July 30, 2011

The Worst Rule In Sports

     There are rules that are annoying but understandable (such as that thing Calvin Johnson get ripped off on last year).  Then there's the rule in baseball where if a third strike hits the ground, the catcher must throw to first to get the runner out.  It makes the game way more confusing, and I can't figure out why it exists. 
The most notorious incident of this rule I can think of:  A.J. Pierzynski whiffs badly on strike three in the 2005 ALCS, the ball allegedly bounces, Pierzynski runs to first, and his pinch runner scores the game-winning run.
     
     Any other strike that hits the dirt plays like a normal strike.  Why is this one any different?  What possible way would there be to exploit this loophole if the rule didn't exist?  Would the pitcher keep throwing low pitches?  Good, then don't swing at them; they're balls anyway.  There's no way the batter would want to whiff at a really low pitch rather than a high one.  Would a pitcher try to throw a pitch that goes through the strike zone and then hits the ground?  If they can pull off such a filthy pitch, they deserve a normal strikeout. 
     I have no idea why this was ever a big enough issue to create a terrible rule.

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