CLEVELAND -- We've seen Reggie hit the light tower, Pete Rose crush a catcher to score the winning run and a tribute to Ted Williams that sent shivers through Fenway Park.

But come the All-Star Game tonight, baseball fans might witness something they've never seen before.

Automatic runners.

Already employed in the minors, the World Baseball Classic and Olympic softball, a new rule will take effect in front of a major league audience: Every extra inning in All-Star play -- top half and bottom -- begins with a free runner at second base.

"They're doing that? Really?" Houston reliever Ryan Pressly asked Monday. "I did not know that." The crowd at Progressive Field got a glimpse of the future, maybe, on Sunday night when the Futures Game tried the rule for an inning. No one scored, and the showcase for young talent wound up in a tie.

Jeff McNeil, the top hitter in the majors this year, saw the scenario a lot last season in Triple-A. There, the goal is to shorten games and save wear and tear on pitching staffs. "Kind of weird," McNeil observed.

Still, it could be real timely. The last two All-Star Games both went extras -- Robinson Cano hit a leadoff homer in the 10th at Miami in 2017, Alex Bregman did the same last year in Washington.

Plus, there was the 15-inning affair at Yankee Stadium in 2008 and the dreaded 2002 game in Milwaukee that was declared a very unpopular tie after the 11th.

Naturally, in a sport where change comes slowly, not everyone is thrilled with this experiment.

To many, instant intentional walks, constant shifts and talk about robot umpires has skewed the game enough. If it's any consolation, commissioner Rob Manfred says there are no foreseeable plans to put free runners on base in the regular season.

"I know how people are against it, especially players in the game. Yeah, the tradition is big in this sport, just like a lot of top-tier sports," Baltimore pitcher John Means said. AL manager Alex Cora of the Red Sox had a mixed view.

"I've seen the rule play before internationally. And it's kind of like the coolest, more tougher thing ever in baseball, to be honest with you," he said Monday. NL manager Dave Roberts of the Dodgers was firm.

"I'd rather not see it in play today. I'd rather see nine innings of baseball. And going forward ... I don't know, probably the wrong thing to say, but I kind of like it the way it is right now," he said.

Some teams actually tried this out during spring training, starting with ties in the ninth. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy was the first to give it a go -- mass confusion ensued, mostly because he forgot to tell his players what was happening.

Oakland right-hander Liam Hendriks realizes he could be on the spot Tuesday night.

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