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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Is the mercy rule a good idea?

    Pro: Mercy rule prevents long, boring games

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    Picture the score 50-3 on a scoreboard. What sport does this reflect?

    Football is the incorrect answer in this case.

    In March 1999, the Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball team set a Division I record as it smashed Chicago State 50-3.

    Kinda reminds me of the 1946 Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs plays all nine positions against the Gashouse Gorillas. Just plain cartoony.

    The Cornhuskers led 23-0 after the third inning and 32-2 after the fourth. The game ended after six and a half innings thanks to a 12-run mercy rule.

    Try a 47-run mercy rule – another DI record for margin of victory.

    Can you imagine what the score would have been if they played all nine frames?

    Go back with me to Feb. 27 and remember how the Arizona baseball team drew its largest crowd of the year – 1,422 – only to be buried alive in nine innings by ASU 22-8. Nineteen of the Devils’ 22 runs came in the first five innings.

    Not all Division I schools, including the Pacific 10 Conference, have the luxury of calling the baseball games early due to brutal slaughtering, and this is just wrong.

    A seven-inning, 10-run mercy rule is the most common among schools that use the rule. This is exactly what the Wildcats – and every college team for that matter – needs.

    Pitchers are throwing an unnecessary amount of pitches on the losing team in these situations. College arms are fragile and should not be tested like this. College baseball is an audition for the next step: pro ball. Developing rubber arms will not help their cases at all.

    Travel arrangements may also get scrutinized when games run long, especially on Sundays. These ballplayers are students too, and they have school the next day. Century-long games do everything but make it easier on the student-athletes to excel in a scholastic setting.

    Plus, long games are boring.

    Arizona’s softball team has an eight-run mercy rule that is put into effect after five innings. Why shouldn’t this be applied to the sport’s opposite, baseball? Don’t answer. That was a rhetorical question. The correct answer is that it should.

    If a team is down by eight, 10, 12 runs – whatever the mercy rule may be – there are two chances in softball or baseball that it will come back and win with two innings left: slim and none.

    – Lance Madden, staff writer

    Con: No mercy for mercy rule

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    How could anybody think a mercy rule is a good thing?

    This isn’t a soccer league for6-year-olds. This is NCAA Division I Athletics, and having a run-rule in college softball is childish and embarrassing.

    Not only that, it eliminates the opportunity for fans to see one of the greatest things that can happen in sports: the miracle comeback. Softball’s run-rule, for those who do not know, ends the game after five innings if one team is leading by eight or more runs. How many amazing comebacks would we have seen in the sixth and seventh innings of games if this ridiculous rule wasn’t in place?

    Eight runs in an inning is nothing in college softball, as the Wildcats have shown numerous times this season.

    Case in point: In a game against Temple on Feb. 16, the Wildcats and the Owls were locked in a scoreless tie heading into the fourth inning. The Wildcats then exploded for all nine of their runs in the fourth, and the game was ended an inning later with a final score of 9-1. If the Wildcats can score nine runs in the fourth inning who’s to say Temple couldn’t have scored nine or more in either the sixth or the seventh? Ending the game prematurely and because of a relatively slim margin of only eight runs robs the fans of possibly witnessing a thrilling comeback and the losing team of the opportunity to fight to the end.

    What ever happened to the old saying, “”It ain’t over till the fat lady sings?”” In college softball it’s over when some arbitrary number is reached. Let the players play and get rid of the run-rule.

    These are big girls and they can handle the occasional lopsided loss in exchange for the chance to win a game with an offensive explosion in the seventh inning.

    – Cameron Jones, staff writer

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