We’ve probably all heard of or met people of whom are said that they woke up on second base and figured they’d hit a double. This year, as baseball prepares to finally begin again, it’s going to happen. That’s right. Extra-inning games will see runners start at second base.
What? I say to that. Are you crazy?
That’s my official position, by the way: Runner at Second? Are you crazy?
I get it, though. To some degree anyway. I mean, the season is only going to be 60 games long, so why not try it out. It’s been a rule in other forms of the game, you figure you know what you’ll get—most likely a bunch of bunts to move the runner along. Like that’s exciting. But you’ll also get less wear and tear on pitchers, and quicker games. Whatever.
We’re getting the Universal Designated Hitter, too, which also really sucks.
Yes, I’m an old fuddy-duddy that way.
I suppose my real issue with these rule changes in this weird 60-day stretch is that they aren’t going far enough. I mean, there are so many things that got experimented with last year—why not give them a go in the majors this year? It’s a circus show season, anyway. Nothing really matters relative to the tradition of the game, anyway. So why not just try things out.
Force the 20 second pitch clock? Why not?
Move the mound back a foot to take a notch off the fastball? Sure.
Make the bases 6-8 inches bigger to give runners a better field to steal bases on? Absolutely.
Ban the infield shift? What the hell, right? I mean, personally I kind of like the idea of the shift—but if we think it makes that big of a difference on balls in play, then why not find out now?
The thing I like about these four ideas is that they don’t fundamentally change the game like the idea of putting a runner on second base does (what, are you crazy?). Or the DH, for that matter. Sure, the DH has been around for a while, but its inclusion fundamentally changed the game from one in which nine players faced nine players into one in which there were ten on a side.
I guess it doesn’t matter much anyway. Assuming they even get a “full” 60-game season in, baseball this year is more exhibition than anything else. That’s fine, I suppose.
In the end, all I can really say is that the Cubs will be on ESPN tonight, and crazy or not I figure that’s pretty good news.