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Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Home Run Derby, Anyone? Eight Ideas to Shorten Extra Innings

The start of spring without baseball has left many of us with ample time to obsess over the game we don’t have. While we devote our attention to watching classic games, reading great baseball books and rewatching favorite films, getting our baseball fix also involves pondering the state of our game.

Revamping extra innings is among the structural changes the league is considering to improve pace of play. Some ideas, like beginning the inning with a runner on second base, have already been implemented at certain levels of baseball. Others, like Justin Turner proposing a home run derby to decide games in extras, are much more drastic.

Below is a list of eight possible changes–tiered by their invasiveness–baseball can make to its extra-innings format to avoid six-hour games and ensure a more exciting product. It’s worth acknowledging every idea is slanted to encourage offense so games end sooner. Apologies to all the pitchers in the baseball universe. 

While I am still partial to the status quo, some of these extra-innings suggestions do sound fun.

With conditions being what they are, discussing this seems to be rather out of place…..

 

QLE Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:04 AM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bad ideas, extra innings, home run derby

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   1. Sweatpants Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:07 AM (#5937172)
Below is a list of eight possible changes–tiered by their invasiveness–baseball can make to its extra-innings format to avoid six-hour games and ensure a more exciting product.
Obviously, this wouldn't ensure a more exciting product, because most games don't go to extra innings. It's more like when they changed intentional walks from four pitches to zero. It will reduce the time spent in a certain aspect of the game, but it fails to address the problem that people have with long baseball games, and it affects something that doesn't even happen in every game.

I wonder what the breaking point will be. How long does the average time of a game have to get before they actually start attacking the dawdling that everyone knows is the real problem?
   2. bunyon Posted: April 07, 2020 at 09:01 AM (#5937200)
Long extra inning games aren't the problem. A 15 inning game is, often, really fun and exciting.

It's the four and a half hour 5-2 game that is the problem.

Of course, you all know this. And, also, I'd gladly watch a four and a half hour 5-2 game right now.
   3. winnipegwhip Posted: April 07, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5937223)
Dear Mr. Martell:

I understand. Writer's block is a #####. Go cover soccer.

I agree with Bunyon...the 15 inning game is often fun and exciting. I remember on a Saturday afternoon years back stumbling on a FOX game (the Cards were the home team) and it was in the 15 or 16th inning. Well I started watching with my daughter and we were committed to the end....how will it end...but more important when was it going to end. It was like we were rooting for the game to continue.
   4. catomi01 Posted: April 07, 2020 at 10:56 AM (#5937248)
I agree with Bunyon...the 15 inning game is often fun and exciting. I remember on a Saturday afternoon years back stumbling on a FOX game (the Cards were the home team) and it was in the 15 or 16th inning. Well I started watching with my daughter and we were committed to the end....how will it end...but more important when was it going to end. It was like we were rooting for the game to continue.


Ultra-long games are some of the best around. As a Yankee fan, the only Orioles game I remember in recent times (not involving the Yankees) was the game where Chris Davis got the win. Guys playing out of position, short relievers going multiple innings, do-or-die pitches every time the home team is at the plate - what's not to love?
   5. Jay Seaver Posted: April 07, 2020 at 11:38 AM (#5937264)
We say it every time one of these article comes up, but it bears repeating: This is a beat-writer problem, and that's just about it. Fans, as near as I can tell, love extra-inning games, especially when it reaches the Weird Baseball stage.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 07, 2020 at 11:50 AM (#5937266)
This is a beat-writer problem, and that's just about it.
Well, players and managers also don’t like long extra inning games. Which is why they will go away long before the beloved dicking around ever will.
   7. Itchy Row Posted: April 07, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5937281)
• Innings 10 and 11: Runner on first

• Innings 12 and 13: Runners on first and second

• Inning 14 and beyond: Bases loaded and one out
Inning 15: start with runners halfway between first and second, second and third, and third and home. That could be fun.
   8. Itchy Row Posted: April 07, 2020 at 01:49 PM (#5937313)
I don't think anything has to change, but I would prefer just having games end in ties over any of the gimmick fixes.
   9. Ithaca2323 Posted: April 07, 2020 at 02:55 PM (#5937344)
According to baseball reference, there were a total of 208 extra inning games and 891 extra innings last year.

I just feel that the "14/15 inning games" thing is such an odd complaint, because they're just too infrequent to really matter.
   10. bunyon Posted: April 07, 2020 at 05:15 PM (#5937396)
Well, players and managers also don’t like long extra inning games. Which is why they will go away long before the beloved dicking around ever will.

If they stopped dicking around, they'd get done earlier all the time.


And, yes, I'd rather ties than gimmicks.
   11. flournoy Posted: April 07, 2020 at 06:50 PM (#5937432)
One of my favorite games I remember watching as a kid was this one. The Braves were down 8-1 going into the bottom of the ninth and rallied to score seven runs, including a three run homer by Mike Mordecai in his second career at bat. The score stayed tied at 8-8 through five and a half more innings. Mike Stanton pitched four scoreless innings and went two for two at the plate, winning the game in the bottom of the fifteenth inning with a squeeze bunt single.

This was one of the greatest games of all time. I say "No thank you" to this home run derby business.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 07, 2020 at 07:50 PM (#5937449)
Bring back baseball as we know it, not some bastardized version. No gimmicks.
   13. KronicFatigue Posted: April 07, 2020 at 08:15 PM (#5937455)
Has anyone ever measured the % of time the ball is in play during a game, and how much that percentage has decreased with the dawdling and TTO? Football's has been measured, and is very low. Basketball and soccer are both high.

Baseball's a sport you "watch" as part of a multi-task. I'm not sure I could stare at ONLY a baseball game for all 9 innings.
   14. John Northey Posted: April 07, 2020 at 11:18 PM (#5937480)
Some of those sound fun. The losing a fielder each inning in extras I love as that would really expose teams with poor team speed/fielding. Probably give up an OF first, then 3B, then 2B, then another OF, ...

The HR derby isn't really something I'd be in favor of, but it would be interesting. Especially if the other team picked who threw. As a Jays fan with Vlad on the team it'd work out well for my team. :)
   15. Ron J Posted: April 08, 2020 at 07:35 AM (#5937507)
#14 I expected somebody from the True North to suggest something already in use. 5 minutes of 4 on 4 followed by a shootout if still tied.
   16. bunyon Posted: April 08, 2020 at 08:17 AM (#5937514)
I've watched HR derbies. They take longer than real baseball.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: April 08, 2020 at 09:15 AM (#5937524)
to be fair, the vast rules changes a couple of years ago turned HR Derby from the most unwatchable idea ever invented into ...... something still not quite worth watching.

that is a YUGE upgrade.
   18. catomi01 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5937808)
The HR derby isn't really something I'd be in favor of, but it would be interesting. Especially if the other team picked who threw. As a Jays fan with Vlad on the team it'd work out well for my team. :)


I will support the HR derby idea if each team picks the others batters and hitters. I want to see Brett Gardner trying to throw strike to Adam Ottavino with the game on the line while the Astros are trying to get Justin Verlander back from the clubhouse to bat after he started the game earlier that day.
   19. JJ1986 Posted: April 09, 2020 at 10:46 AM (#5937810)
1. Don't change ####### anything.
2. Ties after some number of innings.
3. There are no other acceptable options.
   20. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 09, 2020 at 11:38 AM (#5937824)
I give a soccerphilic friend of mine crap all the time about how can he take soccer seriously as a sport when -- in the biggest game in the sport -- they often run around for 2 hours playing soccer then they settle the game by not playing soccer?

I hope baseball never devolves to the point that they settle games by not playing baseball.

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