MLB to eliminate four- pitch intentional walk, walks now will be signaled from dugout

In a break from long-standing tradition, Major League Baseball and the players’ union have agreed to eliminate the four-pitch intentional walk, in which the pitcher throws four consecutive balls past the plate. Instead, the manager will signal his team’s intent for a walk, and the batter will automatically be awarded first base. The change will occur in the 2017 season.

Proponents of the change say it will speed up the game. Traditionalists argue that the number of intentional walks has gone down and that changing the rule won’t significantly make games any shorter.

I’m a traditionalist, still don’t like the designated hitter rule, but I’m in favor of this one. One of the most boring things about the game is watching a batter just stand there while the pitcher throws four pitches wide of the plate.

I got your dugout signal right here.

Manfred needs to be tarred, feathered, ridden out of town on a rail, then shot.

I notice this is being discussed extensively in the hot stove thread. This thread can be closed if desired.

It’s soft-hearted fans like you who enable this nonsense.

It does have a bit of a beer league softball feel to it, doesn’t it?

I’ll leave it open for now to see if the Hot Stove League thread goes in a different direction.

I hate this rule change.

I agree. Besides, weird things can happen during an intentional walk: a steal, a wild pitch, even a hit. (Sorry, I’m on a tablet, but you can YouTube examples.) Yeah, I know, one in a thousand, but it just doesn’t feel right.

Other people have linked to the thread where we’re already talking about it.

However I do want to mention that you should only participate if you agree with me that it was a good idea.

Otherwise bugger off!:p:cool:

This is the only reason that I have any real concerns about the change – and I’d be curious if there are any stats on just how rarely it is that an attempt at an intentional walk goes awry in some way.

Any rule that prevents Kelly Leak from almost winning the championship is a really stupid rule.

Does Manfred even like the game of baseball?

Not to mention my favorite when the A’s Rollie Fingers struck out Johnny Bench on a fake intentional walk with the count 3-2. (Even though I still think the pitch was actually outside.

Near the end of this one:

Here’s a collection of intentional walks gone wrong. I mean, it’s obviously not common, but, judging by the videos, it doesn’t look like they had to dig very far back to find footage. I, too, am curious if there is any official stat regarding intentional walks that did ended up with something other than what the automatic walk rule would produce.

Considering there’s probably a stat for number of 2-2 strikes thrown by a right-handed pitcher wearing 1/4" aluminum cleats with an shoe that came untied during the last batter’s fly out and a pink tank top under his uniform, I can’t imagine why not.

On second thought, maybe I didn’t see that exact stat pop up in the World Series last year. But it could have!

This is a silly rule. Even if we grant that intentional walks are boring and slow down the game… just how often do you see one, anyway? I’m pretty sure that they average less than once a game. So who cares?

Plus, there are all those borderline cases. Yeah, sometimes you’ll just have the catcher stand 10’ to the side and toss a few to him, but sometimes you’ll throw four in a row just far enough outside the strike zone to tempt the batter into going for something he shouldn’t. Even if you consider a walk an acceptable outcome of that, you might still hope for a strikeout or an easily-fielded hit. Does that count as an intentional walk?

Misses the point. The defense can always pitch around. But now, the defense has the option of filling first base with a runner without running the risk of a bad pitch.

I would be okay with it as long as it required both teams to consent.

  1. DM (Defensive Manager) signals walk.
  2. OM either consents or signals, “Nope, pitch it.”

Play proceeds from there.

Let’s say OM has a speedster on 2nd and the pitcher is known to throw slow (or wild). Make the pitcher throw it. You might end up with runners on the corners instead of a 3-base force out situation. I think of it like declining the penalty in football. You as the “aggrieved” party get to pick the outcome most favorable to you.

Thanks for finding that–it was the first thing I thought of when I saw the thread title. So, I’m not sure on the changed rule of play–can they call an intentional walk at any point in the count, or only before the batter comes up?

Some years ago, I was watching a random game on tV. At one point, the batter went to 3-2. At that point he was identified as the career leader in 3-2 counts.
How come stats like that are never on baseball cards? :smiley:

The real problem is the next proposed rule change that would allow the manager to signal his intent for a home run. That might lengthen the game somewhat.

A fine idea, but the offense would (should) ALWAYS make the pitcher throw the pitches.

ETA: unless it’s a bases empty IBB, which we probably haven’t seen since Bonds.