The Chicago Cubs and the New York Yankees played 18 innings Sunday night before the Yanks push across the winning run.
Raise your hand if you stayed up and watched it. Anybody? Anybody?
I’m willing to bet I’m one of the few who did, and that’s mostly because a sports writer’s work schedule provides the luxury of staying up that late. I’m betting maybe 10 others in Calhoun County watched the 18th, and I might be overestimating.
It’s past time for Major League Baseball to revamp its rules and get rid of these marathons. Even though they’re rare, even one is too many. As much as I love baseball, 18 innings are too much of a good thing. Considering the tight schedules these teams are required to keep, it’s unfair to make them play until 1 a.m., especially when both teams have to be in other cities the next day for yet another game. The Yankees were at Cincinnati on Monday, and the Cubs were at Colorado, where they mercifully got rained out.
In the World Baseball Classic, teams were allowed to put runners on first and second to start their half of the 11th inning and later. That’s OK, but the Japan baseball league might have a better solution. They stop after 12 innings, even if they’re tied.
After 12 innings, call it a draw. Count the statistics, and leave it be. Move on to the next game.
When teams start playing 13, 14, 15 innings and more, they lose interest in doing anything more than trying for a homer so they can go home. Pitchers get worn out. So do fans. Few people benefit from games like this. So why allow them to go on that long?