Extra Innings Rule
The implementation of the extra innings rule is detrimental to the game of baseball (Eric Bolte, USA TODAY SPORTS)

The start of the 2021 MLB season is here and so are the new rule changes that were made. During the 2020 MLB season, the infamous runner on second rule was implemented after past trials in the minors and other indie leagues. The runner on second rule entails that at the start of every half inning during extra innings, the team at bat uses their last out and places a runner on second base. The use of this rule in the 2021 season comes as an attempt to speed up games and allow the MLB to keep those fans who may be unhappy with the length of most games. This year will be the first 162 game season with this rule in place.

After a heartbreaking Opening Day, the New York Yankees are the first team to experience this rule in 2021. After entering extra innings yesterday, Gerrit Cole and the Yankees found their win hopes disappear as the Blue Jays won the game after Randal Grichuk doubled in the runner on second. This example shows how easy it becomes for teams to score runs in extra innings when all they need is a single hard hit. Although many may argue that both teams are given the same chances and everything is fair, the continued implementation of this rule will stricken the MLB for times to come.  

Baseball is a game of tradition. Although many rules have changed over the years, the overall integrity of the game was never damaged. The same rules have been used since the sport’s creation, and these rules are what has shaped the game into what it is today. So why would they change anything?

Yes, the games can be long and boring sometimes, but baseball has always been like that. The occasional fifteen inning game should bring excitement to the fans, not be the reason the MLB loses them. The creation and implementation of this rule only looks to benefit the MLB as a business. The idea of losing money from fans means more to them then losing the integrity and tradition of their game. Although the game of baseball is clearly taking a hit in viewers and ticket sales, the integration of rules that change the game drastically can never be the answer and must be changed.