The Pioneer League will use a sudden death home racing derby this year instead of extra rounds
Another league will be rolling out experimental rules this year, and this time it’s extremely serious.
Sudden Death Home Racing Derby Anyway:
The Pioneer League has announced rules it will use for its first year as a partner league. Instead of extra innings, there will be an HR derby to settle the ties. Each team may use a designated pinch hitter and a designated pinch runner. pic.twitter.com/0xLnUJ4s1V
– JJ Cooper (@ jjcoop36) April 27, 2021
Given the nature of an independent league – even a “partner” league – I agree with this kind of extreme endgame for games. If this was seen as a test or experiment for future big league rules considerations, I don’t think I would be on board. It would be fun sometimes, but I could see him getting older and feeling even more contrived than the runner’s rule on second base.
As for the designated points for the pinch hitter and pinch runner, I don’t understand. I mean, I get the rule – they say you can pinch or pinch a guy and then that guy can always come back and keep playing. I just don’t quite get the point. Is it to involve more people? I guess so, it might help a bit on that front with the action and excitement, but it does seem terribly marginal.
The Pioneer League absorbed several of the former affiliate clubs that did not have a home in the new minor league system, and the MLB agreed to provide financial and operational support to keep the league running (and to provide mechanisms to players to come to the Pioneer League Affiliate Ball). It’s not entirely clear to me if they’ll be participating in experiments the same way as the Independent Atlantic League (including, for this year, mound recoil and DH rule change). That is, I really don’t think it’s these new rules. Or maybe I hope not.