Mercy rule should be revisited

Posted May 21, 2014


Mercy rule should be revisited

I want to preface this by admitting that not only was I not at the league meeting, but my team also failed to send a rep, so this may just sound like grumbling from a lazy bunch.

But after last night’s game, and spending 15-plus years in the league on both sides of a tilted scoreboard, a 10-run mercy rule seems ridiculous.

Not because I think the team trailing can come back and win – though we’ve seen even in the playoffs comebacks of nearly nine or 10 runs in the final couple innings – but because we spend a lot of time and money getting out to games, getting the field ready, paying for umps, during a handful of beautiful nights, just to have them cut short by an artificial rule that doesn’t exist in real baseball.

Baseball is the one sport, no matter what the score, you can blast a hit, make a play or strike a guy out to make the whole night worthwhile.

It’s ironic this year we got rid of the “everyone bats rule” to play “real baseball” whilst implementing another rule (I know Baseball Alberta has it in senior ball, but it stems from minor ball roots) that does not exist in “real baseball.”

Again, this is coming from a guy who lost games by 25 in the early 2000s, won games by 30 in the mid-2000s, then lost again by double digits between 2010-2012. Baseball is the one sport, no matter what the score, you can blast a hit, make a play or strike a guy out to make the whole night worthwhile.

Last night we were up 11-1 after five. We didn’t score more than four runs in an inning. There were two or three plays that if they went the other way, it would have been 5- or 6-3. It was disappointing to have guys on both teams miss at-bats and guys miss chances to pitch or play the field because of the mercy rule.

Meanwhile we shelled out full pay to umpires. Granted, in an extra-inning game, they don’t get extra (I’m against that rule, too, but again, I’m just a whiner).

I was against the original mercy rule, but understood 20-plus run deficits in the sixth or seventh inning was probably getting to be too much. I always thought the 15- or 17-run rule after five and 10- to 15-run rule after six was a good compromise.

I’d be interested in what others think.

Posted on May 21, 2014 by Jason Buzzell

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