MLB Permanently Installs Extra Innings Automatic Baserunner On Second, Finally Showing Signs Of Modernizing Game

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The baseball purists hate that Major League Baseball instituted a new rule that beginning in the 10th inning, teams place a runner a second base to begin the inning. The MLB extra innings automatic baserunner is not going away, ever.

The idea is to limit the amount of extra innings in regular season games. Playoff games do not include this rule.

It makes perfect sense. While it’s fun to see a game in the 18th inning from the comfort of your couch, the reality is that baseball games are long. Plus, those games run through bullpen arms and set teams back.

I'm all for the permanent institution of the MLB extra innings automatic baserunner
I’m all for the permanent institution of the MLB extra innings automatic baserunner. (Photo via Getty Images)

There’s just no need to do that, especially during a 162-game season when single games are generally of minor consequence.

Before I continue, I do want to go on a quick tangent. Please, for the love of God, stop referring to this runner as the “ghost runner.” Back in the day, when you played ball with your buddies, there generally weren’t enough players to bat and run the bases.

Thus, the “ghost runner” or “ghosty” was invented where there would be no physical human on the bases, but the runner theoretically remained.

In Major League Baseball, they put a physical runner on second base. Not a ghost. An actual human being.

And, the “ghosty” represented a player who had actually achieved that base. This player is placed there due to the rules. Therefore, in multiple ways, this is not a “ghost runner.” Stop calling him that.

Tangent over.

MLB finally embracing modern times with extra innings baserunner

I grew up playing baseball but never subscribed to the idea that rules should continue just because “that’s the way it’s always been.” I don’t go to games to watch pitchers hit. The universal DH was way overdue.

I’m also not sitting through a 6-hour game in the middle of July. No issues with the automatic runner.

Robot umps? Good. The point is to get the calls right. The only reason we know Angel Hernandez’ name is because he’s bad at his job.

We need guys like Angel Hernandez to have less impact on MLB games, not more.
We need guys like Angel Hernandez to have less impact on MLB games, not more. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

And the strike zone affects essentially every pitch of a baseball game. It’s more important to baseball than practically any rule in any sport. Yet, it’s the one we allow the most human control. Nonsense.

Get the calls right, end the games quicker and let the hitters hit.

Baseball, for the modern era.

It’s about time.

Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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  1. Completely agree with the modernization of the game, and I’m 57 years old. For God’s sake, take away balls and strikes calls from the umpire; we can all see the right call on Television! Not a hitter goes by where the ump doesn’t make a bad call.

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