I would rather have seen Team USA lose 30-1 in “nine” complete innings of play, instead of watching them go down in defeat 11-1 in seven incomplete innings, as they did in their loss to Team Puerto Rico in Round Two of the WBC series, when the game was ended by the so-called “Mercy Rule” with two outs in the bottom of the 7th inning.
This is not Baseball !!!
Not taking anything away from Team Puerto Rico, who totally out-played the USA team, and certainly did not make these rules; but, they only recorded 21 outs in their mercy rule victory, denying Team USA the chance to make a dramaic comeback in the game.
The game ended in the bottom of the 7th when the 11th run crossed the plate for Puerto Rico, increasing their lead to the “magic” ten run total.
Puerto Rico still had one out left in their at-bat; and, more importantly, Team USA still had two innings and six outs remaining to close the gap, to make the score more respectable, and possibly even make a comeback and win the game.
My opinion and opposition to the “Mercy Rule” has nothing to do with the fact that I am rooting for Team USA to win the WBC series, or because the USA team lost this game 11-1.
I would be reacting the exact same way if Team USA was awarded a tainted mercy rule victory.
The “Mercy Rule” is a ridiculous rule that has no place in Baseball !!!
Our great game of Baseball is a contest that is played to completion over nine full innings. Playing the complete nine innings in all games leads to victory for one of the two teams. But, the victory is not complete until the winning team retires the opposing team’s batters 27 times, as well as, scoring the most runs in the game.
Most of the games in this WBC series have been very well played and exciting to watch. But, if this event is to be taken seriously, and continue its growth in importance in future years, then the rules of the game of baseball must not be changed, especially when rule changes by the WBC affect the outcome of games. And, ending games after only five or seven innings of play, truly affects the outcome of these games. The victorious teams are not really earning their wins because a complete nine innings are not being played.
Thankfully, we have not yet seen a “tied game” go into the 13th inning of one of these WBC matchups.
In that situation, WBC rules state: starting from the beginning of the 13th inning, each team would start their inning with a designated runner on both first and second base. At that point, the regular batting order would be used from where it ended in the previous inning; then, as Jackie Gleason would say, “and, away we go” …
“The pitcher completes his warm-up throws, and is ready to face the first batter in the top of the 13th inning. So here we go, ‘international rules’ in place, tied score, extra innings, designated runners on first and second, with no outs. The runners take a small lead; and, the first pitch of the inning …”
We can all thank the “International Baseball Federation”, the governing body in the Olympics that has approved a vote that resulted in Baseball and Ladies Softball not being competitive sports at the 2012 London Olympics, for dreaming up such an outlandish rule.
And, I don’t even want to discuss the pitch limits that have littered the pitching mounds throughout this whole WBC series. This reminds me too much of pitch-counts, the 100-pitch count, inning limitations, overuse of the bullpens, and lack of complete games that we all have to endure throughout the Major League Baseball season each year.
What I would like to see before this WBC series ends, is …
In at least one of these games, both managers stroll to home plate before the first pitch is thrown, and they make an agreement, that, “all WBC rules will be waived, as both teams have decided to just play old fashioned hardball … baseball as it was meant to be played … for as many innings as it takes … until one team has scored more runs than the other team … with both teams getting their complete times up at the plate”.
Only then do we want to hear the home plate umpire say, “Play Ball” !!!
— Jimmy Curran, “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life”