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Out of Left Field: What if MLB used some BASEketball rules?

Hear me out…the game needs some fun injected into it, so let’s go along for this ride together…

NBA Rim by Justin Smith is licensed under CC BY SA-3.0

Out of Left Field: What if MLB used some BASEketball rules?


Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Okay, okay, okay. I know what you’re thinking. To be honest, I was thinking it, too. The idea sprung to mind, and I thought to myself… This is genius!

BASEketball! Right!? I KNOW!

I’m so wildly over baseball’s inability to change and adapt that this is about to get weird.

Have you ever seen the 1998 movie BASEketball, created by and starring South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone? If not, you need to watch it. And for those of you who have, it’s worth the rewatch. Regardless, take a look at the trailer.

Okay, great. Now that we’re somewhat caught up, let’s get started.

The Rules, via BASEketball

If you’re not familiar with the rules of BASEketball, or need a bit of a refresher, this WikiHow lays everything out pretty well. Obviously the movie creates a sport that is a mix of baseball and basketball, so we need to make some changes.

Hit Spots

To start, you have to decide how many bases you’re going for. In BASEketball, you would walk up to a spot on the court/field, and it would represent the number of bases you get if you successfully hit the shot. In baseball, I’d adjust that by using tees. Hear me out…

As the batter, you’d have four spots from which you can hit. Each of those spots represents a single, double, triple, or home run. If you choose single or double, you hit from a tee. Success means hitting the ball in play and reaching the base representative of the spot from which you chose to hit. You still have a full team in the field and, in the case of a single or double, the pitcher is simply another fielder, already set in a fielding position.

If you choose the triple spot, the pitcher will come to just outside that spot with you, and essentially lob an underhand ball in place for you to hit. Kind of like batting practice in Little League, or if you were pitching to yourself.

A home run choice would be the only space that would fall into “normal” rules as we know them today. The batter comes to the plate, the pitcher and batter get to work the count, and anything that doesn’t result in a home run is an out.

Across all of these spots, if you don’t successfully reach the base you chose, it’s an out.

Psych Outs

Arguably the best part of BASEketball is the psych out rule. According to the WikiHow I linked to above: The “psych-out” defense may use props, hollering, and all kinds of silly behavior as diversion tactics, but is not supposed to actually touch the ball or the shooter, limit his/her line of sight, or impair his/her vision (such as putting your hands in front of his/her face).

Could it turn into the latest version of MTV’s Yo Momma? Maybe. But come on, that’s FUN. Personally, I would only be making jokes about Squeak. It’s the classic psych-out.

This has to fall to the catcher. I mean, they probably do it already. It’s the natural choice. But then it would be way more obvious when they’re standing at a tee dumping a $14 12oz Bud Light all over themselves.

The Duds

There are other rules that just don’t make sense. I honestly can’t wrap my head around how “put-backs” would work. The shooting cycle seems too restricting. And I think it’s more likely that the game moves quickly.

How many guys who choose a triple are going to fall short? Can a batter get an advantage on a pitcher who knows they have to either knock it out of the park or get a gap shot that caroms off the wall and sends the center fielder flying for left?

Walks would be tricky. I can’t decide whether it would count as an out because they didn’t hit a home run, or if it put them on base and then forced the pitcher to have to throw four strikes, or something absurd like that.

Regardless, I’d like to see a few games played by these rules. Baseball needs some fun injected back into it. The players are already pretty dumb. Why not insert some stupidity into the game, too?

In the wise words of Joseph R. Cooper: “If you want unanimous consent, you’re gonna have to get it from one of the other owners”

What do YOU think?

Kevin is an actor, director, playwright, and musician who works in tech. He is die hard New England sports and an avid Tottenham supporter. His qualifications include scoring 1 point in his elementary school basketball career, 4 years of mixed little league results, and breaking his arm with a skip-it days before pre-season workouts started for Freshman football.

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