MLB considers starting every extra inning with a runner on second base

CFP: I believe it was 23 years ago that I played in a summer softball tournament, and our team’s first game was tied at the end of regulation. Since tournament organizers didn’t want games going on forever, they expedited the likely end of an extra-inning game by having each extra inning start with the bases loaded. Whoever was due up in the lineup would get his regular at-bat, but the three hitters before him would be placed on the bases.The theory was that inning were unlikely to end scoreless when they started like this.

It felt forced, illogical, impure and all that. But what the hell. It was a pickup softball tournament. The baseball record book would not be tarnished by what we did that day. It was not the Major Leagues, where no such apostasy would ever be considered.

Would it?

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, a distinct break from the game’s orthodoxy that nonetheless has wide-ranging support at the highest levels of the league, sources familiar with the plan told Yahoo Sports.

A derivation of the rule has been used in international baseball for nearly a decade and will be implemented in the World Baseball Classic this spring. MLB’s desire to test it in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and Arizona League this summer is part of an effort to understand its wide in-game consequences – and whether its implementation at higher levels, and even the major leagues, may be warranted.


35 Comments on MLB considers starting every extra inning with a runner on second base

  1. Even dumberer than the NHL shootout and the Chase in NAPCAR.

    “Blernsball is a very popular sport on Earth in the 31st century. It is a “jazzed-up” version of the ancient Earth sport baseball.”

    “Face it Fry: Baseball was as boring as Mom and apple pie. That’s why they jazzed it up.”

  2. Fawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwk noooooooooo! GTFO!!!!1111

    And take the fu*king DH with you!!!!

    It’s baseball, not soccer.

  3. Start every game with a 10 – 10 tie. For each run scored subtract 1 run from the other team. The game ends after 9 innings or when one team reaches 1 run. Self-esteem counseling and play therapy will be provided in safe spaces to players and fans after the game.

  4. Drop the sexist, rape culture terminology. Hey, hey, ho, ho “balls” and “strikes” have got to go! “Errors” damage self- esteem. “Whoopsies” is preferred.

  5. “Out” is exclusionist. Drop it. “Runs” is ableist. “Hits” promotes violence. This so-called game should be consigned to the dustbin of history. Deplorable and irredeemable.

  6. This issue has more to do with how starting pitchers are limited with restricted pitch counts and the overuse of specialized relief pitchers than anything else. Specialized relief pitchers and the time to get them in the game adds time to the games. Here is something to ponder. On August 21, 1972, Phillies Steve Carlton and Braves Phil Niekro both starting pitchers, completed the game. What makes that remarkable is that the game lasted 11 innings and both pitchers went the distance. It is one of the finest games ever pitched. And, by the way, I was there to witness it. Time of the game? Two hours and twenty-four minutes. Today, the game is ruined by a preponderance of pinch runners, pinch batters, relief pitchers, limiting starting pitching to six innings or 90-100 pitch count, etc. This idea will do baseball in for me.

  7. MLB is trying to speed up the game to draw more viewers because people say it takes too long. Base runner on 2nd starting an extra inning game is terrible. It is messing with the game too much. This will only speed up extra inning games, which is very few games. So how does that speed up the game of a 9 inning game.

    They also proposed getting rid of the 4 pitch out walk, they can just tell them to take their base. There have been many times where a pitcher has gone wheels off and missed the catcher and a run score from it. Keep the human element in it. These tricks will not garner more viewers.

    The biggest time issue is between pitches. I say just make those guys pick up the pace.

  8. It’s a good rule. It would shorten games considerably. The rule works well, and adds a great deal of excitement in women’s softball. It’s the International Tie-Breaker, which puts a runner at 2nd base to start the extra inning(s). The short game in MLB sucks, so the boys would have to learn how to bunt better.

  9. Leave baseball alone, don’t mess with it, I like it the way it is. I say NO, NO and Hell NO to this stupid idea. And while they’re at it let’s alternate years again on which league is the home team for the World Series and not make it dependent on who wins the All Star Game.

  10. Why not a coin flip, then? Rock-Paper-Scissors? Guess what number I’m thinking of? Better yet, why even bother playing at all?

  11. “why even keep score……. and give both teams the same trophy after the game.

    – Ernest T Bass”

    A logical progression.

    Ending in mandatory “All-In-One Forever” trophies awarded at birth?

    No one has to leave the couch or even breathe to be awesome in the progressive’s future.

  12. The game are long because of the commercial breaks inserted for TV coverage. The Umpire gets his stop and start signals from the network guy in the blazer, the same way they do with the football games.

    Game play is controlled for broadcast to allow the networks to sell advertising time, not for the convenience of the people sitting in hard stadium seats.

  13. “Game play is controlled for broadcast to allow the networks to sell advertising time”

    Without that there would be no MLB. So, eh! That’s how these things go.

    Seat tickets do not cover all the bases, so to speak.

  14. Baseball … that’s a kids’ game …
    Want to shorten the game for TV? Cut it down to 3 innings, and let each team start their play with a runner on second base. Or third base. Why’s it gotta be second base? I don’t know … that sounds racist …
    And why are there no wymyn players? Or midgets? And you never see players scurrying around the bases on crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs, now, do you?

    izlamo delenda est …

  15. Baseball in person is much more entertaining than baseball on TV, because there’s a lot to look around at besides the game-prolonging lack of action on the field. That blonde in the tight sweater two rows down, for instance. Or, if you’re lucky, a fight may break out in the stands between drunken fans. Still a slow, mostly boring game, but at least you’re not falling asleep in your recliner at home.

    The only thing worse than watching TV baseball is watching TV golf. Or watching any kind of golf besides Putt-Putt.


  16. it hasn’t been baseball since the designated hitter rule was adopted.
    I don’t know what they are playing but it isn’t baseball.
    if you want to shorten games start paying baseball again.

  17. Vietvet, I hate to tell you you wrong, but you’re wrong. TV baseball and TV golf are both good background entertainment. I like them both. TV fishing is something I can’t get into.

  18. @joe6pak: The “O” in IMHO stands for “opinion”, which cannot be intrinsically right or wrong, just an opinion.

    I will agree that under the right circumstances, TV baseball and TV golf are both good background programs, because they won’t wake you up like rock music or loud action movies. Notice that I did not include the word “entertainment”, though. That part is your opinion.


  19. Vietvet, no offense intended, I was mostly trying to get in a dig over TV fishing. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and for the most part I respect that.

  20. MLB might as well steal a page from the XFL. If the game is tied after 9 innings each team send a player to home plate. At the umpires signal each player runs around the bases. The home team player runs towards 1st base, the visiting team player runs towards 3rd base. The first player to make it back to home plate wins the game for his team! Imagine the excitement!

    Seriously though, this ‘softball’ idea sucks.

  21. I’m all for this idea. As a kid, I can remember how I wanted to get to 2nd base without trying. Usually, the girl wasn’t so willing.

  22. @@joe6pak: No offense taken. You sounded serious, so I wasn’t sure. I completely agree with you on TV fishing. Heck, I don’t even like real fishing (probably because I’ve never been any good at it, plus I don’t like to eat what I catch).

    @Burner: Now that’s funny! FWIW, I had the same problem.


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