Every week, TicketForce brings you news on one of four industries: racing, sports, theatre, or music. This week’s #SportsWrap will tug at the heart strings of baseball lovers everywhere. Just a few days ago on March 31st, Major League Baseball’s Opening Day made its annual debut, marking the end of winter and the beginning of a glorious summer (mostly, sorry to our friends up North!).
This year’s MLB season welcomes many changes that were finalized in this year’s offseason. These changes were anything from rule changes, contract signings, and a new drug agreement, just to name a few. Although some aspects of the MLB baseball strategy and rules have changed, the game remains just as familiar as ever.
One of the first changes you may notice is the implementation of expanded replay reviews. According to The New York Times, “Each manager gets one challenge a game, but if he is correct, he gets another. He must specify to the umpire exactly what he is challenging and can ask that more than one element of a play be reviewed.” The types of calls that can be challenged include force plays, tag plays, ground rule doubles, hit by pitches, and fan interference. Balks, balls, and strikes are among the list of calls that cannot be challenged.
On the player’s side and in response to the rising performance enhancement usage, a new drug agreement will bring harsher punishments. With lengthier suspensions, anywhere from 80 games to life, stakes are higher for those who choose to participate in drug use in the MLB. In addition to the punishments, this agreement also allows players more rights in arguing and appealing circumstances and sanctions.
Finally, after 20 seasons, some of which he played with injuries, Baseball fans were shocked as MLB legend Derek Jeter, of the New York Yankees, announced that the 2014 season would be his last. While this is the exit of one great star, there is always room for athletes on the rise. The talented Mike Trout just signed a six year, $144.5 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels. There is talk of the 22 year old becoming the best player ever, that is if he has not already peaked. With the way his career is going so far, the latter is unlikely.