Manfredball and the MLB’s Crisis of Confidence – The Dispatch
This piece by David Kagan at The Dispatch perfectly captures all of my issues with the MLB’s rule changes…and the clear evidence that Manfred doesn’t care about baseball.
Finally, we have the ghost-runner rule, Manfred’s most notorious bastardization of the game. The rule places a base runner at second base to begin every extra-inning frame. Initially adopted during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, it was introduced to spare the arms of pitchers in the 60-game sprint to the playoffs. The purported explanation was that too many games were going deep into extra innings, and the league couldn’t afford overtaxed arms late in the season. In reality, the rule is there to keep extra innings to a minimum. Apparently fans can’t be asked to sit through more than a couple innings of sudden death baseball.
Above all others, this rule is the furthest deviation from the national pastime. Once a game hits extra innings, it’s no longer baseball. As Joe Morgan said in Moneyball, “You have to steal, you have to bunt, you have to sacrifice, you gotta get men in scoring position and then you gotta bring ’em in.” Not in extra inning games. A bunt and a sacrifice fly—or just a bloop single–can win you a ballgame.
Except not in the playoffs. Because the MLB thinks it would be silly to decide important games like this.
Read here: Manfredball and the MLB’s Crisis of Confidence – The Dispatch