MLB rule change for extra innings? @ MLBRT 2/16

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Rule change? In MLB? Now what?

Yep… the people who “run” the game are thinking of changing the way the game is played… at least as far as extra innings go, in an effort to “speed up” the game. See what the crew thinks about that idea and lots more this week in MLBRT…

New extra-innings rule? MLB grapples with pace of game vs tradition
New extra-innings rule? MLB grapples with pace of game vs tradition

1) On Wednesday (2/8), Yahoo! Sports reported that MLB will experiment this season in the rookie league and Arizona Fall League with placing a runner at second base at the start of an extra inning to try to help end the games sooner. A similar rule has been used in international baseball for nearly a decade and will be implemented in the World Baseball Classic this spring. implementation at higher levels, and even the major leagues, may be warranted.

MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who favors the testing the proposed rule, said, “Let’s see what it looks like. It’s not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch. As much as it’s nice to talk about being at an 18-inning game, it takes time. It’s baseball. I’m just trying to get back to that, where this is the game that people come to watch. It doesn’t mean you’re going to score. You’re just trying to play baseball.”

In your opinion are you in favor, against or indifferent to the testing of the proposed rule change to the way the game is played… at least as far as extra innings go?

archie1-300x277Archie: Who am I to criticize the great Joe Torre. On the other hand, who the hell is he to make excuses for Managers?

I am NOT in favor of putting someone in scoring position JUST To try and shorten the game. It’s not fair to the pitcher coming to the mound. It’s not fair to the team that may or may not have rallied to tie the game. And for what? Just to speed up to the end?rule change 1

Sometimes the end of a baseball game is the most exciting part and the trip to get there is the ride the fans are there to see. IF, I am at the game and I have to get up early the next morning, it is MY choice as whether or not I want to leave. The game itself should not change to accommodate MY schedule.

As far as Torre’s quote… I’m tired of managers being so quick to change pitchers. In this day of specialization where a pitcher comes in and throws one pitch to record an out and then is gone; well, that is BS in my book.

Games that go into extra innings varies by year, but usually is about 10% Last year, there were relatively few extra inning games.
Games that go into extra innings varies by year, but usually is about 10% Last year, there were relatively few extra inning games.

Want to speed up the game? Let’s do this with every relief pitching change, the pitcher has to face a minimum of three batters unless he is injured and in that case his replacement comes in, gets only three warm up tosses and the game continues? If, that team has more than one injury replacement the third relief pitcher coming in has to finish the game.  With that there would Not be as many breaks for a new pitcher to come in and get his 8 tosses and delay the game while doing so.

In 1964 teams used an average of 2.58 pitchers per game. Today that number is right around 4. AVERAGING 4 PITCHERS PER GAME. Do you see the problem here? Another addition to that is the Nomar Garciaparra’s of the game. You know them; they step out of the batter’s box after every single pitch and adjust both batting gloves a couple times each, hold their hand up as if asking for time as they step back in and then when they are set the game continues.  Let’s make it the pitcher and batter as well have to at least be SET and ready within XX seconds and ENFORCE IT.

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: I’m not in favor of this. It actually sounds a bit silly to me.

I’m not a traditionalist per se, but I don’t understand why experimental rules like this needs to exist. Keep baseball as it is.

Thing of the past?
Thing of the past?

steve-01-288x300Steve: I like the idea about it, but, I would have many questions that come about.

Such as, does the pitcher get charged for an earned run in the event that runner on second scores? I think the idea to shorten games makes it something at least to visit.

I do like that they are doing it at the WBC to see how it works. If, in fact, we do see it in MLB, it will be years before it is implemented. I personally don’t think we will ever see it in the big leagues, but, I would not be necessarily opposed to it.

2) Going back to Joe Torre’s comment in Question 1, where he said “It’s not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch. As much as it’s nice to talk about being at an 18-inning game, it takes time.” 

Instead of MLB testing the proposed rule change in Question 1, what would you think if a game goes beyond… say arguably the 13th inning… that MLB create a rule (or some variation) that allows a team’s bullpen to be flipped over to be re-used in the game? 

archie1-300x277Archie: They say that once a pitcher has entered and left they “cool down” and should not re-enter due to possible injury. I’m not a doctor but I do believe there are some pitchers that could re-enter without problems; especially IF they go back to the bull pen and stay loose. IF, they go to the bench and sit on their ass then maybe not so much.Bullpen

I would be okay with this WITH THE following stipulation; The manager MUST announce the pitcher is a candidate for return when pulling him AND he can only return in case of injury or the pitcher he is replacing has already pitched a minimum of three innings or 50 pitches.

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: That’s fair to a point. You don’t want to overuse arms to create a strain on the pitcher and the rotation, but, doing so also allows a team to avoid sending a utility player up there to pitch in case of emergency. It’s not fun when you have to throw a second baseman out there (for example) because you have run out of pitchers to use in the bullpen.

steve-01-288x300Steve: Honestly, I like this idea better than the runner on second. Having a team being able to re-use their bullpen may help with the need to having a position player pitch. I almost feel as if the team is left with no other choice unless they want to go to a starter and mess up the entire rotation.

I would be a proponent to this rule change, if, they can get it passed.

3) The last team that could arguably be called a dynasty in MLB was the Joe Torre managed Yankees during the late 1990s… 4 championships in 5 years and 6 World Series appearances in 8 years.  In your opinion, are the present day Chicago Cubs capable of a similar run? Why or why not?

archie1-300x277Archie: Capable, why not. Possibly, not sure. Likely, no.dynasty

It is just too hard to repeat like the Yankees did then given the more and more specialization of baseball. You got to remember they had the best closer to ever play the game on their team back then so all they had to do was get the lead and it was a done deal. NO ONE dominates now like Rivera did.

Secondly, no team is as Committed to the finances like the Yankees are. People tell me all the time that you can’t buy Championships, but, I definitely disagree. Even with my beloved Braves when they won so many consecutive titles THEY were top 5 year in and year out in salary. Now that they are not even relevant they remain closer to middle to lower part of the pack in salary.

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: They have the lineup and the pitching staff to make the run. They are a young team mixed with veteran leadership and despite some depletion of their farm system, there should be enough young guns to fill in the gaps if necessary.

Basically, what I am saying is that they are capable of coming close to what the Yankees did in the late 90s and early 2000’s.

steve-01-288x300Steve: Dammit! I hate it when people start calling the Cubs a dynasty, or, even hinting towards the fact. Yes, they have the talent on and off the field to win multiple World Championships, however, it is hard to win just one World Series, not to mention two, three, or even four. This team is talented, and should be talented for a long time. I am not ready, however, to call them a potential dynasty.

Yankees? Sure, Patriots? Sure. Cubs? Not yet.

4) Sports columnist John Harper of the New York Daily News says the Indians pitching makes them one of the best teams in MLB. He adds that they already had the 2nd best offense (runs scored) in the majors, and, if, Michael Brantley rebounds back from shoulder surgery, plus, with the signing of Edwin Encarnacion and a full year of Andrew Miller in the bullpen they just might be the best team in MLB.

In your opinion do you agree or disagree with Harper? Why or why not?

archie1-300x277Archie: Many good arguments there. I can’t find a team on paper that matches up well against them. However, the label of best team in MLB changes about four times a season and the season is long. It’s not how you start but how you finish and like many good teams starting a season one or two critical injuries at the wrong time can put any team behind the 8 ball.

Don’t forget about the Cleveland Indians in 2017
Don’t forget about the Cleveland Indians in 2017

We will see, but, I do believe before the first pitch that they should be high on everyone’s radar to win it all.

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: I read that column and I’m in agreement.

The Cubs and Indians are both poised to repeat as champions of their respective leagues and return to the World Series, because, both teams are equally balanced.

steve-01-288x300Steve: The Indians should be the best team at least in the American League. They are loaded from top to bottom, offense, pitching, defense, and bullpen. It would not surprise me if the Indians repeat as American League Champs, and this could be the year where their drought ends.

Harper is spot on.

5) Will Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw… two of the best in the game today…  ever reach the promise land and be on a team that wins the World Series?

In your opinion will one finally win a ring or will both of the players ultimately do it? Or, just forget about it… neither of them are ever having a World Series ring?

archie1-300x277Archie: With their current teams? Maybe Kershaw.

I think the Angels have a long way to having a WS team. The Dodgers spent the dough but it has not returned their investment with a ring as of yet; but, I feel the make up of their team is closer than that of the Angels.

Mike Trout & Clayton Kershaw
Mike Trout & Clayton Kershaw

e_j_-12-238x300Earl: Clayton Kershaw is closer than Mike Trout in my opinion. The Angels are a long way away, so unless Trout finds himself on another team in the near future, I don’t see him winning a ring.

However, the Dodgers are a good team. With the right breaks, I can see them getting and winning the World Series.

steve-01-288x300Steve: It is Los Angeles either way. So, I would never rule out the fact that either Trout or Kershaw will win a championship with the Angels or Dodgers, respectively.

Kershaw has the best shot at it in the foreseeable future.

But, Trout? If, the Angels can land a couple top free agents and boost their pitching rotation, then I could see the Angels making a run. Remember, just a couple years ago, they sported the best record in the American League. In a big market like L.A. they have money to spend.

Extra Innings…
negro leagues

On this day in 1996, General Mills announces a special edition of a Wheaties cereal box honoring the 75th Commemorative Year of the Negro Leagues that will feature superstars Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and ‘Cool Papa’ Bell.

In 1934, Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig became the first athlete depicted on a box of the Breakfast of Champions.gehrig

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