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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Minor League Pace-Of-Play Changes in 2018

EXTRA INNINGS

At all levels of Minor League Baseball, extra innings will begin with a runner on second base. The runner at second base will be the player in the batting order position previous to the leadoff batter of the inning (or a substitute for that player). By way of example, if the number five hitter in the batting order is due to lead off the 10th inning, the number four player in the batting order (or a pinch-runner for such player) shall begin the inning on second base. Any runner or batter removed from the game for a substitute shall be ineligible to return to the game, as is the case in all circumstances under the Official Baseball Rules.

The lead-in for the above mentions that this particular rule is more about player safety - specifically the impact of extra-inning games on pitchers. But there are other rule changes on mound visits, pitch clocks, etc., in the article.

villageidiom Posted: March 14, 2018 at 04:56 PM | 273 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: extra innings, minor leagues, minors, pace of play

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   1. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5638067)
(fetches popcorn)
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5638070)
The pitch clock (15 seconds with no one on, 20 with men on base) is excellent.

The extra innings rule is horsecrap.

The mound visit rule is irrelevant.
   3. BDC Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5638075)
Please God this extra-innings change will remain confined to the minor leagues, because of its stated purpose (protecting minor-league arms). I will seriously not watch major-league baseball if it arrives there; it would be like the Astros using the DH was for BBC :)

If it does remain limited to the minors, it's really just the latest in a long string of cheapenings of organized minor-league baseball. We've already established, for several generations now, that major-league organizations do not care a whit whether their affiliates win or lose ballgames or pennants. Now we don't care whether minor-league fans get to see an actual baseball game; everything is for the advantage of the big-league club.

And at that rate, as JJ1986 said in the Dugout, why not just call tied minor-league games ties after nine innings? Everybody still gets to see a regulation game, and since nobody cares about the outcome or the standings, just enjoy the no-decision.

   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:16 PM (#5638077)
And at that rate, as JJ1986 said in the Dugout, why not just call minor-league games ties after nine innings? Everybody still gets to see a regulation game, and since nobody cares about the outcome or the standings, just enjoy the no-decision.
"There's no tying! There's no tying in baseball!!"
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:17 PM (#5638078)
And at that rate, as JJ1986 said in the Dugout, why not just call tied minor-league games ties after nine innings? Everybody still gets to see a regulation game

I'd rather MLB allow ties that implement some gimmicky stupidity.
   6. Traderdave Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5638079)
Let's just go full on soccer and settle it with batting practice homers.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:19 PM (#5638081)
Let's just go full on soccer and settle it with batting practice homers.

Still better than made-up baserunners.
   8. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:20 PM (#5638083)
I'd rather MLB allow ties that implement some gimmicky stupidity.


1000x agreed. Just play 3 extra innings and if nobody wins it's a tie. Or silly me, we could just keep it the way it is. /eyeroll
   9. The_Ex Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:20 PM (#5638084)
The front offices are generally not fond of long games as it screws up their pitching for days afterwards. From what I have seen 75% of attendees at minor league games are there for group or family outings and don't really care who wins the game. And they won't be around for the end of the game if it goes 15 innings.

Baseball purists will hate it but the minor leagues are not about purity, unless that means paying the players a pittance.
   10. catomi01 Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:34 PM (#5638093)
Not that it matters a ton (and I haven't had a chance to read the article yet) - but how are the stats of the automatic runner calculated? I assume they would be credited with any runs/steals they accumulate, but they won't be credited with a walk or anything to note how they reached base, right?
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:40 PM (#5638099)
The die was cast last year when the auto-IBB allowed -- to paraphrase the NFL -- a "baseball result" to occur without any "baseball actions" taking place. The ghost runner on 2nd is hurtling even deeper into Calvinball territory.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:42 PM (#5638102)
I assume they would be credited with any runs/steals they accumulate, but they won't be credited with a walk or anything to note how they reached base, right?
Looks like this is right, and it wouldn't be an earned run for the pitcher.
   13. QLE Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5638103)
So, if the goal is really to preserve arms, is there any reason why they can't just do something to deaden the ball, thereby reducing the issues that seem to play such a role in blowing pitchers' arms out in the first place?
   14. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5638105)
From TFA:

For purposes of calculating earned runs under Rule 9.16, the runner who begins an inning on second base pursuant to this rule shall be deemed to be a runner who has reached second base because of a fielding error, but no error shall be charged to the opposing team or to any player.


So at least pitcher ERAs won't be fluffed up by this.

-- MWE
   15. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:51 PM (#5638113)
to: ops@milb.com
cc: marketing@milb.com, blindsay@lowellspinners.com

As a dedicated baseball fan (Red Sox season ticket holder, former Tri-City ValleyCats season ticket holder, frequent Lowell Spinners game attendee), I feel compelled to write to express my horror at the extra innings rule change just announced for 2018.

This rule goes against everything that makes baseball great.

The other pace of play rules are fantastic. The pitch clock is an (unfortunately) necessary way to speed up a game. Limiting coaching visits to the mound is perfectly reasonable. Those decisions will significantly improve the sport we all love. They are steps in the right direction and, I'm confident, will be a great success.

However, changing the way extra innings works is simply a step too far, for no benefit. Nobody has ever left a minor league game in the 12th inning, saying "I wish that game had ended in the 11th." Nobody ever watches highlights on sportscenter and said "I wish those teams hadn't played until the 19th inning at 2am."

Extra innings are not the problem.

I will not be able to attend minor league games this season until this rule change is rescinded. I will not be able to support the sponsors of the Lowell Spinners. And I'm going to tell my friends to do the same.

This is not an acceptable rule change. I hope it can be undone, before the game is hurt forever.

Thank you for your time.
   16. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 14, 2018 at 05:55 PM (#5638116)
I was never someone who would considered a purist (the DH is great!) but I still had to come here and express and ####### stupid this is. I would also prefer ties over this nonsense.
   17. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:02 PM (#5638123)
The DH is an abomination and so is this. People who obviously hate baseball shouldn’t be involved in running it.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:15 PM (#5638134)
So ... top 10, auto-runner on second, comes around to score. Bottom 10th, in comes the closer, auto-runner on second, comes around to tie the game again -- blown save?

Has it not occurred to folks that while starting with a runner on 2nd makes it more likely the road team will score in the top of the inning, it also makes it more likely the home team will tie it up again in the bottom, defeating the purpose?

If you want to shorten the game, then call it a tie after 9.

Gimmick looking for a problem? AL 2017 extra innings: 248/348/399. League average 256/324/429 -- not a huge difference. Walk rate is partly the IBB (39 in 1521 PA). The RoE is through the roof relatively (about 1 per 75 PA vs fewer than 1 per 100 in any other inning).

And just 1500 PA in 2017 AL, 1.6% of all PAs. And of course the rule change wouldn't reduce that number to 0. Looks like it was 174 team-games that went extras for the AL last year and the average number of PA per team is a bit under 9 so about 17-18 total per extra-inning game. The rule change doesn't change the minimum number of total PA (still 4 total) but does slightly reduce minimum if the road team wins (was 7, now 6). It probably will increase the intentional walk rate (1-out, big hitter, set up the DP; 2 outs, this hitter better than the next hitter). It will increase the number of exciting sac bunts dramatically (already 1 every 66 PA).

So what's realistic? We reduce the average PAs in a extras game from 17-18 to 12? In 3% of games.

it wouldn't be an earned run for the pitcher.

But still a RA? Meaning that RA/9 and hence bWAR need a minor tweak.
   19. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:25 PM (#5638139)
1000x agreed. Just play 3 extra innings and if nobody wins it's a tie.


That's the rule in NPB. About 2% of their games end in ties.
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:36 PM (#5638142)
Has it not occurred to folks that while starting with a runner on 2nd makes it more likely the road team will score in the top of the inning, it also makes it more likely the home team will tie it up again in the bottom, defeating the purpose?
Y'know, that's a really good point. I think it is, anyway, but it seems so obvious that maybe we're missing something? Either that or maybe the goal isn't to minimize extra innings, but to make the extra innings more entertaining by having more scoring. In that case, hell, let's just start every inning with the bases loaded.
   21. Ziggy's screen name Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:39 PM (#5638145)
No, if you want more scoring just give each team an extra run each inning!

######## ######## bull ####. #### this ####.
   22. dejarouehg Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:42 PM (#5638146)
It's hard to fathom, even in jest, tolerance for a tie. The notion, like the DH, is disgraceful.

I'm still waiting to find a baseball fan who has an issue with extra innings. It's a beautiful fluke. If I'm going to a game where I have no rooting interest, I root for extra innings.

If this Putin-esque plot sticks and the Herb Washington wannabe scores, it should count as a team run, (like a team rebound in basketball) since all the runner did to deserve this is make the last out in the previous inning.

If it's really about impact on arms, then suspend games at 12 innings and make the next game a 7 inning game to start immediately after the suspended game is completed if the two teams have a game remaining in the series. (IF it goes 18 innings, then go 6.) If it's the end of the series, resume when you face each other again and if it's the last time you play in a season, suck it up and finish.

I just saw a news article that said the US has dropped to 18th on the list of happiest countries in the world. It's stupid shi* like this that explains it.
   23. Ziggy's screen name Posted: March 14, 2018 at 06:51 PM (#5638153)
Very few minor league pitchers have arms worth protecting. (I mean, they might care about their arms, but the team has no interest in protecting them.) That excuse is obvious nonsense, this is just a trial run for MLB in 2019.

Anyway, didn't God make third-string catchers so that they can pitch the 29th inning when you've burned through all of your bullpen arms?
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5638156)
It's hard to fathom, even in jest, tolerance for a tie.

Games have ended in ties before, back when they had curfews. I have no problem with a tie. It's a real outcome. It's a lot better than fake events.
   25. Zach Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:23 PM (#5638168)
What a stupid, stupid rule.
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:31 PM (#5638176)
So at least pitcher ERAs won't be fluffed up by this.


No, they will likely be deflated by it.
   27. SoSH U at work Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:34 PM (#5638177)
Y'know, that's a really good point. I think it is, anyway, but it seems so obvious that maybe we're missing something? Either that or maybe the goal isn't to minimize extra innings, but to make the extra innings more entertaining by having more scoring. In that case, hell, let's just start every inning with the bases loaded.


I don't think it's necessarily true. If the odds of scoring a run in a given extra inning under the current rules are 15 percent, and the odds of scoring a run if you're starting with a runner on second are 50 percent, then it will likely lead to more untied games after the inning is completed this way.

Am I right Walt?

By the way, it's still a hideous rule, regardless of the answer.

   28. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 14, 2018 at 07:40 PM (#5638183)
This is so mindbogglingly awful that it's not surprising MLB came up with it.
   29. Internet Commenter Posted: March 14, 2018 at 08:55 PM (#5638198)
Death by a thousand cuts it is!
   30. winnipegwhip Posted: March 14, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5638201)
My kid wastes his time today protesting outside school when there are more important issues to fight like this stupid rule.
   31. winnipegwhip Posted: March 14, 2018 at 09:06 PM (#5638202)
Is this bullshit also in the postseason?
   32. winnipegwhip Posted: March 14, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5638203)
Rob Manfred Hitler and Stalin in one room and you have two bullets.
Rob Manfred gets shot twice
   33. PreservedFish Posted: March 14, 2018 at 09:20 PM (#5638205)
This is ####### horrifying.
   34. PreservedFish Posted: March 14, 2018 at 09:21 PM (#5638206)
I do, however, think it's clear that this will end games faster.
   35. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: March 14, 2018 at 10:43 PM (#5638224)
This is horrid. I can’t believe this is happening, what a terrible rule change...
   36. Cooper Nielson Posted: March 14, 2018 at 10:53 PM (#5638230)
I think the extra-inning rule is fine for Little League or high school, where people (usually) care about the W/L outcome of the game (especially in a tournament setting) and you don't want to overwork young arms. But I agree with BDC in #3 that MLB parent organizations have already established that they don't care much about winning or losing, so why not just end these games in ties?

Walt: Has it not occurred to folks that while starting with a runner on 2nd makes it more likely the road team will score in the top of the inning, it also makes it more likely the home team will tie it up again in the bottom, defeating the purpose?

SoSH: I don't think it's necessarily true. If the odds of scoring a run in a given extra inning under the current rules are 15 percent, and the odds of scoring a run if you're starting with a runner on second are 50 percent, then it will likely lead to more untied games after the inning is completed this way.


Regarding this issue, many of you are better at math/statistics than me, but doesn't increasing the likelihood of scoring also increase the likelihood of unbalanced scoring? And that's what's important.

Using SoSH's percentages (and if my math is correct), there would be a 72.25% chance under the current rules that a generic extra inning ended in a 0-0 tie, and moved on to another inning. With the runner on second (for both teams), the chance of a scoreless inning drops to 25%. Of course the chance of a 1-1 tie (or 2-2, 3-3, etc.) also increases but those would be smaller percentages.
   37. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 14, 2018 at 11:33 PM (#5638236)
I don't see any reason to risk someone getting hurt being the runner on second base. Why not just use a ghostrunner?
   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2018 at 12:01 AM (#5638240)
Because ghosts have better things to do than this ####.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: March 15, 2018 at 12:51 AM (#5638244)
#37 ... hard to throw out a ghost runner at 3rd when he tries to steal (or did he?)

I wasn't suggesting games would be more/less likely to remain tied, just that often they will. I'd guess you're doing no better than shaving off 1 inning from the 10% (or whatever) of games that go to extra innings.

SoSH, did you make those numbers up or are they real? From Tango's now kinda old table (2010-15), run expectancy with --- is .48 and with -2- is 1.1. The p(at least one) are .27 vs .614 -- let's use those assuming just one run for simplicity.

god-given rule

tied at end of inning: 53.3 + 7.3 = 60.6%

So

finish in 1: 39.4%
finish in 2: 23.9%
finish in 3: 14.5%
the rest: 23.2%

the rule of abomination:

tied after 1: 14.9% + 37.7% = 52.6% (that's not a very big change)

finish in 1: 47.4%
finish in 2: 24.9%
finish in 3: 13.1%
the rest: 14.6%

So basically you've shifted about 8% of the games that used to take more than 3 innings and made them last only 1 inning. So you're shaving 3+ innings off of 8% of extra-inning games which are about 7.5% of all games. I think that comes to a reduction of 88+ innings per year or .2% of all innings. Somebody check my math.

The actual gain is better than that when we consider multiple runs. Although I suspect we'll see an increase in one-run strategies, we can guesstimate assuming that the chances of scoring (at least) a second run starting -2- are about the same as scoring (at least) one run --- or .27. Fair enough, that seems a much higher chance than I was expecting, that maybe comes to another 12% of games that would end in 1 inning. So ...

finish in 1: 59.5%
finish in 2: 24.1%
finish in 3: 9.8%
the rest: 6.6%

That more than doubles the savings to ?????? 200 innings?
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: March 15, 2018 at 01:27 AM (#5638246)
SoSH, did you make those numbers up or are they real?


I was just taking a guess at the likelihood of scoring a run when you have a runner on second and nobody out, and then providing a lower number for the conventional system of play as a contrast. So, yes, I just made them up, but it was only to illustrate (I figured) that the closer you got to 50 percent chance of getting that single run home, the better chance you'd have of seeing the game end at the end of an inning (or simply earlier).
   41. winnipegwhip Posted: March 15, 2018 at 01:38 AM (#5638248)
Rob Manfred is slowly making watching a game of APBA or Stratomatic more fulfilling than watching a real baseball game.
   42. winnipegwhip Posted: March 15, 2018 at 01:46 AM (#5638249)
Baseball America's opening to the news story

Last May 10 was disastrous for the Durham Bulls and their pitching staff. A night after the team had used its bullpen heavily, went 11 innings and necessitated the use of not one, not two, but three position players pitching.

Sixteen runs were scored by both Columbus and Durham in the 11th inning, including 10 by Columbus in the top half before the Bulls roared back in the bottom half of the frame with six runs of their own.


As a fan I would hate to have to sit through that inning. What a horrible conclusion to an enjoyable night at the ballpark.

The decision came from the top. Major League Baseball asked Minor League Baseball if it would consider adopting the changes. While many fans immediately speculated that the speed-up rules are part of an eventual plan to bring the rule to the major leagues, MILB says the reasons for adopting it are for developmental and financial reasons.


Just like instant replay was only going to be for Home Run decisions.

But O’Conner also heard from minor league operators who were equally in favor of the rule change. Minor league teams watch the majority of their fans walk out as the ninth inning turns into the 10th, 11th and beyond. Concession sales have petered out by that point. Beer sales have already ended. But while a few concession stand workers and ushers may be able to be sent home, there are a whole lot of hourly employees who are there for the duration, which means for teams, extra innings means money out of their pockets.

“From a purely business perspective, it’s not a profitable or a break-even situation,” O’Conner said.


Why not make minor league games 7 innings and minor league double headers two five inning games? Yes I am being sarcastic.
Why not get the name and identity of anyone who would want to leave a ball game entering extra innings and send them to Russia. Yes I am being serious. Anyone like that should not have the right to share this continent with me. Why Russia? Because Bezos hasn't finalized his space plans to Mars.


   43. -- Posted: March 15, 2018 at 06:11 AM (#5638253)
Minor league teams watch the majority of their fans walk out as the ninth inning turns into the 10th, 11th and beyond. Concession sales have petered out by that point. Beer sales have already ended.


This happens routinely in the major leagues, too. People don't *really* want to sit through an indeterminate amount of extra innings -- and they don't.

I know I'm supposed to hate this idea, but I don't. At the end of the day, the reasons I'm supposed to hate it reduce to a combination of tradition, romance, and some kind of assault on the game's bookkeeping -- which admittedly has an appealing elegance. Those things are supposed to matter, but they really don't. Do shootout goals count in hockey or soccer? Does anyone really care?

The games are already way too long.
   44. Astroenteritis Posted: March 15, 2018 at 08:42 AM (#5638267)
This is silly. I would suggest playing the 10th inning as usual and, if the game remains tied, call it a tie. This aversion to ties, especially in the minor leagues where wins and losses are secondary to the purpose, is hard to understand. This rule would also have the advantage of fewer innings being played over the course of the season than the goofy new rule, which will still result in games longer than ten innings.
   45. Booey Posted: March 15, 2018 at 08:49 AM (#5638268)
SBB - Do you really even like baseball anymore? Honest question.
   46. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: March 15, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5638300)
So, SBB likes the rule? Then it must be terrible. Though, on the other hand, isn't losing our God-given right to potential unlimited free baseball a sign of the Decline?
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: March 15, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5638301)
I know I'm supposed to hate this idea, but I don't.


No, the rest of us hate it. That means you're supposed to like it.
   48. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 09:59 AM (#5638305)
Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus in saying that the rule about automatic runners on second is bullshit, and the guy who suggested it should take a long walk off a short pier.
   49. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:00 AM (#5638307)
Do shootout goals count in hockey or soccer? Does anyone really care?


I don't care about hockey or soccer, but I presume that somebody must, or else they wouldn't still be a thing. Canadians and/or Europeans, I guess?
   50. BDC Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5638313)
Somehow I knew SBB would appear to take the side of MLB in this debate :) I think his status as the Troll of Trolls has been confirmed.

People don't *really* want to sit through an indeterminate amount of extra innings -- and they don't

People don't want to sit through an extra period of hockey or half-hour of soccer where each time is avoiding trying to have to score, for sure. But in both basketball and baseball, overtime is generally a much smaller fraction of a game, and has a wonderful built-in tension to it. Triple overtimes or thirteen-inning games get more fun as they go on, unless (as Booey says) you don't like the sport you're watching, to begin with.

And so sure, most people have gone home by the 11th inning. But hell, a lot of people have gone home by the 8th inning. Who cares? They had fun, and those of us who stay are having even more fun.
   51. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:04 AM (#5638315)
SBB - Do you really even like baseball anymore? Honest question.


No need to ask that about someone who acknowledges baseball games are too long and then thinks that problem would be improved by lopping innings off the end. The answer is obvious.

Ties would be much better, as everyone agrees.

Shootout goals don't count in soccer. Also there are extremely few shootouts in soccer. They only happen toward the very end of certain major tournaments. In any other game it's fine to end with a tie.
   52. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:06 AM (#5638318)
Shootout goals don't count in hockey. Separate statistics are kept for shootouts.

Rob Manfred is slowly making watching a game of APBA or Stratomatic more fulfilling than watching a real baseball game.


I admit I already spend more time playing OOTP than watching baseball.
   53. OsunaSakata Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:36 AM (#5638338)
With this rule in place, the 33-inning game from 1981 becomes as legendary as Atlantis. Nobody would believe it ever happened.
   54. Tim M Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:48 AM (#5638346)
Scenario: bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, no one on. Billy Hamilton (name your no-hit speed demon here) at bat. Do you order him to strike out so he will be the runner at 2nd?
   55. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5638357)
Regarding 54:

If the next spot in the order is the pitcher, and it's a decent relief pitcher, I DEFINITELY tell Billy Hamilton to do the "Alfredo Griffin".
Then I can start him on 2nd base in the 10th, keep using the relief pitcher for the top of the 10th, and then sub him out for a better hitter in the bottom of the 10th.
   56. dejarouehg Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:02 AM (#5638358)
Ties would be much better, as everyone agrees.
Who is everyone???

And so sure, most people have gone home by the 11th inning. But hell, a lot of people have gone home by the 8th inning. Who cares? They had fun, and those of us who stay are having even more fun.
YES! This is the point. Extra inning baseball is great. Sure people have to leave for work or because it gets late, but you can't satisfy everyone and for the limited number of games that are affected, those games are a ton of fun. (I usually get a second wind around the 11th inning.) Plus, you can move down towards the field if you're so inclined, there's less competition for foul balls for those who are into it, you can hear the players chatting more often as the game gets later.....I know none of these is that big a deal but it all adds to the fun!

And if the team's overhead isn't covered, well that's just too ******* bad. They have no problem gouging me for the first 9 innings.

(Extra inning baseball also provided my young son with an introduction to how marriages sometimes require a little finesse, i.e., "Listen, if you don't tell mom how late we got home (she'd been long asleep), then it can remain our little secret." Of course I told her anyway because games like these can be memories that last a lifetime and are more important than a day of 4, 5, or 6 year old school.
   57. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5638372)
Scenario: bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, no one on. Billy Hamilton (name your no-hit speed demon here) at bat. Do you order him to strike out so he will be the runner at 2nd?
Excellent point, and as RTG notes, the answer is probably yes most of the time. That alone illustrates how dumb this is.
   58. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5638382)
Scenario: bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, no one on. Billy Hamilton (name your no-hit speed demon here) at bat. Do you order him to strike out so he will be the runner at 2nd?

Either that or you have a sprinter on the bench to sub defensively for the batter who makes the last out so he's in that position in the batting order when it's time to send the ghost runner to 2nd. To make this rule even more of a farce, make the defensive substitution with two outs in the inning. Or let your slow runner go out to 2nd for one pitch, then pinch run for him.
   59. flournoy Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:24 AM (#5638383)
I don't really care about this with respect to minor league games. What will bother me is when (not if) they bring this to the major leagues. This is pretty obviously a precursor to that.
   60. Rennie's Tenet Posted: March 15, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5638428)
I thought a year ago it was crazy to think this could reach the majors, now I'm not so sure. Aside from an ongoing no-hitter, it seems like a long extra-inning game is most likely to grab people who aren't at the ballpark - you come home doing something else, turn on the TV and say, "Are they still playing?" Or you have to get to bed, and eventually shift from TV to radio. Or you just get up the next day and say, "16, really?"

As most here seem to realize, any problem here is related to pace of play, not length of play.
   61. BDC Posted: March 15, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5638432)
As most here seem to realize, any problem here is related to pace of play, not length of play

Exactly. The occasional 12-inning game that runs four hours is hardly the problem. The routine nine-inning game that runs 3:45-3:50 is the problem.
   62. Tim M Posted: March 15, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5638470)
If we're going full-stupid w/ the ideas here, how about shortening the distance to "home" as the game goes on. Reach 3rd base in the 10th inning, that's a run. In the 11th, you only need to reach 2nd, and 1st any inning after. Any runner who reaches "home" goes back to the dugout and the run counts. Yes this is stupid, but less so than the automatic runner thing, and it removes the intentional strikeout for a fast poor hitter type, and as Walt points out reduces the chances of ongoing ties.
   63. Brian Posted: March 15, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5638478)
In that case, hell, let's just start every inning with the bases loaded.


Since we're going to pretend the first guy up doubled, why don't we start the 10th with a bat flip after an imaginary HR? Every one loves a bat flip!
   64. Karl from NY Posted: March 15, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5638592)
Would I be the only voice in the world to say that this isn't so terrible? (And I'm an anti-DH purist.)

It's silly, and does create some edge cases for how you handle the statistics. But it's not ruining the sport or rendering it not-baseball. It's not inconceivable that the upsides of curtailing extra-inning games (for everybody: long bullpens, stadium staff, TV broadcasts, even public transit) can't outweigh the down, all things considered. I'm not arguing for it, but this isn't the hill I'd die on.

You guys know that the minors already have different rules for game length - doubleheaders are 7 innings each - that nobody is proposing for the majors, right?

If the rule ever reaches the majors, maybe they'll at least do it like the WBC and start it in the 11th inning. Also I think MLB would be smart enough to not include playoff games.

Finally I'll say that if the rule does come to to the majors, it will be because the TV networks (follow the money) ask for it to shorten broadcast overruns.
   65. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5638605)
Finally I'll say that if the rule does come to to the majors, it will be because the TV networks (follow the money) ask for it to shorten broadcast overruns.

Then all parties involved will be very disappointed when this idiotic rule does nothing to address broadcast overruns since they're about 98% due to the cumulative endless dicking around between each pitch and 2% due to games that go several extra innings.
   66. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: March 15, 2018 at 04:10 PM (#5638635)
So, the runner on second rule was in play in complex ball last year and in international play. Hated it then, hate it now. Just have ties...
(I'd rather have conventional extra inning play, but I can appreciate why orgs are worried about unexpectedly stretching pens - which this solution still does.)

Pitch clocks aren't new in the minors either. I do like them.
   67. Tim M Posted: March 15, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5638662)
I watch a lot of local AA games (Portland ME Sea Dogs), they have had the 15 sec pitch clock for 2 years and it has been great. You quickly forget it's there, but the game moves right along, and I've never seen anything weird because of it. Bring it on.

And yeah, ties are fine in the minors. We already have ties in Spring Training, no one cares who wins, I doubt the players even care much. All anyone cares about in the minors is "get to the majors" if you're a player, or "send us talent" if you're the MLB team.
   68. Sunday silence Posted: March 15, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5638671)
I love the way they announce this just a couple of weeks before the baseball season starts. Like classic political spin control where they announce some dreadful legislation late friday afternoon to avoid the full week of analysis.
   69. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:04 PM (#5638675)
I love the way they announce this just a couple of weeks before the baseball season starts. Like classic political spin control where they announce some dreadful legislation late friday afternoon to avoid the full week of analysis.


I don't think I've heard a single positive opinion on the move yet. At best it's a lukewarm "they better not do this at the MLB but MiLB isn't really about wins and losses anyways."

   70. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:08 PM (#5638677)
Fly on the wall:

"Well, we've ruled out doing anything that would actually, you know, make the players play baseball reasonably quickly, because that would give them teh sads and they would frown at us. So...what next?"

"Oooh! I know! Let's smoke a bunch of meth and brainstorm about the craziest idea that we can sell as a pace of play improvement."

"Roger that. But let's start it in the minors first."
   71. Walt Davis Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:15 PM (#5638682)
Also ... they're taking this idea from softball. Softball!!

Hockey has the problem that real overtime requires resurfacing the ice which takes a lot of time.

NCAA soccer used to have a great rule (at least on the women's side, not sure if the men had it too). For the playoffs only of course. If regulation ended in a tie then you played two 15-minute, non-sudden-death periods. If still tied, then (up to) two 15-minute sudden death periods. Then you went to a shootout.

In the latter end of the glory days of the UNC women's team, Portland (RIP Clive Charles) played a bunker defense all game and held everything scoreless until the 148th or 149th minute when some UNC defender (midfielder?) cracked an amazing shot from about 40 yards out absolutely buried in the top corner of the goal. No, 148 minutes of scoreless bunker soccer wasn't very exciting but the crowd (all still there give or take) went nuts on that goal.
   72. -- Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:16 PM (#5638683)
SBB - Do you really even like baseball anymore? Honest question.


Of course. I don't like the product on offer now very much. The games are way too long and slow. MLB has lost tens of thousands of dollars from me that it would have received had it kept the product like ca. 1988. I had like a 30-game share of Nationals season tickets as recently as 2005. I've been to games since, including two last year in SF, but nowhere near as many as I'd have gone to under ca. 1988 conditions.
   73. -- Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:18 PM (#5638686)
I don't care about hockey or soccer,


Then your knowledge base is deficient, and your expectations consequently unrealistic.
   74. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:19 PM (#5638687)
Nationals season tickets


Are you a Nats fan? If not, just curious what team you support.
   75. -- Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:20 PM (#5638688)
People don't want to sit through an extra period of hockey or half-hour of soccer


??

Neither sport does this in regular season games. Hockey overtime is 5 minutes and ... gasp, guess what? ... they play 3 on 3 so it's more likely a team will score. And ... gasp, guess what, part 2?? ... they credit players for goals they score meaning ... OMG teh books are out of wak!!!! OH NOES, people will be confused about value because some players score goals under irregular conditions!! The humanity!!! What if some guy scores 10 goals in overtime and 25 goals overall and some fans think he's better than a guy who doesn't score in overtime and scores 23 goals overall?!?!?!?!? AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
   76. -- Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5638689)
Are you a Nats fan? If not, just curious what team you support.


I lived in DC and was curious about the new to town Nats. Not a fan. Giants and Tigers.
   77. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5638691)
No, 148 minutes of scoreless bunker soccer wasn't very exciting
Walt, you ignorant Yankee! You just don't appreciate the beauty of the sport. When the one player made that perfect pass to the second player...and then the second player made that great cross pass back to the first player...and then the first player dribbled for a bit, and then delivered it back to the second player...and then she passed it back to the first player...it was a thing of pure beauty and heart-racing excitement to those who are refined enough to appreciate it.
   78. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:23 PM (#5638692)
Giants and Tigers.


Cool, thanks. I root for the Mets that's why I was asking.
   79. -- Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5638693)
The groupthink around here has become just dismal.
   80. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:28 PM (#5638694)
Of course. I don't like the product on offer now very much. The games are way too long and slow. MLB has lost tens of thousands of dollars from me that it would have received had it kept the product like ca. 1988. I had like a 30-game share of Nationals season tickets as recently as 2005. I've been to games since, including two last year in SF, but nowhere near as many as I'd have gone to under ca. 1988 conditions.


1988?

Sutter's arm was shot, Nettles was 44, Sutton was 43, how much more time did you really NEED to determine Bill Almon was never going to pan out like the Padres' scouts had originally believed?

It was time to move on to 1989 and Sosa, Walker, Appier, Belle, and a younger, better Griffey... and the Boys of Zimmer.
   81. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:28 PM (#5638695)
Walt, you ignorant Yankee! You just don't appreciate the beauty of the sport. When the one player made that perfect pass to the second player...and then the second player made that great cross pass back to the first player...and then the first player dribbled for a bit, and then delivered it back to the second player...and then she passed it back to the first player...it was a thing of beauty to those who are refined enough to appreciate it.


Eh, I don't think even the most ardent soccer fan would describe "bunkering" or "parking the bus" as beautiful. Pragmatic perhaps, but not pleasing to the eye. There are plenty of 0-0 draws or 1-0 results that come from free flowing, open, attacking, beautiful soccer -- but that's not bunkering.

   82. -- Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:35 PM (#5638700)
Ties are completely out of fashion in American sport and have been for years. Hockey got rid of them years ago, basketball has never had them, football has very few and only then because completely ensuring their removal would lead to even more brain damage.(*) It's just utterly bizarre that people would prefer introducing them to baseball after a century-plus in lieu of the proposed rule.

Sit through 3 hours and 30 minutes of mostly tedium and then go home without even a winner? Yeah, good luck with that.

(*) And college football got rid of them years ago.
   83. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:46 PM (#5638706)
It's just utterly bizarre that people would prefer introducing them to baseball after a century-plus in lieu of the proposed rule.


This is a false dichotomy though. Yes, I would prefer ties to this extreme rule change, but there are many other more palatable alternatives that don't drastically change the rules of the game. Ties would also be terrible though I agree, just less terrible.
   84. friendofafriend Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5638709)
What is wrong with calling it a tie after 12 innings? In the majors too!

Compute winning percentage like the NFL does: half a win, half a loss.

Postseason games would be suspended after 12 innings and resume the day of the next game in the series.
   85. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 05:54 PM (#5638713)
What is wrong with calling it a tie after 12 innings? In the majors too!


My feeling is that it would be fixing something that isn't broken. The reason games are too long is not because there are too many extra inning games. It's because players fiddle around between pitches a lot more and because there is a lot more offense. However, if they ended up doing that 12 inning solution I would be less devastated than if they started putting runners on base for no reason.
   86. -- Posted: March 15, 2018 at 06:05 PM (#5638717)
It's a completely academic argument anyway, as there is literally zero constituency to introduce ties to baseball.
   87. Booey Posted: March 15, 2018 at 06:08 PM (#5638720)
Of course. I don't like the product on offer now very much. The games are way too long and slow. MLB has lost tens of thousands of dollars from me that it would have received had it kept the product like ca. 1988.


I get wanting the product to return to how it was at the peak of your fandom, but that's not what you've been doing. Some of the changes you've suggested in various threads - reducing games to 7 innings, 3 balls and 2 strikes, etc - are advocating for an entirely different sport altogether. 9 innings and 4 balls/3 strikes are some of the core tenants that make baseball, baseball, IMO.

They didn't use gimmicks like this in 1988, either.


Edit: Basically, I'm trying to understand your logic and coming up short. Instead of saying, "The game was perfect in 1988. Let's get it back to that," you're essentially saying, "The game was perfect in 1988. Let's make it completely different than that."
   88. Baldrick Posted: March 15, 2018 at 06:46 PM (#5638733)
Also ... they're taking this idea from softball. Softball!!

Sneering at an idea because it came from softball isn't a great way to make your position sound better.

This idea is bad, but this isn't why.
   89. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 08:32 PM (#5638753)
Basically, I'm trying to understand your logic
Well, that's easy: "What is the stupidest thing that can be said that will provoke a reaction and get attention for me? That's what I'm going to say." He's a troll, people. He's a troll about baseball, he's a troll about OTP. He isn't sincere or honest about anything he says.
   90. Ziggy's screen name Posted: March 15, 2018 at 08:41 PM (#5638757)
If I suggested that we just don't change anything, do you think that Manfred would consider it?
   91. dejarouehg Posted: March 15, 2018 at 08:57 PM (#5638762)
What is wrong with calling it a tie after 12 innings? In the majors too!


Every***k***thing is wrong with it. It's trying to remedy a problem that doesn't exist.

On a side note, I'm wondering if there is any information relating to the pace of play in extra innings. I feel like the game goes much faster in EI than the first nine, which, if true, I assume is due to less offense - hence, the reason for multiple extra innings; there are often less pitching changes during an inning since the bullpen is often shot; and, maybe fewer commercials?

Regardless, OT baseball is exciting. And if it brings about some unusual circumstances, i.e., Rusty Staub/Jesse Orosco having to play outfield, or a position player pitching, Michael Jack Schmidt hitting his 4th home run of the game in the 25-22 classic, Tommie Agee going 0 for 10, Seaver getting the win in the 32 inning game, Rick Camp hitting a home run...well, it's just another reason all the other sports are a distant second.

   92. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 15, 2018 at 09:13 PM (#5638764)
Extra innings go faster than the 7th-9th inning because both teams have already used up their one-out relievers.

Incidentally, one-out relievers are the whole reason MLB is wanting to introduce this preposterous rule change to limit extra innings. Rules to effectively remove one-out relievers from the game would be a much more welcome way of achieving the goal of not wearing out the poor, poor bullpens.
   93. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 09:35 PM (#5638771)

Every***k***thing is wrong with it. It's trying to remedy a problem that doesn't exist.
Yes, but it's still better than the ghostrunner proposal, which is trying to remedy a problem that doesn't exist with a solution that wouldn't solve it.
   94. PreservedFish Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:10 PM (#5638782)
The ghostrunner comment was in jest, right? The link has nothing about ghost runners.

While I think the extra innings rule is insane, let's at least celebrate that this is still happening:

Should the pitcher fail to begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position in 15 seconds with no runners on base, or 20 seconds with a runner on base, a ball will be awarded to the count on the batter.

Should the batter fail to be in the batter's box and alert to the pitcher with seven (7) or more seconds remaining on the pitch timer, a strike will be awarded to the count on the batter.
   95. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:17 PM (#5638784)
The ghostrunner comment was in jest, right?
For a few more years, anyway.

let's at least celebrate that this is still happening:
In the minors. In the majors, the best that pathetic sack Manfred will do is "You know, we'd really appreciate it if you would maybe consider pitching a little more quickly. Or not, that's fine too."
   96. PreservedFish Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:21 PM (#5638785)
I know, I know. But at least it's something.
   97. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:23 PM (#5638786)
I just have a sinking feeling that the terrible ideas are going to migrate to the majors and the good ones aren't.
   98. PreservedFish Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:25 PM (#5638788)
I was about to post something like "we're not allowed to becry the inevitability of this extra innings garbage leaping to the majors and at the same time assume that the pitch clock will never do the same." But I didn't, because I share your sinking feeling.
   99. Walt Davis Posted: March 15, 2018 at 10:31 PM (#5638789)
Sneering at an idea because it came from softball isn't a great way to make your position sound better.

Failing to recognize hyperbole isn't a great way to win friends and influence people.

As a tip to the humor-impaired, when somebody says something, then repeats the last word with multiple exclamation points, they are at least half-kidding.*** Much like when they refer to one arbitrary alternative as "god-given" and the other as an "abomination."

** I will grant you, I meant to use three exclamation points, not two, which would have been 50% more obvious but 33% less hilaripus.
   100. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 15, 2018 at 11:00 PM (#5638804)

The ghostrunner comment was in jest, right? The link has nothing about ghost runners.
You say tomato, I say tomato.
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