The Frontier League Introduces SUDDEN DEATH BASEBALL

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The Frontier League Introduces SUDDEN DEATH BASEBALL

Chicago Cubs

With everyone talking about overtime rules and extra innings approaches today, the independent Frontier League is taking the opportunity announce a change to their extra-innings rules.

Introducing, via the league’s announcement, SUDDEN DEATH BASEBALL:

For any regular season game tied at the end of regulation (nine innings for a traditional game and seven innings for a double-header game), and remaining tied following one inning of play using International Tiebreaker (ITB) rules, a sudden death inning will determine the winner.

Field managers will meet with umpires with the home manager choosing offense or defense. For the team on offense, the player on the lineup card immediately preceding the batter due up will start on first base. The defensive team will have three outs to prevent the offense from scoring. If the team on offense scores they will win the game, while if the defensive team retires the side without scoring a run, they will win.

Let’s assume for a moment that this isn’t just a joke (it’s been proposed before as a real extra-innings approach, so I *think* they might be serious). First of all, just a genius move to jump on the attention the NFL’s overtime rules are getting right now and make this announcement. Because here we are talking about it!

Second of all, the real question: is the rule genius, too?

It’s certainly fun and potentially exciting, because there are multiple layers here. Both teams get a chance to win in the same half-inning, and the home team gets to CHOOSE which approach they want to take. Your best relievers are rested and ready? Take the ball! The heart of your lineup would be up? Take the bat!

Not to take any of the fun out of the announcement, you’ll note that the home half of extra-innings already was sudden death baseball, strictly speaking. But this is certainly a significant change to that format, since the defensive team can win in the “top” of the inning simply by preventing the other team from scoring. So it’s a little more sudden deathy.

The Frontier League is an official partner league of MLB, by the way, so on the off chance that this proves to be a fantastic rule, it’s conceivable that you could see it tried out down the road in the affiliated minor leagues. (I’d call that extremely unlikely, though.)

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.