Don’t Intentionally Walk This Way

In case you live under a rock (or don’t like baseball, which I don’t know why you wouldn’t), Major League Baseball announced yesterday that it is getting rid of the intentional walk and instead allowing managers to use a signal from the dugout.

Getting rid of the old-fashioned intentional walk would eliminate about a minute of dead time per walk. In an age when intentional walks actually have been declining — there were just 932 all last season (or one every 2.6 games) — that time savings would be minimal. But MLB saw the practice of lobbing four meaningless pitches as antiquated (ESPN).

If I’m lucky, I see one IBB a game. Whoo, we’re going to save a minute. Intentional walks are fun to watch. I mean THIS HAPPENED YESTERDAY. THE SAME DAY MLB GOT RID OF THE INTENTIONAL WALK:

Now this will never happen in the majors. And that’s a darn good way to end a game. If I had the time, patience, and resources, I’d look up how many MLB games have ended in a walk off wild pitch during an intentional walk. And cherish them.

To reminiscence, you can read this SB Nation article breaking down the pros and cons of the new rule. Or you can check out the career leaders of intentional walks on Baseball Reference (fun fact: David Ortiz led the American League the last two seasons in IBBs. Thankfully he retired before this stupid rule was implemented).

Hopefully Rob Manfred will stop taking away the things that make baseball weird because we need our weirdness. It’s what makes us special. Because now I’ll never accomplish my dream of swinging at a pitch during an intentional walk.

(ALSO: I’d like to point out that NFL games are just as long as MLB games, but you don’t hear Rodger Goodell complaining. He’s too concerned about improperly disciplining players for off the field incidents. And #Deflategate.)

 

5 comments

  1. I hate the new rule too for the exact same reasons you listed. Why don’t they cut down the length of commercials or limit warmup pitches to start innings? Or why does a reliever need 8 (I think it’s 8) warmup pitches on the mound, when they’ve been throwing in the bullpen for the last 10 minutes? Maybe have a golf cart bring the relievers in. That would shave a few seconds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay so since I wrote that post a year ago, have you seen a significant decrease in the overall game time for MLB games because of the elimination of the intentional walk?

      I sure haven’t.

      I’m not sure how many pitches a reliever gets on the mound, but they should just get a couple and be ready to go if they’ve been warming up for an appropriate amount of time. I’m all for bringing back the bullpen carts. That used to be a thing. (http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2017/07/14/210932342/the-history-and-mysteries-of-the-mlb-bullpen-cart) I’d gladly go drive one of those. They just really look cool but could probably speed up the game a little.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think we’ve found our calling! Bullpen cart drivers! That would be cool. Somehow I didn’t know these existed. MLB could allow teams to put branding on each cart, that’ll make them happy. This could work!

        As for the intentional walk, I hate when a pitcher starts out with a 2-0 count and then the manager flashes 4 fingers and they put a runner on right then. I think if they start pitching to the batter, they shouldn’t be able to turn it into an intentional walk halfway through the at-bat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You could do so much with the bullpen carts. I definitely agree with your idea of branding, and the teams could do promotions and even sell ad spots on the carts.

        I always thought intentional walks were just that: intentional. Like the pitcher and catcher went into that at-bat knowing they were going to walk the guy. And not change it halfway through, like you said. Then it would just be a regular walk.

        Liked by 1 person

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