Free Baseball

For a die-hard fan and purist of America’s Pastime, an extra inning game is a rare treat to be enjoyed whenever possible, and the experience of seeing a steamy late-afternoon game stretch into the cooler conditions of the midnight hour, with infielders taking the mound to give it a go of throwing strikes, makes for a memory not soon forgotten. While the mystique of free baseball might make a stitch-head’s heart skip a beat, Major League Baseball is struggling to find a way to bring in a younger breed of fan. With that younger target demographic, shorter games have become a big talking point and any new system that could speed up the ending of an extra inning game would get more than a passing glance from MLB brass, even if some think that extra innings isn’t the problem.

Major League baseball has taken the steps to implement and test a new rule in the minor leagues that has already had a trial-run in the World Baseball Classic since 2009. The new rule would provide the team at bat with an automatic base-runner on 2nd base at the start of the 10th inning(and every inning after that). The idea is that obviously a free base-runner starting in scoring position is likely to alleviate an offensive gridlock between two already tired teams. Allowing the rule to be vetted in the minor leagues gives umpires and officials the chance to work out all the kinks, and in all reality, any changes you would see for extra innings in the big leagues would likely not happen until years down the road, if ever.

If you’d like to read more about how MLB is hoping to expand their audience and shorten games, you can check it out here.