Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Justin Turner has a lot of time on his hands these days, and has come up with a novel idea for deciding extra-inning games once the regular season starts.
Taking a cue from NHL shootouts, Turner suggested that baseball go to a home run derby if a game is tied after 10 innings.
“Instead of playing 17 innings, you get one extra inning, you play the 10th inning, and no one scores, then you go to a home run derby,” Turner said Wednesday on Spectrum SportsNet. “You take each team’s three best hitters and you give them all five outs and see who hits the most homers.”
“You know, you wanna keep fans in the stands until the end of the game,” he added. “I know when I go to hockey games, I actually enjoy watching shootouts. That keeps me in my seat, so maybe a home run derby will do that as well.”
Turner went on Twitter to expand on the idea Thursday, saying the suggestion would be for just this season, when baseball is looking for ways to get as many games in as possible in a season truncated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nobody wants to see a tie,” Turner wrote. “A quick 1 round, 6 man derby (3 a side), 5 outs or 10 swings each (keep it safe for the hitters too) and you have your winner!”
He also said that a coach would throw pitches during the derby, so overworked pitchers would get a break.
Turner noted that “everything is on table,” when baseball comes back: multiple doubleheaders a week, seven-inning doubleheaders, extra-inning rules and roster expansion.
“It’s about getting creative,” he said.
Turner might have a hard time breaking into the Dodgers’ top three home run hitters, with MVPs Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts at the top of the order.
But the big redhead has shown a flair for dramatic home runs with the Dodgers, including a three-run walk-off against the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series in 2017. He hit 27 for the Dodgers last season.
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