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Baseball Question of the Day: If you could change one rule, what would it be?

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Today’s first baseball question — our unofficial one — was about your favorite Opening Day memory. Let’s have do a standalone question. It’s an oldie but a goldie — one that I’ve been asked a million times before but which I think everyone has an opinion about — and it’s this: if you could change one rule in the game, what would it be?

For this let’s keep it to an actual rule. I’m not asking about the circumstances of the game, what cities you’d expand to, how you would realign the league or how you would change the playoffs. We can do those on other days. For this I want to know about something in the rule book or the official scoring or what have you.

Also, let’s once again not include the DH. There is nothing more predictable and rote than DH/anti-DH arguments. It really does get old to do that for the 10,000th time. Most of us know 100% of what you’re gonna say about the DH the moment you start saying it. All we need to know is if you’re pro or con. I’d rather argue about religion or politics.

With that out of the way, let’s get to mine. It changes often. I probably complain more during the season about pitcher errors leading to unearned runs — it really is their fault! — but that’s a wide complaint, not really a deep one. I don’t lose any sleep over it. There are also some rules changes of recent vintage that I’d like to see reversed, such as the automatic intentional walk. I miss them actually having to throw the four balls and get booed for doing it.

But let’s go more novel: I want to see them refuse to implement the minimum-three-batter rule for relievers that is supposed to take effect this year and, instead, allow unlimited pitching changes — but! — when you put in a reliever mid-inning, he starts with a 1-0 count. No, I did not make that one up. I stole it from Baseball America. But it’s neat and I bet it’d cut down on pitching changes more than the three-batter rule would. It’d certainly earn relievers their money.

How about you?

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
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On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.

After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.

Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.

The full statement:

Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.

We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.

We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.

Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.