Quantifying Hope: A Few Alternative Solutions to Baseball’s Extra-Innings Quandary

Apologies to those of you who’ve been waiting on your weekly dose of data-driven arguments for the Cubs’ superiority, but we’re going rogue on this one. Rather than talk about the team’s easy D or how PECOTA projections are nothing but fake news, we’re gonna try to make America’s pastime great again. You wanna sue me for changing things up? Fine, SEE YOU IN COURT.

I’ve long subscribed to the idea that you don’t gripe about a problem if you’re not willing to offer a solution in its place. And since I was one of myriad people who took issue with MLB’s cockamamie plan to start extra innings with a runner on second, I thought it only fair that I came up with a few ideas of my own. In the interest of full disclosure, a good number of these were actually spawned by the warped mind of Darth Stout.

  • Start with 1-1 count
  • Remove a fielder every extra inning
  • Pitcher’s hand out
  • Take away one fielder’s glove each extra inning
  • Lower the mound by an inch each extra inning
  • Switch the battery after 12th inning
  • Mandate Waxahachie Swaps every batter in 11th inning
  • Pitchers must use non-dominant arm after 2 outs in extras
  • Foul balls are in play
  • Allow composite/aluminum bats
  • Alternate Sky Balls and Swerve Balls every extra inning
  • No breaking balls
  • Batters call their own pitches
  • Let fans pitch
  • Penalty kicks, but with home run derby
  • If game still tied after 13 innings, a pissing contest between managers shall determine outcome
  • Institute team-specific rules for determining winner
    • Mets: height contest with Terry Collins
    • Giants: head-circumference contest with Bruce Bochy
    • Cubs: staring contest with Kris Bryant
    • Dodgers: footrace with Adrian Gonzalez
    • Orioles: can’t use your closer
  • Both managers yell at Cowboy Joe West; first one kicked out wins
  • Ghost runners, man, ghost runners
  • Don’t make any changes to the rules in extra innings and just play the damn game by the normal rules

That’s my list, what would you add to it?

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