David Ross reacts to the 2020 MLB rule changes and which ones he came around on
When rule changes for the shortened 2020 season were announced, David Ross wasn’t sure about one of the four new rules — putting a runner on second base to start extra innings.
“I didn’t think I would [like it],” Ross said on Wednesday afternoon.
He quickly came around to it. The added tactics that the rule change brought made Ross a fan of the rule.
“It puts some intensity and some excitement and some strategy in the game really fast, really early,” Ross said. “It was fun.”
It got Ross’ mind going from 0-to-60 quickly. Every situation for extra innings came across his mind and he married his past experiences as a player with his knowledge and numbers to make the right decisions.
“It was all of sudden like, ‘OK, here we go,’” Ross said. “You’re kind of working for a run and now a man’s standing at second and then all of sudden, like, ‘Who’s my fast runner? Should I pinch run?’ it was a bunch of things coming across your plate really fast.”
In many ways, Ross thinks it could be big for keeping fans engaged in baseball games.
“I think fans would stick around longer,” Ross said. “’I’m willing to watch the game and see what the outcome is a little bit faster.’”
While he came around on the extra innings rule, Ross wasn’t a big proponent of the expanded playoffs. In a 60-game season, he was content and understood the need for expanded playoffs, but over a normal 162-game season, he wants to keep the importance on the regular season.
Ross’ experience as a player ascending through the rungs of the minor league system made him appreciate 7-inning doubleheaders and wanted to see them implemented at the major league level.
“I’ve always thought it made a ton of sense for the health of players. Especially when you play them in the minor leagues, why not just bring them into the big leagues?” Ross said.
As a manager he appreciated them, too. Now he doesn’t have to worry about burning his pitching staff on one day because of some bad weather. He can manage his bullpen and rotation and not worry about injuries or how he’ll have to manage his pitchers for the next week.
“Being from a manager’s standpoint and how much juggling you already have to do with a rotation and a bullpen and guys being healthy and health of the players is so critical to put a good product out there, that I thought that made a lot of sense,” Ross said.
Ross was a traditionalist when it came to the designated hitter as a player.
“I hated the thought of the DH coming in,” Ross said.
That changed after he got in the broadcast booth and started watching more games as a fan.
“I was like, ‘Man, I don’t care about pitcher hitting, I wish more guys like David Ortiz were hitting,’” Ross said.
The universal DH was one less tactic and headache he had to worry about it in an already crazy year. That’s why he wouldn’t mind it returning.
“It made my job a lot easier this year, as well, I mean selfishly speaking,” Ross said.
“I enjoy that.”