Going into the 2023 MLB season, the rule has been made official to keep the extra innings ghost runner for the regular season. For those unfamiliar, the so-called MLB ghost runner is the batter who made the final out of the previous inning becoming an automatic 2nd base to start each extra inning. This rule came to fruition in 2020, then maintained in 2022, and has been a source of controversy ever since.
Reviewing the MLB Ghost Runner
It is to be recognized that after 3 years of trial, the joint competition committee has unanimously voted in favor of the ghost runner. This is important because it shows mutual interest between owners, players, and umpires. The appeal to players is that fewer extra innings decreases the chances of injury. The appeal to owners is also to prevent injury, meaning less money owners have to spend for players unable to do their job.
Has the MLB ghost runner accomplished the goal of lowering extra innings? Actually, yes. According to CBS, since 2020, only 7 game have reached the 13 innings mark. In 2019, the last full season without the ghost runner, there were 37 games that reached that mile stone.
Fans of the game may find themselves arguing between their head and their heart. The heart of a die-hard fan likely does not want to see the MLB ghost runner. Many argue that the ghost runner is unearned, and hand-outs if the sorts are against the spirit of baseball. It is very difficult to dispute this case. But regardless, the rule does accomplish what it is trying to do, and has been a uniting feature between parties who have recently had consequential disagreements.
Yes it does make sense why fans dislike the ghost runner, but it is very easy for a fan to forget that they themselves have different priorities than players and owners.
Main Complaint Against the MLB Ghost Runner
Here is where disapproving fans do have a legitimate point: part of the ghost runner rule is that the ghost runner will not be used in the playoffs. So since MLB admits that the ghost runner should not be apart of playoff baseball, is that not also ad admission that it is too silly to be apart of baseball at all? If a rule is unacceptable in baseballs most crucial moments, why are we supposed to accept its legitimacy at all?
Which closer would use to win you the World Series?
What do you think of the MLB ghost runner rule?
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