Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Longest Friendly Game

Involves ALL the two leagues' players
  [vote for,

In the USA baseball is a quite-popular sport, even if no longer the most-popular sport, and this Idea was partly inspired by last night's "World Series" game, between the champion National League team, and the champion American League team, that lasted for 14 innings instead of the usual 9.

We need two modifications of the normal rules for this game. First, there is a rule regarding player-replacements. Only 9 people on the baseball field are allowed, for the team pitching the ball, and when one is tired and gets replaced (most often the pitcher), that player is no longer allowed to play in that particular game. We rescind that rule for this game.

Second, baseball games are normally played in one of the two team's cities, such that one time is always the "home" team, and the other is always the "visiting" team. Only rarely is this not the case ("All-Star" games come to mind, because the players come from multiple teams/cities). Normally, the visiting team gets the first part ("top") of each inning to bat the ball, and the home team gets the second part ("bottom") of each inning to bat the ball. As explained-why below, for this neutral-ground game we want to modify that rule so, for each inning, the teams alternate between which bats in the top of the inning, and which bats in the bottom of the inning.

We flip a coin or something, to decide whether the National League or the American League bats first. The line-up of batters is alphabetical order, or some other random thing, with respect to the players' abilities. The group of players taking the field is equally random. Because this is a FRIENDLY game, the teams don't need to be especially cut-throat in trying to win.

Nevertheless, at the top of each inning, the at-bat team tries its best to score, and the fielding team tries its best to prevent scores. Whatever the result, at the bottom of the inning, both teams cooperate in ensuring that the score is tied at the end of the inning, when the third "out" is declared. For example, if nothing was scored in the top of the inning, the batters might deliberately swing/miss in the bottom of the inning. To match some other score, the pitcher might deliberately walk batters, or throw easy balls that could lead to home runs; the fielders could walk instead of run toward a ball, and so on. Some extra batters might be allowed to reach the bases, and then be deliberately stranded (not counted as part of the score) when the inning ends. The variety of ways employed to ensure the inning ends with a tie could be interesting, all by itself.

See why the at-bat team in the bottom of the inning needs to be the at-bat team at the top of the next inning? NOW they can try their best to score! --while the other team tries its best to prevent scores. Note a possible beneficial side-effect here, in which all players can get practice playing all positions in the field, due to the alphabetical (or other random) assignments of players to the "currently active" list in this game.

Remember, in baseball the game is not normally allowed to end in a tie; extra innings are played until the tie is broken. Well, in THIS friendly game, ties can be broken at the top of an inning, but they are always re-tied by the end of the bottom of the inning. This one game could last for decades! Tired players can go home, get sleep, and come back and play some more. Groups of them can even go off to other cities to play normal baseball games, as part of the normal baseball season and post-season. It can take quite a while for the alphabetical lists of ALL players, in the American League and the National League, to cycle through the roster, and start over.

Also, note that the two leagues specified are known as "the major leagues" --there also exist plenty of "minor league" teams and players, who mostly are acquiring skills and polishing talents that could let them be invited to join the majors. I see no reason not to invite at least some of those players to participate in this game.

Vernon, Oct 28 2015


       and at the end both teams get a participation trophy.   

       Shouldn't this be in the Interpretive Dance category ?
FlyingToaster, Oct 28 2015

       [FlyingToaster], this game isn't intended to actually end (although it might end by accident).
Vernon, Oct 28 2015

       If you've got the lineup strictly alphabetical or randomical then there's no way for the coaches to do their, somewhat transformed, job.
FlyingToaster, Oct 28 2015

       [FlyingToaster], if players are getting practice at more different fielding positions, how can't the coaches coach them in their less-commonly-played positions?
Vernon, Oct 28 2015

       I may be missing something: normally it's the coaches that determine their batting order and fielding positions, no ? An arbitrary allocation of same guarantees a lopsided game more than a competitive game does.
FlyingToaster, Oct 28 2015

       OK, you and I had different notions of what coaches do. To the extent they offer players pointers in ways to improve their game-play, they can still do that, even if they lose some strategy. On the other hand, just because the first 9 players in an alphabetical list get put onto the field, that doesn't mean coaches can't decide which player gets which fielding position. Ditto for order of the first 3 batters due to bat, because there will always be at least 3, per inning.
Vernon, Oct 29 2015

       How do the friendly spectators participate?   

       I know I know. Meanwhile they are preparing the luncheon at the nearby park.
pashute, Oct 31 2015


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