Best of 2020

A Note on the “No Passionate Open Mouthed Kissing” Rule for the 2020 Baseball Season

From the Office of MLB Commissioner Bob Manfred: 

Dear Baseball Fans,

I write to address your recent concerns regarding our proposal for this year’s condensed baseball season. You’ve expressed that our new rules and safety regulations risk making this year’s season feel too distant from our beloved pastime. We get it–our 67-page plan is hefty and includes everything from empty stadiums to a ban on high-fives.

Today, however, I’d like to discuss our proposal’s most controversial stipulation: The “No Passionate Open Mouthed Kissing” rule.

A bit of history. Romantic, PG-rated kissing between players dates back to baseball’s earliest years. The tradition began in 1904 when Hall-of-Famer Honus Wagner and a teammate steamily touched lips after a decisive home run. During the 1965 World Series, Sandy Koufax made headlines after surprising the opposing catcher with a warm, tender smooch.

Our decision was not easy. But for baseball to safely return, it was necessary.

We know this rule will disrupt the spirit of the game. There is nothing more electric than watching a nervous batter receive a sensual “good luck” necking before a big plate appearance. Every baseball fan can remember the first time they saw their home team go to “make-out city” after winning a game. I know I still do.

We also understand your logistical concerns about how the “No Passionate Open Mouthed Kissing” rule will affect in-game strategy. The art of seducing an opposing player and stealing their kisses has made and broken teams (1982 Braves & 1993 Padres, respectively). We’re also aware that the new rule presents an increased hurdle for American League teams since they allow tongue. Rest assured that we are working tirelessly to ensure this season will be as equitable as possible.

Let me be clear: the suspension of passionate, open mouthed kissing is not permanent. The moment–and I do mean the literal moment–it’s deemed safe, you can expect every ball player to throw down his glove and join his team in some heated, good-ole’ American amore. Because that’s what makes baseball baseball.

Passionate, open mouthed kissing is, has been, and always will be in our DNA. A brief hiatus won’t change that. To quote the extended version of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame:”

“Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack. I don’t care if I never get back!–Until I see every player get 1-2 minutes of sweet lip action.” 


Bob Manfred

P.S. Goes without saying, but we’ve also cancelled the Seventh Inning French.