Major League Baseball introduced the rule in extra innings where a runner begins the inning on second base back in 2020. At first it was supposed to just be for the 2020 season, but it’s stuck around. It’s only a rule for the regular season and it doesn’t apply to the playoffs, but by-and-large the fans have pushed back against it. While you can find some who do enjoy it, there’s a much larger congregation of fans who despite it.
Rob Manfred, the much maligned commissioner of baseball, spoke with Chris Russo on his Sirius XM Radio show this afternoon and it sounds like the plan is to keep that rule in place.
“The clubs like it, the players like it,” Manfred said. “And I think overall the fans like it. I think it does bring sort of a focus to the end of the baseball game in a way that has been positively received.”
It does not surprise me at all that the teams like it. Bullpens are no longer built for long games. Most teams don’t carry a long reliever. Almost every reliever is a 1-inning, max effort kind of guy these days. In theory, games will end quicker with this rule versus just playing without it, and that makes it better for team roster construction. Front offices aren’t likely to be punished too often with how their bullpens can’t handle long games when they don’t find themselves in long games.
As for the players – it’s tougher to say why they like it. I guess the games to end quicker.
What I would love to see, though, is Rob Manfred explain where he got the idea that fans like it “overall”. Just because you say something out loud doesn’t make it true. Then again, hardly anyone ever pushes back against things that Manfred says….
Well, not exactly.
Manfred declined to talk to the media. Asked to follow up on Oakland comments he made to @MadDogUnleashed he said “I’m done talking about Oakland.”
— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) October 29, 2022
But rather than expand on things where he said that he’s no longer optimistic that the Athletics remain in Oakland, he chose to not answer any questions.