Padres Manager Has New Rules Ideas

Andy Green's take on making the game more exciting is revolutionary

Major League Baseball is considering a few rules changes. They’re designed to increase the pace of play and add some excitement to the game, trying to boost viewership and appeal to a younger fan base.

Among the ideas are a pitch clock to keep guys on the mound from grinding the game to a halt when runners are on base and, when a game goes to extra innings, starting each half inning with a runner already standing at 2nd base.

Padres Manager Andy Green is one of the most progressive thinkers in the game. He has a suggestion that is radical but could be insanely exciting.

“If it was up to me,” said Green, “probably after the 12th inning I’d have a home run derby and the winning team gets the win. So after you go 12, home run derby … I think the fans would gravitate towards that.”

The idea is intriguing. It’s not unlike penalty kicks in soccer or a shootout in hockey. As he usually does Green has thought this thing through. One of the benefits for a manager is not having to tax a pitching staff the way a long extra-inning affair does, and the Padres certainly have a propensity for playing loooooooong extra-inning games.

“Save the arms, let those guys hit. Guys would love that,” said Green. “Maybe even have a (coaching) staff member hit and we’ve got Big Mac [bench coach Mark McGwire and his 583 career home runs] so I like our chances.”

Green says each team could put their own batting practice pitcher on the bump and let the baseballs start flying.

“You get 10 swings, you get three guys you put out there and whoever hits the most homers … that’s going to be exciting.”

Of course it also greatly favors American League teams who have a designated hitter and teams like, say, the Miami Marlins and reigning Home Run Derby champion Giancarlo Stanton.

“We won’t go to extra innings with them,” said Green.

MLB has already done away with 4-pitch intentional walks in an effort to speed games up. Now if it really wants to add excitement, perhaps they ought to listen to Green. Or, just have every big league ballgame played in San Diego.

“Our park does that,” said Green about adding excitement to the game. “You come out to Petco; you see the atmosphere that exists there. You see the big TV, the food; it’s just a great place to spend an evening. I don’t think we have to do anything in the game of baseball. The pace of baseball is what it is. I think it’s enjoyable to sit there and have a conversation and watch a game closely and dissect it. For people that aren’t inclined to do that I don’t really have another recipe. It’s a great place to hang out. It’s the best place in baseball.”

Whether you like the HR Derby idea or not you won’t find many San Diegans who are going to argue with that last point.

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