Editor’s Note: Kirk H. covers the off-day with an interesting thought on how the game would be different if the rules changed the way he described.
As I watched the Braves fail to push runners across yet again, an idea occurred to me: what if baseball’s scoring rules had evolved such that a point was scored for every base that a runner reaches? How would the game be different? Would it be more or less interesting? More or less exciting?
From a pitching standpoint, strikeouts would be king, walks poison. Flyballs would generally be better than ground balls as long as you could keep it in the park. From a batting standpoint, striking out would be a terrible failure. Putting the ball in play would be highly valued, not making outs would be a premium skill. Power is still important since you can score multiple points in an at bat. Speed would be incredibly valuable, both in the ability to take the extra base and steal bases. Intentional walks would be mostly a thing of the past. Only the weakest of hitters would be bunting usually (since a sacrifice is not any more valuable than a fielder’s choice), but pitchers would have to be adept. Defensive over shifts would become extinct since there would be even more incentive for batters to take advantage of the open side of the field to get easy points. Games would be more high scoring, but wouldn’t be longer. About the only downside I see is that the defense is incented to take an out wherever they can get it, pretty much regardless of the situation. This means more routine plays and less chances taken, so some excitement is removed. On balance though, I think I like it. What do you think?