Yankees' Boone says he wouldn’t mind a mercy rule

Should MLB have a mercy rule?

  • Yes

  • No


Results are only viewable after voting.

soxhop411

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View: https://twitter.com/lindseyadler/status/1162462091476971521



A few things:


A: this is not little league, this is the majors with professional athletes who are paid to play a sport.
B: No other professional sport in the US (major sports) has a Mercy rule, so why should MLB have one.

C: Players could miss out on financial incentives due to games being cut short by the “mercy rule”.

D: Fans pay to watch 9 innings, not a shortened game.

E: just because you are behind by a bunch of runs doesn’t mean you have no shot at winning. Comebacks happen. That’s baseball.
 

jon abbey

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A. Thanks for the insight.
B. Because teams have a limited amount of pitchers, this will be less of an issue next year with 26 man rosters but it's still a factor in a way other sports don't have.
C. Come on.
D. Occasionally games are shortened anyway, but what percentage of fans do you think are actually still around for the end of a blowout?
E. If it were instituted, I'm sure it would have to be both managers agreeing at the time, not some set rule like in Little League.

I don't care too much about this either way (although it does probably make sense), but it does bug me a little that hitting stats compiled against position players 'taint' their stats. There was a player a few years ago (I don't remember who) who was helpless against lefties, but because he had hit two home runs against lefty position players over the course of a season, his splits looked ok.
 

Zedia

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E. If it were instituted, I'm sure it would have to be both managers agreeing at the time, not some set rule like in Little League.
If the goal is to "cut down on "unwritten rule stuff", this wouldn't help. If one manager wants to call it a game and the other doesn't, that's just going to add to it. It would have to be an automatic "down by 11 runs after the 7th inning" type thing. The margin would have to be significant enough where a team has never come back, but a common enough margin so that it would be worth it?

btw, I picked "11 runs after the 7th inning" somewhat randomly after perusing this page. I just checked the Yankees box score from last night, they were down by just 10 after the 7th, so I guess it wouldn't have helped Boone! Maybe a certain amount of runs after the 7th, a lesser amount of runs after the 8th?
 

54thMA

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Boone really said that? The Gashouse Gorillas are the last team I'd ever think would be pushing for a mercy rule, especially considering they play their home games at Williamsport East where no lead is safe.
 

BoSox Rule

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There should definitely not be a mercy rule since there’s no clock and the team can always come back, but is there a rule about just forfeiting?

Edit- Also if I was Hal I would fire him for even saying something like that.
 

Zedia

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August 5, 2001 - CLE 15 - SEA 14


(I know we are supposed explain links, but it would ruin the effect)
I think a mercy rule is a stupid idea too, but I would like to note that this game would not have been called using the parameters I mentioned above.
 

jon abbey

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I'm not sure why calling the game is worse than using a position player to pitch for the final two innings down 10 runs. Presumably if Boone thought the team had much of a chance to come back, he wouldn't have done that. Also, using a Super Bowl or a season-ending playoff game as examples why this is a bad idea is pretty silly, as clearly no one would invoke a 'mercy rule' in a season-ending game (thinking about it more, it could just be up to the losing manager to concede, the winning one probably shouldn't get a vote).
 

jon abbey

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Boone really said that? The Gashouse Gorillas are the last team I'd ever think would be pushing for a mercy rule, especially considering they play their home games at Williamsport East where no lead is safe.
According to park factors, it's the hardest run-scoring environment in baseball this year, FWIW.

 

Joe D Reid

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Let teams decline to bat. If you're up (or down) 12 and want to get out of there faster, just pass on your half-inning.
 

DrewDawg

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C: Players could miss out on financial incentives due to games being cut short by the “mercy rule”.
Eh, not really.

MLB incentives cannot be based on statistical achievements, just playing time.. You're not going to lose a hell of a lot of ABs, and not to mention if the Sox are up 14-2, some guys get removed anyway. This would never be a roadblock. At least not a serious one.
 

DrewDawg

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E. If it were instituted, I'm sure it would have to be both managers agreeing at the time, not some set rule like in Little League.
I don't think there's any way that this is how it would be instituted.
 

grantb

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I am absolutely in favor of some kind of rule that says if you're down X runs after 6 innings to just call it. You should also be able to concede after 5 innings.

It'll also never happen because there's way too much revenue in the 6th and 7th innings before they stop serving and it would introduce a new level of liability of you don't have those 2 innings for people to supposedly sober up before heading home..
 

StupendousMan

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August 5, 2001 - CLE 15 - SEA 14


(I know we are supposed explain links, but it would ruin the effect)
I remember listening to this game while working all night at the observatory. Back then (before we had good network connections), I had to sit out in the dark while acquiring data. Just about any radio program was better than listening to WWV signals, so I was glad to tune in to the Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN radio. I was a big Ichiro fan, and was rooting hard for the Mariners, so it hit pretty hard when the Indians began their long comeback.

It's funny how memory works. I can still remember details of this game clearly, but every other game I heard that summer has completely left my mind. I guess even then I knew it was something special.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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August 5, 2001 - CLE 15 - SEA 14


(I know we are supposed explain links, but it would ruin the effect)
What a wagon of a regular season, you figure a crushing loss like that may have slowed momentum and kept the Mariners to around 100-110 wins but they kept going and got to 116.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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FWIW, I commentated on the Asian Games baseball tournament in Jakarta last summer, and it had a mercy rule in place: if you're trailing by at least 15 runs after 5 innings or at least 10 runs after 7 innings, the game ends immediately. But of course, the gulf in quality between some of the teams involved in international baseball is massive; MLB teams ought to be close enough to each other that comebacks should always be theoretically possible. So that's another nay vote from me for this idea.

One of my favorite games in that tournament, by the way, featured the amateurs of Hong Kong vs. the KBO all-stars of South Korea - Hong Kong's only goal in that game was to avoid it finishing early, but amazingly they were only down 5-2 after five innings and 8-3 after seven innings. And they even hit a homer:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaiXXtPpMoU&t=0s


(It finished 21-3, mind you - three in the eighth and 10 in the ninth for the Koreans - but still.)
 

GeorgeThomas

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While on a tour of Camden Yards several years ago I saw this quote emblazoned on a wall in the office area:

You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You’ve got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game of them all. -Earl Weaver
 

OurF'ingCity

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Who exactly would a "mercy rule" benefit?

Not the viewers - they are free to leave the stadium/turn off the TV whenever they like.
Not the owners/networks - they lose out on ad revenue, concessions, etc.

So the only group this could even plausibly benefit would be the players, because, I guess, occasionally this would prevent a position player having to pitch? But I actually find that to be a fun quirk of the game, especially when a position player actually pitches pretty well - heck, there is (or at least used to be) an entire Twitter account devoted to alerting people when position players are pitching. It also creates legitimate strategic choices for a manager - do you keep a reliever out there and risk the reliever getting tired, or do you put in a position player and risk that player getting hurt?

As with many of the proposed rule changes being discussed for baseball these days, this seems like a solution in need of a problem.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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He just is trying to protect the rest of the league because, in case he hadn't made it clear during his multiple post-ejection arguments this season, his guys are fucking savages in that box.
 

InstaFace

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Concessions are the least of it. What are they supposed to do, concede broadcast ad slots?
Draft new adhoc teams made up of home and away fans in attendance to play a new game starting 0-0 for however long the conceded innings were. Boom, there's your ad slots.
 

phrenile

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I could imagine a certain type of baseball executive dreams of ensuring that all "boring" baseball games end in under two hours, by colluding to make managers forfeit before completion.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I could imagine a certain type of baseball executive dreams of ensuring that all "boring" baseball games end in under two hours, by colluding to make managers forfeit before completion.
Why, though? Aren't "boring" games the MOST likely to lead to increased concession sales? Particularly at the newer parks where there are numerous attractions/restaurants in the park specifically for those who don't feel like actually watching the game.
 

Spacemans Bong

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A. Thanks for the insight.
B. Because teams have a limited amount of pitchers, this will be less of an issue next year with 26 man rosters but it's still a factor in a way other sports don't have.
C. Come on.
D. Occasionally games are shortened anyway, but what percentage of fans do you think are actually still around for the end of a blowout?
E. If it were instituted, I'm sure it would have to be both managers agreeing at the time, not some set rule like in Little League.

I don't care too much about this either way (although it does probably make sense), but it does bug me a little that hitting stats compiled against position players 'taint' their stats. There was a player a few years ago (I don't remember who) who was helpless against lefties, but because he had hit two home runs against lefty position players over the course of a season, his splits looked ok.
Teams have 14 fucking pitchers on the roster. Throw them.
 

Spacemans Bong

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Meanwhile position players have never pitched as often, no one needs to see that.
I think this is the problem, we've now got position players pitching at unprecedented levels in games that aren't even necessarily blowouts while pitching staffs are bloated af. Alex Avila pitched last week in a five run game in Arizona, where the ball had been flying out all weekend.

This is the kind of thing where, in a perfect world, MLB would step in and cut this stuff out. Position player pitching in a 17-3 game? Cool. A 5 run game in the rabbit ball era? What are the last few pitchers on your staff for then?
 

Over Guapo Grande

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I think this is the problem, we've now got position players pitching at unprecedented levels in games that aren't even necessarily blowouts while pitching staffs are bloated af. Alex Avila pitched last week in a five run game in Arizona, where the ball had been flying out all weekend.

This is the kind of thing where, in a perfect world, MLB would step in and cut this stuff out. Position player pitching in a 17-3 game? Cool. A 5 run game in the rabbit ball era? What are the last few pitchers on your staff for then?
They are kinda doing just that next year:

Position players will not be allowed to pitch except in the following scenarios:

• They are designated as a “Two-Way Player.” A player can only qualify for this designation if he accrues at least 20 Major League innings pitched and at least 20 Major League games started as a position player or designated hitter (with at least three plate appearances in each of those games) in either the current or the prior season.

• Extra innings.

• In any game in which his team is losing or winning by more than six runs when he enters as a pitcher.

Source
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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I believe that next season also begins the 26-man roster, so I expect teams will start carrying an extra pitcher or "two-way" player just in case.

Edit: Will the new "two-way" designation add any value to position players who actually aren't bad at getting guys out? Will it earn someone an extra million if they have a 4.54 ERA in 21 ML innings but is normally an average middle infielder?
 
Aug 11, 2019
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Mercy rule? Suppose some guy has hit four home runs in a game and the last one causes the rule to be invoked. Maybe he might have gotten up in the 9th with a chance to break the record or it's the last game of the season and another hit would let him reach the .400 mark? There are a lot of records--team and individual--that a player could tie or break but is prevented because the game is shortened.
 

jon abbey

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Mercy rule? Suppose some guy has hit four home runs in a game and the last one causes the rule to be invoked. Maybe he might have gotten up in the 9th with a chance to break the record or it's the last game of the season and another hit would let him reach the .400 mark? There are a lot of records--team and individual--that a player could tie or break but is prevented because the game is shortened.
Those are the best cases you could come up with? It’s possible that neither of those scenarios have ever happened in major league history.

I honestly don’t get the outrage on this (not just here), but it seems pretty unlikely to ever happen. It’s not like nine innings is mandatory now, games are shortened because of rain a handful of times a year now and yet somehow the world spins on.
 
Aug 11, 2019
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Those are the best cases you could come up with? It’s possible that neither of those scenarios have ever happened in major league history.
One: I simply chose a couple of examples that might be talked about should they occur rather than choosing someone missing an opportunity to steal their 20th base of the season.

Two: From the beginning of the 2010 season through the end of the 2017 season, there were 46 games in which the visiting team did not bat in the 6th through 9th innings.

Three: During that same time period, there were 522 games in which the winning margin was at least 10 runs. I didn't look at when during the game the run separation got to be at least 10 and obviously a 10-run separation would occur much more often than a 20-run separation but based on the data presented, I believe it reasonable to assume that in today's game one would expect a purported mercy rule to be enacted more often than one would see a weather-shortened game.
*I didn't have the 2018 data handy
 

jon abbey

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Cool that you looked those up and got totals, but that doesn't contradict anything I said.

But I get that I am in the distinct minority on this, even if I don't really get why. Again, I don't think it should be a mandatory thing, I think it should be decided by the manager who is losing and who is going to make the rest of the game a joke anyway by using a position player to pitch.