In case you hadn’t heard, Major League Baseball wants to test a new rule that would automatically place a runner on second base to start each inning, once a game is tied after nine innings, according to Yahoo Sports.
**Keep in mind here, if the game has gone to extra innings, the horse is pretty much out of the barn on shortening the game.
So, to shorten the amount of time we have to sit in the open air and smell the grass and hear the crack of the bat, here are 14 better ways to make baseball games go by faster. They make as much sense as putting a runner on second base to start an inning:
- Hit off a tee.
- If, when hitting off the tee, a batter swings and misses, his place in the lineup is eliminated for the rest of the game, and is instead an automatic out. Come on, you swung and missed OFF A TEE?!
- If you insist on having pitchers — no tee — go to 2-1 counts. Two balls is a walk, one strike and you’re out. Or at least consider 3-2 instead.
- If a fan catches a foul ball in the air, the batter’s out.
- Those twin, parallel mounds in the bullpen? Utilize that technology on the field. Pitch to two hitters at once.
- Instead of 3 outs per inning, you get 5 outs every 2 innings. Follow me here. Every odd-numbered inning, the team at bat would have to decide, with 2 outs, whether to end the inning now, therefore allowing them 3 outs to use in the even-numbered inning that follows, or play on to the 3rd out, leaving them with just 2 outs to use next inning. So, if you’re first two batters make outs in the 3rd inning, give up now, and save that third out for the 4th inning.
- Apparently Joe Torre is in favor of this fiasco. So make him pitch the 10th inning for the team that gave up the lead that resulted in extra frames.
- Show all commercials on the Jumbotron during the action, and eliminate breaks between innings.
- Bring back the bullpen cart. As a bullet train.
- Have relief pitchers be peanut vendors. They can warm up their arms throwing snacks, so they’re ready to pitch immediately upon being called onto the field.
- Use FaceTime for meetings on the mound, instead of waiting for 70-year-old managers to walk onto the field, then back to the dugout.
- Use only ambidextrous pitchers. Arm’s tired? Pitch with the other one. Saves time warming up a new pitcher.
- Put low ceilings over ball fields. As anyone who’s ever played squash will tell you, that really speeds up the game.
- If game time is 7:10, start at 7:00. Most fans don’t show up in time for first pitch anyway.