All posts by IndyBallIsland

31. Baseball fan. I prefer indy ball and the minors over the majors. If it's summer, you can find me at a ballpark. The Washington Wild Things and the Pittsburgh Pirates are my "hometown" teams, but I'm always up for taking a baseball road trip! Follow me on Twitter: @kmthomp29

Frontier League Introduces Sudden Death Baseball

Last season, the Frontier League decided extra inning games with a homerun derby. While exciting at times, the homerun derbys took time to set up and still took a while to decide a winner. This year, it has developed a plan to end games with an inning of sudden death baseball.

See the official press release below:

The Frontier League of Professional Baseball announced the introduction of a sudden-death tiebreaker to determine the winner of extra-inning games.

For any regular season game tied at the end of regulation (nine innings for a traditional game and seven innings for a double-header game), and remaining tied following one inning of play using International Tiebreaker (ITB) rules, a sudden death inning will determine the winner.

Field managers will meet with umpires with the home manager choosing offense or defense. For the team on offense, the player on the lineup card immediately preceding the batter due up will start on first base. The defensive team will have three outs to prevent the offense from scoring. If the team on offense scores they will win the game, while if the defensive team retires the side without scoring a run, they will win. As with the ITB runner, if the runner placed on first base scores, the run will be unearned. The sudden death rule guarantees that no game will be played beyond 10.5 innings or beyond 8.5 innings for a double-header game.

“While sudden death will not happen every game, we believe when it does it will have the fans on their feet,” commented Kevin Winn, Deputy Commissioner for On-Field Operations. “Created by a former manager, this initiative received overwhelming support of our current field managers and Rules Committee.”

The rule was first proposed by former Florence field manager Dennis Pelfrey, who currently manages in the San Francisco Giants’ organization. It was refined by a committee of Frontier League managers and administrators, including managers Andy McCauley of Evansville, Quebec’s Pat Scalabrini, and Ottawa’s Bobby Brown.

“Short of playing traditional extra innings, the sudden death tiebreaker is the best option for determining the outcome of a game,” stated McCauley, the Frontier League’s winningest active manager and 2021 Manager of the Year. “With regard to game time, injury prevention, and a baseball strategic outcome I feel the new sudden death rule could be an innovative solution.”

The Frontier League of Professional Baseball is an official Partner League of Major League Baseball and the largest of its kind in professional baseball. The Frontier League has moved over 1,000 players to MLB Teams in its 29-year history. The 2022 Frontier League season opens on Thursday, May 12. Please visit www.frontierleague.com.

Atlantic League Ends Some Experimental Rules

Over the last few years, the Atlantic League has been a testing ground for Major League Baseball and some of their experimental rules.

It appears as though some of those are ending, while others are here to stay.

ATLANTIC LEAGUE RESTORES 60’6” PITCHING RUBBER DISTANCE

Successful Automated Ball – Strike Technology Migrates to Affiliated Minor League

(January 13, 2022, New York, N.Y.) – The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) announced today that it will return the distance of the pitching rubber to its conventional 60’6” and will resume having home plate umpires call balls and strikes for the 2022 ALPB Championship Season.  

The Atlantic League has used the Automated Ball-Strike (ABS) system since the second half of its 2019 season and throughout the 2021 campaign as part of its innovative Test Rules and Equipment Partnership with Major League Baseball (MLB). Following the ALPB experiment and assessment, ABS is moving to an MLB affiliated league.  

Atlantic League pitching rubber distances were moved back one foot to 61’6” for the second half of the 2021 season as part of the MLB test rules partnership. The test proved inconclusive, so both parties agreed to restore the pitching rubber distance to its traditional length of 60’6” for the upcoming ALPB season.  

“As we enter 2022, we reaffirm to players and fans that ball-strike calls, and the distance of the pitching rubber, will return to accepted norms,” said Atlantic League President Rick White. “We retain several past MLB test features, such as 17” bases, extra innings tiebreaker and anti-shift rules, among others. The test rules and equipment are transitional by definition: Some elements remain, others are tweaked, and still others are abandoned. That’s why MLB and the ALPB conduct the tests.” 

The Atlantic League and MLB will announce 2022 test rules later this spring. “We are honored to pioneer the future of the game with Major League Baseball,” said White. “We’re proud that many tests today will find their way to the big leagues in the future. We will continue to closely corroborate on tests with MLB.” The experimental playing rule and equipment changes are part of a multi-year agreement between MLB and ALPB. 

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) 

With teams throughout the Mid-Atlantic, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 1,000 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 44 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 24-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com