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CBD Editorial: The Futures League Home Run Derby Tiebreaker Decision

Wednesday July 13, 2016 Worcester, Massachusetts; Franklin Pierce 1B Zach Tower at the Futures All-Star game which was won by the East Division by a score of 4-3.

As we posted last week (LINK), The Futures League which is distant third in New England summer baseball leagues announce they will be holding a home run derby after the tenth inning of a tied regular season game and will not be used in the postseason. 

The league continues to get a ton of free publicity for this “great” and “different” idea which I have seen touted on many different websites.  The reason they quoted was that Summer League coaches were abusing arms and this was a way to protect the student athlete.

So shouldn’t you actually have better coaches out there to protect your arms instead of changing the way baseball is played? So what about the postseason? This is the end of the summer after many players have pitched 30-40 innings in addition to their collegiate season. This is when the arms can be damaged the most with so many miles on them. 

One current summer league coach told me anonymously that this will have the opposite effect in the Futures League that players will not be able to hit home runs out of most of the ballparks thus making games even longer. Another one commented that this move by the Futures League has to be a “joke” and that if they wanted to make a difference in cutting down on the wear and tear on the player, they should cut back on the amount of games and travel.

The real reason the Futures League did this?

Publicity stunt!

The other simple way they could have decided games was run the international tiebreaker after ten innings which would get the game over with at the latest in 12 innings. How many times has a summer league game really gone over ten innings? 

Do you agree or disagree with me? Leave your comments below!


  • Bill Terlecky

    Brian-I was disappointed to read what seem to be mean spirited comments about our league-the FCBL. I can tell you that this rule WAS NOT adopted by us as some sort of publicity generating stunt. We never expected the coverage we got. We actually adopted the rule because of comments made by one of our managers whose team had a plethora of extra innings games last year. Besides trying to protect our pitchers the idea of putting our kids on the bus to go home after midnight was not something any of us were fond of. In the future I would encourage you to comment on the positive things leagues like ours do. Thanks.
    Bill Terlecky, GM-North Shore Navigators

    • I have spoken to two managers in the league and they are both against this. If the league cared so much about player’s safety, they would have cut the league season shorter or just ended the game as a tie.

      There is some thoughts from those two managers that the HR Derby will go on FOREVER at some of the parks.

      • Bill Terlecky

        My suggestion to those managers is maybe they need to find another job. Point taken on ending in a tie, we’ll see how this goes. When we implemented the HR Derby at our All Star Game I was skeptical the kids would homer but those have been outstanding. Let’s hope that’s the way this goes. If not then we’ll be wrong-but still no reason to refer to us as a “distant third” when talking about other leagues. Many many players that would not have gotten an opportunity to play in a professional style league without the FCBL. Not to mention what we all bring to the communities we serve.

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