Rules To Make MLB More Interesting: Home Run Derby Over Extra Innings

Apr 14, 2020, 10:42 AM
General view outside of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals spring training facility, Surprise Stadium on April 07, 2020 in Surprise, Arizona. According to reports, Major League Baseball is considering a scenario in which all 30 of its teams play an abbreviated regular season without fans in Arizona's various baseball facilities, including Chase Field and 10 spring training venues. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Major League Baseball is sitting on the sidelines, like a lot of sports leagues, brainstorming ways to get the league up and running in some fashion.

For MLB, there have been a few ideas on not only how to get back to playing but also ideas about how to make baseball more fun to potentially appeal to a larger audience.

Two ideas to get the game back on the field have come up. The first idea is to have all 30 teams play in the Arizona-area with players, staff, and others in the organization sequestered from the public.

Another idea is to have a temporary realignment for 2020 with teams playing at their spring training facilities with a Grapefruit and Cactus League set up. This would create a different look and lineup to determine a champion, yet more feasible than every team in the Phoenix-area.


  • NORTHEAST: Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics.
  • WEST: Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels.
  • NORTHWEST: Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals.


  • NORTH: New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • SOUTH: Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles.
  • EAST: Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins.

This mix and matching of teams would not only create a unique World Series that is not a National League vs. American League team, but it would also force a universal designated hitter and no interleague play.

Tweak Some Rules

When it comes down to it, baseball is really the comfort food of sports. It is easy to watch and does not require keen attention during the entire game. However, there are adjustments that could be made to make baseball more fun in order to get more people tuned in.

KSL Sports Alex Kirry thinks this is the time Major League Baseball needs to reinvent itself and make each game for the 2020 season a made for TV event.

“Just try weird and wild things to get fans into it,” Kirry said. “This would give people more access to the sport. The reality is, baseball will return before a lot of these as they have more of a schedule to get through. They are going to playing in front of no crowds, guaranteed, there will not be a soul in there, so you have to build this for a television audience.”

Ideas From KSL Unrivaled On Improving MLB

Home Run Derby Extra Innings

Instead of playing a traditional extra innings game would be to turn it into a home run derby contest, similar to a shootout in hockey or soccer. This gets universal approval for how a game should end. This would guarantee a walk-off style win in any game that is tied at the end of nine innings.

Mic up players

This needs to be done strategically and there is no need to have an outfielder fitted with a microphone because that would be boring. KSL Sports Scott Mitchell wants to hear the intimate parts of the game.

“What would be cool to mic up would be to hear when guys are talking to each other through the gloves,” Mitchell said. “The second baseman, shortstop, and a catcher would be fun. Also, if they talk trash to hitters.”

Pickoff limits for pitchers

This one could create some drama in a game because watching multiple pitches going to first base to keep the runner in check. However, limiting those to three would create intrigue in usually what is a boring play into something exciting.

Mitchell is not a fan of this idea as it would give a baserunner nearly free reign to still a base.

“Nah, I don’t like that one,” Mitchell said. “Then the baserunner says, ‘I know now I can steal and you can’t try to pick me off.'”

This type of rule would force the pitcher to be judicial in trying to pickoff a baserunner and on the other side, the baserunner could bait the pitcher into wasting a valuable pickoff attempt.

There is nothing to lose for Major League Baseball to get creative in new rules…especially right now.

Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast. 

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Rules To Make MLB More Interesting: Home Run Derby Over Extra Innings