Pete Alonso says 'it'd be cool' to have Home Run Derby decide regular season games

By , Audacy

With Tuesday’s All-Star Game being decided by one run, there was the real possibility we could have seen a Home Run Derby decide the game had it gone into extra innings.

Alas, it did not. Cleveland Guardians closer Emmanual Clase struck out the side in the ninth to secure a 3-2 American League victory, but the new format for extra innings had some wondering if it could be used in the regular season as well.

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Count New York Mets slugger and two-time Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso among those who would be in favor of it.

“I think that’d be really cool, just like in hockey where you have the shootout,” Alonso told David Lennon of Newsday. “It’d be the same concept. Obviously, with the playoffs, that would be different. It’s regular baseball. But I feel like it could be really fun and people would be super amped to see it.”

Perhaps not everyone, though. Many fans already bristle at the fact that extra innings now start with a runner on second base, although it has accomplished its goal of not dragging games out and having teams burn through their bullpens.

Alonso said it would “absolutely not” be too gimmicky and explained how he would do the Home Run Derby in extras.

“I feel like maybe we do the man on second until the 13th inning. I know those are extremely rare,” he said. “But instead of having to burn a bunch of arms and then worry about a guy’s health, instead of going to a 14th or 15th, maybe it’s just five swings. And whoever has the most at the end, that’s it.”

While baseball does continue to experiment with several rule changes, commissioner Rob Manfred did not seem ready to consider the extra-inning Derby as a realistic option just yet.

“I don’t see the Derby-type format as something that we would use beyond the All-Star Game,” he said on Tuesday. “To tell you the truth, I think it’s something that could be exciting for the fans in a one-off event. I don’t see it as a regular-season undertaking.”

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