Baseball fans of a certain age will remember the 2002 MLB All-Star Game vividly. Sure, fans will remember Torii Hunter’s incredible over-the-wall robbery of Barry Bonds. But most fans will remember it for far worse reasons.
They’ll remember that the game ended in a tie.
A tie? You say. Yes, a tie. Both teams ran out of pitchers and the managers, as well as the league, decided to call the game as is. The decision hung like a dark cloud over the league until Major League Baseball decided to do something about. From 2003 to 2017, the MLB All-Star game determined which team had home-field advantage in the World Series.
As it turns out, fans hated that rule too after teams with the better record were forced to go on the road to start the series due to what largely amounts to an exhibition.
That rule went out the window in 2017 and in the years since we haven’t had a tie. Nor has the game gone beyond 10 innings, which it did in 2018 when the American League won, 8-6.
But what if it did? Nobody wants to see another 2002 redux, and Major League Baseball knows that. So on Monday afternoon, the league announced a brand new way to settle a tie after nine innings. And it’s the coolest possible way.
It's officially official: Should the All-Star Game be tied after nine innings, the game will be settled via a Home Run Derby. Each manager will select three batters to participate, and each batter will get three swings. The team with the highest total after the three rounds wins.
— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) July 18, 2022
Baseball Fans Love Themselves A Good Dinger
The walk-off dinger is the best thing in baseball, bar none. Under the newly introduced Home Run Derby tiebreak format, fans are guaranteed at least a chance at solid chance at a walk-off dinger if the game is tied after nine inning. So it should come as nobody surprise that people loved the new format.
— local bIogger (@fergoe) July 18, 2022
— Kali Rhe (like Ray) (@RHEmarkable) July 18, 2022
Every baseball fan will now be rooting for a tie game after 9 innings. https://t.co/lLru6Lupjj
— Mike McCartney (@MikeMcCartney7) July 18, 2022
This is fine for an exhibition but regular season games should still be treated a little more thoughtfully, though. (Tie broken by 5 v. 5 shootout, either hockey or soccer style, home team gets to choose) https://t.co/pOYk4YQyMp
— Marc Normandin (@Marc_Normandin) July 18, 2022
please tie please tie please tie please tie please tie https://t.co/EwWsPQF6QS
— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) July 18, 2022
Many fans prefer it to the current extra-inning rules in regular season games.
Honestly this is a much better solution than the runner on second for regular-season tied games after 9 innings. https://t.co/AGgEZujsSp
— Josh Perry (@MrJoshPerry) July 18, 2022
pls make ths for reg season games too https://t.co/avtN0C5AEC
— Steve Sandmeyer (@SteveSandmeyer) July 18, 2022
Still a better idea than an automatic runner on second https://t.co/qLhp8cDrpB
— Trent 🦢 (@TrentSwann) July 18, 2022
Dingers. Dingers for all of these people!