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

The umpire could do a D20 roll.

I haven’t watched baseball in years but this is the most offensive and stupid idea I’ve ever heard regarding the sport. It’s right up there with changing the colors of the American flag to hot pink and chartreuse.

Baseball is baseball. It’s tradition. If they really want to speed up the game, how about limiting the number of foul balls or pick-off throws? Why not shorten the game to six or seven innings? And like others have said, intentional walks don’t always go 100% smoothly.

I hope and pray there’s enough outrage from traditionalist baseball fans to reverse this rule change before it takes effect.

Another good example of why baseball needs these exact kinds of changes.

We traditionally did a lot of things before new and innovative methods came up to make things more efficient.

Not to mention the things you suggested would bastardize baseball WAY more than making a new IBB rule.

I’d only be in favor of this being allowed with the bases empty. Pitchers have to execute pitches. That’s baseball. Let 'em play. Also, the rule governing when the catcher can leave the box…after the ball has left the pitcher’s hand…should be strictly enforced. No cheating early.

The intentional walk can be a key part of late inning drama. Ninth inning, there is a man on second and the catcher calls for an intentional walk. The crowd is going crazy. The pitcher has to execute, and it’s tricky. He has to throw to a spot the catcher hasn’t moved to yet. If the pitcher is erratic, the runner might steal. If he goofs with a wild pitch, the runner can move up. If he leaves it too close to the plate, the hitter can feast on a meatball. But in the end, the pitcher has to execute. Just like in every other at-bat.

Manfred is a fucking idiot.

I liked some of the changes that happened under Selig, like expanded interleague play, the wildcard and instant replay. it’s not a purist issue, it’s just mindless change for changes sake.

My initial thought is that I like it. I think a 1 game wildcard playoff is incredibly stupid after a 162 game season, but this I like.

I also like replay a lot less in baseball than I thought I would. 1 out, nobody on in the top of the first, close play at first base on an infield dribbler… here comes the challenge. fuuuuuuuuuck.

You missed his point. If you’re going to eliminate the intentional walk requiring four balls thrown, which will have minimal impact on the speed of the game (the professed rationale for the change), you might as well engage in much deeper cuts to the traditional rules, in order to actually accomplish a decrease in time spent playing. :frowning:

You never pass up a chance to get a runner on base.

Granted, this was a homer but the principle is the same.

I’m mostly a traditionalist when it comes to baseball but I don’t see anything wrong with this rule change. The fake intentional walk and blown intentional walk are rare, the game won’t suffer. But if a lot more changes aren’t made to speed up the game it won’t make any real difference either.

I have a bad feeling that that the auto-IBB is going to be the gateway drug that leads Manfred down a radical path. We know he doesn’t like the shift. We know he wants to shrink the strike zone. Because again, for him the game of baseball is not stimulating enough.

The first thing I thought of was how they’ve modified the Slow Pitch rules in ASA where if you hit a home run, just go sit down to speed up the game. :slight_smile: That would actually make more sense. I’d bet the number of occurrences of something going awry are greater during a botched intentional walk as compared to a home run ball hit over the fence. You want to really speed up the game? How about enforcing rule 6.02 that says (paraphrasing) a batter must keep one foot in the batters box between pitches except for obvious reasons not to. IOW, stay in box between pitches or I’m calling a strike on you. Likewise, if a pitcher is dawdling and the batter is ready… call a ball on the batter.

I agree it makes more sense, but there’s something to that celebratory trot around the bases that is satisfying as a spectator that I’d want to keep it. It just doesn’t feel as emotionally satisfying as seeing the guy just head for the dugout after jacking it.

He could always do a bat-flip, followed by a back-flip, a shimmy, dab, selfie-with the crowd, a bow, Gangnam style, a…

Every slow pitch league I played in you had to at least touch 1st base.

I wonder which scenario is more likely to have an impactful change to a game. Throwing 4 pitches for an IBB, or having to touch all the bases after a home run.

I would guess there are fewer baserunning blunders during a HR trot than there are IBB mishaps. And there are definitely a lot more home runs than intentional walks in a season. You’ll only save 10-30 seconds, though.

The home run trot serves a practical purpose in giving the pitcher time to pull himself together after a blunder, and the crowd time to react. Neither of those are important for IBB.

A better time-saving rule would be to limit teams to one pitching change during an inning.

And one to discourage teams from dragging out games endlessly. If any game goes over three and a half hours, both teams are awarded a loss (this rule might eliminate both the Yankees and Red Sox from contention by the end of July).

So the Red Sox are playing the Yankees and winning 16-3. Because of all the scoring the game had gone 3 hours and 15 minutes. Now you’re just encouraging the Yankees to stall to get the Red Sox to lose as well.

The rule change reminds me of how the US Senate did the same thing with the filibuster years ago. Nowadays you almost never have to actually do it, you only “signal” your intention. It’s also to save time, and it also (arguably) takes away a little of the fun for some spectators.

I don’t like keeping rules just for inertia. So, taking inertia out of it altogether, let’s ask ourselves what is the best course of action when faced with the following scenario:

Runner in scoring position
Less than 2 outs
Late in the game
Close score
Pitching team calls for an IBB

We have a tense situation here with a pivotal at bat coming up after the IBB.

Choice 1 - Send the batter to first and get the next at bat started immediately
Choice 2 - Delay the pivotal at bat to allow for 4 largely ceremonial pitches to be thrown

If the “dugout intentional walk” was already the rule, I don’t see how changing the game to include 4 ceremonial pitches makes the game better.

The key word there is “largely.” As long as there is a chance the pitcher or catcher will fuck up, then the pitches should be thrown.

I’m on the fence about if this is a good rule, but I think the argument that sometimes the pitcher screws up is a poor point in favor of making them pitch. If you want to increase the chances that routine things can go wrong, there are lots of tweaks you could make to the rules, but I don’t think it would make the game better.