When MLB introduced the new extra-innings rule for 2020, players and fans were pretty split on it. The general consensus seemed to be whatever needs to happen to make baseball possible was fine. And now, a few weeks into a very short season, Dodgers players are coming around to the idea.
There might be a little bit of recency bias, given the fact that the Dodgers had just won an extra-innings game on Wednesday night. But the team, and Dave Roberts for that matter, are enjoying the quirks that come with a 2020 season.
Mookie Betts talked to the media following the Dodgers win. For him, he’s of the belief that it changes up the games enough for him to be fine with it. It also happens to speed up the games a little, which players can appreciate.
It’s whatever. I think the games seem like they go a little quicker because it’s not 15 inning games and we’re not all just trying to hit homeruns. I think it definitely brings different aspects to the game like the bunt, moving runners…it’s definitely a pretty cool experience for sure.
Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts gets to see a little bit of a different angle on the new rule. For him, it’s certainly an adjustment from a normal extra-innings game in terms of the approach. A prime example of that would be him having Chris Taylor bunt to lead off the 10th inning.
For me right there, I just wanted to extend the game at home. Joc did his job, got CT[Chris Taylor] over and you know Will Smith did his job. So a lot of good fundamental baseball tonight…I think there’s a lot of different variables that come into play, home/road, who’s hitting who’s behind the hitter, who’s on second base, who’s pitching…I actually kid of like that style. It becomes a kind of chess match.
At this rate, it’s not a guarantee that the extra-innings rule will be gone in 2021. If it proves to be effective in speeding up games, MLB could consider keeping it around permanently. With the Dodgers going 3-1 in these weird extra-innings games, they might not hate that idea.