Leave it to a group of Jersey guys to come up with this one. A new fast-paced sudden-death rule for extra innings in major league baseball. Could it work?

The slow pace of an average game has long been talked about as a concern in Major League Baseball. This new spin on a sudden-death rule is in response to that very issue.

Now before we dive into this, let's first address that a sudden-death rule was already proposed not too long ago (click here to read more about that). This new sudden-death rule about to be discussed is more of a Jersey alternative to that (think of it like sudden-death 2.0, but only faster).

Before we dive into it, let's take a quick look at the changes already being implemented with the 2023 season. So far, opinions appear to be mixed with the new changes.

First off, there's the new pitcher's clock. Up until now, pitchers were able to take their time before actually throwing the pitch. That's no longer the case beginning in 2023 and it certainly has already made the game more interesting.

Now, does this really shave time off the game? In a way, it does. In fact, speeding up the time it takes to pitch has been said to take off about a half-hour from the overall game.

Pitcher Bryan Mitchell #55 of the New York Yankees walks off the mound after being relieved in the sixth inning
Pitcher Bryan Mitchell #55 of the New York Yankees walks off the mound after being relieved in the sixth inning (Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

This is certainly the biggest and most noticeable change. Another change includes larger bases out on the field. Regardless if you agree with the new rules, it certainly will make the game more interesting.

Of course, that's just a general overview of only a couple of the changes. Click here to check out a full list of changes that took place for the 2023 season,

One rule that hasn't changed heading into 2023 is one that hasn't been well-liked ever since its implementation. And that rule has to do with extra innings.

During the regular baseball season, if a game is tied up at the end of the 9th inning, all additional innings begin with an automatic runner on second base (also referred to as a ghost runner). This is designed to help speed up the game and prevent it from being dragged on with multiple extra innings.

View of third base down the line in a turf field
Garrett Aitken

I get why this rule was created, but quite honestly, it's not a great solution. Sure, it can trim back the time it takes to finish a game, but as I mentioned earlier, not many baseball fans have taken positively to this.

This all leads to this new sudden-death idea for extra innings. An idea that was inspired by a conversation among three Jersey guys, myself included, regarding all the rule changes happening for 2023.

What if, instead of putting a player on 2nd base beginning in the 10th inning, we just loaded up the bases? That would certainly add more excitement to the game.

Now could that increase the odds of a score? Absolutely it would, but loading the bases up isn't enough. To have a true sudden-death inning, you also need to award the fastest team in the event of another tie.

Baseball player at professional baseball stadium in evening during a game.
Artur Didyk

For example, let's say both teams get two runs during the 10th inning. In that case, the team that scored quicker would be awarded an extra point to win the game.

Let's break it down a little more. Let's say the team at the top of the inning took 12 minutes to achieve their two runs before striking out, but the home team at the bottom did it within 11 minutes.

In that scenario, the home team would have scored their points faster than the visiting team. As a result, they would be awarded an extra point to win the game.

New York Mets' Curtis Granderson (3), Travis d'Arnaud (18) and Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrate after all three scored on Kelly Johnson's eighth-inning double
New York Mets' Curtis Granderson (3), Travis d'Arnaud (18) and Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrate after all three scored on Kelly Johnson's eighth-inning double (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

A rule like that would certainly benefit a good, quick, defensive team. In fact, it would become the one and only way defense in baseball could potentially score, much like how the defense in football can only score a safety.

And lastly, what if neither team scores once the 10th inning is over? In that case, we go back to whichever team was able to strike the other one out faster. If the home team at the bottom was able to strike the visiting team out in less time, then they would be awarded the extra point and the game would be over.

With a change like that, the only way an 11th inning could happen during the regular season is if both teams manage to remain tied at the end of the 10th inning and somehow do it within the exact same time frame. Those odds, however, would be extremely unlikely and almost impossible to achieve (assuming timing is kept around a tenth of a second).

Baseball player hitting ball with bat in close up under stadium spotlights

But think about how much that would add to a regular season game. Combine that with all the other new rules for 2023 and you'd really have something new and exciting.

And while all this might add to the excitement and speed of the game, it wouldn't take away from the classic game that has been long referred to as America's pastime. It would also help address the issue of baseball games dragging on well beyond the 9th inning.

It's an interesting idea for sure, but what do you think? Would you be up for such a change when it comes to extra innings during the regular baseball season?

Baseball in shadows
Thomas Northcut

The time it takes for a regular season game to finish has been a topic for a long time now, which is part of the reason a handful of new rules went into effect for 2023.

Take the poll below and let us know your thoughts. Also, feel free to share your ideas in the comments on how you would address making baseball faster and more exciting.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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