April 2, 2020


Baseball players have a lot of free time on their hands.

Too much free time.  Dodgers Justin Turner told his network about his idea on how to get more excitement into extra inning games.

Turner says everyone in the game, from players to owners, are on board with playing as many games as possible whenever the season can resume, and notes nothing is off limits in achieving that goal. He said there have been conversations about multiple doubleheaders, roster expansion, and new extra innings rules.

Turner offered his own idea for how extra inning games should be settled.

“This is my opportunity to push for a Home Run Derby extra inning,” he said.

 “Instead of playing 17 innings, you get one extra inning, you play the 10th inning, and no one scores, and you go to a Home Run Derby. You take each team’s three best hitters and you give them all five outs and see who hits the most homers.”

Turner thinks the idea would keep fans in the stands until the end of the games. Obviously, it would prevent games from dragging on, extending bullpens, and tiring players who will be working on short rest throughout the season. He compared the idea to the shoot-out at the end of overtime in hockey games.

IT IS A TERRIBLE IDEA based on questionable logic.

Fans don't leave during extra inning contests. It is sudden death. The home team has the last chance.

Extra innings are played under the same rules. Games should be played under the same rules to preserve the integrity of the sport.

A hockey comparison is not fair. In hockey, teams play an overtime under the same regular period rules (except with two less skaters). The shoot-out was created so some team could "win." However, there is nothing wrong with a "tie."  Hockey used to have lots of tie games. But someone thought that fans would like top see "winners."  But in shoot-outs, it may be more luck than skill that gives a rival an extra point in the standings.

A home run derby finale has nothing to do with who was the better team on that given day. Some believe a home run derby can screw up a hitter's mechanics.  Why risk putting terrible habits on your best three hitters in order to win one shortened game?

Turner should go back to grooming his beard instead of thinking about rule changes.