New MLB rules: Shower at home, don’t spit and no team mascots

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FILE - In this May 27, 2013, file photo, Kansas City Royals bench coach Chino Cadahia (15) and St. Louis Cardinals first base coach Chris Maloney (37) exchange line-ups with home plate umpire Rob Drake (30) before a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The exchange of lineup cards would be eliminated, fielders will be encourages to space themselves from baserunners between pitches and managers and coaches must wear masks while in the dugouts under Major League Baseball's proposed operations manual for starting the coronavirus-delayed season. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

NEW YORK – Major League Baseball will look somewhat like high school ball this year under protocols to deal with the new coronavirus, with showers at ballparks discouraged and players possibly arriving in uniform, like they did when they were teenagers.

Team personnel will be banned from eating at restaurants on road trips.

Even the Phillie Phantic and Mr. Met will be missing, banned from the field along with all other team mascots.

The traditional exchange of lineup cards would be eliminated, along with high-fives, fist bumps, and bat boys and girls, according to a 67-page draft of Major League Baseball’s proposed 2020 Operations Manual. A copy was sent to teams Friday and obtained by The Associated Press. The guidelines, first reported by The Athletic, are subject to negotiation with the players’ association.

Teams will be allowed to have 50 players each under the plan, with the number active for each game still be negotiated.

Spitting is prohibited along with water jugs and the use of saunas, steam rooms, pools and cryotherapy chambers. Hitting in indoor cages is discouraged, batting gloves encouraged.

Batting practice pitchers are to wear masks, dugout telephones disinfected after each use. Players may not touch their face to give signs, and they’re not allowed to lick their fingers. Teams are encouraged to hold meetings outdoors, players spread apart.

Teams were asked to respond with their suggested input by May 22. The protocols were written by MLB senior vice presidents Patrick Houlihan, Bryan Seeley and Chris Young, and vice president Jon Coyles. Young is a former pitcher who retired after the 2017 season.