Baseball's Ghost Runner Is Staying

MLB makes permanent a rule designed to shorten extra-inning games
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2023 1:55 PM CST
Baseball's Ghost Runner Is Staying
   (Getty / Iona Brown)

Baseball has been experimenting with a pretty big change to the rules, and the change is now permanent. From now on, every time a game goes into extra innings, a "ghost runner" will start each inning on second base, reports ESPN. The idea is to make it easier to score and thus avoid marathon games that can take a toll on pitchers, per the Athletic. The extra runner is typically called a "ghost runner," though the AP notes that he's also called a "Manfred Man" after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

The league put the rule in place during the pandemic-shortened season of 2020, and its competition committee voted Monday to make it permanent. The rule appears to have done its job: In 2019, 37 games went 13 innings or longer and eight went longer than 15 innings, note the Athletic. Last year, those numbers were 11 and 0, respectively. (Read more Major League Baseball stories.)

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