Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Minors Pace-Of-Play Rule Goes Too Far In Extra Innings

In general, we are all for implementing reasonable pace-of-play rules to speed up the game of baseball. But one of the new 2018 rules that will be in place for minor league games goes too far. Starting this season, every game that goes into extra innings will have a runner automatically placed at second base to start those innings. Here is the exact language of the new rule: "At all levels of Minor League Baseball, extra innings will begin with a runner on second base. The runner at second base will be the player in the batting order position previous to the leadoff batter of the inning (or a substitute for that player)." In our view, this is an abomination—striking at the fundamental integrity of the game. We are OK with the other new rules (15-second pitch clock, limited mound visits), but this one cannot stand. Clearly, we could be seeing "creeping" adoption by MLB in a year or two. Stop it now!