What Day Is It?

It is incredible to believe that after 10 years, commissioner Bud Selig has decided to reinstate Pete Rose to baseball and make him eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2001. This news alone would set the media on its ear as editors around the country would be rushing to include the news in their latest edition. But Selig did not stop there. He further stated that he would do away with the National League and American League format and baseball would be positioned into a conference alignment much like football. Given his new found powers, the commissioner did not need the approval of the owners to make such a move. Jerry Colangelo made comments before Saturday’s Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox game.

“I am not sure how to react to this. On one hand we are very pleased as we will be allowed to remain in the National West Conference. I cannot help but wonder how baseball fans will react since this will mean that Interleague Play will occur daily.”

In order to make the conferences work, some rule changes will be made. The Designated Hitter will be gradually eliminated over a 3 year period. In 2000, it will be in effect for all AL teams. In 2001, the DH will be used when the ALC team is the home team. In 2002, the DH will be in effect for the first half of the season for ALC teams home games. It will be completely eliminated at the All-Star break. As a tribute, both teams in the 2002 All-Star game will play using the Designated Hitter. The player’s association at first was against such a move but agreed after Major League Baseball owners voted to increase the roster size to 27 players and also increase the minimum salary to $500,000. Players were overwhelmingly positive about the move which was heralded as a great step in modernizing the game of baseball for the new millennium.

One last note of importance, “April Fools.”

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