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Batter up: 2016 MLB season underway – SportsUntapped.com
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Added April 4th, 2016 by Ian

Batter up: 2016 MLB season underway
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The 2016 MLB (Major League Baseball) season just got underway on Sunday, April 3rd and will see each of the 30 teams play a 160-game schedule with the regular-season ending on Sunday, October 2nd. The 87th edition of the annual All-Star Game is scheduled to take place at San Diego’s Petco Park on July 12th with the league that wins the contest getting home-field advantage during the 2016 World Series. Each team will play their division rivals a total of 19 times and they will play teams from the other two divisions six or seven times. In addition, all clubs will play 20 interleague contests.

This year’s interleague games will feature the American League East playing the National League West, The AL Central playing the NL East, and the AL West clashing with the NL Central Division. There will also be a special game held on July 3 between the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves when they meet in Fort Bragg, North Carolina for the American Independence Day long weekend. This will represent the first official regular-season professional sporting event to take place on an active U.S. military installation.

There are two new rule changes for 2016. The first one redefines a legal slide when a player is attempting to break up a double play at a base. The change has been made to protect infielders from over-aggressive base runners. The second change states that coaches and managers can only visit the pitcher’s mound for a maximum of 30 seconds. Also, the break between innings will also be shortened by 30 seconds.

There have been several field manager changes during the offseason with the Washington Nationals replacing Matt Williams with Dusty Baker, the San Diego Padres replacing Pat Murphy with Andy Green, the Miami Marlins replacing Mike Redmond with Don Mattingly, the Seattle Mariners replacing Lloyd McClendon with Scott Servais, and the Los Angeles Dodgers replacing Don Mattingly with Dave Roberts. This was seen as an unusual move since Mattingly guided the Dodgers to the postseason three years in a row for the first time in franchise history.

Both the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres will have new uniforms this season and all teams will be wearing commemorative cancer patches several times during the campaign. These include commemorating breast cancer on Mother’s Day on May 8th and for prostate cancer on Father’s Day on June 19th. Other teams have added alternate uniforms, including the Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies. Throwback uniforms will also be worn by the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Diego Padres.

The Atlanta Braves will be playing their final season at their home stadium of Turner Field and will move into SunTrust Park for the 2017 season. Their last game at Turner Field will take place on the final day of the season on October 2nd against the Detroit Tigers. Regular season MLB games will be broadcast nationally in the U.S. by TBS, Fox Sports, Fox and ESPN and they will also divide up the playoffs with Fox broadcasting the World Series alone. ESPN will also broadcast games nationally on its radio platform.

Some former players will have their uniform numbers retired this year. These include Wade Boggs (26) by the Boston Red Sox, Pete Rose (14) by the Cincinnati Reds, Mike Piazza (31) by the New York Mets and Ken Griffey, Jr. (24) by the Seattle Mariners. And in case you forgot, the Kansas City Royals won the 2015 World Series and will be attempting to defend their title this year.

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