Good news, Guardians fans: The extra-inning rule is here to stay permanently

Division Series - Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees - Game One
Division Series - Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees - Game One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Like so many other aspects of baseball, the extra-inning rule is a divisive one among the sport's fans.

Instituted during the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, we've all now gotten used to the rule over the past three seasons, which sees a ghost runner starting off at second base in the tenth inning for each team, and each subsequent inning until someone finally wins the game. It's proven to shorten games and reduce the wear and tear on pitcher's arms and the psyches of people watching brutally long extra-inning affairs.

Though the rule has been met with some vitriol among baseball purists who can't conceive of such a scenario, it's been exactly the type of thing baseball needs to help not only bring excitement to the sport, but to have another weapon in the arsenal to help reduce the overall length of games over a major-league season.

And while we've all gotten acclimated to the new extra-inning fixture, it's never been a truly permanent, etched-in-stone rule - until now. MLB's Joint Competition Committee has ruled this week to make the extra-inning rule permanent in all extra-inning regular-games moving forward. That's right - regular season only.

So how might this new permanent rule affect the Cleveland Guardians? The team was 13-6 in extra innings in 2022, and while getting a runner at second to start an inning is a plus for any team, the Guardians do have the type of offense that can manufacture one vital run perhaps better than many other teams out there. And if you're talking about going to extras at home, where the Guardians have always had weird walk-off magic, the team has an ideal setup in closer Emmanuel Clase, who can certainly shut down an opposing lineup and give his team a chance to win.

So if Cleveland is inundated with extra-inning baseball this season, it might not be the worst thing.