I love baseball just the way it is. But unfortunately, many people disagree. The game has struggled to maintain popularity in recent years, and it simply does not appear to be attracting the younger generation in ways that it once did.
The MLB knows this, and they’ve been trying a few different ideas to try to make the game faster, and more enjoyable to a newer audience.
I think this new rule being implemented by The Pioneer League would accomplish both of those things. The Pioneer league has announced that instead of extra innings, each team will send one player to the plate for a 5-pitch home run derby. The winner of the derby wins the game.
The Pioneer League, an independent baseball league, has announced that it will not play extra innings this season, instead deciding tie games with a head-to-head sudden death home run derby, with a player from each team getting five pitches.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 27, 2021
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Now, before you say, “this isn’t baseball”…just look at hockey. Is a shootout a correct way to determine a winner of a hockey game? Of course not, but over a long season sometimes it might just be the move to do something fun to push the game along.
I’m extremely curious to see this in action in The Pioneer League, and I wonder if the MLB would consider using this tactic to make sure a game doesn’t go over 4-5 hours long in the future.
Just think about having Fernando Tatis Jr. going up against Cody Bellinger in a home run derby to determine the winner of a tie-game. I think it could be kind of electric. Just one man’s opinion.