Al's Ramblings

Thursday, February 09, 2017

(2/09/2017 02:00:00 PM) - Al

What do I think of the possible change to extra inning rules?

You may recall me discussing a way to shorten games last summer. I would suggest one of two things, I think I said they could play 12 innings and then do the "bonus." I suggested starting with the bases loaded and no one out, which would mean that the likelihood of a tie is lessened, as often, each team would score 2-3 runs.

I also have one other idea, an actual "sudden death," which I would call "the final inning."

{Trademark pending.}

The home team would have a choice, either offense or defense. If a run scores, that team wins. No run, the team in the field wins. Obviously, if it was a normal situation, starting with no runners on base, the home team would almost always choose to be in the field. However, there are a variety of things you can do to even the odds...perhaps let the team batting start with anyone at the plate they want, or have their choice of any baserunner at 2B. Think how valuable a player like Billy Hamilton would be if he could begin the "final inning" on 1B or 2B.

Here is the chart that shows each situation from 1984-94, how many runs score on average, and how often a run scores. The closest one to 50% that I see is none out and a man on 1B, at 43.5%. A runner at 2B with no one out resulted in a run 63.3% of the time, so it seems to me that with a top relief pitcher on the mound, the odds would be close to 50%..of course, depending what inning you go with, a team may have already used their top 2-3 relievers. That could play a part in whether the home team chooses offense or defense too.

I will say this...this would lead to a vast increase in excitement...I can imagine the MLB Network, during that nightly cliche ridden recap show

{They just play the right way!}

they have putting a "final inning alert" on the ticker, showing a tie game in the bottom of the 9th (or 10th, or whatever inning precedes sudden death).

How would this go over? Purists would hate it. Most casuals would love it. It would vastly shorten games and reduce stress on the bullpen, both for today's game and the games in the near future. You would also get lots of folks that would insist this is fine for the regular season, but the playoffs would have to go back to "normal." But, like the tiebreaker in tennis, and the shootout in soccer, and so on, eventually, it would just become an accepted part of the game.

With SP's going shorter into games annually, a change like this could lead to teams finally ditching the rotation and just going with middle relievers. Not having to worry about a 16 or 19 inning game would make this a lot easier. It's the direction the sport is headed anyway, but a final inning might speed up the transition.

2/09/2017 02:00:00 PM

Whatever strikes me as interesting, and serious Milwaukee Brewers thoughts. If you are a believer in respecting OBP, throwing strikes, and keeping the ball in the park, you may have found the place you've been searching for. I believe in low taxes, small government, and am not afraid to be labeled patriotic. If you are interested in sausage race results, walk up music, or professional wrestling, you may wish to click elsewhere.

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