Alternative Idea to a Runner on 2nd in Extra Innings

Photo by Craig Nedrow for TalkNats

Lets have some fun with alternatives to something that most baseball folks hate: the idea of starting each inning after the 9th with a runner on second base.

From my perspective there are a number of structural flaws in this approach:

  • Since both teams get a runner on second, it may not have much of an impact. We may just end up with more 1-1 instead of 0-0 innings.
  • Continuing with this point, if the visiting team scores 1 run (regardless of how), doesn’t this just mean the home team can extend the game by a sac bunt, grounder to the right side, sac fly to get the runner to third; followed by another sac fly?
  • Does it give an advantage to the home team, if the visiting team does not score?
  • and so on.

And a secondary rationale for this post is to try to change the subject in a way to minimize the politically tinged discussions about Covid-19. Be forewarned that such comments are subject to removal.

So here are some alternatives that might be both more entertaining and less offensive.

The key point to be made is that the game ends when one team scores MORE runs. Enabling each team to score ONE run more easily doesn’t get us there.

So here are some idea on rule changes that simply increase the likelihood that one team will score more runs in an inning than another team. These can be taken in isolation or in combination.

  • 3 balls is a walk.Such a rule is going to increase base runners; more men on base means more scoring opportunities; more scoring opportunities means more runs.
    A side benefit is this encourages pitchers to throw more strikes and not nibble.
  • A walk is 2 bases.So a leadoff walk means, guess what, a runner on second. Again, this puts the onus on the players to do what it takes to get on base, or prevent someone from getting on base.
  • Every player advances on walks even if not a force.Lets continue with the walks idea. Regardless of whether you like 2 bases on a walk, How about a rule where every runner on base advances on a walk. So, for example, if a runner is one second, first is empty, a walk to the batter means runners on first and third.  I bet we will less pitching around a good hitter if this rule is in place.
  • Players removed in the first 9 innings are eligible to return.This would have an impact on late game strategy.  The ability to bring players back (only one re-entry per player) lessens the need to save players for later. You have a mostly full roster again starting with the tenth inning. The visiting team no longer has the advantage of saving their closer if the game goes to extras. A batter who gets on base, but is not a fast or good base runner can be replaced in late innings knowing his bat can be available in extras. And so on, and so on.

I’m sure the folks here have plenty of other ideas. So please use those ideas in your comments. Or feel free to object to any of the above idea. Or modify any of the above ideas to make them more interesting.

Most readers here agree that a runner on second is a dumb idea. So lets also have some fun with ideas that are even dumber than that. Here a couple to get you motivated. Again please feel free to suggest other ideas. The dumber or more amusing the better.

  • Break ties after 12 innings by either least or most number of men left on base.
  • Starting with the 11th inning, each team loses a player in the field. All 9 players still get to bat. Fewer defenders means more hits, which means more runs.
  • An inning is four outs.
  • Foul balls can’t be an out.
  • . . . .

In closing, please limit your comments to the topic at hand.

This entry was posted in Feature. Bookmark the permalink.