A BIZARRE BASEBALL RULE CHANGE IS IMPLEMENTED (COMMENT). I posted here five weeks ago about a proposed baseball rule change which would automatically place a runner on second base at the start of each extra inning. I said that my first reaction had been that this was an April Fool joke. Well it’s already happened, on an experimental basis, and in an important game.
Nick commented on my post that tie break rules in other sports use an important feature of the game—shootouts in hockey for example, (or penalty shots in soccer). The proposed rule for baseball, Nick predicted, “would likely result in a bunting competition”.
Nick then sent me this post by Lindsey Adler on the Deadspin web site about the semi-final World Baseball Classic game between the Netherlands and Puerto Rico. The rule change used in the game was even more extreme than the proposal I had discussed. Beginning with the eleventh inning, each team started with runners on both first and second. As Nick predicted, each team bunted successfully to begin their inning. The Netherlands didn’t score. Puerto Rico, which had the advantage of batting second, scored a run and moved on to the finals.