Your last chance
Earlier today Rich Eisen set baseball twitter on fire, he fired off a tweet about a discussion that he and an unnamed MLB executive had. The tweet was about a rule change being floated around the league, the rule giving a manager the power to bat whoever they wanted in the ninth. Yes you read that right, teams would be able to hand pick their best hitters to add a little “excitement” to the end of the game.
There's an idea being floated in MLB of a manager being allowed to bat whoever he wants when trailing in the 9th.
MLB exec: "No other sport has the best players sitting on the bench in the final minutes of a game. Imagine LeBron, Brady, Renaldo watching from the sidelines" https://t.co/JGts5naG4U
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) February 21, 2018
I have to say I am one million percent on board with this idea, there has been a lot of backlash about this not being ” real baseball” if it goes through. To those people, I say put their soda pop down and look ahead. This would be so awesome for the game of baseball, you would have the best closer vs the best hitters. Baseball has already begun altering rules that have changed the notion of baseball being “Americas favorite pastime” to a sport that is going through a renaissance. I remember when they added replay to baseball the purists were BESIDES themselves, but moves such as those have brought baseball into the modern era.
The Unsung Hero
One of the most common complaints is that it would eliminate unsung hero stories. Yes, it would suck for the unsung hero stories of the game, the player you never expected to hit the big hit or the big home run. I will counter that with this, the rule doesn’t state your best home run hitter, the game is so much more situational nowadays.
Since the moneyball Oakland A’s came around, baseball teams have molded their teams around analytics much more. So you won’t exactly get the most dangerous hitter per say, but the best hitter for that situation. Which would give the Joe Schmo’s of the baseball world a chance to bat in the ninth. For example, there are players who may not be All-Stars but have a great batting average against left-handers, then they could get the call in the ninth against the Zach Britton’s of the world.
My Rule Propositions
Now I will agree it does kind of give an unfair advantage to the trailing team. In response to this I propose a rule that if the manager proposes to tinker with the lineup, his team will be restricted to two outs in the ninth. It makes it fair, one team gets to put out their best players, while the other just needs to get two outs. You might be asking yourself, “Reyes did you just take baseball into 3018?” the answer is yes you bet I did.
The rule is unlikely to happen as it is just something being floated around right now, but seriously it would be amazing. Think back to the classic Sox vs Yankees ninth innings in the 2000s. Nothing was more fun than watching Manny in the 3 hole with Ortiz batting cleanup vs Mariano Rivera in the 9th.
Which brings me to my next rule, I think this should only be allowed in the postseason. The baseball seasons is a long one man, 162 games in fact. Although this could be done throughout the regular season too it’s not like every game is that vastly important in the regular season. Teams normally don’t go to such dire methods of winning regular season baseball games compared to the postseason where you have starters going 3 innings out of the pen for example. Let’s ramp up the stakes for the postseason when it’s all or nothing and stir that fucking pot. Let it sizzle baby, throw some salt and peppa in there and I assure you this will take the game to the next level.
This move would be electric, and it should happen. It would just like the final game of the 2006 NLCS (sorry Sully). Beltran vs Wainwright, bases loaded, your best hitter up at bat giving you the chance to come back. Sadly Beltran struck out.