Davey Martinez was clear from the start of the 2020 MLB campaign that he was not a fan of the idea of starting extra innings with a runner on second in an attempt to avoid marathons with so many games to play in such a short period of time.
There is already a significant burden being placed on pitchers and position players alike, with Spring Training 1.0 shut down in mid-March when the coronavirus pandemic really started to take hold in the U.S., Spring Training 2.0 a three-week ramp-up, and games in empty stadiums, players away from their families, and the threat of a deadly virus there always, but that doesn’t mean that everyone involved in the game really likes all the rules Major League Baseball decided on.
“You know what, I’m going to be honest, I don’t like it,” Martinez told reporters last month when asked about the extra innings rule, as he got his club ready for a sprint of a season.
“I don’t like it because I think it takes away a little bit from the game. I mean, regardless if you’re 0-0 in a game or 1-1 or a tie, whatever, and you’re still working to play that game, and all of a sudden just to throw a guy out there for free, basically, to me it just doesn’t seem right. I’ve been doing this for a long time as a player, as a coach, and now as a manager, I’m kind of old school in that way.
“But you know what, it’s a new era, so we’ll see what happens and we’ll see what transpires.”
Martinez added that he wasn’t alone in his thinking when it came that particular rule MLB’s decided upon for their 60-game season.
“I haven’t met anyone so far that likes it,” Martinez said.
It’s not only players and managers who don’t really like the rule, even if the decision-making on MLB’s behalf makes sense.
SB Nation React voters don’t like the runner on second in extra innings either...
They’ve used it in the minors, which also makes sense, and we’ve seen it in practice early in the season, and now... yeah, still don’t like it. Should it be like a permanent thing?
The Nos have it. Resoundingly. Like not, even, close, Bud! Vernon: Good! You got one more, right there!
What about the latest rule they created (which, seriously, are they going to just keep going with the in-season rule changes? Baseball: We’ve decided the Yankees and Red Sox should just be in the World Series, because ratings! Who cares if it’s two AL teams! Ratings. So new Rule!) which says that doubleheaders this season will be seven-inning affairs, since it’s now looking like they’re going to be playing a lot of them? They’ve been doing it in the minors!!! So, SB Nation Reacts voters?
Jeezum Pete! These people don’t like anything! Next question!
Okay, okay, well, how about the number of games teams have to play to make this a legit-ish season? It’s a 60-game schedule, but with postponements left and right over the first weeks it’s looking like it might be difficult.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said recently that he thinks they may have to turn to winning percentage to determine which teams earn postseason berths, since it’s possible that all teams might not end up playing 60 games with COVID-19 still a serious issue and rainout possibilities another potential wrench in MLB’s plans.
“We’ve got to be flexible on that,” Manfred said, as quoted by AP writer Ronald Blum. “Look, this is one of the reasons that we revisited the issue of the expanded playoffs.
“If it turns out that some guys play 60, some guys play 58, they have this new thing called winning percentage. We can sort that out.”
Was that like, sarcasm?
How many games do SB Nation Reacts voters think are needed playoff contention?
The 60s have it! The 60s had everything! Hippies! Woodstock! The White Album! Pet Sounds! Other things! What are we even talking about? Don’t mess with the bull, young man. You’ll get the horns!