Smokeless tobacco, World Series home-field advantage highlight MLB labor deal

A new labor deal keeps the peace between MLB owners and players, but the real changes are to the World Series and chewing tobacco rules.
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When the Twins go to the World Series next season they won't have to worry about the All-Star Game deciding who gets home-field advantage.

Major League Baseball owners and the Players' Union agreed to a five-year labor deal late Wednesday night – meaning no lockout for at least five years – and part of the agreement includes awarding home-field advantage in the World Series to the team with the best record.

That means the league that wins the All-Star Game will no longer get the advantage, like the Cleveland Indians did this past fall despite winning fewer games than the eventual champion Chicago Cubs.

Bye bye, smokeless tobacco

Smokeless tobacco will be banned for incoming players. All current players can still use it because they're "grandfathered" in, according to the New York Post.

Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn died of mouth cancer in 2014 and he blamed his cancer on an excessive use of chewing tobacco.

Leading up to the two-year anniversary of Gwynn's death, Twins manager Paul Molitor told the Pioneer Press that Gwynn's death was "an extreme consequence of usage," but chewing tobacco in baseball is "part of its history, right or wrong."

Last year, MLB banned players from chewing tobacco during pregame and postgame interviews and they aren't allowed to carry tins in their back pockets. The NCAA already has a ban on chewing tobacco and it's been banned in the minor leagues since 1993, according to USA Today.

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Chewing tobacco ban lifted at Target Field

For the first time in Target Field history fans will be allowed to use smokeless tobacco inside the stadium. Chewing tobacco was banned for the first two seasons, but the Twins found "it not to be an issue", according to team spokesman Kevin Smith.