Summer Training '20

McAdam: How the Red Sox could hack the new extra-inning rule

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Earlier this week, Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke indicated he was starting to think about the new rule, instituted for the 2020 season, which will place a baserunner on second base to start every extra inning.

The rule is designed to shorten the length of games that go into extra innings, on the theory that, with all the risks being undertaken by teams, no one wants a 16-inning marathon that lasts 5.5 hours. Such contests would increase the risks of exposure for players and also heighten the chance of injuries due to fatigue.

Roenicke said he had read a study about the best way to approach the new rule. Does it make sense to bunt the runner over and hope that a flyball can score the go-ahead/winning run? How will strategies differ on the road as opposed to being at home?

These are all things managers will have to explore. Roenicke said he would be consulting with Pawtucket manager Billy McMillon and others in the system, since the rule was already in place in the minors.

All of which got me to thinking about ways in which teams could beat the system. And I came up with one that the Sox -- and other teams -- might consider.