the season. Fox and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecasts will be exclusive; all other national telecasts will be subject to local blackout.

TBS will televise the American League Wild Card Game, Division Series and Championship Series. ESPN will televise the National League Wild Card Game. FS1 and MLB Network will televise the National League Division Series. Fox and FS1 will televise the National League Championship Series. The World Series will air exclusively on Fox for the 21st straight year.

Local[edit]

In Chicago, new television deals resulted in the end of free-to-air regional telecasts for the city's two franchises: the Cubs are introducing the team-owned Marquee Sports Network—a joint venture with Sinclair Broadcast Group, and the White Sox (as well as the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL and Chicago Bulls of the NBA) signed exclusively with NBC Sports Chicago under a multi-year deal. This also ended WGN-TV's association with professional sports in Chicago, which dated back to the station's establishment in 1948. [50][51][52]

In November 2019, MLB owners voted unanimously to revert "certain in-market digital [streaming] rights" to the teams themselves.[53][54]

Radio[edit]

National[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

  • Dave Stewart will have his #34 retired on May 23 by the Oakland Athletics. He will be the sixth player to have his number retired by the franchise and will be the second player to have the number retired in honor of them after it was originally retired in 1993 for Rollie Fingers.[56]
  • Lou Whitaker will have his #1 retired on August 29 by the Detroit Tigers. He will be the ninth player to have his number retired by the franchise.[57]
  • Jerry Koosman will have his #36 retired during the season by the New York Mets. He will be the third player to have his number retired by the franchise.[59]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ https://twitter.com/Dbacks/status/1204499590633836544
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  30. ^ https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28549037/mets-make-official-announce-luis-rojas-new-manager
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  39. ^ [1][dead link]
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  59. ^ @AnthonyDiComo (September 24, 2019). "Some news: The Mets are going to retire Jerry Koosman's uniform number 36 next year" (Tweet) – via Twitter.