PITTSBURGH >> In the fourth inning Monday, the Dodgers had Dee Gordon on second base and A.J. Ellis on third with their 2-3-4 hitters due up. Gordon is among the fastest players in Major League Baseball, while Ellis has a great personality.
Now, in a 0- or 1-out situation, the Dodgers would prefer to have the runners reversed — Gordon on third, Ellis on second — since the faster runner has a better chance of tagging up and scoring on a fly ball. Crazy thought here: What if this were legal?
In the first half of the season, scoring was down to its lowest rate in 22 years. No-hitters practically became a monthly event. To some who grew up watching the inflated offensive numbers of the Steroid Era, the games became harder to watch.
To fans of pitching, the games became more exciting. And to baseball purists, the idea of allowing baserunners to switch positions is sacrilegious. It might not even lead to many more runs, if it had any impact at all. Given baseball’s reticence to tinker with its fundamental rules, it’s safe to say this will never be allowed.
But it could also add a small strategic wrinkle to the game in certain situations.
It’s a thought, at least.