Can coronovirus improve MLB?

A shortened season is the perfect innovation lab

Photo by Martin Péchy on Unsplash
  • A home plate widened by 25 percent
  • Three balls for a walk, two strikes for a strikeout
  • An automatic pass for intentional walks, rather than throwing four pitches
  • One warm-up pitch at the start of each inning instead of seven
  • A “slowed up” baseball (this was during the live-ball era)
  • Use extra-inning base runners. One proposal I’ve heard is that each batting team starts the 10th inning with a runner on second, the 11th with two men on, and the 12th with the bases loaded. The batter who made the final out the previous inning is the lead base runner.
  • Allow ties. If neither team prevails after 12 innings, shake hands and move on. Hey, this ain’t soccer; ties will be rare. If two teams are knotted for a playoff spot, factoring in ties, there can still be a one game, winner-take-all playoff, just like there is now.
  • A maximum of 10 pitches per batter. Rather than changing the number of balls and strikes as Veeck advocated, cap the pitch count at 10 per hitter. This allows for a full count plus five foul balls. If the hitter can’t produce a fair ball after all that, and the pitcher can’t strike him out, let’s move on. The result could be neutral or recorded as an out; either way, that hitter returns to the dugout.

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