MLB To Implement Extra-Innings Rule

By Ben Hamill - July 13 2020
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MLB To Implement Extra-Innings Rule

Traditionalists had better watch out, because arena baseball is coming to the MLB. But instead of it heading Major League Baseball’s way for sole purpose of stirring the pot, the extra runner on second base at the start of each extra inning, will be implemented in order to speed up games and create more action on the double.

And it’s no new on untested rule either. In fact, the extra innings rule has been in use since 2018 in baseball’s minor leagues. More action and games settled sooner are exactly what the doctor ordered to kick the action and excitement up a notch.

But to the MLB the rule will serve an altogether different purpose: that of creating a smooth and fast-paced abbreviated 60-game season without affecting undue pressure on a season made up of rosters leaving little to no room for movement.

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Yay Or Nay?

But there are of course mixed feelings about the MLB’s extra innings rule. Some, like Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez, considers the rule wholly unlikable, with Martinez saying that not only does he personally not like the rule, but also that he’s not (so far) met anyone else who likes it (the rule) either.

But according to Brewers’ outfielder Christian Yelich, the rule does exactly what the league intends to achieve with its implementation, which is to prevent marathon-style play from causing lasting damage to pitching staffs. Yelich says he personally thinks the extra innings rule is a great rule, and especially so during a season such as the one player’s are having to now play. And it’s a change also backed by Brewers general manager David Stearns, who considers the new rule the perfect antidote to the impact caused by a game lasting 15 innings further compounded by even more challenging games over the course of a compacted season.

A Good Fit Overall

To Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, the rule is a perfect fit to a particularly short season – especially when it’s a season the league hopes to bring finality to. Hahn said he considers a year during which 60 games are to be played the perfect opportunity when wanting to try something completely different. There’s no time like the present to be experimenting “a little bit”, said Hahn.

But that it’s an entirely different scenario from a strategic point of view cannot be denied either. Even so, not having to worry about saving one or two relievers for the rare eventuality of a game ending up lasting more than 14 innings, remains a firm positive.

It’s simply a matter of adjusting to change.

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