CLEVELAND – MLB made three major changes to the Futures Game this year – two good ones, one just awful. The game is now at 19:00. ET, so it does not compete with the team's last game before the All-Star break. It is also now an American League versus National League affair, rather than a game that pits a list of American born players against those born outside the 50 countries. The world team often lacked pitching, which resulted in some unfortunate blowouts in recent years.
Unfortunately, MLB decided to shorten this game to seven innings from the usual nine, which I don't think anyone benefits. We'll see fewer players in the game, they'll play less, fans who aren't familiar with the game will wonder why in the game the game ended after seven innings, and scouts here to evaluate players get even briefer appearance. (The scouts also participated in seats that were well off-line from the regular scout section behind the plate, which makes me wonder if the teams will simply stop sending them in the future.)
As it turned out, the players interacted to give us still eight innings when Sam Huff hit a mammoth two-run homer at the bottom of the seventh to tie the game 2-2, which is how things ended after another inning. But it was a showcase for the Sunday evening ̵