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MLB adds home run derby wrinkle to All-Star Game in the event of tie

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The Major League Baseball All-Star Game will have a new wrinkle thrown into it should the American and National League teams end nine innings in a tied game.

Should the game end in a tie, there will be a home run derby between the two teams to determine a winner. The provision, which paved the way for the new rule, was buried in exhibit 13 of the memorandum of understanding that settled the lockout on March 10.

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Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber takes batting practice a day before the 2022 MLB All-Star baseball game, Monday, July 18, 2022, in Los Angeles. 
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

“The manager of each league’s All-Star team shall select three players on his team’s active roster who have agreed to participate in the All-Star tiebreaker, if applicable; one alternate player from his active roster who has agreed to participate in the All-Star tiebreaker, if necessary due to injury to a tiebreaker selection; an All-Star team coach who will throw batting practice during the All-Star tiebreaker; and an All-Star team bullpen catcher who will catch during the All-Star tiebreaker,” the rule stated.

Play would briefly be paused after the ninth inning for the grounds crew to reconfigure the field to arrange the tiebreaker.

Each player sent up to bat gets three swings apiece.

“Each player can take an unlimited number of pitches without it counting against their swing total. Players on each team may hit in any order during the All-Star tiebreaker; provided, however, the batters from each team shall alternate.”

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Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. takes batting practice a day before the 2022 MLB All-Star baseball game, Monday, July 18, 2022, in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The American League would send up a batter to hit first and then the National League would go second.

“Once all six tiebreaker selections have completed their swings, the team with the most home runs shall be declared the winner of the All-Star Game,” the rules stated. “In the event the teams have the same number of home runs following the tiebreaker, each manager shall select one tiebreaker selection to participate in another round in which the tiebreaker selection from each team takes three swings to break the tie. The aforementioned head-to-head format will continue until the tie is broken.”

Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker, who is running the National League, and Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker, who is running the American League, have already picked their players.

Snitker went with New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, his own outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber. All players who participated in Monday night’s Home Run Derby.

Baker selected Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker and Seattle Mariners players Julio Rodriguez and Ty France. Rodriguez finished runner-up to Washington Nationals star Juan Soto in the Derby.

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American League’s Julio Rodriguez, of the Seattle Mariners, bats during the MLB All-Star baseball Home Run Derby, Monday, July 18, 2022, in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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Alonso recalled Monday he was at Truist Park getting ready to play the Braves when Snitker called him. He wondered why the opposing manager was calling him. Alonso said he was immediately up for it.

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“I’ll be your guy,” he said he told Snitker. “I think it’s fun. I think it’s going to be a great event if that does happen.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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