for the love of  baseball

Current Opinion Piece

september 2021 opinion piece   

should the mlb remove their newly implemented rule of starting off extra innings with a runner on second base?

In 2020 the MLB implemented a new extra inning rule where when a game went into extra innings each team would start every new inning with a runner on second. This new rule was created in an effort to speed up games as when a team starts with a runner in scoring position and no outs they are much more likely to score than when they start an inning with no one on base. In fact the Expected Runs Scored increases from 0.54 with no one on base and no outs to 1.17 with no outs and a runner on second base, representing the fact that there are double as many expected runs scored when starting an inning with a runner on second. As a result more runs will be scored increasing the likelihood that a team will finish the inning with more or less runs than their opponent leading to the end of the game. Now this rule has definitely sped up extra innings games but as a result many people are saying that it is changing teams’ odds of winning games as the strategy for scoring and preventing runs suddenly changes greatly. Recently Commissioner Rob Manfred has said that they are most likely going to do away with the “Covid rules'' of seven inning doubleheaders and the extra inning rule. Not everyone is happy about the rule being changed back as pace of play has been a major concern in baseball in recent years and this was a solution that at least worked for extra inning games. In my opinion, I think that there should be a compromise between the two sides. I think that the new rule should stay in effect for regular season games but that for playoff games it should revert back to old rules where every inning starts off with no one on base like it always has. That way teams don’t have to worry about having as many really drawn out games during their strenuous 162 game season but come the playoffs it will really come down to whoever is the best team that day will win and not who gets the one lucky bloop hit as their only hit in an inning or some course of events along those lines. 

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