Major League Baseball Is Getting Crushed For Making Extra Innings Rule Permanent

major league baseball runner leads off second base

Getty Image

On Monday, Major League Baseball announced the official implementation of several new rules and rule changes for the 2023 season.

As part of the announcement, Major League Baseball revealed that the extra innings rule with a runner beginning on second base is now permanent.

“MLB’s Joint Competition Committee has voted unanimously to make the extra inning rule permanent for all regular season games moving forward. (2023 and beyond). A runner will be placed at second base at the start of every extra inning,” tweeted ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.

Fans lost their minds.

Commissioner Rob Manfred intimated all winter that the rule would return in 2023, and the joint competition committee has now voted unanimously to adopt the rule that has been in place for the past three seasons.

First conceived during the pandemic to protect pitchers’ arms — and then continued through last year’s shortened spring training because of the lockout — the league is making it permanent as teams and players seem to approve of the rule.

Pitchers don’t mind less wear and tear on their arms, and front-office personnel hate the havoc that long, extra-inning affairs create with their rosters in the days following those games.

“I don’t mind the idea of the rule but it should start in the 11th/12th inning,” one fan responded. “I think I saw that 60-70% of extra inning games ended in the 10th before this rule. Give them at least one more inning of actual baseball.”

“This is a horrible rule change,” another fan wrote about the Major League Baseball extra innings announcement. “The ‘ghost runner’ is a Little League level rule that has no place in @MLB games.”

Former President of the Miami Marlins David Samson didn’t help matters.

According to Evan Drellich and Eno Sarris of The Athletic, “with this rule in place, extra-inning runs have scored at over two times the rate they score in the first nine innings. That’s fundamentally different baseball!”

Other new rule changes Major League Baseball announced will be added in 2023 are a weird rule about the shift in which all four infielders are required to be on the infield dirt (not in the outfield) with two on each side of second base, but players can move as soon as the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand.

Can’t wait to see shortstops and second basemen standing one foot from the bag then racing to the other side when the pitch is thrown. That won’t look at all stupid.

A pitch clock will also be used that requires pitchers to throw within 15 seconds with the bases empty and 20 seconds with a runner on base. Batters will now be required to be in the box with no less than eight seconds left on the pitch clock.

Pitchers are now allowed just two “disengagements” per plate appearance. A disengagement is a pickoff attempt, stepping off the rubber or requesting time out. More than two of these in an at-bat and a balk will be called.

Major League Baseball also announced teams are now not allowed to have position players pitch unless they are winning by 10 or more runs or down by eight or more runs in the ninth inning, or the game is in extra innings.

Oh, and the bases are being increased from 15 inches to 18 inches.

Is there anyone out there that can start an alternative professional baseball league? Please?

Doug avatar
Before settling down at BroBible, Douglas Charles, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), owned and operated a wide assortment of websites. He is also one of the few White Sox fans out there and thinks Michael Jordan is, hands down, the GOAT.