The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees don’t agree on much. However, it appears their respective managers, Alex Cora and Aaron Boone, do agree on one matter: Position players pitching isn’t good for baseball.
Over the weekend, Boone made headlines by suggesting he would be in favor of Major League Baseball adopting a mercy rule. Among the reasons Boone used to support his suggestion is his dislike for position players being used as pitchers in lopsided games.
Before Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Red Sox manager Alex Cora indirectly backed up his rival skipper. Only Cora made no mention of a mercy rule. Instead, he offered his own bold suggestion that would make managers think twice before going the position player route.
Cora’s wild suggestion
One suggestion wasn’t enough for Cora. He actually made two that are worthy of a double take. It’s option No. 2, though, that has people buzzing.
Alex Cora isn't a fan of position players pitching. Offered two solutions:— Chris Mason (@ByChrisMason) August 21, 2019
1. If a team uses a position player, they have to have one face three hitters in the next game, too.
2. If a team uses a position player, their offense can't swing the bat for the rest of the game.
Cora has clearly put some thought into this. That much we can appreciate. But at-bats without swings? Good luck getting the MLBPA on board with batters essentially giving up outs.
Cora did later admit that neither idea would make it beyond the suggestion box.
Cora on option 2: "This is not going to happen. Well, the other one either."— Chris Mason (@ByChrisMason) August 21, 2019
But hey, why not shoot your shot?
Does either suggestion have merit?
In a word: No.
Like Boone’s mercy rule idea though, both are at least interesting to think about.
The issue, of course, is that baseball doesn’t seem likely to venture that far off the beaten path. Well, that and the whole “batters aren’t giving away at-bats” thing. Sure, we’ve seen enough big changes in the game to warrant thinking they might be willing to go outside the box. But this is not one of those areas on the priority list.
You’ll find it difficult to get through an entire day’s worth of box scores in 2019 without finding at least one position player who was summoned for pitching duties in a lopsided or long-lasting game.
We dare say that won’t be changing any time soon. If ever.
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