Yankees: MLB’s Sneaky Extra Innings Rule Will Be Worst Thing About 2020 Season

Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees sittin' on second base (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees sittin' on second base (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

MLB snuck a terrible extra innings rule into the 2020 MLB season, Yankees fans.

While Yankees fans were busy celebrating the apparent existence of the 2020 MLB season, Major League Baseball was figuring out one final way to bothers its diehards.

No, we will not have advertising patches on jerseys in 2020 (unless you count the Nike swoosh!). No, playoffs will not be expanded, even though in a sprint, it would make all the sense in the world to get a fuller picture of who the “champion” is by letting more folks have seats at the table.

But, just under the radar, in an effort to reduce the time the players will spend together (huh?), MLB will be implementing the tactic they use to shorten minor-league baseball games, placing a runner on second to start each inning, beginning with the 10th. Thanks so much! It’s absolutely horrible!

Yes, this will technically expedite game play. I guess that will happen, theoretically. And no one likes a 17-inning marathon interrupting your sleep schedule, especially with so few games to play. But the science behind this is dubious at best, and it feels like Major League Baseball is using the pandemic as an excuse to implement something they’d like to try anyway here.

While the coronavirus spreads, it would certainly behoove MLB players to spend as little time rubbing shoulders as possible. But the league means to tell me that a three-hour, 25-minute, nine-inning game is a perfectly acceptable result, but once that game transitions to the 10th frame, it becomes a biohazard? Please.

Clearly, the league wants to speed up its product in an effort to give its loyal viewers less baseball in any way possible. But this wouldn’t speed up the actual gameplay — it would simply invalidate it. A “get out of jail free” card for lasting all the way to extra frames cheapens the rest of the game, all while doing nothing to address the pace of play issues in the earlier portions of the contest. You want an innovation? Fine the pitcher $500 every time he shakes off his battery mate.

There’s literally only one condition upon which I’d accept this change without a fight.

This extra innings rule doesn’t fix much of anything, but it bothers the fans who’ve stuck with this disastrous negotiation for months. You know, the fans the league should probably be coveting right now. Instead of delivering the universal DH, something with a higher approval rating, the league snuck this poison pill into the schedule — and clearly would’ve done so, even if players had shaken their heads harder.

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We just have to live with it, and hope it doesn’t set a precedent for 2021.