Some baseball purists probably fell ill on Wednesday when a report emerged from Yahoo! that Major League Baseball would begin testing a rule this year in which teams would begin extra innings with a runner already on second base.
It’s another in a line of ideas intended to speed up the average length of a game, which despite measures to quicken things already, still stood at 2 hours and 56 minutes in 2015.
In the spirit of ridiculous but plausibly effective game-shortening ideas that will never occur, here are eight more insane/bad ideas for speeding up (and adding some theater) to baseball games.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Lend a helping hand ... or glove
If a fan catches a foul ball -- that’s an out. This applies equally to the home and away teams. If a fan catches a foul ball with a narrow beer cup designed specifically designed for foul ball catches and then successfully chugs said beer, the side gets retired.
Getty ImagesDavid Banks
Let's get weird
In the 3rd, 6th and 9th innings, base runners have to run backwards between second and third base. Bizarro innings, we'll call them.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY SportCharles LeClaire
Redefining getting "robbed"
Each outfield unit is allowed to have one enormous dog-catcher-style net affixed to the outfield wall to reel in deep shots that would otherwise become certain homers.
No more walking
Managers must ride segways from the dugout to the mound. Same goes for relief pitchers moving from the bullpen to mound.
Greg M. CooperGreg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Fielders may throw the baseball at the lower half of runners’ bodies to record outs on the base paths.
Scott RovakScott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Empty the field
In any extra innings game, the pitching team can only use five fielders, plus the pitcher and catcher. Open it up!
No time to break
No more seventh-inning stretches. Fans just have to stand for the entire top half of the seventh to prevent stiffness and promote circulation. Mic'd up players can sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the on-deck circle.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
Let it rain
No more rain delays. Ever. In the event of heavy rain, pitchers will use a neon green softball so the ball is a bit more visible to help the batters.
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP