In another life, this news would’ve been treated like an absolute bombshell. Heck, when the topic was first raised as a possibility in the lower levels of the minor leagues, many people understandably lost their minds.
But now, with a season completely uncertain thanks to a financial fight – oh and a PANDEMIC – you can understand why this barely even registers as news:
MLB sought to start extra innings with a runner on 2nd in 2020-21 and union agreed in their counter document to do it, but for 2020 only. Union also proposed discussing ending 2020 extra inning games in a tie after an agreed-upon inning and relaxing substitution rule in extras.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 20, 2020
Given that this season, if it happens, will necessarily be modified in all kinds of ways, I don’t have the least bit of an issue adjusting extra innings to shorten games. Not only do you not necessarily want players and staff around each other longer than they have to be to complete a game, but you also don’t want to strain rosters when the ability for players to truly ramp up into game shape (and for taxi squad players to stay ready for call-ups) is going to be compromised.
So, yes, for 2020 at least, I’m fine with the 10th inning starting with a runner at second base. I would even be fine – given all the considerations – with games just ending in a tie this year after 9 or 10 innings.