Imagine this scenario if you’re a fan of baseball: it’s the top of the 10th, both pitching staffs have dominated the game, there is no score. Sounds exciting. Well, if Major League Baseball has its way very soon, the 10th would start with a guy on second base, in an effort to decrease time of game.
On Thursday, Joe Torre announced that a pilot program using this rule will be used in the low level minor leagues this season, and in the World Baseball classic coming up this March. Here’s to hoping the gold-medal game doesn’t go into extra innings.
It’s understandable why top MLB executives are looking for ways to speed up the game. Today’s generation is very impatient and needs instant gratification, but new rules to speed up the game cannot change what the sport is. Putting a runner on second base at the start of an inning is not baseball.
They should change rules that don’t really and truly affect the game, like less time between pitching changes. Pitchers don’t need eight warmup tosses. They’ve been warming up in the bullpen. Five seems like a good number. A catcher should not be allowed to come to the mound without the pitching coach unless there is an injury. The point is, there are so many little parts of baseball that can be changed to quicken the game without affecting the outcome.
Players should have to earn their way on base. Placing them at second would mean games could be won without teams even getting a hit. The runner could be sacrificed to third and score from there in a number of different ways.
Putting the runner at second just seems a little too different from what the sport is really about. Come on MLB, you don’t want to be like college football.