MLB All-Star Game winner could be determined by a Home Run Derby

The All-Star Game has gone to extra innings 13 times since it began in 1933, the last two times 10 innings in both 2017 at Miami and 2018 at Washington.

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A Home Run Derby could replace extra innings at the MLB All-Star Game.

A Home Run Derby could replace extra innings at the MLB All-Star Game.

Gabriel Christus/AP

NEW YORK — If the next MLB All-Star Game goes deep into the night, a slugger may get a chance to decide it by going deep — in a Home Run Derby.

That’s right, say going, going, goodbye to extra innings in the Midsummer Classic. Instead, bring on Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Fernando Tatis Jr., Bryce Harper and the big boppers for a winner-take-all blast-off.

Because buried deep in the 182-page memorandum of understanding signed Thursday by MLB and the players’ association is a radical new method of potentially deciding the All-Star Game.

“If the All-Star Game remains tied after nine innings, the game will be decided by a Home Run Derby between the teams, subject to the parties’ agreement on details and format,” reads exhibit 13, titled “Tentative Agreement — All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.”

Dated March 1 and obtained by The Associated Press, the page was signed by MLB senior counsel Kasey Sanossian and players’ association deputy general counsel Matt Nussbaum. It is part of a 182-page agreement that led to the end of MLB’s 99-day lockout and the opening of training camps.

This year’s All-Star Game is scheduled for Dodger Stadium on July 19, awarded to Los Angeles after the scheduled 2020 was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The All-Star Game has gone to extra innings 13 times since it began in 1933, the last two times 10 innings in both 2017 at Miami and 2018 at Washington. Teams running short on pitchers has become an issue as managers try to get most pitchers in the game by the ninth inning.

The annual Home Run Derby on the night before the All-Star Game has become one of MLB’s popular events and is not mentioned in the document as changing.

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