Moore: One of MLB’s new rules will come with a positive byproduct

Jun 28, 2020, 11:50 AM

MLB bans sunflower seeds...

You won't see sunflower seeds used as a means of celebration this year in MLB games. (Getty)


When the 60-game Major League Baseball season starts late next month, we’re going to see some changes – some permanent, some temporary.

In a 60-game MLB season, could any records fall?

We can certainly have differing opinions on whether the designated hitter should remain for the National League for good and whether putting a runner at second base in extra innings should too.

But there’s one thing that caught my eye in the new way of doing things for MLB 2020: No spitting, no chewing tobacco, no sunflower seeds.

I don’t really care about players spitting in the best of times, but these aren’t the best of times anymore with understandable coronavirus concerns. Also don’t care about players chewing tobacco or gnawing on sunflower seeds, but I get why they’re being eliminated.

What I really like, though, is the byproduct of these new restrictions. For the first time in MLB history, we might actually see litter-free dugouts on our flat screens.

I’ve never understood why it’s OK for players to spit seeds and tobacco and throw their water and Gatorade cups wherever they please. When you watch the post-game interviews on ROOT Sports, in the background we always see debris everywhere.

Is there something so hard about putting a garbage can at one end of the dugout and another garbage can at the other and getting the players to use them? And even when it was allowed, why not spit seeds and tobacco in a cup and throw it away when you’re done? I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

Besides that, does it ever occur to players that someone has to clean up their mess after the game ends?

Litter in general has always been one of my biggest pet peeves. Why would you do it when there are garbage cans everywhere? Just leave the litter in your car ‘til you find one at a gas station or when you get home. Who gave you the right to fling your Jack in the Box bag out the window?

I regularly park in a new housing development where they haven’t started building yet but the paved roads are in. It’s near the Cougar Mountain Regional Park where River and I take our daily hikes.

Kids park here too, probably late at night, finding it to be a nice secluded spot where they can eat, drink and be merry. I really don’t care what they’re doing, but can’t they take their cups, wrappers, bottles and whatever else with them when they leave? Nope, that stuff gets scattered on the hillside.

With the new MLB restrictions, I like to think we’ll see spotless dugouts, but it’s no doubt something else I’ll be wrong about. The players will probably continue to drink their water and throw their cups on the ground.

But these new rules improve the odds of seeing litter-free dugouts, which is the way they should be.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jim Moore on Twitter.

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Moore: One of MLB’s new rules will come with a positive byproduct