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Manfred Syndrome, know the early warnings

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New York Yankees v. Chicago White Sox Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

I’m a little concerned.

I don’t have other obvious signs of brain tumor, dementia or slavish obedience to a bizarre cult. But I am sort of, just a little, enjoying extra inning Manfredball.

There, I said it.

I’m a baseball purist. I disdain, nay eschew, any changes in the game since about 1970. But still….

Maybe it is the novelty of it. If Commisar Manfred’s off hand comments of mid July can be relied upon there may not be extra inning placed runners in 2022. Or perhaps only in the 12th inning. Or the 18th, who really can say. Seeing something peculiar and not likely to happen again anytime soon is always engaging. Position players pitching for example.

But it is not just the novelty. Long extra inning games are probably not good for the overall image of baseball. But they have a unique vibe. It’s like two battered, tottering boxers swinging away with their last energies. And Manfredball accentuates this. Every pitch, every fielding play, every managerial call made or not made could end things. It’s like having the boxers slug it out while standing on those little chairs they put into the corner between rounds. One slip and it’s over.

I say this even though I have had scant opportunity to actually watch any of this. When streaming the games on my laptop my cable provider perversely switches to a non existent Twins Post Game show after a certain length of time. So usually I can’t see the extras action, just follow it on that odd disembodied MLB game day where all the players look the same. Maybe this is better, as I don’t have to watch the strange spectacle of a player just appearing on second base. It makes me feel as if I’ve had a minor neurologic event and several minutes have simply been erased.

With the benighted 2021 season winding down there might not be another Manfredian ending. And disturbingly, as a fan, I will on some level miss it.

And it’s not because the Twinksters have won the last few of these. Nope, not that at all.