Analysis

Opinion: New MLB extra-inning rule needs to be one and done

MLB’s rule allowing a runner second base to start extra innings must be put to bed after a one-year trial run in 2020 despite what Manfred thinks.

After a nearly four-month delay, baseball is finally back, allowing our nation and MLB to begin a long healing process.

MLB’s opening weekend featured blowouts, nail-biters, and extra-inning games allowing the 2020 rule that puts a runner on second base to start an inning in extra innings.

MLB is taking advantage of the shortened season to see if the rule is worth implementing permanently and speed up games to limit potential coronavirus exposure.

As of the end of play Sunday, four games have gone into extra innings this season and none of them have gone past the tenth inning. This proves the rule is accomplishing MLB’s goal of shortening games and limiting COVID-19 exposure, but for old-school baseball fans, it’s been hard to watch without cringing.

There is nothing like a 15 inning classic game, watching managers dig deep into their bullpen to get through a marathon game. Now, there is little strategy as all it takes for a team to score a run is a blooper. That is not real baseball.

In my opinion, it’s hard to imagine Rob Manfred to make this rule a mainstay.

Baseball is a sport where everything is earned and right now, there’s a gift given in extra innings. Teams can finish with 90 plus wins and not make the playoffs. Now, you want to gift a team with a runner in scoring position to start the inning. It won’t and can’t stick.

Baseball is not the NBA where teams 10 games under .500 make the playoff. Baseball is the hardest sport to play and for it to maintain the fans that stuck through an embarrassing shutdown the rule must be a one and done.

Hopefully, after this shortened season, things will get back to normal and baseball will be played like it always has for over 100 years: competitive and passionate.

 

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