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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

MLB makes big rule change to All-Star Game

Rob Manfred looking ahead

Oct 26, 2021; Houston, TX, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred before game one of the 2021 World Series between the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

There is a chance that Monday’s Home Run Derby won’t be the only derby we see during the MLB All-Star break.

The league and players agreed during the most recent CBA to a more exciting finish to the All-Star Game in the event of a tie.

Going to extra innings is a difficult proposition for an All-Star Game. Managers try to get all their players appearances in the game during the first nine innings, often leaving them emptyhanded for extras. So instead of going to extra innings for the All-Star Game, a home run derby will be used as a tiebreaker.

The format is simple: each manager selects three players to compete, and each player gets three swings (taking pitches does not count against total swings). The side with the most total home runs after the three three-swing rounds wins.

If there is a tie, each manager will select one of the existing players to play in extra rounds. Those players will each get three swings to see who hits the most home runs. That head-to-head tiebreaker format will continue until there is a winner.

The team/league that wins the derby wins the All-Star Game.

This feels a lot like ending a soccer or hockey game with a shootout. For an All-Star Game, this makes a lot of sense as a way to end matters. And if the game comes down to a derby to determine a winner, that will be only too exciting.

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