The MLB is going to run experiments to see if they can make their version of overtime as hokey as their NHL and NFL counterparts. Where there is smoke there is usually fire. So when the World Baseball Classic announced they would be playing extra innings with men placed on base, panic set in.
When the article from Yahoo’s Jeff Passan broke the news suggesting the MLB will begin investigating altering the extra innings rule, there was no shock, only rage!
Major League Baseball plans on testing a rule change in the lowest levels of the minor leagues this season that automatically would place a runner on second base at the start of extra innings…While the specifics of the rule are not final, the current plan is to start with a runner on second base in the 10th and every inning thereafter. As baseball grapples with ways to increase action in a game with a record-low rate of balls in play, changing its extra-innings rules emerged as a solution with multiple potential benefits…
Now it is understood that more-so than ever before we live in a world of instant gratification but why oh why are we tinkering with the fabric of the game? Is it to draw new fans?
As a fan of the NHL, I was excited when they introduced the shootout thereby eliminating ties. That excitement faded by Christmas and I have not heard of any new fans created because of it. Now the NHL uses 3-on-3 overtime in a blatant attempt to reduce shootouts. At least the NHL keeps the playoff overtime pure.
The NFL crowned a new Super Bowl Champion not because Matt Ryan took a sack instead of throwing the ball into the first row and not even because of an amazing catch by Julian Edelman. The Patriots won the coin toss (credit where it is due the Pats did score the touchdown to keep the Falcons off the field) and play in a league that allows games to be decided where only one team touches the ball is asinine.
The MLB is one of the last titans who do “overtime” right. Extra Innings, both teams have a chance, no amendments to the rules, last man standing wins.
The cure for rage about the proposed extra innings changes, that would take one or two years to actually take place in the MLB, is to look at the reasons given for such drastic changes.
Amid concern about fatigue and travel, the presumption of shorter games with the new rules could save players from the rigors of extra-innings affairs that slog into the night. Further, the taxation on young arms – especially those in the minor leagues – would be mitigated.
Call me crazy, but wouldn’t “capping” games at 10 innings and introducing ties to baseball fix all the above problems? Eight of thirty MLB teams played 10 or less extra inning games and only one (the Atlanta Braves) played more than 20. Obviously, keep any proposed extra innings rule changes out of the playoffs.
I would prefer to watch 10 “real” innings of baseball and deal with a tie rather than 9 “real” innings of real baseball then however many extra innings of bastardized baseball. My suggestion guarantees a game ends whereas you could load the bases every inning starting in the top of the 12th inning and still play multiple innings.
Actually, I would like baseball to stay exactly the way it is, minus the 4-pitch intentional walk.