The other day I saw some of my former co-workers, colleagues, and bosses complaining about the new Minor League Baseball rule that was made the other day and I couldn’t understand the outrage. What the new rule is that once a game goes into extra innings, a runner will start at second base for the batting team per each half inning played. Yeah, it’s not true baseball, but the minor leagues are about development, not wins and losses. I may not agree that the runner should start at second base (rather I think they should start at first base as I feel like that would be more helpful to the development of a player), but I am not fretting over it as wins or losses don’t really matter. However, there were many people who were upset about it including some I used to work with or worked in the same industry as many exclaimed that it was “stupid.”
Here is the thing, I would understand if Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred had tried to implement that rule into the Majors and people being upset about it. It’s not real baseball. However, if Manfred did try to implement it, he would be laughed out of the room for even thinking of such a thing. What I’m trying to say here is that it would never ever happen at the Major League level. It wouldn’t even be taken serious. I know some people are upset with what Manfred has done with rule changes as I am one of them, especially with the new intentional walk rule, and think there are better ways of speeding up the game, but c’mon on! Do you really think Manfred would really dumb down the game? Absolutely not! He would know there would be people outside his door with pitchforks if that was to ever happen.
The other day, ESPN baseball insider Keith Law posted on Twitter about his outrage about it. He is not happy at all with the new rule. I tweeted at him saying that the minor leagues was about development, not wins and losses, but when he responded, I don’t think he appreciated that I was offering another narrative. I think the way he reacted to my tweet was just out of passion and because he was so mad about the rule change. I wasn’t even trying to argue or to debate, just opening up dialogue as I felt like there is another side to it that should be discussed. Well I was met with an interesting tweet from him when I said it would never happen: “No, it’s reality. To think you know more than people who work in the industry is…you know the rest.” For your information, I worked three years in minor league ball before coming to the majors in 2016 and have become friendly with the likes of Marty Brennaman, John Rooney, Pat Hughes, and even current Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price. Heck, if Kris Bryant was to walk down the street and come across me, he would say hi as I worked for the Tennessee Smokies at the time he was playing there. I know many other executives, broadcasters, and writers in the industry. So I am not some Joe Schmo. However, it seems like bringing up another narrative compromised Law’s and he didn’t like it. He also did tweet at me a few other childish things, but that’s aside the point
But that gives you an idea of how upset some people have become about it. After talking to one of my friends who is a broadcaster in the Minor Leagues, he said he was okay with the rules because of the same reasons I explained earlier (development, not wins and losses), but the one thing he thought was good about it was that it could also protect players health as there are constant player transactions in the Minors and typically extra inning games are meant to protect the players’ health (what that means is you have to use more pitchers when games go long, therefore you have to move pitchers on and off the disabled list after long games to space out their rest time appropriately which means that it creates more and more roster transactions). He also brought up that there is already an adjusted innings format for doubleheaders (seven innings in each game), so why should extra innings be off limits? And my favorite thing said about it was that no one ever pauses to consider the nuances involved in decisions and brought up that the international game seems to do fine with it.
People need to calm down about this, it’s not going to be implemented into the majors. The Minor Leagues are about development, not wins and losses. If Manfred tries to, you should absolutely bark back, but luckily you won’t have to as it will never happen. Just enjoy the game as it is in the minors. While I think there is a better way, no one should be this upset about it.