Alex Rodriguez likes Justin Turner's idea of ending extra-inning games with home run derbies
Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner offered a fun way to end extra-inning games over a potentially shortened 2020 MLB season: home-run derbies to end tied games. And while the idea drew skepticism from some, New York Yankees legend Alex Rodriguez voiced his approval.
Speaking on ESPN's "Get Up!" Tuesday, Rodriguez explained why MLB should "let it fly" when it comes to innovative ideas like Turner's.
"In 2020, I love everything," said Rodriguez, who also pushed for increased mics on players. "The one thing we have to signal to the world is, if you're a traditionalist, Major League Baseball is not for you. If you have any naughty, disruptive, crazy idea, make it happen this year. Try everything. Pilot everything."
This year more than most is important for MLB to get creative. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the season's start, leaving to question whether players' health or the on-field product will suffer as a result. Turner's home-run derby idea – which he wrote on Twitter would apply only to this season – could potentially help both problems by limiting pitchers' innings and providing more exciting endings than ties.
Home-run derbies to break tied games are one of many potential solutions for MLB. Others include shortening games to seven innings and scheduling more double-headers. The timeline could be running out to implement them, though, as ESPN's Jeff Passan reported MLB is considering a May return (In that scenario, all 30 teams would gather to play in Arizona across multiple venues – including Chase Field – with no fans allowed.)
The 2020 MLB season may have started off on the wrong foot because of the coronavirus outbreak, but if the league considers innovative ideas like Turner's it could become one to remember.