Spicy Take Alert: Consider Me a Fan of New 10th Inning Rule
As a society, we hate change. When Facebook or Twitter changes its platform structure, people lose their shit. When your favorite restaurant stops carrying the go-to meal of your dreams, you throw a fit like a 2-year-old. Many people did not like the new baseball rule where a runner started on second with no outs in 10th inning. They said it ruined the integrity of baseball and changed how extra innings games were played. Watching the Brewers-Pirates last night, the rule didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I liked it. The rule was perfect for a game such as last night that got delayed by rain. Baseball should keep this for the regular season only.
The rule helps push baseball along. Some people like baseball because there is no time limit, but in modern society, people do not have that much time. Extra innings marathon games are awesome once in a while. The Pirates-Brewers 16 inning marathon was one of my favorite games last year. But when it happens regularly, it wears down pitching staffs and there are more chances for injury. And let’s be real, it lacks excitement. The 16th inning game had some fun elements because it was a Friday night too. Also, each team adjusts multiple days later on how to make their bullpen work for them.
This new rule saves time and adds excitement/nervous pending on which runner is on second base. Pitchers are immediately thrown into action, and they have to worry about the runner at second. It is the last out of the previous inning so that runner could be slow like Omar Narvaez in the 10th or have some speed like Brock Holt in the 11th. Managers will start realizing this and try to put their faster guys to pinch-hit. Imagine if Pittsburgh had Jerome Dyson running? Brewers would have been in trouble.
This rule should not be applied to postseason though. In the postseason, the normal rules should apply. A team winning a game in a series because of a runner on second seems a bit fraudulent. Make it like hockey, where they have shootouts in the regular season to determine winners, but in the postseason, the game needs to be decided with a game-winning goal. That is how baseball should apply the rule, but at this point, it seems like this rule is for the playoffs too. That is the only drawback.
I know that this rule will make me mad when the Brewers lose their first game because of it, but until then, I’m a fan.