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MLB Roundup 1/31: Those bad pace of play rules will be instituted in the All Star Game and spring training

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2017 Major League Baseball World Series Game Four: Los Angeles Dodgers v. Houston Astros

MLB could put runner on second base to start 11th inning of All-Star Game

Pace of play is the hot topic around the league right now, and if we’re being honest I don’t hate many of the rules. Purists will complain that things are changing too much, but I’d agree with the general premise that the flow of games can be a big problem, even if the worry over actual game times is a bit overblown. That being said, we heard some rumors last year of a new rule in which teams could start extra innings with a runner on second base, and it was unanimously hated. On Tuesday, we learned that the league could be setting up this rule to put it in the All-Star Game and spring training beginning as soon as this year. Initially, my reaction to this was not very strong. I hate this rule in principle, but I can’t really get too worked up about the integrity of the All-Star Game or spring training games. That being said, as others have pointed out, this could very well be a precursor to these rules being added in the regular season, which would be a disaster. I’m still not sure I’m willing to get super worked up over these rules just yet, but it seems more possible than ever that this dumb, dumb rule could be added to real baseball games that matter.

  • Yu Darvish would reportedly like to go back to the Dodgers, and his free agency is taking so long because he’s waiting for them to feel the same way. This doesn’t seem super likely because Los Angeles is trying to stay below the luxury tax threshold, but he’s still holding out. The Brewers and Cubs have been the two teams most consistently connected to the ace.
  • The Diamondbacks have signed Alex Avila, who was very quietly one of the better offensive catchers in baseball in 2017. It’s hard to know if that will repeat, but Arizona had a big hole behind the plate and they should remain a real contender in 2018.