Being an old baseball and fast-pitch softball player and manager who has played and managed many hundreds of games (and having won a great majority of them), I feel somewhat qualified to comment on the present situation that is occurring in major league baseball.
Putting a runner on second base to begin an extra-inning game changes the whole strategy of winning the game. It seems to me there are much better managerial approaches to winning than are presently being employed. I don’t know if the problem is that most major league batters are such lousy bunters or if the small-ball approach is just out.
If the situation is that the visiting team fails to score in the top of the 10th inning, why don’t you have the first batter up bunt the runner to third base immediately? If the first batter is a lousy bunter, pinch hit with someone who can bunt.
With one out, there are many ways to score from third that are not possible from second base: a sacrifice fly, another bunt, a ground out, a wild pitch or passed ball, a base hit or an error; whereas from second base, it takes a base hit or an error.
If you are the visiting team and you did not score in the top of the 10th inning, why not immediately walk the first batter? He means nothing even if he does score, but it does make it possible to have a force out at third base, or it makes it possible for a double play.
If these tactics are regularly used, it may become routine to score a runner placed on second base to start an extra inning ballgame, and the rule of placing a runner there to start the inning will be abandoned.
If I’m all wrong, where have I erred?