Team USA’s 11-1 Loss Was An Embarrassment …. WBC’s “Mercy Rule” Is A Disgrace !!!

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”





  1. juliasrants

    Jimmy – I could not agree with you more! I know only to well how a team can face great odds in the bottom of the 9th and come back to win it all! The Mother’s Day Miracle at Fenway? These are grown men playing the game! Not little children who we need to protect. Baseball “Ain’t over ’till it’s over!” It has no end time. I have no idea why the WBC decided to adopt these rules for the series – but it needs to end! Bring back the baseball we all know and love! Great post Jimmy and have a great day!


  2. Jane Heller

    I thought of you, Jimmy, when they called the mercy rule the other night. I knew you’d be so mad! I agree that it’s ridiculous. But then I also think this tournament should be played after the regular season, so what do I know?

  3. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Julia …

    Yeah, there are so many games throughout each season in which teams are losing and then make a dramatic comeback to win the game in the 8th or 9th inning !!! … But, even if these teams fall short of earning victory, at least, they had the opportunity to make a comeback by playing the complete nine innings !!! ………. Like Yogi Berra said, “it ain’t over ’till it’s over” …. And, like you said, Julia, “baseball has no end time” !!! … The WBC should drop these rules, and, again, like you said, “bring back the baseball we all know and love” !!! … These WBC rules make no sense; and, MLB should listen to all us fans, and go with “real” MLB rules in future WBC series’ !!!
    Take care, Julia; and, thanks your the visit and excellent thoughts !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  4. rockymountainway

    Well said Jimmy. I would also like to see two managers meet on the mound and say “let’s do this” but since it is a “world” contest and seemingly everyone is making some form of concessions then I guess what we got we got! It was a bummer to hear the mercy rule come into play.

  5. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Bob …

    I agree, and I think, most managers and players would not want to have games end [early] because of the “Mercy Rule” !!! … Baseball is a nine inning game with no time limits; and, if the game is tied after nine complete innings, extra innings are played for as long as it takes for one of the teams to win the game !!! … That is how the game of baseball is played !!! … And, if the WBC doesn’t want to use real MLB rules, then, there should not be any future WBC events !!! … Like you said, any team can comeback from being down, 15-1 or 11-1 and score 12 runs in the game … If they win the game, or not, at least, they had an opportunity to play the full nine innings — and, get all their at-bats in the game !!!
    Thanks for the visit, and comments Bob !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  6. jimmy27nyy

    Well, thank you, Jane …

    Yeah, I was, and still am, very annoyed about this “Mercy Rule” in the WBC .. Also, some other rules that are equally ridiculous !!! … These WBC rules make no sense at all !!! … Jane, I also agree, this WBC series should be played at the end of the regular season, playoffs, and World Series — sometime in the middle of November into December !!! … The everyday players and pitchers would be more prepared to play with a lesser chance of getting injured !!! … MLB should take a close look at this option, as it is not a good thing for this upcoming season to see players like: Cano, Marte, Pedroia, and Chipper Jones returing back to their teams with injuries they incurred in WBC action !!! … But, when was the last time MLB listened to the fans ???
    Take care, Jane; and thanks for the visit and great thoughts !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  7. xcicix

    That’s totally true…those international people don’t know what they’re talking about! Why were baseball and softball outed? There are plenty of places that still play them…well, not softball so much but that’s exactly WHY we need it in the olympics! I think I’ll write an entry on that…

  8. jimmy27nyy

    Thanks, Tom …

    It is a shame, because most of the WBC games have been exciting and well-played; and, there is much interest from many countries around the world, including here in the USA !!! … This is “baseball’, and the powers that be in MLB should not let “International Baseball Organizations” dictate and change the rules of our great American Pastime … It would be great if all these WBC rules would be eliminated all together; but, at least, a good start would be to make these rules “optional” if both managers agree to waive these rules at the start of each new game !!!
    Tom, like you said, “the Mercy Rule is a bummer” !!!
    Take care, and thanks for the visit !!!
    Also, Tom, I hope your “Baseball Road Trip” is going well !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  9. scofid

    As usual, you’ve hit the bullseye. I do believe the WBC games are tainted by the rules. I also agree with Jane that playing these games after the season would make more sense, and heighten the drama.

    Great blog as always!


  10. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Caroline [xcicix] …

    There was a vote a few years ago that resulted in Baseball and Softball being eliminated as competitive sports at the next Olympics in London, 2012 !!! … The vote seems to have been mostly an anti-American vote, but it not only hurts the USA baseball and softball teams — it also hurts all the other teams from around the world, that also have great baseball and softball programs !!! … And, certainly this was proven during the past year at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics when Team USA only won the “Bronze” Medal in Baseball, with Japan winning the “Gold”; and, Korea winning the “Silver” … and, the USA Ladies Softball team won the “Silver” medal after being upset by Team Japan in the “Gold” medal game … Team Australia won the “Bronze” medal in the Softball competition !!! … So, it doesn’t make any sense that Baseball and Softball will not be in the next Olympics !!! … But, another vote will be taken, I think at the end of 2009, regarding whether or not Baseball and Softball will be in the 2016 Summer Olympics … Let’s all hope and pray that both sports will be put back into the Olympics, once again, where they both belong in all future Olympiad’s !!!
    Caroline, thanks for your visit; and, great comments and thoughts !!!
    I look forward to your “post” on this issue !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  11. jimmy27nyy

    Thanks, Scott …

    The WBC rules just do not make any sense !!!
    MLB should seriously look to eliminate all these rules the next time the WBC series is played because they really do taint the outcome of the games !!! … Also, I totally agree with you and Jane, the best time to play the WBC games [if there really is any good time to play these games], is after our regular season, playoffs, and World Series are all finished !!! …. I think most baseball fans would agree with that time schedule; but, we are all only “fans” of the great game of baseball !!! … Maybe one day, MLB will listen to what we all have to say ???
    Thanks again for your visit Scott; and, also, for your kind words !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  12. raysrenegade

    I got lucky enough to not have this rule in place in Little League when I was younger. Back then the ego and sensitivity of the young mind and psyche were not in play when it came to team sports.
    We hustled and tried to score at 1-0 as hard as 10-0.

    I do not know where we turned the page and began to simplify the game for the kids. Was it the fact a kid would cry in the dugout after losing 2-1 any different than 12-1. Did we become better ball players if we left in the 4th inning instead of the 7th inning?

    Professional athletes are ready for things like this to happen to them. Routs happen to the best of teams. There are just some days when the hitters guess right, or the pitchers can not find the plate. Good example was a game last night in the Grapefruit League. The Rays scored 4 runs in an inning where 6 walks were issued by two pitchers.

    Sometimes I truly think we have regressed to a point where we really do not understand losing anymore, and we tend to shun the true essence of what it is to lose big. Adults and kids both know it happens, why not let the game sort itself out without the outside involvement of people who do not play the game anymore.

    Rays Renegade

  13. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Renegade …

    It was the same thing with me with I was young, there was never a “Mercy Rule” when we played ball then !!! … The games would continue until the final out was made after all the complete innngs were played !!! … Learning how to win with grace and class is very important; but, we also learn a lot when our team loses, even by big scores ……. It builds up character, how to respect the other team, and not really accept losing, but realize that it is part of the game and we should always play hard every game whether we win or lose !!! … Also, staying in a game that looks like your team is going lose, and then making a big comeback to “win”, builds up confidence for future games that no matter what the odds are against you there is always a chance to win the game, or win in any area of life !!! … And, certainly we should not change the rules, especially, when these rule changes affect the outcome of games !!!
    Thanks for the visit, and, very thoughful comments, Rays Renegade !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  14. jimmy27nyy

    Thank you, Jane !!!

    I hope you had a very happy “St. Patrick’s Day”, as well !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  15. bostonredsoxgirl46

    I couldn’t agree more! It isn’t real baseball! Baseball is supposed to be 27 outs–nine innings, no exceptions. And that rule where in extra innings you put runners on base? I don’t understand that.

  16. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Elizabeth …

    Yeah, when rules are changed that affect the outcome of games, like with the Mercy Rule, well, the “game”, little by little, moves away from being “real baseball” !!! … And, the “extra innings” rule, that requires each team from the 13 inning on, to start the inning with two designated runners on base, is even more disturbing — as the rule actually creates two base runners “out of thin air” on-base for both teams !!! … These international rules are also rules that apply in various different forms in “Softball”. So, if MLB is going to continue the WBC in future years, they should not allow the “real rules” of baseball to be changed !!!
    Thanks for the visit, and comments, Elizabeth !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  17. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Erik …

    I agree, and you may be right that many players may not even know about these rules in the WBC !!! … Team USA has even more concerns, though, as they have lost many players because of injuries — and, that is the ultimate concern in the WBC series — “injuries”; and, players being injured bad enough that will cause them to miss games in the regular season !!! … But, MLB really needs to re-think all these ridiculous WBC rules, and eliminate them, and go with real baseball rules in future WBC events !!!
    Thanks for the visit, and comments, Erik !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  18. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Canuck …

    Thanks for the kind words !!!
    As a life-long, die-hard New York Yankees fan, I always respect the awesome Yankees tradition with class and grace; and, also, respect the other teams and fans of other teams !!! … We all have this great passion for the game of Baseball, and it is the respect [by all of us] for the teams, players, and fans, that continue to make following Baseball so great !!! … Also, it is baseball that brings us all together, here, in this great mlblogging community and baseball site at mlblogs/ !!!
    Thanks again for your visit, Canuck !!!
    And, also, Best Wishes and Good Luck on your new blog, “The Watercooler” !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  19. junior75

    Great posting…I really enjoy reading your blog. I have covered my travel experiences with the WBC on my blog, ( Feel free to check it out sometime. I was fortunate enough to travel to Toronto for the first round. Living in the LA area, I also went to San Diego to watch a game, and I will be going to Dodger Stadium on Monday to watch the finals. I hope that the US team can step it up in today’s game, because they haven’t really impressed me so far. I am really glad to see that Oswalt is starting instead of Peavey. I have really been questioning whether the US team deserves to be in the semis, considering how lame they have been playing so far. Seems like only Jeter has been strength and he’s the backpack carrying everyone on that squad. Japan has a really strong, injury-free team, and the US will definitely have to bring their A game today against Dice-K. I hope that I will be checking out USA vs. Korea in the finals!

    As a Yankees fan, I am really excited about the new season, with the great pitching acquisitions this year and the new stadium!

  20. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Junior75 … Thanks for the visit !!!

    The WBC games have been exciting to watch, except for the many injuries [especially, the Team USA injuries] !!! … Well, the WBC series ended for Team USA Sunday night with Team Japan’s 9-4 victory over the USA … The USA had a good team, as well as, other teams in the series; but, it is very clear that Japan and South Korea are the two best teams in the 2009 WBC !!! … Going into the Championship game, Monday night, they are 2-2 in games they played against each other in this series … So, it should be a fun game to watch, and the fans of both teams will also really be into this game in the stands at Dodger Stadium !!!
    I’m also excited about the upcoming New York Yankees season !!! … In my view, the key for success for the Yankees will be solid pitching performances by the starters; another great year by Mariano Rivera; and, everybody staying healthy throughout the year, especially, Mariano, Posada, Matsui, Wang, and Joba, who are all returing from injuries last year !!! … The “race for first place” in the AL East will be fun and exciting to watch in 2009 !!!
    Thanks again for stopping by !!! … I will be sure to also check out your blog !!!
    “Go Yankees” !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

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