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Extend the three-fold or four-fold structure of baseball by letting three or four teams to compete in the same game.
Baseball, lacking both the continuous clock and territorial
premise typical of many team sports, seems amenable to
many-team play. And former MLB commissioner Bart
in a thoughtful essay on the game, even noted the motifs of
three- and four-fold structure which pervade the game --
pattern perhaps marred by mere duality of competitors in
each typical game. So why not make it truly 'anyone's
ballgame', and introduce three-team and/or four-team play?
The basic structure of the game would stay: each team
one- irreversibly substitutable lineup of 9 players, who
try to score as many runs as possible in 9 innings (or less), at
which point lead ties are played out in 1-inning sudden
installments. However, innings would now be split into
or fourths, rather than halves; each team would pitch and
exactly once (i.e. for 3 outs) in each inning. Rosters could
expanded to allow for the extra pitching and catching
of many-team play.
In three-way play, visiting team A would bat first, against
visiting team B, in innings 1-4 (and 10-13, &.); visiting team B
would bat first, against home team C, in innings 5-9; home
team C would bat last in each inning. Thus, one visiting
gets the advantage of pitching to home team C only four
(versus five), but pays for that advantage by having only
outs of pitching rest (versus nine) between innings 4 and 5.
Purist fans of today's game will point out that long delays
between pitching stints actually hamper pitchers, but I'd
counter that longer average pitcher idleness then just
becomes another strategic factor for players and managers
Wildcard, shmildcard...game-speedup, shmame-shmeedup --
just think of the exciting matchups and scorecard pencil
sales opportunities here, folks!...
Kind of redundant with this idea. [Cedar Park, Oct 04 2004]
Three Team Hockey
And this one. [Cedar Park, Oct 04 2004]
||Didn't waugsqueke do multi-side team sports one time?
||I think baseball is in some ways more easily adapted to
three-team play, however, than are hockey and
||Like tennis (Aussie doubles, anyone?),
bowling, skiing, &c. baseball is an inherently turn-taking
game, and as such can readily incorporate as many
competitors as a crowd can stomach, without resorting to
altering the field of play, number of balls, &c.
||One fundamental problem with any multi-team game is that a team's optimal strategy may not always be to regard both opponents equally. The two teams which are ahead will tend to focus their efforts against each other, while the team which is behind will focus its efforts on the one which is ahead. It is thus hard to judge the relative performance of teams in a multi-way competition, given all the interactions of the different factors.
||I really do like this idea. People should try this out at least. My only coment would be this; since there are 9 innings involving 2 teams, then why not have 6 innings that involve 3 teams? That way, the same amount of part innings would be the same. (6 x 3 = 18, 9 x 2 = 18) Also, it should be like this, Team A vs. Team B, then Team B vs. Team C (home team), and finally Team C vs. Team A and you continue from there.