The MLB is always looking for ways to speed up the game. This is something we’ve discussed year in and year out. MLB officials expect the increasing pace of play will lead to increased viewership, especially in the younger generation. Rule changes have been introduced and proposed to take seconds off the game clock every year. It started with the pitch clock and the rule against leaving the batter’s box. Just this week we saw a proposition to change the dynamic of intentional walks. Now, the MLB wants to completely change the way the game is played.
Starting this year in low-level rookie leagues, extra innings will begin with a man on second base. A free baserunner will be added at the beginning of each inning to increase the likelihood of scoring. This should all but guarantee we will no longer see games going past the 10th or 11th innings.
This rule has apparently been used for some time at the international level and will be used in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. We should get some exposure to this new possibility during these games, and the MLB and baseball representatives should be able to get a feel for whether or not the fans enjoy the shift.
I, for one, do not enjoy this new change. I would rather see games going later than give a free pass to a team that hasn’t been able to get anything going. This could also do absolutely nothing for the pace of play, because teams could just continue to score with their allotted baserunner, but I guess we’ll just have to see how it plays out.
What do you think about the rule changes? Like the idea? Dislike the idea? Do you have your own idea? Comment below, and let us know!