Posted at 4:14 PM on July 16, 2008
by Steve Rudolph
Thanks to Justin Morneau, Game One of the World Series will be played at the Metrodome.
Okay, that's a bit of a stretch but I have to tip my cap to Commissioner Bud Selig for making the All-Star game worth watching again.
You may remember the debacle of 2002 when the game ended in an 11th inning tie after both managers had depleted their bullpens. To prevent a future embarrassment, Selig decided that the league that captured the Midsummer Classics would receive home field advantage in the World Series contingencies were put in place to ensure managers would have arms available for any extra innings.
Or so he thought.
Imagine what would have happened if Justin Morneau had been gunned down at the plate and not scored the winning run at 1:37 a.m.
Both teams were down to their last pitcher. Would Bud have made them keep throwing? Would the managers turn to position players in the 16th? At some point would Bud just flip a coin or have another home run derby decide the outcome? The possibilities are rich.
If you were The Commish would you make more changes to the All Star game's rosters and rules to allow teams to play into the morning or do you just consider last night an anomaly and leave things alone?
This years game was really great, but I feel like a couple of pitchers were sort of abused. Aaron Cook turned in 3 innings, effectively eliminating his chance to start Friday (though it was his own manager that left him in, so I'm not as bugged by this). The thing that really bugs me is that Francona left Sherrill, the Orioles closer in for 2.1 innings. Just think how you would feel if Nathan had been left in that long!
I would support the following rule changes:
1. Setting a minimum number of pitchers, and specifically having minimums for starters and relievers.
2. Either expanding the rosters with 5 more pitchers for extra innings games, or allowing for the replacement of starters who pitched Sunday (was anyone else disturbed by how wild Kazmir was in the 15th?).
3. Have maximum innings limits for pitchers, so that pitchers won't be overused. Perhaps 3 innings for the starter, 2 innings for any non-closer who comes in in relief, and 1 inning for closers.
4. (Big maybe on this one) In my softball league, when games are in extra innings, each team starts out with a runner on second when they bat. I don't know that I like this idea, but perhaps it would be beneficial to put it into play when all-star games go too long (12+ innings). I don't really like this idea, but I don't really like the idea of the game ending in a tie either.
#4 sounds like the baseball equivalent of a shoot out in hockey or soccer.