Proposing New Wild Card Rules

baseballrules

There has been much written about home field advantage and strategy when it comes to the Wild Card play-in game. There are some very good articles on this very site, in fact. And while the addition of the second Wild Card team allows us to sit in the dark and contemplate a few more strategies and what-ifs, I shoot for quality over quantity. It’s not how many situations you have to consider, it’s how stupid-crazy those situations are.

That being said, here are four situations from which the owner of home field advantage SHOULD be allowed to choose.

IF YOU WIN HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE FOR THE WILD CARD GAME:

  1. You can choose to play the game as-is. A traditional, meat and potatoes baseball game.
  1. You can play a sudden-death game (i.e., if any team is leading after the bottom of ANY inning, they win). However:
    1. Your entire roster must consist entirely of pitchers (that is, players that have pitched a minimum of, say, five big-league innings this season).
    1. You can pinch hit a regular position player if you wish, but if you do, you lose a defensive player (the pitchers playing the field), and that pinch hitter cannot play defense in the next inning. The lost defensive player is never gained back.
    1. You get to have four outfielders. One of them does not get to hit.
  1. You can play a regular nine-inning game, however:
    1. You are allowed to bat any player as many times as you want. If the Pirates want Andrew McCutchen to bat twice in the lineup, they can choose to do that. BUT…
    1. For every extra at-bat a player gets, he has to make up for it by pitching the following inning. Three outs, no exceptions. To avoid tomfoolery, this rule is negated in the ninth inning, unless the player banked an extra inning pitched prior to the ninth.
    1. If the game goes extra innings, and a team hasn’t employed this rule yet, they get to designate an “all-time batter” for an inning. If the Reds go nine innings without using the loophole, they can bat Joey Votto three times in a row, allowing for pinch runners should the first or second trip allow him to reach base.
  1. Another sudden-death type game, but
    1. The first team to hit for the cycle (as a team) is the winner.
    2. If a team accomplishes this in the top of an inning, the home team has a chance to counter in the following half-inning. If they succeed, then the sudden-death rules switch to traditional scoring, not unlike situation 2.

If a video game company wants to shake up the “same game, updated rosters” routine they’ve seem to fallen in lately, this would be a good start — being able to pick different rules, roster limits, etc. Silly? Yes. Something to ponder while waiting for the postseason to start? Sure.



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David G. Temple is the Managing Editor of TechGraphs and a contributor to FanGraphs, NotGraphs and The Hardball Times. He hosts the award-eligible podcast Stealing Home. Dayn Perry once called him a "Bible Made of Lasers." Follow him on Twitter @davidgtemple.


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canuckassassin
Member
canuckassassin

Would option 2 be useless as teams adjust by having all their position players throw 5 unimportant innings throughout the year?

cass
Guest
cass

>>>For every extra at-bat a player gets, he has to make up for it by pitching the following inning. Three outs, no exceptions. To avoid tomfoolery, this rule is negated in the ninth inning, unless the player banked an extra inning pitched prior to the ninth.

Obviously, Votto needs to pitch the 8th inning. Then he can bat three or more times in the ninth thanks to his one inning. Unless the game goes to extras, he won’t have to pitch again.

Jaack
Guest
Jaack

If we are going with a cycle thing, I’d rather the game just last until one player hits for a cycle. Once a player gets a cycle, the game continues until the end of the inning, with the cycle players team getting a 5 run bump. It’d take a while, but it would greatly increase strategy. If there are 2 outs in the 34th inning and you’re down 13-7, do you call for your best player to bunt if he’s only a double away from the cycle? Do you, as a defender allow him to reach second base, allowing the game to end at the cost of 5 runs? Do you, as the hitter stop at first, when a second bag is easy just to avoid the game ending?

Bryan Cole
Guest
Bryan Cole

This is known as “the Golden Snitch rule” for its similarity to the nonsensical scoring in Harry Potter’s Quidditch.

steex
Guest
steex

“If the Reds go nine innings without using the loophole, they can bat Joey Votto three times in a row, allowing for pinch runners should the first or second trip allow him to reach base.”

I feel we’ve missed a golden opportunity to implement ghost runners in a major league game here.

cass
Guest
cass

Ghost runners? What do you think this is, Bleacher Report? These are serious suggestions for ways to improve baseball.

steex
Guest
steex

What do you think this is, FanGraphs? This is NotGraphs!

cass
Guest
cass

Well, yes, my comment wouldn’t have worked very well if this was FanGraphs, considering the satire involved the implication that Bleacher Report is a less serious site than NotGraphs.

I didn’t really have a problem with your ghost runners suggestion.

David
Guest
David

5. NFL style.
Separate offense from defense. 9 Designated Hitters + 8 other position players and pitcher.
Hitters can’t play the field and vice versa.

cass
Guest
cass

Only when the home stadium is an American League park, though.

Utah Dave
Guest
Utah Dave

My favorite part was “…to avoid tomfoolery”. I agree that there’s no place in baseball for tomfoolery – especially in the post season. Well maybe if an ump blows an infield fly call there could be some tomfoolery from the people in the stands throwing debris on the field or something like that.

henry
Guest
henry

in many of these situations, chris davis would be an absolute beast, because as we all know, the dude can pitch

dave
Guest
dave

oh

written in the stars

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