Baseball is back: 10 things to know about unprecedented 2020 season

Designated hitter will be used in NL for first time

Members of the Cincinnati Reds had similar reactions to Tuesday night's news that the start of the 2020 season — finally — is on the horizon.

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“Let’s goooooooooo,” reliever Michael Lorenzen wrote on Twitter.

“Time to punch some ticketttttttttts,” reliever Amir Garrett wrote.

“Can’t wait to get going!” starter Anthony DeSclafani wrote.

One of the new Reds, outfielder Shogo Akiyama said, “See you next week, Cincinnati,” in a short video shared by the official Reds account on Twitter.

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That season will be unlike anything Major League Baseball has seen. For one, it will start July 23 or July 24 instead of in late March when it would have started if not for the coronavirus pandemic. Here are 10 other things to know about the season.

1. Training camps will start July 3 after players report July 1 and take a COVID-19 test, according to Bob Nightengale, of USA Today.

2. The vast majority of teams will hold those camps in their home cities, Major League Baseball announced.

3. Each team’s 60-game schedule will include 10 games against division rivals and four games against each of the five teams in the other geographic division, according to the Associated Press. The Reds will play National League Central and American League Central opponents.

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4. There will be a designated hitter in both leagues for the first time.

5. To cut down on the potential of long extra-inning games, teams will start each half inning, starting with the 10th, with a runner on second base. That batter would be the runner who made the last out the previous inning or a pinch runner.

6. There will be 10 playoff teams, though the AP reported the number could still change.

7. There will be an Aug. 31 trade deadline, according to the AP, and the deadline for postseason eligibility will be Sept. 15.

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8. Teams will have 30 players on the active roster during the first two weeks of the season and then 28 for the second two weeks and 26 for the rest of the season, the AP reported. There will be no minor-league season, so teams can have up to 60 players on a taxi squad. That 60-man roster must be submitted by Sunday, and those will be the players invited to training camp. Players on those 60-man rosters will be the only players eligible to play this season.

9. There will be a 10-day injured list and a separate list for players who test positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to COVID-19.

10. Among the many health and safety protocols are: No spitting. No smokeless tobacco or sunflower seeds. No high fives, fist bumps or hugs. Showering at the ballpark is discouraged. Players not likely to play in the game will not sit in the dugout.

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