By In Stuff

Point To First

MLB.com: Anticipated rule could continue decline of IBB

Not sure the headline got exactly what I was trying to say … point is I have no idea what the new intentional walk rule will do. I don’t think anyone does. It might not do anything.

 

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52 Responses to Point To First

  1. Gene says:

    One thing is clear, re that group of videos in your article. NONE OF THOSE THINGS WOULD EVER HAPPEN AGAIN. Think carefully about what you’re eliminating.

    Don’t wacky IBB mishaps make for great stories, great novelties? Aren’t the great stories part of what makes baseball great?

    What’s the average time required to issue an intentional walk? Multiply that by 0.38 to get an average for the amount of time saved per game. It’s no doubt a ridiculously small number.

    What I’d like to see is all of the MLB.com sportswriters, who I assume are MLB employees, go after the real source of slowdowns during games: the commercials. Make the commissioner squirm a little.

    • SDG says:

      We won’t ever get rid of ads until we can find some source of money to replace them. Let’s be realistic.

      But I seriously can’t believe this is being proposed as a time-saving measure. IBBs basically never happen and, as has been pointed out everywhere yesterday, are becoming less and less common anyway. But more to the point, it takes action away from the field and becomes non-players deciding what happens. It’s the stupidest thing ever.

      And the punchline is it doesn’t even solve the problem it was intended to.

  2. Mark Daniel says:

    Just pointing to first base is more of a surrender than throwing the four pitches. Maybe competitive managers will refuse to do it if it could in any way be construed as cowardly.

  3. Brent says:

    well, one thing they could have done to eliminate the intentional walk would be to call the catcher’s balk by the book. By making catchers actually stay in the catcher’s box until the ball is pitched (which is what the rule states) would make a ball well outside the strike zone a riskier proposition, which would require more agility on the catcher’s part and more precision on the pitchers. And I mean reading 6.02 (a)(12) to mean the catcher must be entirely in the catcher’s box until the ball is pitched.

    • SDG says:

      That would be awesome. There are so many existing rules they don’t enforce that would improve pace of play. People usually talk about batters staying in the box but that’s a big one.

    • Grzegorz Brzeszczyszczykiewicz says:

      I’ve been preaching that for years in this space. It’s not so easy to do. Some of the pitchouts would get passed the catcher.

  4. SDG says:

    I can’t figure out if Rob Manfred is some evil genius playing 12-dimensional chess to achieve an outcome none of us are smart enough to even guess at and this is all a long game, or if he’s the biggest idiot on the planet.

    • Contrarian says:

      Third option: He’s a bureaucratic mediocrity who has observed the Peter Principle.

      • KHAZAD says:

        I will take option three, with an addendum. Many of you have had to work at some point in your lives under a bureaucratic micromanager. The kind of guy who makes a change simply to point at to say he is “doing something”.

        I don’t think Manfred understands the game or it’s fans. He is not speeding up the game (this would decrease the average running time of a game at most about 23 seconds per game), it is not bringing any new fans, and is alienating some existing fans. It serves no positive purpose other than to give Manfred the chance to point at something and say “I did that!”

        I guess we can be a little thankful that it is not an even more fundamental change. Every interview I hear with him he just tosses out idea after outlandish idea off the top of his head and some of them are ridiculous.

        If we let him make all the changes he mentions, the game would be barely recognizable, and probably STILL wouldn’t be any shorter.

  5. Anon says:

    I’m waiting for the 1st grumpy, old-timey manager that refuses to point to 1st and has the pitcher still throw an intentional walk. I also am 100% certain that in situations where a reliever is warming up and needs a few more tosses, they will still take the time to throw 4 wide ones.

    BTW, Brent above is spot-on. IBB would be 100x more interesting if umpires called the rule as it’s written and catchers actually had to stay in the box until the pitch is released.

  6. Dave says:

    It’s a “solution” in search of a problem. As one comment alludes to above, there aren’t many intentional walks at all in MLB games, and this will “save” on average seconds per game.

    The elephant in the room that’s ignored with respect to length of games is the number of pitches per game. Too many pitchers? Pitching changes by far happen between innings, especially now that Torre and LaRussa are no longer managing (although Bochte gets that habit too often), except I will admit during playoffs.

    Get pitchers to throw strikes. Get batters to swing. I’ve read that a 9 inning game now has around 40 more pitches per game (for both sides) than 30-40 years ago. That’s why games take so long now. I haven’t taken the data, I’ve just looked at some of the info for anecdotes, but if you see a time of game for a 9 inning game that doesn’t have lots and lots of scoring, just a usual 5-3 or 6-4 type game, and the game lasted 3 1/2 hours, add up the total number of pitches. Likely it’ll be over 350.

    • SDG says:

      Pitchers are throwing strikes. Ks are up. Longer ABs, as plate discipline in seen as a central skill, are increasing. The problem is it does heavily correlate with scoring runs, so there is no reason for teams to stop doing it. One thing I’ve thought might work is deadening the ball and widening the strike zone, both of which incentivize swinging and keep the ball in play.

  7. Brian Schwartz says:

    Literally nothing is safe if MLB can mess with “four balls are a walk, three strikes are a strikeout.” This is Commissioner Manfred’s warning shot before ramming through major changes next season, when the players’ union doesn’t need to consent.

    A J.D. can be a useful degree, but it is not a marketing degree. Esoteric rule changes are a frankly bizarre method of appealing to the millenials and casual fans that the commissioner wants to attract.

    • invitro says:

      “This is Commissioner Manfred’s warning shot before ramming through major changes next season” — What major changes?

      • Dave says:

        One that supposedly comes from Torre is that in a tie game after 9 innings, each subsequent half inning starts with a man on second. Torre said two things about it. First that no one wants to see an infielder pitch the 16th inning and second that this would make extra innings more “exciting.”

        As to the first, don’t have all relief pitchers throw only one inning! As to the second, a thought experiment. If the top of the inning has no scoring, what’s the bottom of the inning look like? Hmmm…bunt the guy to third. The response is two IBBs, oh, wait, two signals for the batter to go to first. Then draw the infield and outfield in. Next, because there hasn’t been a save situation yet, unless the closer blew it in the 9th, stop the game and bring in the closer–tight situation. Wait while he warms up. After that, 100 mph fastballs to, he hopes, the next two batters. On to the next inning. Repeat.

        Or, for the first man he faces, a medium fly ball. Game over. Boring!!!!!!!

        I should have added to my comment on the number of pitches above one other anecdote. If you see the duration of a game being 2 1/2 hours or less, it’s very, very likely that the total number of pitches are 270 or less, likely less than 260, regardless of the score or number of pitchers.

        Counterintuitive guess: if the powers that be want the game to move faster, increase the strike zone a little, not decrease it (another rule change they want for next year). It’ll take a year or two to cycle through, but a larger strike zone should (I hope) mean that the guys who can put the ball in play become more valuable, that a team that can do that should succeed more (not have the batters striking out, oh, 14 times a game). There will end up with fewer strikeouts and fewer pitches per game.

        Yes, the ’60s had less offense, but my take is that today’s ball players are much better than then, much more “dipping” into the foreign labor pool for top players. But, if you’re concerned about going back to the ’60s, lower the mound at the same time to 8″.

        Now, I wouldn’t do either, neither increase the zone or decrease it. At some time fairly soon, my believe, and yes, that’s all it is, is that we’re going to see strikeouts stop increasing, that guys putting the ball in play will become more valuable than giving up so many outs without stressing the defense, and the pendulum will swing back some. And, yes, that would end up with fewer pitches per game and a faster game.

        • invitro says:

          Thanks for your reply… Joe covered the extra-inning “California rule” a little while ago, so I knew about that. I was wondering if there were other proposed major rule changes (I don’t know if I’d call this one major… I think it’s more silly than anything).

  8. Llarry says:

    The stupidest thing I ever see is bringing in a reliever and immediately having him walk the first batter. Couldn’t the last guy have done it? No, we’re going to bring you in and stick you with an extra runner that hits your stats because the last guy got into a bad situation. Then, we’re going to have you throw 4 wide, and then turn around and try to hit your spots in and around the zone.

    An automatic call for an IBB will at least keep the new guy from having to throw wide when he first comes in, and *then* have to hit the zone. Will this improve pitcher performance in these situations? I don’t know, but I’d love to see someone like Russell Carleton at Prospectus throw some #GoryMath at it… It might be nothing, it might be real, but subtle.

    • Dave says:

      I’m an old codger. In the ’50s and ’60s, watching games on TV as a kid, I don’t think I ever saw the new guy be the one to throw the IBB–when a change of pitchers occurred and the manager wanted an IBB, it was the guy going out that did it. In the ’70s, I noticed the change to the reliever doing it. I have no idea why it changed, but I agree with you, it’s stupid to have the guy coming in, whom you want to bear down, spend his first minute on the mound, tossing the ball far away from the plate.

      • Anon says:

        The argument for having the reliever throw the IBB is that he gets to get in the game, get comfortable, and throw a few “pitches” off the mound to get used to the quirks of the mound itself. The counter-argument is, as you note, his 1st 4 pitches are intentionally “bad” pitches and could disrupt his rhythm and motion. Personally I’ve always thought this discussion is a prime example of vastly over-thinking things.

      • PJS says:

        It can be smart in that it fulfills the requirement that the reliever pitch to one batter. Then if the batting team puts up an opposite-handed pinch-hitter, you can change pitchers, forcing the offensive team to either burn the pinch-hitter without having him bat or let him bat against a same-handed reliever.

        • Mike Schilling says:

          In Ball Four,Jim Bouton describes the Astros doing this as an example of how smart Harry Walker was.

        • Chris H says:

          I thought it was routine for this very reason. I may have missed, it, but does pointing to first constitute having pitched to a hitter? If they haven’t spelled this out in the rules, it’ll lead to a very interesting argument at some point.

  9. anonymous says:

    The change doesn’t bother me. I mean, it’s a little silly, but it’s not the end of the world either. It’s just frustrating to see MLB posturing about how the length of games is such a crisis, and then respond with something like this that everyone knows will have almost no effect whatsoever while refusing to make any changes that would genuinely make games shorter. It’s frustrating to see them throw out dumb, goofy BS that has no positive effect on the product. Just silly.

    • Darrel says:

      I think this post gets to the common misconception about what baseball is trying to accomplish and it has nothing to do with the length of the game. What they are trying to achieve is to reduce the dead time within the game. Those moments where Posada needs to go to the mound between every pitch or Ortiz has to do some rain dance between pitches to be ready for the next.

      When I watch a ball game, and I watch a lot of them, I want to see baseball being played. If you give me a crisp game with few mound visits and pitching changes and 45 second between pitch rituals then I don’t care if it last 5 hours. The IBB move is a drop in the bucket of an ongoing effort to get more action into the same, or less, time. And to that I say Amen brother and don’t stop now.

      • invitro says:

        I think some of us are frustrated because we really want a rule change to address “moments where Posada needs to go to the mound between every pitch or Ortiz has to do some rain dance between pitches” (I’d add: manager needs to use more than two pitchers in an inning), and we know that a silly nothing rule like this one only lengthens the delay before we get a significant rule change (or better yet, enforcement of current rules).

        • Gerry says:

          Agree completely with this. Part of the charm of baseball was that it had a relaxed tempo and each game flowed organically. The pace of individual games might vary but at least each game had a pace.

          _____

          The current version of baseball treats each pitch as an event and there are too many unnecessary disruptions trying to gain a competitive advantage. When there is an unlimited amount of tactical moves (stepping out of the box, throwing to 1st, visits to the mound) allowed, it becomes a game of attrition and not a game of strategy or skill.

          _____

          Would be good to have some meaningful legislation to eliminate stepping out of the box for cosmetic adjustments, and limit mound visits, pickoff throws etc. If you have a finite amount, then it returns some level of true strategy to the game.

          ______

          John Wooden used to say that if he had to scold players or use time outs to control the game, that it was on him because it meant he didn’t have his team properly prepared. Sounds like a golden rule to me.

      • Alter Kacker says:

        I don’t think the IBB is “dead time” at all. It gives fans at the park a minute or so to boo the decision and second guess the manager before moving on to the next batter. Seriously, I’ve always enjoyed doing that. And it gives the fan at home a chance to get up and go pee.

        How about a rule that you still pitch the intentional walk, but only have ten seconds for each pitch? Go longer than that and it’s a balk — all runners advance a base. That reduces the delay, still gives me a chance to boo, creates some tension — and cracks the door open for a pitch clock, which I totally support.

        I’d lose the bathroom break, but with inning breaks and pitching changes there’s still plenty of chances for that.

    • invitro says:

      Yes, it’s silly, no big deal, kind of frustrating, I agree with all of this. But this seems to be the way that many businesses do P.R. now: make tiny, silly changes, flood “social media” with news about them, bask in the coverage. Or, I’m not at all surprised. I’d be surprised if they did something serious like limit pitching changes, or enforce the rules regarding batters/pitchers from delaying the game. My guess is that the players’ union has veto power over everything, and they’ll veto everything that infringes on players’ privileges even one iota.

    • SDG says:

      It’s a manager solving a problem by making a fundamental change to the game, that, as a bonus, doesn’t actually solve the problem. The fact that it won’t actually affect things much isn’t an excuse.

      I mean, Manfred thinks stopping the game and positioning the players on the field like dolls is a good idea. That’s legitimately scary.

      • invitro says:

        “Manfred thinks stopping the game and positioning the players on the field like dolls is a good idea.” — Are you referring to the proposal to limit defensive shifts? Otherwise, I don’t get it…

        • SDG says:

          The IBB. Taking skill and spontaneity out of it. No risk a batter might hit a bad ball or a pitcher might fake out the batter and get him to strike out looking or someone might steal a base. Just skip the important part of the game, the PA, and put the guy on first. Upthread, you proposed excellent ways of moving the game along that still make it an athletic competition.

  10. otistaylor89 says:

    The most famous oddball IBB situation was the 1972 WS Rollie Fingers strikeout of Johnny Bench after Bobby Tolan stole 2nd with two strikes on Bench. I’d forgotten that Fingers ended up taking the loss, after pitching 3.2 innings. I still can’t believe CIN lost to the A’s with Reggie out injured. 6 one run games, including Game 7 (on my 9th Birthday), a very underrated WS.

    • Brent says:

      Considering the quality of the two teams (A’s had 3 HOFers, though Jackson was hurt (so only Hunter and Fingers played), plus Hall of the Very Good players like Tenace, Rudi, Bando and Blue, while Reds had 3 HOFers (Bench, Perez, Morgan) plus Rose plus Hall of the Very Good players like Concepcion, Foster, Geronimo, McRae), and the closeness of the games, and it went 7 games, there is a really good argument that it was the Best World Series ever.

      • PhilM says:

        If we’re looking at the strength of the teams involved, it’s hard to beat 1968 with two top-50 teams battling. It happened before my time, so I didn’t see it personally, but three complete games from Gibson, three wins for Lolich, and the Curt-Flood-simply-turned-the-wrong-way moment have all the makings of a classic.

      • invitro says:

        What’s the post-1960 World Series with the most HoFers? I don’t know, but I’ll lead off with 1996. It’s not there now, but in a few years there will be Jeter, Raines, Boggs, Rivera, Chipper, Maddux, Smoltz, and Glavine, all as regulars, and possibly Pettitte.

        The last WS with two 100-win teams: 1970. The full list: 1970, 1969, 1942, 1941, 1931, 1912, 1910. (Honorable mentions: 1977 ALCS, 1976 NLCS, 1971 ALCS.)

        • KHAZAD says:

          Wow. So the 77 ALCS was the last post season series featuring 2 100 win teams? There is a bit of trivia I was completely unaware of.

          • invitro says:

            There was recently a short run of seasons with more than two 100-win teams. But one or both lost before they could play each other. Here’s the list of years (since 1969) with two 100-win teams, a year with three 100-win teams is starred:
            1988, 1998*, 2001, 2002*, 2003*, and 2004. This list is of course mostly due to the Yankees’ and Braves’ dynasties, and the A’s have a couple teams too.

  11. Rob Smith says:

    It’s amazing that so many people think that changing the IBB to a pointed finger is going to somehow change the game. The issue I have is that it’s NOT going to change the game. IBBs are a non event where we fast forward or run to the fridge real quick. How often does something weird happen on an IBB? People are quoting stuff that happened in the 70s or 80s. You don’t preserve something because of quirky things that might happen every decade, or so.

    The issue I have is that it DOESN’T change the game. If you really want to speed up the game, then pitch clocks, limits on mound visits and enforcing rules to stay in the batters box will be the ticket that will change things. And change things A LOT.

    And, all of you change averse people…. realize that the game HAS changed for the worse. Pitchers used to deliver the ball quickly. Now they don’t. They didn’t use to wear batting gloves, so they didn’t need to adjust them after every pitch. Now, every player on every team pretty much takes time to adjust every pitch. Pitcher changes didn’t happen nearly as often. Now they happen several times a game and include mound visits from the catcher, pitching coach and eventually the manager. And sometimes include the whole infield. So, all these proposed changes are doing is returning the game to the way it used to be played…. but making it mandatory, and eliminating all the time wasting that had crept into the game over the last 20-30 years.

    I realize that Manfred needs to get buy off from the player’s union and the owners for the more radical changes. So, I agree with the poster that said this is just a warning shot. Manfred is making a point here. Maybe not well. But he’s letting everyone know that he’s tired of farting around while the games are too long, the game’s popularity shrinks and it’s audience trends older and older & starts to die off. Change… it’s a comin’. Finally.

  12. Mark Daniel says:

    One interesting thing is that while more pitches per game might be a reason for the longer games, that hasn’t translated to more walks. The IsoD (OBP-BA) is pretty much the same now as it was going back to the early 1900s. The IsoD average from 1910 to today is 0.692. Last year, the MLB IsoD was 0.640. So it’s not like there are more walks.
    There are more strikeouts, but #pitches/PA data only goes back to 1988. Even so, it looks like from ’88-’97, the # of pitches per PA averaged around 3.5. In the last few years it’s been above 3.80 (last year it was 3.88 pitches/PA).
    If you take 76 PAs per game as an average for a standard game, then you will have (76 * 0.38) = 29 more pitches per game. That certainly adds more time to a game.
    Meanwhile, there are more pitchers used per game as well. Last year there were a record high 4.15 pitchers used per game. That’s pitchers PER TEAM per game. That’s up from 3.5 in 1997, 3.02 in 1990, and a range of about 2.4-2.6 pitchers per game from 1955-1985. Again, that’s pitchers per team per game.

    As for length of games, last year the average game was a little over 3:00 hrs. It’s been over 3 hrs since 2012. It was mostly between 2:50-3:00 hrs between ’87 and ’11. It was 2:30-2:40 hrs from ’54-’84. Then gradually shorter games as you go back in time, dropping below 2 hrs in 1933.
    So what would be an acceptable length of game? Obviously, games are too long now so I’d say 2:50 and above is too much. Is 2:30-2:45 okay, like in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s? In those years, you were looking at 2.45-2.75 pitchers per team per game. There is no data on pitches/PA.
    I don’t see how you can reduce the number of pitches per PA nor the number of pitching changes. Teams these days are basing their whole team strategy on a 6 inning starter and 3 tough relievers. At minimum, teams use 2 pitchers per game since hardly anybody throws complete games.
    So how to fix? The delay with pitching changes comes in mid-inning changes. Between innings changes add no time. So, maybe eliminate or reduce the number of the warmup pitches a reliever throws on the mound if he comes in mid-inning? How many do they get now? 8?
    Or, make it like the intentional walk rule change we are discussing, instead of having the manager saunter his way to the mound and discuss things, he can just point to the dugout, and the reliever can come in immediately. And give him 5 warmup pitches or something, not 8.
    That would save a few minutes here and there.

    • invitro says:

      “So how to fix? The delay with pitching changes comes in mid-inning changes. Between innings changes add no time. So, maybe eliminate or reduce the number of the warmup pitches a reliever throws on the mound if he comes in mid-inning?” — That’s one thing. But also just limit the number of pitching changes within an inning: one should be enough. I finally found some articles about all the proposed rule changes, and apparently they are considering this, or maybe a minimum number of batters a pitcher has to face. In general, I find almost all the changes Very Good Things… I’m very opposed to limiting shifts (because it limits tactics), and they better be darn careful with any strike zone messing around, but the rest seem common sense. The players’ union will fight them tooth and nail, but Manfred can “unilaterally” implement them in 2018, if he gives one year warning. And he seems prepared to do just that, which would immediately put him near the top of the Greatest Commish of All Time lists. Not all change is good, but Good change is Good!

      • Rob Smith says:

        I agree. And to get “Good Change” you have to be willing to try new things…. and btw, dump any change that ends up not working well.

        To me, the biggest things are the every pitch stuff… the pitcher taking too long to deliver the ball as they take a tour of the mid infield, or batters adjusting the batting gloves while taking a long look at the full moon. Manager/Coach visits to the mound are already limited. Catcher visits should be similarly limited and infielders should not be invited to the party. They seem to position themselves just fine from signs from the bench coach or catcher. That’s all they should need.

        You know, kids do this stuff these days too. It’s ingrained in the game & everyone thinks it’s normal. But we had an umpire once that didn’t allow kids to step more than one foot out of the batters box. At first, it was kind of “what the heck is this guy doing” stuff. But within an inning, the kids adjusted & the game moved along at a much better pace. I think batters will complain about this just like pitchers will complain about pitch clocks. Then they’ll adjust and we’ll have a faster game.

        • invitro says:

          “dump any change that ends up not working well.” — Yes, this is key.

        • Rob Smith says:

          I don’t know if this happens much, but I’d also be in favor of not allowing mound visits to relievers at all except to remove the pitcher. The old rules apply to starters, but no visits to the mound after that.

          Also in the Japanese leagues they often don’t even visit the mound to remove pitchers since it can be considered an insult. They just signal the pitcher and he runs off the mound & the reliever runs in. I think that would speed things up by not allowing the Manager to slow walk to the mound and not having a bunch of players and the Manager standing around the mound chatting. BTW: this is the way we often did it in Little League. It used to be that the Manager was not allowed to cross the baseline at any time. So, you’d walk out to the baseline and yell at the player (who was usually in the field somewhere) to come in and pitch and then direct the various positional movements. It was much faster that way. It might seem harsh by today’s standards, but since that was the way things were done, it was just standard operating procedure.

  13. Mike Schilling says:

    Why isn’t it pitcher signaling for the IBB? The manager isn’t playing and shouldn’t have a direct impact on the game.

    • Rob Smith says:

      Because they’re acknowledging that IBBs are called by the Manager today by signaling the pitcher. Having the Manager signal the pitcher to signal the umpire makes zero sense. Cut out the middle man.

  14. Tampa Mike says:

    I don’t have a problem with it. It isn’t really going to save time, but I’m certainly not going to miss watching the pitcher lob in 4 balls. I don’t think the rule change is really going to have an effect.

    I actually like your idea of skipping the kneel down at the end of football games. I wouldn’t miss that at all.

    • Rob Smith says:

      The kneel down idea is interesting, and I’m not opposed in really obvious situations, like the last play or two of the game in a 2+ score game. But there is still an element of clock management involved in the kneel down in closer games. And the pros still do mess that up regularly.

  15. Mark Daniel says:

    Here’s a breakdown of the length of a game:
    Commercial breaks, 17 at minimum, at 2:25 or 2:45 min each for local or national games, respectively. Total 41-47 min
    Game playing. Fangraphs keeps “pace” data, and it shows that David Price is tied for slowest pitcher in the majors at 25.6 sec between pitches. If you use this number, and the average of 147 pitches per game in 2016, you come up with about 63 min. Let’s say, then, that pitchers accounts for 1 hr of play, which means 2 hrs total (one for each team).
    Total 2 hrs

    That’s 2:41-2:47 for an average game with no other delays considered. Since 2012 games have averaged over 3:00 hrs in length.
    Other delays could be instant replay, mid-inning pitcher changes, mid-inning commercial breaks, injuries, arguments with umpires, brawls, conferences on the pitcher’s mound, and whatever else. These together would add up to 15-25 min of time. I think that 2:41-2:47 change is what people are looking for as a final game length.
    The biggest bang for the buck would be in reducing the amount of time between pitches.
    If you reduce that amount by 5 seconds, you could cut the time of the game by about 25 min. If you cut the amount by only 3 seconds, you are looking at about 15 minutes.

  16. Chris says:

    I am honestly surprised that Joe is not firmly against this change given his strong opinions against the IBB. I’ll concede that it is a minor change in the grand scheme of baseball, but that doesn’t mean that it should be accepted. Every rule change should be evaluated for its potential effects on the game big or small. The only benefit is not on the game itself but rather the 1-2 minutes potentially saved for the viewers. And that will occur on average once per game. There are negative effects on the game itself. This rule allows one team to assume the outcome of a given plate appearance without actually participating in the plate appearance (For the batters, does this count as a PA if they never even step in the box? Is the pitcher charged with a walk when he doesn’t throw a single pitch?).

    If anything I would penalize IBB more instead of removing risk from the pitching team. You want the auto walk? two bases then. You want to “unintenionally” intentially walk them, then you have to throw 4 pitches with the catcher behind the plate (enforce the existing rules)

  17. Rower41 says:

    THE DUGOUT — SKIP AND LARRY watch the growing meeting.

    SKIP
    What the hell’s going on out there?

    LARRY
    It’s a damn convention.

    SKIP
    Check it out.

    I am against any changes. Have you ever attended an afternoon game with a beautiful girl and wished the game would never end? Maybe you hosted your youngest daughter for her first night game and the 2d baseman for your favorite team fouls one off – way up in the sky – and it comes down nicely inside of your baseball cap held aloft? Ever cleaned catfish out by the barn on a hot, summer evening with your grandpa while your Big Red Machine just kept putting people on the bases? Maybe you have just sat beside someone you loved on an old metal chair under a giant hickory tree sipping PBR and listening to a small transistor radio, the voice coming from inside it saying that this might be the night that Henry Aaron does it…
    Change is constant and inevitable but it does not insist upon itself. The thing about baseball is that you do not have to worry about time running out.

    The NFL, conversely, is ridiculous. Four 15-minute quarters somehow adds up to 4 hours of giant fat men in tights playing for 12 seconds between small team meetings and no one plays the entire game.

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