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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

MLB should consider adopting a mercy rule

There have been some people around baseball, mainly on baseball broadcasts, who have floated the idea of using a “mercy rule” in MLB games, similar to what’s used in international competition.

To wit: If a team is trailing by 10 or more runs after seven innings, by mutual agreement of the managers the game could be stopped.

I’m coming around. This might actually be a good idea.

Let’s have a look at how many games might be affected by this sort of rule change. I looked at games from 2021 and thus far in 2022, so that’s 2,429 total games from last year and 999 games so far in 2022, a fairly large sample size.

There were 98 games decided by 10 or more runs in 2021 (plus three games that had that large a run differential that were second games of doubleheaders and thus seven innings by rule, so I didn’t count those). That’s four percent of all games.

A team had a lead of 10 runs or more after seven innings in 60 of those 98, or 61.2 percent. But more importantly, that’s 60 games out of 2,429, or 2.4 percent of all games played last year.

Thus far in 2022, there have been 41 MLB games decided by 10 or more runs. This is essentially identical to the four percent from last year. Of the 42, 25 have had that 10-run spread after seven innings, including last night’s Cubs/Pirates game. That’s 60 percent of the overall 10-run games, and again 2.4 percent of all games played to date this year, so those percentages seem to be holding. I’m going to make an assumption that these numbers will hold long-term.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 02:22 PM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mercy rule, position players pitching

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   1. villageidiom Posted: June 21, 2022 at 02:37 PM (#6083082)
Rule 7.03(a)(3) exists. The trailing team doesn't even need agreement from the leading team.

And I see nothing that would compel a trailing team not to continue to play, if you added the wrinkle that they must get mutual agreement from the leading team. That might even be a detriment. It's one thing to ask to end the game, but it's another for the leading team to ask "had enough yet?"
   2. bobm Posted: June 21, 2022 at 02:52 PM (#6083085)
This season, teams leading after 7 innings win 90% of the time, and the largest comeback has been 7 runs, per BB-REF. I would bet that this change would eliminate a not insubstantial number of counting stats (AB, IP, etc.) for player contracts.


Biggest Regular-Season Comebacks
T-1. 12 Runs: Cleveland, Aug. 5, 2001: Trailed 14-2 vs. Seattle Mariners, Won 15-14 in 11 innings
T-1. 12 Runs: Philadelphia Athletics, June 15, 1925 Trailed 15-3 vs. Cleveland, Won 17-15
T-1. 12 Runs: Detroit Tigers, June 18, 1911 Trailed 13-1 vs. Chicago White Sox, Won 16-15

T-4. 11 Runs

July 18, 1994: Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Trailed 11-0 (Bottom 4), Won 15-12
April 17, 1976: Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs, Trailed 13-2 (Top 5), Won 18-16 (10)
June 15, 1952: St. Louis Cardinals at New York Giants, Trailed 11-0 (Top 5), Won 14-12
Aug. 28, 1950: Boston Red Sox vs. Cleveland, Trailed 12-1 (Bottom 4), Won 15-14
June 17, 1936: St. Louis Browns vs. Philadelphia Athletics, Trailed 13-2 (Bottom 6), Won 14-13

T-9. 10 Runs

June 2, 2016: Seattle Mariners at San Diego Padres, Trailed 12-2 (Top 6), Won 16-13
July 20, 2009: Oakland Athletics, vs. Minnesota Twins, Trailed 12-2 (Bottom 3), Won 14-13
May 25, 2009: Cleveland vs. Tampa Bay Rays, Trailed 10-0 (Bottom 4), Won 11-10
May 8, 2004: Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers, Trailed 14-4 (Bottom 5), Won 16-15 (10)
Aug. 21, 1990: Philadelphia Phillies at Los Angeles Dodgers, Trailed 11-1 (Top 8), Won 12-11
June 8, 1989: Philadelphia Phillies, vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, Trailed 10-0 (Bottom 1), Won 15-11
June 4, 1989: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox, Trailed 10-0 (Top 7), Won 13-11 (12)
Sept. 28, 1984: Cleveland vs. Minnesota Twins, Trailed 10-0 (Bottom 3), Won 11-10
June 12, 1938: Detroit Tigers at Washington Senators, Trailed 11-1 (Top 6), Won 18-12
April 25, 1901: Detroit Tigers vs Milwaukee Brewers, Trailed 13-3 (Bottom 8), Won 14-13

Source: https://theanalyst.com/na/2022/03/the-biggest-comebacks-in-major-league-baseball-history/

   3. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 21, 2022 at 02:56 PM (#6083088)
A rule change idea so idiotic not even Rob Manfred has considered it yet, but you know he would.
   4. Karl from NY Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:02 PM (#6083090)
How about borrowing from cricket with the idea of the follow-on?

If a team is leading by X runs in the 7th or later inning, they can choose to have the trailing team complete their batting innings first. (If they tie or take the lead, then go back to the skipped half-innings, and resume normal sequence from there.) This gives the best of both worlds - all the comeback potential of a full game still exists, but we don't waste time and pitches with the trailing team having to pitch in garbage time. It's the same as how we already don't play out the bottom of the ninth, just starting sooner.
   5. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:04 PM (#6083091)
April 25, 1901: Detroit Tigers vs Milwaukee Brewers, Trailed 13-3 (Bottom 8), Won 14-13

Not only was that the greatest last of the 9th comeback of all time,** it was also the first game in Tigers' history.

** Going into the bottom of the 9th, they were trailing by 13 to 4.

April 25, 1901: Tigers’ ‘magnificent batting rally’ caps 10-run comeback in AL opener
The Brewers were retired in order in the top of the ninth, and with the score now 13-4 the Tigers came to bat for a final time. Many in the grandstand were already heading for the exits, “growling profanely,”4 as Doc Casey stepped into the batter’s box.

Casey drove the ball into the overflow crowd in the outfield for a ground-rule double. Jimmy Barrett followed by beating out a slow roller to third. Kid Gleason then singled to center, scoring Casey. Renewed enthusiasm swept the stands, and the roar of the crowd increased in volume with each successive blow by the Tigers. Ducky Holmes followed with a double, scoring Barrett. Dillon hit his third double of the game, scoring Gleason and Holmes. Kid Elberfeld stroked another double to right field, pushing Dillon across the plate. Five runs had now scored with none yet out.

Hugh Duffy came in from center field and removed Pete Dowling in favor of Bert Husting. Husting immediately uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Elberfeld to advance to third, before retiring Kid Nance on an infield grounder for the first out of the inning.

The charged crowd in the outfield pressed closer toward the diamond. The game was delayed a few minutes as the Detroit players ran out to push the throng back behind the ropes to afford the Milwaukee outfielders a fair chance at getting to long drives. When the game resumed, Husting walked the next batter, Fritz Buelow. Pitcher Emil Frisk followed with a single to left, scoring Elberfeld for the Tigers’ 10th run and sixth of the inning.

“Hats were being thrown in the air, coats were flying and everyone was yelling themselves hoarse. One man in the bleachers threw up his coat and when it came down it was in two sections, but he didn’t care so long as Detroit was hitting the ball, and the chances are that he forgot he ever had a coat.”5

Doc Casey, batting for the second time in the inning, laid down a bunt, reaching first just ahead of the throw by diving head-first into the bag. With the bases now loaded, Jimmy Barrett came to bat but went down on strikes for the second out. Kid Gleason then hit a savage grounder that Brewers third baseman Jimmy Burke fumbled, allowing Buelow to score and keeping Detroit’s improbable rally alive. The Tigers pulled within one run when Ducky Holmes beat out a slow roller to Burke that scored Frisk.

It was now up to Frank Dillon. The first baseman already had three ground-rule doubles, including one earlier this inning. With the count at two balls and two strikes, Dillon drove a pitch down the left-field foul line and into the crowd, while Casey and Gleason raced home with the tying and winning runs.

With Dillon’s hit, pandemonium broke loose at Bennett Park. “Roaring, howling and screaming,”6 the crowd poured out of the stands onto the field. “The crowd almost tore [Dillon] to pieces, and finally he was picked up and carried around the field on the shoulders of some of the excited spectators.”7

The Detroit Tigers were winners in their American League debut by the virtue of, as one account described it, “the most magnificent batting rally ever seen.”8
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:11 PM (#6083092)
T-1. 12 Runs: Cleveland, Aug. 5, 2001: Trailed 14-2 vs. Seattle Mariners, Won 15-14 in 11 innings


That's the 116-win Mariners blowing a 12-run lead.
   7. JRVJ Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:12 PM (#6083094)
Upon reading Rule 7.03(a)(3) (coke to Village Idiom), I wonder what would happen if MLB came down with a directive to the effect that they would in no way punish teams who apply this rule and end a game when down by X number of runs.
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:18 PM (#6083096)
I'd think that teams that knew they were going to be playing in October would love to see a rule like this, since it'd result in more rest for their pitchers, even if it wouldn't come into play that often.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:23 PM (#6083098)
the best part is the discount the fans would receive for not getting the 9-inning (or 8 1/2 inning, they hoped) game that they paid for.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:34 PM (#6083101)
If a team is leading by X runs in the 7th or later inning, they can choose to have the trailing team complete their batting innings first. (If they tie or take the lead, then go back to the skipped half-innings, and resume normal sequence from there.) This gives the best of both worlds - all the comeback potential of a full game still exists, but we don't waste time and pitches with the trailing team having to pitch in garbage time. It's the same as how we already don't play out the bottom of the ninth, just starting sooner.
Why would the leading team ever choose that? The manager would always say "we're trying to win a series, we want to make them use their bullpen, more reps for our hitters, yada yada."
   11. Walt Davis Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:36 PM (#6083103)
The game ends when fewer than 8,000 fans are left in the stands. It would certainly save a lot of time in Oakland this Sept.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:38 PM (#6083105)
Why would the leading team ever choose that?

As he said, it comes from cricket. By that point, the match has been going on for about 17 days.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:40 PM (#6083106)
Such a rule needs to be team-specific. For example, Angels games end when Trout and Ohtani have (likely) had their last PAs (no need to play at all if neither is in the lineup).
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:43 PM (#6083108)
The game ends when fewer than 8,000 fans are left in the stands.
Snipers are the new market inefficiency.
   15. Karl from NY Posted: June 21, 2022 at 03:50 PM (#6083111)
Why would the leading team ever choose that?

Good point; it would probably need to be automatic. Or the trailing team's choice, since they're the ones who would be throwing in garbage relievers and may as well avoid that.
   16. Jay Seaver Posted: June 21, 2022 at 04:43 PM (#6083127)
the best part is the discount the fans would receive for not getting the 9-inning (or 8 1/2 inning, they hoped) game that they paid for.


This. I suppose you can make an argument that a game which could get mercy-ruled has already been exciting and memorable, but I don't know how many fans would want this. Like the zombie runners, this seems to be something that mostly appeals to those for whom playing/covering baseball is a job, not something that is going to improve the experience for the paying customers.
   17. salvomania Posted: June 21, 2022 at 04:44 PM (#6083128)
MLB should consider adopting a mercy rule

This writer should consider jumping out a window.
   18. John Northey Posted: June 21, 2022 at 06:02 PM (#6083147)
So silly. The only reason you get mercy rules in kids sports is due to gross differences between teams and even then it can be odd - my daughter for example in a tournament had a 2 game final - they were within 1 run of the mercy rule in game 1, then lost by the mercy rule in game 2. If teams at low levels can flip that fast, as a single game it would've been a 1 run affair, then what about ML teams? Yeah, no one has come back from more than 12 runs ever but that is the beauty of baseball - it could happen. You can be losing with 2 outs in the 9th and down to your final strike and still come back to win, even in the World Series.
   19. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 21, 2022 at 08:02 PM (#6083163)
What should happen is this:

If a team has a 10-run lead after 7, the umpires quietly remind both teams that the strike zone is about to get a lot bigger. If it is remotely close to the plate, swing the bat, because it will be a strike otherwise.

When I was a kid, I thought it was common knowledge that on "getaway day" of a series, the umpires basically did exactly this for most of the game, blowout or not.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: June 21, 2022 at 08:03 PM (#6083164)
OK, how about, by mutual agreement once the gap is 13 runs, then players on both teams are replaced by fans in the stands. The road team gets the first dozen picks and the umpires are respnsible for insuring the new road team is still making a fair effort. One or two details to iron out but the fans would love it.

Fans would hate the mercy rule not so much because they get robbed of two innings of meaningless baseball but because those who had enough sense to leave after 6 no longer have an easier time getting out of parking or onto public transport.
   21. tonywagner Posted: June 21, 2022 at 08:52 PM (#6083171)
OK, how about, by mutual agreement once the gap is 13 runs, then players on both teams are replaced by fans in the stands

Do the fans accumulate service time?
   22. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 22, 2022 at 08:52 AM (#6083218)
If a team has a 10-run lead after 7, the umpires quietly remind both teams that the strike zone is about to get a lot bigger. If it is remotely close to the plate, swing the bat, because it will be a strike otherwise.


Oh Andy's not going to like this. A strike a twelfth an inch outside is an abomination.
   23. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 22, 2022 at 01:09 PM (#6083256)
What if a pitcher had a perfect game intact after finishing the 7th inning in a 10-0 game? What if a batter was due to lead off the 8th with a 55 game hitting streak on the line?
   24. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 22, 2022 at 01:20 PM (#6083257)
What if a pitcher had a perfect game intact after finishing the 7th inning in a 10-0 game?

"So? What's the big deal about that?" -- Clayton Kershaw.
   25. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 22, 2022 at 01:34 PM (#6083261)
Perhaps there should be a permanent BBTF thread where those so inclined can continuously labor to turn The National Pastime into Calvinball.

No Mercy & No One On My Lawn!
   26. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: June 22, 2022 at 01:36 PM (#6083262)
T-1. 12 Runs: Cleveland, Aug. 5, 2001: Trailed 14-2 vs. Seattle Mariners, Won 15-14 in 11 innings
A game I'll forever remember because it was playing the background while I was attempting to break up with my then-girlfriend.

Like Seattle's lead, it didn't take.
   27. TJ Posted: June 22, 2022 at 01:56 PM (#6083272)
What should happen is this:

If a team has a 10-run lead after 7, the umpires quietly remind both teams that the strike zone is about to get a lot bigger. If it is remotely close to the plate, swing the bat, because it will be a strike otherwise.


I played in a number of blowouts where the home plate ump did this. What we usually heard was something like, “Come up ready to swing, boys”, which everyone knew meant the strike zone was about to get bigger. If there was anything umps hated in a blowout were walks…
   28. Ithaca2323 Posted: June 22, 2022 at 02:13 PM (#6083276)
I'm not opposed to this idea at all.

Teams essentially give up the minute they put a position player to pitch. They're saying "We know this outcome is decided, and we're just trying to get it formally over with." What's wrong with formally recognizing it, and saving everyone 35 minutes of NFL Pro Bowl type effort?

However, I doubt this would happen. Remember the Bumgarner "no-hitter" issue for 2021? That would potentially come up again. Plenty of those have been thrown in 10-0 or worse games.

Also, consider how baseball loves numbers/records. The minute someone winds up with 72 HR, or finishes their career with 497 HR, or 2,991 hits, we're going to have a whole bunch of handwringing over how this rule robbed the fans of something historic...blah, blah. Imagine the meltdown we'd have if some player had a 55-game hitting streak and was due to come up in the 9th with a chance to extend it only for the game to be mercy ruled in the 8th?
   29. bobm Posted: June 22, 2022 at 06:25 PM (#6083318)
ETA: Remember the Bumgarner "no-hitter" issue for 2021? That would potentially come up again. Plenty of those have been thrown in 10-0 or worse games.

About half of the 10+ run differential no hitters were still less than 10-0 after 7 innings.

For single games, In the Regular Season, Pitcher Won, In complete games, requiring Hits Allowed = 0, sorted by descending Team Run Differential.

                                                                        
Rk           Player TmRDiff H           Date    Age  Team Opp Result  IP  Line Score R-End-7 R-End-8
1      Jake Arrieta      16 0     2016-04-21 30-046   CHC CIN W 16-0 9.0 220 104 403      13      13
2       Frank Smith      15 0 1905-09-06 (2) 25-313   CHW DET W 15-0 9.0 810 010 500      15      15
3     Monte Pearson      13 0 1938-08-27 (2) 29-359   NYY CLE W 13-0 9.0 502 302 10X      13      13
4      Reid Detmers      12 0     2022-05-10 22-306   LAA TBR W 12-0 9.0 233 000 04X       8      12
5        Alec Mills      12 0     2020-09-13 28-288   CHC MIL W 12-0 9.0 000 540 102      10      10
6     Eddie Cicotte      11 0     1917-04-14 32-299   CHW SLB W 11-0 9.0 170 102 000      11      11
7        Bob Gibson      11 0     1971-08-14 35-278   STL PIT W 11-0 9.0 500 030 030       8      11
8      Carl Hubbell      11 0     1929-05-08 25-320   NYG PIT W 11-0 9.0 222 005 00X      11      11
9         Al Leiter      11 0     1996-05-11 30-201   FLA COL W 11-0 9.0 620 012 00X      11      11
10    Clay Buchholz      10 0     2007-09-01 23-018   BOS BAL W 10-0 9.0 010 304 02X       8      10
11        Matt Cain      10 0     2012-06-13 27-256   SFG HOU W 10-0 9.0 232 120 00X      10      10
12     Chick Fraser      10 0 1903-09-18 (2) 30-023   PHI CHC W 10-0 9.0 400 020 103       7       7
13   Claude Hendrix      10 0     1915-05-15 26-032   CHI PBS W 10-0 9.0 003 031 210       9      10
14       Derek Lowe      10 0     2002-04-27 28-330   BOS TBD W 10-0 9.0 106 100 02X       8      10
15      Jim Maloney      10 0     1969-04-30 28-332   CIN HOU W 10-0 9.0 100 700 02X       8      10


Provided by Stathead.com: View Stathead Tool Used
Generated 6/22/2022.
   30. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 22, 2022 at 06:42 PM (#6083325)
April 25, 1901: Detroit Tigers vs Milwaukee Brewers, Trailed 13-3 (Bottom 8), Won 14-13

Not only was that the greatest last of the 9th comeback of all time,** it was also the first game in Tigers' history.

** Going into the bottom of the 9th, they were trailing by 13 to 4.


So Andy, did you have a good seat? How much were tickets back then?
   31. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 22, 2022 at 07:47 PM (#6083344)
About half of the 10+ run differential no hitters were still less than 10-0 after 7 innings.


Yes, but all but one were 10+ after 8. The mercy rule doesn't apply just to the end of the 7th, and an 8 inning no hitter would be just as invalid as a 7 inning one.
   32. Cooper Nielson Posted: June 23, 2022 at 06:31 AM (#6083385)
Like the author of this article, I'm starting to come around to the idea of an MLB mercy rule, provided it meets the following criteria:

1) The bar is set sufficiently high (a 10-run lead after the trailing team has batted in 7 innings sounds reasonable).

2) It is optional and must be agreed to by both sides. The managers would be asked if they want to continue playing (i) at the moment the 10-run margin is reached and (ii) at the beginning of each subsequent half-inning where the lead is still 10 or more. If both managers agree to stop playing, it's a mercy win. If either manager wants to continue playing, the game continues until the natural end.

If these two criteria are met, most of the complaints are resolved.

"Teams have come back from 10 runs behind and it's really exciting! We will never see this again." I count two games in bobm's list in #2 where a team came back in what could have been a mercy-rule game. This is in 120+ years. And I'll bet those two teams did not pull all their starters and have position players pitching. They were still trying to win, and this mercy rule would still allow that because the trailing manager could always opt to keep competing.

"Pitchers would not get to complete their no-hitters/batters would not get to finish their cycle or hit their fifth home run." Again, the leading manager would have the option to continue the game to help his players reach personal milestones.

"Fans paid to see a whole game. They should get a refund." This one is not fully resolvable. However, I think that most fans of the trailing team do not really want to see their misery extended. And most fans of the leading team will feel pretty happy that they built a 10-run lead in the first place. Plus, it takes time (and plate appearances) to build a 10-run lead so in many or most cases, these 7- or 8-inning games will still be longer than average in terms of time.

"The lost plate appearances will hurt individual players' pursuit of records and incentives (which could eventually hurt their salary arbitration cases)." Again, not fully resolvable. Certainly, players will lose opportunities that they would have had pre-mercy rule, but I think the number will end up being rather small. At the extreme, a team might be involved in 15 such games in a year, and even if you assume 2 remaining plate appearances per game (clearly an over-generous estimate -- and starters are often pulled in the late innings of these games anyway), that's 30 PA lost, maximum. More likely the league leader in "PA lost to the mercy rule" each year would have 10 or fewer. That's something, but it's not much.

"We won't see position players pitching anymore. That's fun!" We'll certainly see it less, but it will still happen. And because the rule would be optional, managers could still choose to continue a lost-cause game to let team legends like Albert Pujols or Yadier Molina have a chance to fulfill their dream of pitching from a major-league mound.
   33. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 23, 2022 at 09:40 AM (#6083396)
Like the author of this article, I'm starting to come around to the idea of an MLB mercy rule

Now that I've wasted some brain cells on it, I think it delegitimizes the game even more than a dugout full of zombie runners. Kiddie leagues have mercy rules. Major professional leagues do not. The solution to "Oh noes! All these position players pitching makes a mockery of the game." isn't to enact some mercy rule from Little League. Since we've now legalesed the definition of what a "pitcher" is, the solution is that only "pitchers" are allowed to pitch. The quants have taken what was an occasional light moment in a blowout game and turned it into an actual tactical decision in order to "protect and save" their precious bullpen arms that they otherwise treat as completely disposable. GTFO with that noise.
   34. Lassus Posted: June 23, 2022 at 11:25 AM (#6083405)
No.

   35. Ithaca2323 Posted: June 23, 2022 at 11:29 AM (#6083407)
The quants have taken what was an occasional light moment in a blowout game and turned it into an actual tactical decision in order to "protect and save" their precious bullpen arms that they otherwise treat as completely disposable. GTFO with that noise.


This is my take on position players pitching (though that horse it out of the barn)

It's so odd to me that so many people hated watching pitchers try to hit and be terrible, and are just so cool with position players pitching. What's the difference? It's hard to compare outcomes directly, because position players tend to come in during blowouts where hitters on the winning team might just not really care that much, but I'm guessing it's not good.
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: June 23, 2022 at 11:47 AM (#6083410)
how about both?

from last night:

PITTSBURGH -- At-bats are for closers.

Cubs reliever David Robertson waited until the 696th game of his 14-season career for his first. So who can blame him for smiling after striking out?

In the ninth inning of the Cubs' 14-5 rout of the Pirates on Wednesday, the veteran reliever, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning, grabbed Yan Gomes' helmet and Christopher Morel's bat to see how the other half lives. It's an opportunity that, in Robertson’s words, “made my dream come true.”

“[Manager David Ross and I] talked about it before the position player got in,” Robertson said. “If the DH was up and I came in, he could pinch-hit me for the DH. So we talked about it. I just didn’t think it was going to happen. We had to go all the way through the order for me to get up there.

“And then I blew it. I blew it!”

Entering Wednesday, Robertson’s 695 career games were fourth most of any player without a plate appearance, behind only Buddy Groom (786), Joakim Soria (773), and Bryan Shaw (722). The last time he’d made a plate appearance was high school.

Not to mention, he stepped in against a position player. Trailing 10-1 entering the ninth, the Pirates put second baseman Diego Castillo on the hill, and you'll never guess what happened: The Cubs sent seven men to the plate -- including four with two outs -- giving Robertson his long-awaited at-bat.

Robertson worked the count full after falling behind 1-2. But on a shoulder-high 50.7 mph fastball (?), Robertson took a mighty swing and came up empty. But he left the batter's box smiling, telling his dugout: "I wasn't not going to swing."
   37. John DiFool2 Posted: June 23, 2022 at 12:15 PM (#6083419)
Missed his chance to have the highest OBP all time (until the sun burns out, and beyond) with that swing.
   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 23, 2022 at 12:38 PM (#6083421)
This is my take on position players pitching (though that horse it out of the barn)
Actually, according to his BBRef page, ARod never pitched an inning.
   39. Mayor Blomberg Posted: June 23, 2022 at 01:49 PM (#6083433)
"Fans paid to see a whole game. They should get a refund." This one is not fully resolvable.

Rainouts.
7-inning doubleheaders.

Nothing new here; I'm agnostic on the idea mostly because of the contract incentive/individual record issues. An alternative would be that it's over when the manager decides to pitch a position player.
   40. base ball chick Posted: June 23, 2022 at 05:18 PM (#6083489)
Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 23, 2022 at 09:40 AM (#6083396)
Like the author of this article, I'm starting to come around to the idea of an MLB mercy rule

Now that I've wasted some brain cells on it, I think it delegitimizes the game even more than a dugout full of zombie runners. Kiddie leagues have mercy rules. Major professional leagues do not. The solution to "Oh noes! All these position players pitching makes a mockery of the game." isn't to enact some mercy rule from Little League. Since we've now legalesed the definition of what a "pitcher" is, the solution is that only "pitchers" are allowed to pitch. The quants have taken what was an occasional light moment in a blowout game and turned it into an actual tactical decision in order to "protect and save" their precious bullpen arms that they otherwise treat as completely disposable. GTFO with that noise.


- a-effing-men

of course, we could run a promo where the mercy rule guys get to dress up in little league unis after the game and some late middle aged plumply smiling mom-type ladies will give pweshuus oodwums sad widdo boysie doos who couldn't finish their high paid professional game a nice widdow ice cream cone. with cute widdow sprinkles
   41. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: June 23, 2022 at 05:20 PM (#6083490)
most of the complaints are resolved.


Except for the one about how more baseball is better than less baseball.
   42. VCar Posted: June 23, 2022 at 06:22 PM (#6083505)
I can see the owners voting this down since it will cost them $ from concessions.
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: June 23, 2022 at 11:09 PM (#6083652)
not that I would personally know, but I believe most stadiums cut out beer sales - the biggest ticket upsell item - around the middle of the 7th inning. so yes, but not so much
   44. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 24, 2022 at 04:29 AM (#6083668)
Rainouts


the proposed rule is more like a rainout when you’re playing in a dome.
   45. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 24, 2022 at 06:33 AM (#6083671)
Only if they play a recording of Roy Orbison saying "Mercy!"
   46. Cris E Posted: June 24, 2022 at 12:22 PM (#6083707)
The quants have taken what was an occasional light moment in a blowout game and turned it into an actual tactical decision in order to "protect and save" their precious bullpen arms that they otherwise treat as completely disposable. GTFO with that noise.


Preach!

Regarding missed PA or IP: guys on unusually terrible or outstanding teams will face this more than the vast majority of normal teams. But even guys that rarely get days off already get plenty of chances to sit during blowouts. Lots of garbage time is available in a twelve run laugher and not all of it is on the mound.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: June 24, 2022 at 09:20 PM (#6083770)
are just so cool with position players pitching.

I don't know that anybody other than the paid nerds are "so cool" with it. Resigned to it perhaps. To their credit, at least the players are still trying to have fun with it. MLBtv here regularly runs the clip of Rizzo striking out Freddie Freeman and both players were laughing and having a good time about it. Pujols and Yadi pitching this year were a fun moment for all the players. Anthony Rendon hitting his LH HR. If the players don't mind, I can live with it.
   48. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: June 25, 2022 at 12:12 AM (#6083790)
Since the idea of giving up a couple innings is becoming more acceptable, I want to see more games ended early when it rains. Playing in a downpour or waiting an hour or more to play in conditions more prone to injury after the majority of the fans have gone home makes little sense.
   49. Ithaca2323 Posted: June 25, 2022 at 09:29 PM (#6083887)
MLBtv here regularly runs the clip of Rizzo striking out Freddie Freeman and both players were laughing and having a good time about it. Pujols and Yadi pitching this year were a fun moment for all the players.


Random incidents can be fun. 30+ years ago, Dave Winfield completed the cycle with a triple off a position player on June 24, 1991.

But that's because the Royals pitching staff had major issues. How so? Tom Gordon started the game on June 22, threw 123 pitches, and then came out of the bullpen on the 24th and threw 52! (The Royals had played a DH on the 23rd, and one of those games had gone 12 innings)

The problem is, as was stated, is that these things aren't just fun one-offs when things go off the rails and you have no other options like the Winfield game. It's just what teams do in blowouts now. They stop caring about the results of what might happen, and everyone on the field is just laughing while a dude lobs 50 MPH pitches in.


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