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Common Sense Should Be Used

Common Sense Should Be Used Common Sense Should Be Used When Mismatched Teams Meet in Baseball

Buena is one of the best baseball teams in South Jersey. Pleasantville isn’t. That was clearly evident when the two teams met during a one-sided Cape Atlantic League game in the first week of the season.

Final score: Buena 52, Pleasantville 3.

The first instinct is to rip into Buena for running up the score, but maybe the NJSIAA and any high school federation should simply use common sense when such a mismatch takes place.

There has been a lot of blame on Buena coach Harry Grosse to hold down the score. Not being at the game, this reporter will reserve judgment. By all accounts, Grosse had his starters out of the game early.

And then the question arose that maybe Buena should have struck out on purpose once the lead got past double figures.

All of that is possible, but if there was some common sense in rules, then none of this would have occurred.

There is a high school 10-run rule that states if a team is leading by 10 runs and the losing team has batted five innings, then the game is over. That was the rule applied to this game. One can only imagine if there were no 10-run rule.

Here’s a proposal for a different rule.

There should be a 15-run rule which states that if a team is leading by 15 runs then the game is over, regardless of what inning it is in. What happens if the team with the 15-run lead is the visitor and thus bats first? For instance, what if the visiting team jumps out to a 15-0 lead in the first inning and the home team never got to bat? We would make a provision for that. A team would have to get at least one at-bat. And once a team got the lead to 15 runs, it would have the choice to end the inning and then allow the home team to bat.

In most instances, the better team would be able to get the three outs and both squads would be able to go home.

And say the team down 15-0 scored once? Then the leading team would bat the next inning and the rule would be the same. Anytime the lead got to 15, the inning could end right there, if the winning team agreed upon it. This would allow the winning team to show its compassion and end its run scoring spree and give the home team a chance to bat.

Say, a game goes just one inning and a team wins 15-0. Well, that’s the breaks.

While that is still a decisive score, it doesn’t look anywhere nearly as bad as 52-3.

This rule would serve several purposes. The winning team would be trying to score up until it earned its 15-run lead.

The players wouldn’t have to make outs on purpose and thus embarrass the opponent on the field. And the losing team wouldn’t be as embarrassed by the score. Losing by 15, while still a rout, isn’t as bad as losing by 49.

Either way, a 15-0 score would be worth a box score in the paper and little else. When a 52-3 score appears, the reader deserves the details. So here’s hoping somebody proposes a 15-run rule, or something like it. Don’t make an overmatched team have to play five innings, which in many cases is four innings more than should be played.

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