As a softball player, I'm familiar with rules to speed up games that go into extra innings. I just never thought Major League Baseball would think it was a great idea.

Major League Baseball is kicking around the idea of a new rule, where a runner would be automatically placed on second base during Extra Innings. The idea is to settle tied games faster.

Former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre is now baseball's Chief Baseball Officer, and he's all for it.  He says they're going to be testing it in the lower levels of the Minor Leagues to see how it affects games.

"Let's see what it looks like.  It's not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch.  As much as it's nice to talk about being at an 18-inning game, it takes time."

The Midwest League, where the West Michigan Whitecaps play, will NOT be one of the leagues experimenting with the rule this summer. It will be mainly tried out in the rookie leagues like the Arizona League and the Gulf Coast League. But who knows, if they like it there, it may make its way to Fifth Third Park in the future.

But baseball purists don't need to freak out yet . . . even if the experiment is a success, it would probably take years for the Majors to adopt the changes.  After all, EVERYTHING in baseball moves at a snail's pace.

On one hand, speeding up baseball games just for the sake of it being "less boring" is stupid. If someone doesn't like boxing, it doesn't matter if you cut it back to just THREE rounds, they're still not going to watch.

But that said, a tied baseball game can go on indefinitely without any time constraints... and that's an area where there could be some tweaks.

Here's an idea MLB might want to try to lure younger fans: start World Series games at an hour that younger kids can stay up and enjoy them. There's a start.

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