By In Stuff

More on Extra Innings

A great point here on changing extra innings from Michael Mulvihill, Executive Vice President, Research for Fox Sports.

Michael would know — I was not aware the ratings hold firm or even spike for extra innings. That would make all the difference. My traditionalist side can sing again!

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26 Responses to More on Extra Innings

  1. Cuban X Senators says:

    Nobody dared propose this until WP Kinsella died.

    I think those that leave after 9 (or 10) are experiencing the stark reality of the life they’d come to escape jumping up to take their escape away. (“I came here to not think about work, but now I’ve gotta go because I gotta work in the morning.”)

    But then too I wonder if they’d exchange that mythic wake up and geez they played 19 innings last night.

    I’d hate to lose the chance of those games.

    I think of the bizarre run of 14-inning game I had over 2-3 years where if it went extras, “well, we’re here for 14” we said.

    I think of the 18-inning game my parents told me about attending before we kids were around.

    And Joe, what’ll we do about ERAs for those half-earned (& not even half-earned) runs?

  2. SDG says:

    There you go. Extra innings (pretty rare to begin with) aren’t the issue. The pace of play in the first nine innings are.

  3. Mark Garbowski says:

    This makes some sense. With daily games many people don’t make a point of watching games in full every night, but watch something else and check in on the game from time to time. Without having to travel home when it ends, you can pick up a close game when it’s late and watch it longer than you would be willing to stay at a a game.

    Still, I’d like to know if he’s referring to regular season games, playoffs, or blended.

  4. steve says:

    Phillies’ Wilson Valdez. May 25 – 26, 2011. Started at 2nd base and switched to pitcher in the 19th inning. Not only won the game, but plunked Scott Rolen with a soft curveball. You just can’t top that!

  5. The proposed rule gives us “Moron Extra innings” if ya ask me.

  6. Gene says:

    There’s a long list of things that could/should be tried before settling on a cockamamie new idea out of the blue–suddenly creating baserunners by rule. Did the originator of that idea try any other options first? The people who want to “fix” extra innings (which a lot of people don’t think need fixing) should start by suggesting small tweaks that fit into the traditional rules of baseball. In fact, the damn rules of baseball that already exist would do a world of good. If you could shorten the first 9 innings by enforcing existing pace of play rules, wouldn’t staying for a few extra innings be easier?

    • invitro says:

      “If you could shorten the first 9 innings by enforcing existing pace of play rules” — There aren’t many unanimous opinions in sports, but this one seems pretty close, going by the comments. I wonder why MLB isn’t doing more about this thing that seemingly everybody agrees on. Are the umpires that powerful? Or maybe MLB is already doing things? Selig & Alderson did a good job cleaning up the umps’ rotten ball/strike calls, maybe they should be called in as advisors on getting umps to enforce the game speed rules?

    • Benjamin Wildner says:

      New? The California rules have been around at low levels for a long time. They are loathed by everyone except the people actually running tournaments. Coaches and players hate them for not being representative of the game. Umpires hate them for having too many iterations to keep track of which one applies today.

      • invitro says:

        If the coaches, players, and umpires all loathe the rule, why the heck do they agree to play by it? It’s not like the cops are gonna come arrest them, well I hope, it is California after all. I’d say screw the bureaucrats & administrators, we’re not using that rule. (People knuckle under to fake authority figures way too easily. 🙁 )

  7. aweb says:

    How are stats counted in this setup? Surely the pitcher can’t get a run charged to them, and does the runner get a RUN?

    If you’re going off the wall, go with the proposal I’ve seen but can’t recall the source: team 1 proposes the base/out situation, team 2 chooses to try and score or defend. One “half inning” gets played. You score you win, fail to score you lose. Still need a standard way to pick runners and batters, of course.

    • Dan says:

      Ooh I like this. How specific do you think they have to be? Like “slowest guy on your team at second, two outs, highest-average hitter at the plate with an 0-1 count”, or something a little more generic?

    • invitro says:

      “team 1 proposes…” — That is a neat idea.

  8. Dan W. says:

    Most of the comments I’ve read are critical of this idea and I concur. The problem with baseball is the first 7 innings that, if it is Red Sox vs Yankees, take 3 hours to play.

    Joe, I was wondering if you were going to address ideas about the NFL’s overtime given how the Superbowl played out. I believe the better team won and I believe the better team would have won even if the Falcons had won the coin toss.

    Given how the game played out it occurred to me that the most logical way for football to handle tied playoff games is to treat overtime as a 5th quarter, and not as a separate overtime period. On the end of the 4th quarter with the score tied the teams would change field direction and start a new quarter with 15 minutes on the clock. There would be no coin toss to decide possession. Which ever team had possession at the end of the 4th quarter would keep possession. As for what determines the end of “overtime” I am OK with it being any point scored that breaks the tie. I am also OK with requiring a 7 point lead.

    What I find rather insane is the arguments made about overtime that assume it is a natural law that overtime requires a coin flip to determine possession or that it requires changing the rules of the game (as is the case in college).

    • Brent says:

      I would note that most high schools have had OT rules similar to college rules for a long time prior to college adopting it(except, at least back in the day, they started at the 10, not the 25), so not sure that the college OT rules are that crazy. I would think that it is similar to the DH and the NL, even though the traditional rule is no DH, only the NL doesn’t employ one all the way down to Little League. In football, only the NFL doesn’t have similar rules to College on overtime.

  9. Alter Kacker says:

    You can always count on baseball fans to find fault before something is even tried.

    I don’t know Michael Mulvihill, but I’ll take Poznanski’s word that he knows what he’s talking about. Nevertheless, I’m surprised by the claim that ratings spike for extra innings. Generalizing from a set of 1, most nights it’s already past my bedtime.

    • Sadge says:

      If I am at a game, I try to stay at the end. I don’t like leaving early. However, if I’m watching or listening at home and it is a work night, I’ll usually listen through the 10th and then go to bed. I can’t stay up indefinitely for a regular season game (unless it is the Giants playing the Dodgers).

  10. Brent says:

    So I did a little research on the football OT rules after Joe’s discussion of the proposed baseball rule. The college rule for OT (each team gets a possession starting at the 25) began in 1996, but many states had this in place before that for high school. It is actually called the Kansas rule because they came up with the OT rule in 1971 after a string of OT games in HS playoff football in 1970. Here’s the fun part. Before 1971, when Kansas came up with the new rule, in Kansas to break a tie in a playoff game did NOT involve extra play at all. Apparently, the rules were some bizarre tie breaking system where you went over the stats of the game, involving calculating first downs, yardage gained and total penetrations inside the 5, 10 and 20 yard lines and then you would declare a winner based on your calculations.

  11. greywilliams says:

    OR start inning 10 with a man on first, 11 with a man on second, 12 with a man on third, then fill them up even more.

    One impact this would have would be to make relievers at least slightly more valuable due to the extra leverage in EVERY “overtime” situation.

    • Bpdelia says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking except the10th is a normal inning. Q1th2 starts with a player on first, 12 with one on second 13th on third, 14th 1st and third everything from the 15th on is a bases loaded start.

  12. Louis Nosko says:

    The reason I don’t care for this extra-inning proposal is that it changes the nature of the game. You want to open up the 10th inning with a man on 2nd? Hit a double. I would rather tinker with ways to speed up the game by making batters stay in the box; by having pitchers throw the ball when a sign is put down & not have the umpires decide when everybody is ready, and I don’t mean quick pitches; and by cutting out visits to the mound from the dugout–period. Go out to the mound to take the pitcher out. Otherwise do your coaching in the dugout when your team is up to bat. And when a relief pitcher comes in make him have to finish the inning. That way it’s no more than one pitching change per inning.
    Most of the delays come now with over-managing and with time taken between pitches. Go back & watch film of batters 40 or 50 years ago. Mays, Musial, Aaron, etc didn’t step away after every pitch. Batters like Garciaparra and Jeter have made the at-bats interminable.

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