MLB expected to implement zany new rule to help prevent long games

Enrico Campitelli
NBC Sports Philadelphia

It'll be great to have sports return whenever that actually happens, but it's safe to say they won't be returning exactly as we knew them.

And it's not just the shortened seasons, different playoff formats, or empty ball parks. MLB for example is reportedly considering implementing a new rule for extra innings that had previously only been seen in the Minor Leagues.

A runner being placed on second base at the start of any inning after the ninth (10th inning and on) was implemented in the minors in 2018 to help prevent extremely long games in the interest of player safety. That same rule being implemented during the 2020 shortened MLB season isn't official yet but it is widely expected to happen.

Here's what National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues president Pat O'Conner said about it at the time:

"We believe these changes to extra innings will enhance the fans' enjoyment of the game and will become something that the fans will look forward to on nights where the game is tied late in the contest. Player safety has been an area of growing concern for our partners at the Major League Baseball level, and the impact that lengthy extra innings games has on pitchers, position players and an entire organization was something that needed to be addressed." 

Extremely long extra innings games put a strain on bullpens, and given the unique circumstances around a condensed 2020 season and player health in general, it's believed this new rule could help keep teams healthier.

Reactions to it showing up in MLB have been mixed.

MLB expected to implement zany new rule to help prevent long games originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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