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#pounditSunday, May 16, 2021

Dave Martinez critical of new extra innings rule

In a bid to prevent marathon games during a shortened season, every half inning after the ninth will start with a runner on second base in MLB this year. The rule may be understandable, but it doesn’t sound very popular.

Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez admitted that he disliked the rule change on Saturday, adding that he hadn’t spoken to anyone in the game who approved of it.

MLB’s introduction of the so-called “international tiebreaker” rule is understandable in a short season like this one. Long games can tire out pitching staffs and throw a team’s bullpen off for days afterward. It’s one thing if that happens in a 162-game season, but it’s entirely different in a 60-game campaign.

Otherwise, Martinez is right. Teams work so hard to prevent opponents from reaching base for nine innings, and it feels unfair to throw a runner on second just like that. Hopefully this is a one-year experiment and things get back to normal once the sport does.

That said, if Martinez wants to talk to someone who might favor the new rule, he need only talk to the guy running one of his division rivals.

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