Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone says MLB should have a “mercy rule” that would end lopsided games before nine innings.

Boone didn’t specify a methodology. Little League baseball ends games after three innings when a team leads by 15 or more, after four innings when a team leads by 10 or more. (The Pirates gave it a run in the annual Little League Classic at South Williamsport, Pa., Sunday night. They trailed 7-0 after five innings on the way to a 7-1 defeat.)

Boone’s bleating = genuflecting at the altar of pitch count, and protecting the bullpen.

But this isn’t Little League. It’s professional baseball.

Tickets get sold. Advertisers purchase time on TV and radio. Participants get paid.

So play nine innings like the rules dictate and maybe try to make the score respectable if it’s not too much trouble.

MLB is a joke. It’s all home runs and strikeouts.

To quote Hall-of-Fame relief pitcher Goose Gossage, “It’s not baseball. It’s unwatchable. A lot of the strategy of the game, the beauty of the game, it’s all gone. It’s like a video game now. It’s home-run derby with their launch angle every night.”

At any rate, play nine innings. Do your job. Don’t quit. Want to protect the bullpen? Let starters pitch deeper.

A mercy rule = legislated quitting. I’m not sure that’s a good lesson for kids to learn, let alone something for adults to embrace.

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