Minor League Rule Change Could Help PawSox Stay in Record Books
By: Scott Cook
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WLNE) -- A new rule change in Minor League Baseball could help the Pawtucket Red Sox keep a 37–year–old record going forever.
In 1981 the PawSox set the record for longest professional baseball game ever played, when their game against the Rochester Red Wings went to 33 innings.
This season, Minor League Baseball plans on instituting a new rule change that could all but solidify the PawSox record in the history books forever.
The new rule will come into play during extra inning games.
Under the new rule, teams will start each inning past the ninth with a runner already on second base.
The player who made the final out in the ninth inning will start across the diamond from the lead–off batter in the tenth.
The idea behind the change is to speed up the games and keep them more interesting for the fans.
A spokesman for the PawSox seems to think this change could also benefit the players.
"We talk about the fans, but this is for the players too,” said Bill Wanless, a spokesman for the team.
“We're here to provide players for the Boston Red Sox. And to have extra inning games that go 15 or 16 innings and then the Red Sox need a pitcher the next day -- but we've used all of our pitching staff -- a lot of this is taking that into consideration. We are here for the Red Sox, so if we play 10 innings or 11 innings and let them get the players that they need to Boston, that's a big thing.”
There are also a couple of other rule changes set to start this year in the Minor Leagues.
Pitchers will now have only 15 seconds instead of 20 in between pitches if there are no runners on base.
The league also plans on limiting the amount of mound visits a coach can make during the game.
Players will be given a 15–day grace period at the start of the season to get used to the new rules.
The PawSox open their season on April 6th at McCoy Stadium against Lehigh Valley.