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Home Run Derby, proposed rules

Proposed new rules/format for this 'game'
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For many years, Major League Baseball has staged a "home run derby" a day or so before the All Star Game. While the event has been run for many years, the rules and format have changed a few times; I would propose yet another rules/format change.

For those unfamiliar with the event, the idea is that eight Major League batters who can be expected to hit lots of home runs are thrown easy pitches to see how many home runs they can hit. In the current format, during each round, batters may pass up as many pitches as they want, but any time they swing the bat it will be scored as a "Home Run" (if it is), or an "Out" (it it's not a home run). There are three rounds, with 10 "outs" per batter per round.

I would change the format to somewhat more closely resemble a baseball game. Nine innings of three outs (per contestant) each. During the first three innings, home runs would score one run each (as though there were no one on base); during innings 4-6, only the top four batters would compete but each run would be worth two points each (added to the first-three-inning score, as though there was one man on base). During innings 7-9, only the top two players would be eligible to compete, but home runs would be worth four points each (grand slam).

Rather than using the 'seeding' and 'tiebreaker' rules currently used to advance players into later rounds, advancement into innings 4 and 7 would be based entirely on a player's score. In the event that there is a multi-way tie for fourth place (going into inning 4) or second (inning 7), all players so tied would be eligible to continue, but would be subject to elimination in any subsequent inning if they did not score as well as anyone with whom they had been tied.

This new format would provide ample opportunities for logical commercial breaks (between innings), would avoid any oddities caused by the 'seeding' rules, would render a player's performance in earlier innings relevant in later rounds without making it dominant (a ten-home-run advantage in the first three innings would translate into a significant, but not dominating, five-home-run advantage in the middle innings and a 2.5-home-run advantage at the end).

supercat, May 18 2002

1959 http://www.boston.c...71299_powerball.htm
Hammerin' Hank has a flashback [thumbwax, May 21 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

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       Home Run Derby was a regular show in B/W back in the olden days - ever see it?
thumbwax, May 19 2002
  

       Though your idea is good, in that it would result in a more interesting game (however specialized) than the one currently played in the home run derby, the unfortunate fact is that the current contest is so non-chalantly observed by the general US public that such intense complication of it would only serve to alienate the few that watch it as it is. The passionate baseball fan (we are a dying breed) may stay on and enjoy the show, but the avarage fan would turn it off in confused frustration. Therefor, it would never fly. Croissant, however, for clearly loving baseball and the unique beauty of the specific challenge of the home run hitter.
globaltourniquet, May 19 2002
  

       Actually, I think in many ways the rules are simpler than the current derby (how many viewers could explain why the two batters that advanced to the final round last time did so, given that they were not the top two scorers the previous round)? Having the point values increase in later rounds would ensure that dominating performances the first round are given at least some weight, and is a notion which should be familiar to viewers of //Family Feud// and many other game shows.   

       What about my proposed rules do you think people would find complicated?
supercat, May 19 2002
  

       The home run derby is just a publicity stunt anyway. If people are watching the real games but not the stunt events, it just means the ball clubs are wasting their time having them. They should instead schedule more real games for fans to watch.
BigBrother, May 20 2002
  

       I am croissanting this merely because I think the home run derby needs <I>some</I> rule change. It isn't a bad idea, but I would like to add a feature that home runs are worth more the farther they are hit (adds another layer of complexity, bet hey, it's baseball, we'll figure it out, right?).
Andrew Pershing, Oct 01 2002
  

       Glorifying the home run will be part of the downfall of Major League baseball. The homerun derby should be eliminated unless and until there is a stolen base derby, a double play derby, or a bunt derby.
juliec2, Apr 15 2003
  

       juliec2: I agree with you that there is much more to baseball than home runs. I really don't know how best to create a competition for any of the other things you mention, though. After all, the difficulty of doing any of those other things stems solely from the quality of other poeple's play. What makes the home run derby workable is that even a player who's excellent at hitting home runs can't hit one every pitch, no matter how easy the pitches he's given. By contrast, any mope could make consistent double plays, stolen bases, or successful bunts if the opponents play poorly enough.
supercat, Apr 16 2003
  

       There is something like this called Big League Challenge, but it uses six innings.
Nemmy, Sep 09 2005
  
      
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