Saturday, April 3, 2021

We might hate the new 10th inning rule, but it probably saved the Yankee bullpen from a wipeout

No self-respecting baseball grunt likes Rob Manfred's "Fuck You, Fans" rule, which sticks a runner on second base to start the 10th. Aside from pissing on 100 years of tradition, it effectively kills the rare but magnificent marathon game, the 20-inning affairs that still characterize the seemingly endless summers of our youth. 

I still remember Jack Reed. I was watching.

But why kid ourselves? Baseball is an industry, and you don't leave your product - all those coat-hangers - out in the sun. With shadows between pitchers mound and home plate, and with every batter swinging for a walk-off YouTube moment - (which, in itself, can be monetized) - Thursday's game might have lasted 20 innings and sabotaged the Yankee bullpen before its second game, when Corey Kluber gets his chance.

Today, in an alt-Yankiverse, we can see Michael King or Luis Cessa on the Injured List, having thrown twice their allotment of spring pitches. (Or, it's also just as easy to imagine either having blown Wednesday's game without a free runner on second.)

We can hate the rule. We can hate where the game is going. But this tinkering has gone on for years, and the minor leagues now serve as a test lab for new rules. 

And once you start dabbling with the rules, old records fly out the window.

Personally, I don't think a runner on second is not such a bad thing, just not in the 10th. Maybe the 12th? The 15th? I dunno. At some point, it's fair to give managers and bullpens an exit ramp on an endless game. It just seemed rather sudden this week. And now I'm remembering Jack Reed.


Anonymous said...

For those of you who like to "keep score", what the hell do you put on your scorecard for the guy who shows up on 2nd? I am putting "ABM" (Appeared By Magic).

What I find extremely distasteful about the ABM rule is that it's so very arbitrary. Why only one guy on 2nd? Why not on 1st, or 3rd? Heck, why not bases loaded? Why not bases loaded with two outs to start the inning? Why not two guys on each base, then we might see a 7 run home run? It would be almost like football! Why not have a special female designated runner come out and run hand in hand with the regular player? Why don't we have bases loaded with a special female designated runner at every base accompanying each regular player ... we could call these female players "navigators" ... and they could make out in between pitches ... we could call it "loveball". Something of a cross b/w "dancing with the stars" and "playing with the stars".

The Hammer of God

Anonymous said...


I like ABM.

As to the seven run HR. Don't give them any ideas. I keep waiting for them to add a distance reward similar to the three point shot in basketball where an upper deck HR counts for extra runs.

As to your other suggestions. Adding Loveball may be a little too much for baseball. However it's a perfect fit for the XXXFL.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Hear, hear, Hammer!

You know, baseball did not actually evolve from cricket, or "rounders," as people used to think. Its true ancestor was something called "stool ball," a sort of mating ritual of a game that milk maids used to play with local shepherds and farmhands (I'm not making this up!)

Your version could be a return to that. The couple that scored the winning run(s) would have the option of going on an all-expenses paid date to the closest Domino's Pizza, or maybe to Stan's Sports Bar.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

For those of you who like to "keep score", what the hell do you put on your scorecard for the guy who shows up on 2nd? I am putting "ABM" (Appeared By Magic).

I haven't scored a game yet but I was going to go with "BS2" where the "2" stands for double. I'll let you deduce the rest.

Anonymous said...

"FRD" (Fiat Rule Double)