Leave extra innings alone! The no-pitch intentional walk, yeah sure whatever. The soon-to-be-here pitch clocks and mound visit limitations, let’s give them a shot before hating them. Putting a runner on 2nd base during extra innings, go to hell Mr. Commissioner!
A runner would be put on second base at the start of the 11th inning of the All-Star Game and each additional inning, according to the latest pace-of-game proposal by Major League Baseball.
The experiment also would be used in the 10th inning of spring training games, according to the Jan. 9 proposal obtained by The Associated Press. Spring training games would be capped at 10 innings. Associated Press
As the report reads, the runner on base rule would be reserved for meaningless games such as the All-Star game and spring training. By meaningless I simply mean not counting in the standings. So although one could understand implementing the new rule in these situations, just say no!
This upcoming season will be the 89th installment of the mid-summer classic and thus far we have had a grand total of five (5) All-Star games go into extra innings. As for spring training, the game ends after the tenth inning regardless if the game is tied so why not try to spice things up? The answer to the question is the classic cliche “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”.
If this experiment goes through and it ends up breaking many of the tie games, you already know what is going to happen. A conglomerate of fans will begin to beat the drum of how exciting it is to have a runner placed on base in extra innings. Commissioner Manfred craves hearing fans talking about how exciting the game is especially if it is linked to an idea that potentially shortens games. The game changing stick of dynamite will then be lit.
The players’ association isn’t expected to oppose the concept because it is concerned about injuries from extending games that don’t count. MLB isn’t considering using the rule in any games that count.
The MLBPA will beat the drum of safeguarding players from injuries caused in part from the fatigue of playing an extra innings game Saturday night then returning to the park less than 12 hours later to play a Sunday matinee game. Not going to lie, how do you argue that? Sure these are professional athletes and we liberally ask them to suck it up for our benefit but if your job put a cap on overtime, would you complain? Yes it’s understood you do not make millions like they do but the question is still valid!
This is not about player safety for Rob Manfred. This is about pace of play and making sure the game fits nicely into the slot on your TV guide.
A successful spring training implementation of placing a runner on base during extra innings will start the conversation about instituting it during the regular season. One can already hear the league trying to ease the pain of the fabric changing move by promising they will not touch the playoffs. This is not an over-reaction, this is the natural progression of things once the ball starts rolling down this hill.
Do not for a second allow yourself to believe that Manfred would take away the impending pitch clocks after this season if the fans were vehemently against them especially if they managed to reduce the duration of games by 5-10 minutes. He’s doing the pitch clock thing without the MLBPA backing him. Imagine how much faster things would move implementing the runners on base during extra innings idea with the support of the Union.
This is a slippery slope folks. Leave the damned game alone!