Goofy New Pioneer League Rule

Maybe you remember the Pioneer League as an affiliated minor league. It was part of the MLB’s MiLB purge and is now an independent “partner” league, meaning that (like the Atlantic League), MLB can use them as an experimental lab for whatever weird rule change they want to try. The Pioneer League will be using this one: tie games will be settled by a home run derby, dubbed a “Knock Out” round. For tie games, each team designates one player each to receive 5 pitches (I presume coach or teammate pitching), and the one with the most homers wins. If still tied, two more batters are picked, etc, until the tie is broken.

I get putting a runner on second in extra innings (in the minors, don’t like it in the majors). However, I’d rather have a tie than setting a game on a gimmick like a home run derby.

5 thoughts on “Goofy New Pioneer League Rule

  1. Whatever brain donor thought up this nonsense must also be a fan of the stupid shootout rule in the NHL. At least that absurdity only takes place AFTER a 5-minute OT period.

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  2. I think minor league fans are more likely to be fans of the game played than of the team. They may be fans of the MLB team affiliated, and want to see players on their way up the ladder. I just don’t think you can lay your heart on a team that will give up their best players just as they help the team rise.

    Thus I feel many minor league fans are less focused on game result than game play. If these weird rules help the fans get home to bed on time, so be it. The problem arises when the new rule is deemed a success and applied to MLB. Then you get all the stupid arguments justifying the rule, which Raysfan explored in the recent no-hitter post.

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  3. Most of the rules put in place so far to speed up the game haven’t worked. I believe that the game times have actually gone up slightly. That’s because the issues they are trying to address with the new rules are really not significant causes of long games. The biggest cause in my opinion, is the length of the commercial breaks between half innings. This won’t change because of the $$$$.

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    1. They’re also doing the wrong thing by focusing on length of games. People will happily watch baseball longer, if it’s good baseball.

      The problem is pace of play—too much dead time even without commercial breaks. Pitchers routinely take much more than the time allowed between pitches, but the umps never enforce the rule regarding this. MiLB does not have a pace of play problem…because there is a pitch clock that forces the umps to enforce the rules. Picking up the pace of play would also tend to increase balls put in play and (for those who care how long the game takes) even shorten game time a little.

      I ranted about this in my three true outcomes post a few days ago too.

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      1. I agree with you on this. Between some pitchers stepping off the rubber between every pitch and the batters who have to rearrange their gloves between every pitch even when they just took a pitch, it can add many minutes to a game. As you said, there are already rules in place for this, but they are rarely enforced.

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