Holy cow, I wrote a book!
A colleague of mine complained,
"When the home team is winning,
they don't bother playing the bottom half of the ninth inning.
I'm getting ripped off!
Make them finish the game!"
This led to some speculation as to how the visiting team
could manage to salvage a win out of that final
given that they had no further opportunity to score any runs.
My proposal was that they could try to get as many
players on the home team to be rendered ineligible to play
(say, by injuring them or provoking fights and getting them
thrown out of the game),
until the home team had fewer than nine eligible players,
at which point they would be forced to forfeit the game.
employing this technique would certainly earn retaliation
the next time you faced that team,
so it's not a viable long-term strategy.
And the league would certainly crack down on this sort of
It was merely a theoretical exercise.
I consulted with
my umpire colleague,
and he said that the home team could respond by simply refusing
to come to bat.
states that if the batter refuses to take his position
in the batter's box,
the umpire shall call a strike on the batter.
Do this three times, and the batter is out.
Do this nine times, and the half-inning is over.
the standard way of implementing this rule is to
instruct the pitcher
to deliver a pitch, and to call it a strike no matter where
the pitch lands.
But what if the pitcher doesn't want the free strike?
Rule 8.04 says that if the pitcher fails to deliver the pitch
within 12 seconds, the umpire shall call a ball.
Or maybe this is where the umpire can exercise his judgement
and call the strike in a nonstandard way.
Or the umpire could declare the fielding team to have forfeited
for "refusing to continue play during a game",
(Though there is an interesting conflict between rules 6.02(c)
If the batter refuses to come to the plate, both rules apply,
yet the penalties are different.)
This is all very confusing, what with conflicting rules applying
to the same situation,
and the umpire will have to improvise, per
(My favorite example of umpires having to improvise is the
a switch-hitter faced an ambidextrous pitcher.
At the end of the season, they
added a new rule to cover this situation.)
Looking for another loophole in the
official rules of baseball,
I found another way the visiting team could induce a forfeit:
Provoke the crowd into rioting for fifteen minutes,
then request that the umpire declare a forfeit
on the grounds of inadequate security, by rule 3.18.
On the other hand, the declaration is at the umpire's discretion,
and seeing as you are the ones who provoked the riot,
the umpire is unlikely to grant you that one.
(So you'll have to provoke the riot surreptitiously.)