Oh boy. Minor League Baseball announces new pace of play rules including: Extra innings will begin with runners on 2nd base at ALL levels of the minors, beginning this year.— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) March 14, 2018
So this is what it has come to, Rob Manfred? THIS is your big idea of how to speed up pace of play? Good grief. Overall I'm anti pitch clock, but I would take the damn clock every day of the week over this garbage.
Before I lose my mind let's talk this through. So we put a runner on second base to start extra innings. What happens next? My guess is a sac bunt. (Obviously the sac bunt could get screwed up or maybe there's no bunt at all, but judging by what happened in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, I'm betting this would happen a lot).
So a sac bunt puts a runner on third with one out. Then what? Probably an intentional walk to set up the double play. All the next batter would then do is try for a sac fly. If the away team scores then the home team is just always playing catch up. Same thing. Sac bunt. Intentional walk. Try for the sac fly. Ugh.
So that'll lead to shorter games obviously, but what is it doing to affect the pace? Game time and game pace are two huuuuugely different things. People (mostly non baseball fans) are pissed because baseball games are too long, right? Or are they just pissed because the games move so slowly? I think it's the latter. So we should be focusing on the PACE.
But wait! What if it's that the games are too long? Does Manfred genuinely think there are people out there saying to themselves "nah baseball isn't for me. Extra inning games take too long. Oh extra innings start with a runner on second now? Woooo baseball is the best!" Get the fuck outta here. Pitch clocks improve the pace of play. This rule just shortens the game.
Anyways, I think even the most die hard, traditional, old school baseball fans can agree that general pace of play improvements are good for the sport (such as not throwing four balls for an intentional walk, shorter commercial breaks, etc.), but this - THIS - this is too far. It's too much, man. It won't even affect the pace of play. It'll just shorten games and in the process fundamentally change the sport. Don't ever let this come to the big leagues Mr. Manfred.