Skip to content

2013 Preview: what’s new in the new season?

Mar 28, 2013, 1:31 PM EDT

New look Astros

For the past few days we’ve been previewing the 2013 season. Next up: new things to watch for in the coming year.

We’ve previewed the teams, so now let’s look at some of the new things to watch for in 2013:

Rules changes

Nothing too drastic, but the changes that were made will be pretty visible:

  • When visiting the mound, managers and coaches will be allowed to bring interpreters with them in the event the pitcher is not fluent in English. No word on whether Phillies pitchers gets interpreters to translate manager Charlie Manuel’s 1940s detective novel slang-speak (hint: “what’s the rumpus?” is Manuelese for “how does your arm feel?” and “give this guy the kiss-off” is when he orders an intentional walk;
  • Teams will be allowed to have seven uniformed coaches in the dugout. Previously the limit was six. This change was necessitated because many teams have hired assistant hitting coaches. Which I suppose was simpler than spending the effort trying to figure out what the existing hitting coaches actually do in the first place; and
  • The pickoff move in which a right-handed pitcher fakes to third base and throws to first is now a balk. Broadcasters are now scrambling to find another oftentimes useful play which they can erroneously claim “never works.”

Schedule changes

With the Houston Astros going from the National League to the American League, giving us 15 teams in each league, it will now be required that, at all times, an interleague series be taking place. This contrasts with past practice of interleague series all occurring during specified blocs during the season. This will also lead to teams playing 20 interleague games a piece instead of the 15-18 interleague games in previous years. There will still be the old construct of “interleague rivals” which in good cases lead to series like Yankees vs. Mets and Giants vs. Athletics. And in bad cases lead to Pirates vs. Tigers and Astros vs. Rockies. Eh, this is where we are now. Those of us who remember and pine for the days of the NL and AL being separate are closer to AARP membership than we are to relevance in this now-over debate.

New Managers

Six teams will sport new managers in 2013:

  • The Red Sox fired Bobby Valentine and hired former Blue Jays manager John Farrell;
  • The Indians fired Manny Acta and hired former Red Sox manager Terry Francona;
  • Jim Tracy resigned as Colorado Rockies manager and was replaced by rookie manager Walt Weiss;
  • The Astros fired Brad Mills before last season ended and hired former Nationals coach Bo Porter;
  • The Marlins fired Ozzie Guillen after one season and replace him with rookie manager Mike Redmond; and
  • The Blue Jays essentially traded John Farrell to the Red Sox and hired former manager John Gibbons

Uniform changes

  • The Astros, befitting a team with a new owner, new front office, new manager, new league and a throughly-reamed roster, have a whole new look. Gone are the brick red/sand colored uniforms of old and back come the traditional orange and blue the team sported from their inception and on through the early 90s. There’s a bit of a twist to the orange and blue look — they’re not throwbacks to the rainbow days — but it is definitely a familiar and welcome look;
  • The Mets are going with two new alternate jerseys: a home alternate with “Mets” in script and a road alternate featuring “NEW YORK” in block. These look at lot like the 1980s duds.
  • The Cardinals are joining the trend of off-white home alternates which almost always look fantastic. They are also adding “St. Louis” to their road uniforms for the first time in 80 years. All teams should have their city name on the front of the jersey. It’s just cool. And frankly, probably leads to more jersey sales due to local pride and stuff like that.
  • The Pirates have a new home alternate for Sunday games. It’s essentially a throwback to their look from the 1970s, complete with the yellow caps.
  • The White Sox continue last year’s tradition of an alternate throwback uniform. This year it honors the 1983 team. This is a guilty pleasure uniform for me even though it came from the dark days of the pullover double knits; and
  • The Brewers are going to go all-gold on special occasions which they used a couple years ago but had abandoned for a while.

Of course, for all the changes, it will still be baseball.

Latest Posts
  1. Martin Maldonado literally hit the cover off of a baseball

    Apr 19, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT

    Martin Maldonado Martin Maldonado

    One of baseball’s older cliches came true on Friday night thanks to Martin Maldonado.

  2. Blue Jays activate Jose Reyes, place Adam Lind on the disabled list

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT

    Jose Reyes Jose Reyes

    The Blue Jays get a shortstop back, but lose their designated hitter.

  3. Jeff Samardzija says he wants a big-money contract to help future players

    Apr 18, 2014, 11:20 PM EDT

    Jeff Samardzija Jeff Samardzija

    Jeff Samardzija unselfishly wants to get paid. It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

  4. White Sox place Donnie Veal on outright waivers

    Apr 18, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

    Donnie Veal Donnie Veal

    After consistent battles with his control, Donnie Veal ran out of chances with the White Sox.

  5. Jason Bartlett will retire after 10 years in the big leagues

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT

    San Diego Padres v Pittsburgh Pirates San Diego Padres v Pittsburgh Pirates

    Jason Bartlett will call it quits after playing shortstop in the big leagues over ten seasons.

  6. Update: Luis Avilan loses Aaron Harang’s no-hitter with two outs in the eighth inning

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:19 PM EDT

    Aaron Harang Aaron Harang

    One of the most unlikely pitchers to throw a no-hitter is working on a no-hitter.

  7. Brewers sign Jeremy Jeffress to a minor league deal

    Apr 18, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Jeremy Jeffress Jeremy Jeffress

    The Brewers got their first round pick from the 2006 draft back.

  8. Diamondbacks activate Cody Ross from the disabled list

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day

    The Diamondbacks will get some power back in their lineup as Cody Ross returns.

  9. Red Sox designate Ryan Roberts for assignment, call up Brock Holt

    Apr 18, 2014, 7:35 PM EDT

    Ryan Roberts Ryan Roberts

    Ryan Roberts wasn’t hitting; Brock Holt was, so the Red Sox decided to make a change with Will Middlebrooks still recovering from an injury.

  10. Pirates acquire Ike Davis in a trade with the Mets

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:52 PM EDT

    Ike Davis Ike Davis

    The Pirates and Mets each address their problems with an Ike Davis trade.

  11. Hanley Ramirez back in the Dodgers’ lineup Friday

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    Hanley Ramirez Hanley Ramirez

    Hanley Ramirez only spent one day out of the lineup after being hit in the hand with a fastball.

  12. Manny Machado could start a rehab assignment next week

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    Manny Machado Manny Machado

    Manny Machado could soon take the next step towards returning to third base for the Orioles.

  13. A’s sign Sean Doolittle to long-term extension

    Apr 18, 2014, 4:48 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

    Left-hander Sean Doolittle and the A’s have agreed to a long-term contract that runs through at least 2018, with team options for 2019 and 2020.

  14. Watch a chicken play baseball

    Apr 18, 2014, 4:31 PM EDT

    00980665.JPG

    Don’t look at me that way. It’s late afternoon on a Friday that a lot of people have off work. There’s a Reds-Cubs game one. Motivation is kinda hard to come by. Besides, this is kinda mesmerizing.

  15. Rangers shut down Tanner Scheppers

    Apr 18, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    tanner scheppers getty Getty Images

    This morning I wrote about how the Rangers had to be considering removing Tanner Scheppers from the rotation given his awful performance through four starts and now they’ve placed him on the disabled list with elbow inflammation.

  16. Hisashi Iwakuma cleared to begin rehab assignment

    Apr 18, 2014, 3:32 PM EDT

    iwakuma getty Getty Images

    Out since February with a strained tendon in his middle finger, Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma threw a simulated game today without any problems and has been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.

  17. HBT Daily: PuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuig

    Apr 18, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    Also: PuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuigPuig.

  18. Bo Porter to his blundering baserunner: “Do you think you’re invisible?”

    Apr 18, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    Bo Porter AP

    Bo Porter does not mince words when a TOOTBLAN happens.

Featured video

This was 'the perfect baseball game'
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Kazmir (5079)
  2. G. Springer (3523)
  3. K. Uehara (3338)
  4. M. Machado (3070)
  5. D. Pedroia (2864)
  1. J. Chavez (2671)
  2. H. Ramirez (2652)
  3. J. Reyes (2577)
  4. T. Walker (2562)
  5. C. Granderson (2415)