For the 2020 season only, I can live with putting an automatic baserunner on 2nd base for each inning after the 9th.But I think MLB should iron out some qualifying rules to the scoring plays if that runner scores, picked off, runs into a double play, or steals a base.
First, if any batter drives in the ghost runner, said batter should not get credit for an RBI since the runner didn't earn his way on base via hit, walk or error.He's just a free duck on the pond sent out there to speed up the game.By not awarding an RBI to the batter for driving in the ghost runner, career RBI stats would still be legit when comparing across the decades.All other scoring plays after the ghost runner scores should be counted the traditional way.
Second, if the ghost runner scores on a base hit or scores on a bases loaded walk, the run should not count against the pitcher's ERA.It's not the pitcher's fault he was on base to begin with.All other earned runs after the ghost runner scores should be counted against the pitcher's ERA the traditional way.
Third, a ghost runner can steal if he wants, but should not get credit for a stolen base because he did not earn his way on base and did not take the place of a previous runner that earned his way on base.Likewise, if a pitcher picks off the ghost runner, the pitcher should not get credit for a pickoff, nor should a catcher get credit for a caught stealing if he throws out the runner on an attempted steal.The ghost runner shouldnot get a mark against him for being caught stealing either.
Finally, if a batter hits into a double play involving the ghost runner, it should count as two outs, but it should not be recorded as a double play.
My reasons for the above is to maintain the integrity of historical statistics. MLB can come up with revised box scores for 2020 to document the scoring action, maybe add some new language or columns in the stat boxes. These are my thoughts and maybe it has already been addressed.Do you agree?