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Monday, April 05, 2021

MLB’s extra-innings rule is back in 2021; here’s why baseball should use ties instead

More specifically, MLB should ditch the automatic runner and negotiate a new rule with the players—one that says any game that remains deadlocked after 12 innings shall be a tie in the standings. This gives each team nine additional outs after the ninth in which to break a tie but also prevents the longer games and their capability to grind the souls of participants into a fine powder. Also, know that this wouldn’t happen all that often. In the last full normal season of 2019, just 0.43 percent of total league innings took place after the 12th inning. The champion Nationals, for instance, played only one (1) regular season game that lasted longer than 12. Yes, there will be ties, but there won’t be many of them. This, by the way, is precisely the system used at the highest level of professional baseball in Japan.

It’s further worth nothing that ties—unlike pretend baserunners—are part of MLB’s history. They were particularly common in the early days of the sport, when stadium lights did not yet exist and thus darkness often put a stop to games. A total of three World Series games ended in ties for that very reason. If that’s too long ago for you, then know that in 2016 the Cubs and Pirates played to a 1-1 tie because weather halted things in the sixth inning.

As for how to account for ties, “do whatever” is the appropriate answer. Don’t count the games if we want. Count them as half a win and half a loss when calculating win percentages. The particulars aren’t all that important because they’ll be pretty rare. If the alternative is seeing what we saw in four different cities on Opening Day, then bring on the ties. Not many of them, mind you, but enough to eliminate the need for the scoring of decisive runs that are spectral in nature.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 05, 2021 at 11:45 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: extra innings, ties

 

 

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