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Universal designated hitter? Possibility of new MLB rules spark conversation

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Universal designated hitter? Possibility of new MLB rules spark conversation

As humans, a lot of us hate change. As baseball fans, well -- some want to embrace change and others (like me) feel like you shouldn't mess with the game of baseball ... much. 

And with all of the possible changes being brought to Major League Baseball, I put my two cents in for rules that should be implemented:

If you're a new follower of mine, I'm a very anti-mid-game marriage proposal type of person.

EMBARRASS YOURSELF LATER.

Yes, I was a bit facetious with my suggestions, but it did spark up a conversation among my followers. And the universal designated hitter scenario isn't something I just dreamt about one day. It's actually something being discussed by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

With that said, my tweet brought out a wide variety of responses -- and that’s fine, but I always love hearing how baseball-obsessed nerds like me feel about the game. A lot of fans of National League teams hate the DH rule -- I completely understand that.

But some of the suggestions for "changes" to MLB, well ...

"Ban Sweet Caroline." -- @danscan13

Dan, I have Red Sox fans that follow me on social media that would disagree with you -- they will die on that hill. Although, recently a former Yankees pitcher told me he hated hearing that song when he was playing at Fenway  Park Pahk. So, you at least have some support in this.

"Ban getting up during the inning." -- @CoxRyan89

I mentioned on the Twitter dot com that I am not God and I cannot control when fans sit or stand up -- which is upsetting because no matter how much I hate the wave, fans are allowed to do it.

"But the DH isn't baseball." -- @NorCalStoolie

It's literally a thing that happens in baseball, so it's baseball. 

"Agree with these. Would also add you need to know the fair/foul rule if you're sitting near the baselines. Don't need dumb fans interfering with the ball in play." -- @BlueJays_Giants

First of all, a Blue Jays slash Giants fan? Super cool. Secondly, yes fam -- I see you. 

You know when you get on a plane and the flight attendant is telling you how to put your seatbelt on and you're ignoring him/her, but still paying attention? There should be a quick demonstration on how to be a fan and how not to reach over the concrete, trying to do your best impression of a web-gem play. Don't try to live out your junior varsity playing days, Jim.

"And outlaw talking into your mitt. It becomes a balk. It's as if every conversation is filmed and immediately translated by lip readers." -- @kemoslobe

Have you seen those bad lip reading videos? They are legendary.

And I find it hard to believe you would be able to tell a pitcher he or she was not allowed to speak into their mitt. That's part of the communication process. If Noah Syndergaard can't read what his catcher's beautifully painted yellow fingernails are trying to say, he should be able to have a quick meeting. And maybe the pitcher is just being polite because there wasn't enough time for the teeth brushing that morning.

This just opened the can of worms known as pitcher/catcher mound-meetings which is a completely different issue.

"Reduce beer prices." -- @fvignuli

I have your back on this one. 

"I'm all for salary floor, banning shift, pitch clock and punishing franchises who tank." -- @chappy23us

There's a lot to unpack here ...

I don't think MLB ever has to worry about the salary floor.

Banning the shift is silly -- let the players adjust to wherever they need to go. That's part of the strategy. Imagine having a lefty walk up to the plate and not being able to move. That's a habit that would be almost impossible to break. Plus, how would you measure what is considered moving on the shift? Too much drama, no thank you.

Pitch clock. Meh, I'm impartial, but I get why you would want to execute it. I would have to talk to more pitchers and see how they felt about it -- I worry rushing through a delivery could lead to more injuries.

Punishing franchises who tank. I mean, everyone wants to hate another team, so have at it.

"Can we also ban 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' during the seventh-inning stretch?" -- @MKania04

Yeah, let's go around telling kids Santa Clause isn't real, too. 

***

Some of you brought up something that I can get behind. And that's the fact that if the National League adopts the DH, we have a less-likely chance of seeing Bartolo Colon do this:

And you know what, that's something I will have to live with. 

Well, I feel better now -- how about you? 

Where Bryce Harper market stands after Manny Machado-Padres contract

Where Bryce Harper market stands after Manny Machado-Padres contract

In a $300 million tortoise race, the first domino has fallen. Manny Machado beat Bryce Harper in finding his team for 2019 and beyond, but will Harper beat him in the bank? 

Machado reportedly agreed to a 10-year, $300 million deal with the Padres on Tuesday, good for the largest free-agent contract ever in American sports. It felt like the two superstars were always playing a game of chicken to see who would sign first. Now that the infielder has, the outfielder can step to the plate. 

And Harper will surely want a fatter wallet than Machado. 

The Phillies went into the offseason vowing to spend "stupid money," and talks between Philadelphia and Harper were reportedly "heating up" on Sunday. The team has long been seen as favorites to land the 2015 NL MVP, and recent rumors have re-affirmed that. But as we've learned all offseason, anything can happen. 

Harper is now "unsure" about signing with the Phillies, Andy Martino of SNY reported on Tuesday.

And here come the Padres. Despite handing out such a lucrative deal to Machado, San Diego is not ruling out a possible Harper signing, reports FanCred's Jon Heyman. 

As far as the Giants go, their willingness to back up the Brink's truck remains a mystery. Brandon Crawford's wife can keep trying to recruit Harper and his wife to San Francisco, but the simple fact is, a short-term deal, which has been Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi's staple, won't get Harper here any time soon. 

[RELATED: Giants continue discussing trade options as they wait for Bryce Harper]

Machado giving San Diego their first superstar in ages should speed things up with Harper handing a rose to someone soon.

But where, and how quickly, is still anybody's guess.

Brian Sabean remembers how Giants brought Bruce Bochy to San Francisco

Brian Sabean remembers how Giants brought Bruce Bochy to San Francisco

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — As Bruce Bochy did an interview with MLB Network on Tuesday morning, the news broke that Manny Machado will be a San Diego Padre. Bochy's last season in the NL West just got a bit tougher, but for most of his tenure in San Francisco, the relationship between his old team and his new team has been a lopsided one. 

The Giants overtook the Padres on the last day of the 2010 regular season and went on to win the first of three World Series titles in five years. The Padres haven’t had even a .500 season since, and they remain mired in a lengthy rebuild, perhaps just now seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. In recent years, Petco Park has been jokingly known as "AT&T Park South" when Giants fans invade for the three series the teams play there a year. 

There was a day 13 years ago, though, when the Giants turned to the Padres for a boost. 

Felipe Alou’s contract expired without an extension in 2006, and the Giants began a search process that would zero on some coaches who have since become familiar names. Bench coach Ron Wotus was considered, along with Angels pitching coach Bud Black, who later managed the Padres, and Mets third base coach Manny Acta, who would go on to manage the Nationals and Indians.

As Brian Sabean sorted through his options in late October, he got on the phone with Padres GM Kevin Towers, one of Bochy’s closest friends. Sabean remembers talking to Towers, who passed away last January, while watching an Arizona Fall League game. Towers told him that Sandy Alderson, CEO of the Padres, would be making some changes. Bochy had one year left on his deal. 

“He said, ‘(Bochy) may have a chance to talk to other organizations,’ and that’s really how it started, that we knew there was a real possibility,” Sabean recalled Monday. 

Bochy had gone 951-975 in 12 seasons with the Padres, leading them to the 1998 World Series. He was well-respected, and fit a lot of what Sabean, Peter Magowan and Larry Baer were looking for. The three executives and their wives met with Bochy and his wife for a dinner, and Baer remembered one thing that stood out about Bochy: “He was very humble,” he said Monday.

“Through all the championships, he never made it about himself,” Baer said. 

Back then, Bochy didn’t have a postseason resume that would get him into the Hall of Fame. But he was popular with players. Just as important, he was a name that would resonate with a new fan base. 

“We were very fortunate as far as our succession of managers,” Sabean said. “There’s a reason we hired Felipe after Dusty (Baker). Dusty was iconic and every bit as popular as Barry Bonds, so we thought that we had to have a ‘name’ manager. Same as when Felipe’s tenure was up, we thought that it was in the best interest of the organization, that we needed name recognition.

“I think whether it’s us as baseball people or our fans, we were appreciative of some of the stuff that he had done or how he kind of weathered a lot of storms in San Diego.”

There have been storms in San Francisco, too, particularly in those early years, and over the past two. But Bochy has weathered them, adding 975 more wins in addition to those three titles. He’s the only manager in MLB history with 900 wins for two organizations. 

[RELATED: Buster Posey appreciates Bochy's longevity, passion for the game]

Bochy will reach 1,000 wins with the Giants, but won’t go much further. He announced Monday that this upcoming season will be his final one. It was a shock to much of the clubhouse, but not to Sabean, who took his own step back after the third title.  

“I wasn’t at all surprised. Nobody has to tell you,” he said. “Somebody didn’t have to tell me that I had to reinvent myself after 2014 and it was (Bobby Evans’) turn. It’s like life, you rise at different junctures. Your head and your heart become one.”