If you watched any of the World Baseball Classic, you may have noticed a new quirk in the otherwise very traditional rules of baseball. Any game that reached the 11th inning would have runners start at first and second base, the last two outs from the 10th inning. It happened three times in the WBC, including the semifinal between Puerto Rico and the Netherlands.
The rule change had the desired effect, seeing that no game featuring the extra baserunners had to be extended into the 12th inning. However, some baseball purists felt that Puerto Rico’s 4-3 semifinal win was cheapened by the changes. Thankfully, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred assured the baseball faithful that the changes won’t be coming to the Big League ballparks anytime soon.
“I don’t see us having an extra innings truncated rule in the near future,” Manfred said Wednesday on the MLB Network.
The league is continuously looking for ways to speed up the game, especially when some of the 2016 World Series game stretched out to the five hour mark. Some changes have already been made, with pitchers being put on a pitch clock, and new ones are coming in 2017 with the addition of managers being able to signal for an automatic intentional walk.
Some minor leagues will continue to tinker with starting extra innings with runners on base, but Manfred said the experiment will likely stay in the lower leagues.
“That’s why you experiment with things in the minors, and World Baseball Classic,” Manfred said.