How Would You Feel About a HR Derby to Decide MLB Extra Innings?

Matt Loede

It seems like if there is one thing in Major League Baseball that has been talked about being tweaked for the last few years it’s how the league handles extra innings.

From starting with a runner on second to other various proposals, one that was brought up by Los Angeles Dodgers third basemen Justin Turner this week might be the most intriguing one yet.

The Dodger standout is proposing that after 10 innings if a game is still tied that the two teams play ‘home run derby’ until a winner is crowned.

Turner made the proposal in an interview this past week in a conversation with Spectrum SportsNet.

“This is my opportunity to push for a home run derby in extra innings,” Turner said. “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.

“You take each team’s three best hitters and you give them all five outs and see who hits the most homers.

“You want to keep fans in the stands until the end of the game. I know when I go to hockey games I actually like the shootout. That keeps me in my seat so maybe a home run derby would do that as well.”

Turner has an interesting point in terms of fans sticking around, as it seems the more extra innings that get played, the more fans that are in the stands get less and less.

There would be a lot of variables to figure out when it came to such a way to decide the winner of a game, and Turner went on twitter to explain it more in detail.

The Dodgers 35-year-old who hit .290 with 27 homers last season went so far as to say that he thinks such a way to determine a winner would only make sense for the 2020 season, that is what’s left of it if it actually gets started at some point.

In a few different Asian baseball leagues like Japan, Korea and Taiwan, games are done after 12 innings, and if it’s still knotted up it’s declared a tie.

In the last six seasons there were 1200 Major League games that went into extra innings.

It would be fun to see who the Indians went with as their three top hitters in such a home run derby type of format.

One would think Jose Ramirez, Franmil Reyes, and Carlos Santana wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

Francisco Lindor and even Roberto Perez could be two backups that could step in for the Tribe in a derby competition.

Comments (3)
No. 1-3

Some of the most drama filled games are extra innings. I was a kid and saw an extra inning post season game vs Baltimore where Omar Vizquel somehow stole home base, no one knew what was going on, the crowd was going bonkers, it was beautiful.


No way!!!!! For one thing, not all teams are created equal - some may not have 3- 5 strong longball hitters. I once stayed thru an 18 inning Astro’s/Pirate’s game in Pittsburgh that was the most thrilling game I ever attended in my 60+ years. Play the game, don’t look for shortcuts like hockey did! You’re paid millions of dollars a year to play a GAME, just do it!


I'd have to pass on this idea, and that's putting it kindly. It just doesn't excite me in any way. I'm far more excited to see extra inning games played just as they always have been. There's plenty of tension in watching your team, and your manager, work hard to out-wit the other side. Reducing it to what is in my view a side show attraction doesn't appeal to me. Home run derbies have their place, and they can be exciting in their own right. But I'd much rather see a team scratch across a run in the 10th or 13th with, say, a single, a stolen base, a sac bunt, and a sac fly. Or heck, even a solo home run by your team's light hitting nine hole batter. Anything other than a bunch of guys trying to yank soft toss pitches over the wall. Who would even pitch if this idea is implemented? Would each batter get to choose? I don't know... I just know that I'm not in favor of this.