When Major League Baseball announced it would test in the rookie leagues a rule that will start the 10th inning with a runner on second base in order to speed up the pace of play, it was criticized pretty much immediately across the board.
Now, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is shying away from making that rule a reality anywhere else.
Manfred spoke to the media Thursday and said he doesn’t expect the rule to ever be implemented in the majors, but the rookie leagues still will go through with the experiment this season.
“These rules or rule changes are designed to serve a purpose in some narrow settings, and we don’t really expect that we’re ever going to apply them at the major league level, at least in the short term,” Manfred said. “In rookie ball where crowds are small, games are really developmental, starting the 10th inning with a runner on base makes sense because there’s really no developmental reason to play 18 innings and end with a shortstop pitching. And who knows, if we remain open-minded, we may learn something from this experiment that’s helpful moving forward.”
That’s good for baseball fans to hear, especially considering the rule could backfire and make extra innings longer by creating more offense. For now, it seems as though small adjustments like limiting the time relievers have to warm up are more effective than sweeping changes.
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