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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sources: MLB, union agree to use dugout signal for intentional walk

As part of its initiative to improve pace-of-game play, Major League Baseball has approved a change to the intentional walk rule, going from the traditional four-pitch walk to a dugout signal, team and union sources told ESPN’s Howard Bryant.

MLB has studied various ways to quicken games.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported earlier this month that MLB had made formal proposals to the players’ union to usher in both raising the strike zone and scrapping the practice of lobbing four balls toward home plate to issue an intentional walk.

Getting rid of the old-fashioned intentional walk would eliminate about a minute of dead time per walk. In an age in which 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.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2017 at 09:28 PM | 86 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: intentional walk, pace of play, rob manfred, rule changes

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   1. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 21, 2017 at 09:34 PM (#5406336)
Meanwhile, challenges will continue to be delayed as the manager waits for the signal from his TV guys. This really is starting to annoy me. It's taking away part of the spirit of the game little by little imo. You gotta throw the ball off the plate four times. Crazy things occasionally happen. Saving time elsewhere should be the first priority, not removing elements of the on field play.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: February 21, 2017 at 09:41 PM (#5406338)
Out of of all the arguments to increase speed of play, this was one of the dumbest proposals out there. I honestly can't remember the first time that I have ever been "angered" about the pace of an intentional walk.... I mean it is just something that is going on, and gives a reason to boo from time to time, but it doesn't really stop the game in any way.


1. Time clock for pitches that is enforced.... seriously this is the only rule that needs to be talked about and enforced....everything else is window dressing.

Beyond this, about the only other issue I think that could increase the pace of play is a time clock on pitching changes....you can make pitching changes as frequently and as often as you want, but from the time the call is made to the bullpen, to the next pitch is 2 commercial breaks(60 seconds) maximum....Again nobody is really complaining about the length of game, it's pace of play.
   3. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: February 21, 2017 at 09:45 PM (#5406341)
#### Manfred.
   4. Baldrick Posted: February 21, 2017 at 09:49 PM (#5406343)
This is a dumb rule that will save virtually no time. On the other hand, I don't care enough to be particularly angry about it.

Meh.
   5. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 21, 2017 at 09:57 PM (#5406349)
This is a dumb rule that will save virtually no time. On the other hand, I don't care enough to be particularly angry about it.


first they came for the intentional walk...
   6. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:03 PM (#5406353)
I hate this only because it can be used to justify their continued obstinance to speed up the pace of play in a meaningful way. You do a stupid thing like this that'll save....what, about 15 seconds per game on average? And then do nothing about the relievers who take 30 seconds to decide which of their two pitches they should throw this time.

Ugh.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:11 PM (#5406354)
Sad!
   8. A Dying Soul Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:13 PM (#5406356)
Terrible. Who knew we would miss Selig?? I'm scared of what they'll think of next.

If they wanted to speed it up, get rid of replay.
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:29 PM (#5406359)
Terrible. Who knew we would miss Selig?? I'm scared of what they'll think of next.


whatever it is, Manfred would consider it
   10. PreservedFish Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:53 PM (#5406364)
This is also guaranteed to be implemented awkwardly, right? Like the manager will need to wave an official Spiderman towel or something?

Also, how many times per year will we see an old-fashioned IBB in order to kill time for a warming reliever?
   11. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:54 PM (#5406365)
This is a political gesture that will not have its intended effect.


(I just copy and paste this reply to all my social media platforms and it works for most of the threads)
   12. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 21, 2017 at 11:13 PM (#5406372)
Wow, that "MLB commissioner Rob Manfred angry union won't agree to proposed rule changes" article got obsolete quickly!
   13. catomi01 Posted: February 21, 2017 at 11:20 PM (#5406379)
the 10 seconds a game this will save on average will be offset by the pitcher and catcher staring into the dugout for every batter after the 6th inning for 10 seconds to make sure they don't miss the intentional walk signal...increasing the average gametime by 2 minutes....plus each intentional walk will actually take longer - 20 seconds for the manager to decide, another 10 for him to signal...another 20 for the umpire/pitcher/catcher to confirm - another 30 to explain to the batter what is going on...and then the actual jog down to first (after the batter sheds 20 pounds of useless body armor).
   14. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: February 21, 2017 at 11:20 PM (#5406380)
Saving 30 seconds every other ball game at the expense of removing one of the more exciting (if rare) moments in baseball when the intentional walk goes awry. If nothing else, I will lament that no longer will we see the catcher give the "palms down calm down" sign vigorously as his rattled battery mate puts the first intentional ball just a bit too outside.
   15. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 21, 2017 at 11:26 PM (#5406384)
I think Manfred hates baseball. It's like they made Sugar Bear commissioner.
   16. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:11 AM (#5406392)
For his next trick, Manfred will speed up games by eliminating the wasted time of bad bunters trying to lay down a sacrifice by letting all runners automatically advance one base in exchange for the defense automatically getting one out if both managers agree by waving their official Spiderman towels from [10].
   17. Drexl Spivey Posted: February 22, 2017 at 01:52 AM (#5406401)
I like the rule.

If a manager is just going to waive four fingers at the pitcher, then put the guy on first.

I'd get rid of the replay system before I'd get rid of this rule.
   18. Cargo Cultist Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:42 AM (#5406405)
Who knew we would miss Selig??


Not me. I thought it was impossible that the next commissioner could be even more stupid, ignorant, and tone deaf than Selig was.

I was wrong.
   19. JAHV Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:50 AM (#5406407)
This is so stupid. It removes part of game play, it saves very little time, and, worst of all, it allows them to say, "Look, we're addressing the pace of play issue!" when really they're doing nothing of the sort. This is asinine.
   20. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 22, 2017 at 06:04 AM (#5406412)
Who knew we would miss Selig??


Let's not get carried away. As stupid as all these ideas are, I still think they're less damaging than trying to contract franchises, or canceling the World Series, or acting to the direct benefit of the franchise owned by the Commissioner's family. And Selig had his share of stupid rule changes, too - look at "This Time it Counts".
   21. GGC Posted: February 22, 2017 at 06:31 AM (#5406415)
 10. PreservedFish Posted: February 21, 2017 at 10:53 PM (#5406364)
This is also guaranteed to be implemented awkwardly, right? Like the manager will need to wave an official Spiderman towel or something?


This triggered a mental image ofJudge Landis approving a Citizen Kane tie-in during the 1941 season: the Yankees giving Rosebud sleds to the first thousand fans one Saturday.
   22. Lassus Posted: February 22, 2017 at 07:13 AM (#5406420)
Lame. Lame, lame, lame.

Management sucks, always and forever.
   23. BDC Posted: February 22, 2017 at 07:54 AM (#5406425)
I sympathize with those who hate innovation, but OTOH, isn't this one of those rules that was first proposed long ago by Branch Rickey or somebody? It's probably got a pedigree as old as the DH or interleague play, it's just taken a lot longer to implement.
   24. Rusty Priske Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:29 AM (#5406461)
I am all for this rule change... except for one small part.

It won't actually speed up play in any demonstrable way, but I don't really care about that anyway.

The part I don't like is that the DUGOUT indicates that it is an intentional walk. I don't like this. It should be the pitcher. (Yes, the pitcher will be doing it when the manager tell shim to, but that is between him and the manager. It is the pitcher who is in the game and it is the pitcher who gets credit for the walk, so it should be the pitcher who makes the official call.)
   25. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:49 AM (#5406485)
The part I don't like is that the DUGOUT indicates that it is an intentional walk. I don't like this. It should be the pitcher. (Yes, the pitcher will be doing it when the manager tell shim to, but that is between him and the manager. It is the pitcher who is in the game and it is the pitcher who gets credit for the walk, so it should be the pitcher who makes the official call.)


This is interesting (to me). I keep score at every game I go to, is this still an intentional walk? I feel like there should be a new scoring notation for this event. I realize I'm likely the only person who gives a #### but it's no longer intentionally throwing 4 pitches out of the strike zone, it's more of a defensive indifference.
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 09:54 AM (#5406493)
It won't actually speed up play in any demonstrable way, but I don't really care about that anyway.


Then what is it that you like about it?

The idea of doing something automatically that once required effort seems to go against pretty much the way the rest of the sport is played*. And it's something that, on very rare occasions, can produce something out of the ordinary and fun (wild pitch, Miggy slapping one to right center).

* A few obvious exceptions exist to prevent the defense gaming the system via the forceout rule.
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:07 AM (#5406499)
My guess is unintentional intentional walks spike quite a bit.
   28. catomi01 Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:14 AM (#5406509)
I sympathize with those who hate innovation, but OTOH, isn't this one of those rules that was first proposed long ago by Branch Rickey or somebody? It's probably got a pedigree as old as the DH or interleague play, it's just taken a lot longer to implement.


Pedigree =\= Good Idea just by virtue of its source...all for innovation if it makes sense, not innovation for the sake of innovation. As many others have pointed out many times, there are plenty of simple tweaks to be made that would actually speed up the game with little to no impact on game play itself - and with no actual rule changes - just start enforcing rules that are already on the books to make the pitcher throw the ball sooner, and keep the batter in the box and you'll save a lot more time than this ever will.
   29. Vitor Artur Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:14 AM (#5406510)
Other fun things surrounding intentional walks that happen on very rare occasions, but add to my enjoyment of the sport:

Stolen base: https://youtu.be/XLvc9zBPCWs
The Dick Williams fake-the-intentional-walk, throw-a-strike routine (in the World Series): https://youtu.be/nR0jGrfQCu4
   30. JRVJ Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:14 AM (#5406511)
I like this rule (as stated last week). I don't see any real downside, and even if the reduction in time is small, its a (minor) step in the right direction.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5406521)
I don't see any real downside,


The downsides have been listed - it avoids the real pace of play issue, it changes the way the sport is played, it removes the occasional interesting play when one of the teams gets lazy.

What is the upside?
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 10:39 AM (#5406545)

My guess is unintentional intentional walks spike quite a bit.


Just curious, why? Most of the things that can go wrong on an intentional walk are problems for the defense (wild pitch, pitch that gets too much of the plate and is hit, the almost-never-seen-in-captivity, but not-yet-extinct catcher's balk). If anything, it seems skippers may be a little more inclined to hand out a free pass (though, in most cases, the numbers won't change at all).
   33. JRVJ Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:01 AM (#5406589)
it avoids the real pace of play issue


That's not a reason to reject this minor change, which is good on its merits.

it changes the way the sport is played


A miniscule change, since IBBs are down right now.

it removes the occasional interesting play when one of the teams gets lazy.


An even more miniscule change.

What is the upside?


An admittedly small decrease to playing time and a step in the right direction.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:12 AM (#5406594)
A miniscule change, since IBBs are down right now.


I wholeheartedly disagree. To me, changing the way the game is played (requiring effort vs. automatic things is a major change, even if the play itself happens rarely). I feel similarly about efforts to ban the shift and limit pickoffs and other such things that change how the game is played. You'd better have a damn good reason to do it.

And, of course, the flip side to IBBs are down right now is then why the hell are you worried about fixing them.

An admittedly small decrease to playing time and a step in the right direction.


Wait, pretending that avoiding the real issue is not a reason, but "a step in the right direction" is?

IBBs are an insignificant blip on the pace of play problem, and getting smaller every year. They are consistent with the rest of the sport in that they require effort from the participants to accomplish something, and they allow for the small possibility that something cool will happen.
   35. villageidiom Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5406602)
Funny thing is that all of this talk about "getting rid of the intentional walk" isn't going to get rid of the intentional walk. So if a manager wants to walk the batter, but still stall for time while a reliever is warming, there is nothing stopping the catcher from taking a standing position, and the pitcher throwing far away from the strike zone, and the catcher leaving the box after the pitch is thrown and catching it far outside, just like he does today. All of those are legal actions before the rule change, and I can't imagine they will be illegal after the rule change. (EDIT: That is, the new rule allows the manager to issue the automatic walk. But without substantial changes to several other rules the team can still do the traditional IBB.)

They're just giving the manager the option to skip all that. It depends on the tradeoff between {delay long enough for reliever to warm up} and {no risk of runners advancing}. The manager has the option to give up the former for the latter. Given how infrequently the latter happens I don't see too many occasions where the manager should opt for it.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:33 AM (#5406620)
They're just giving the manager the option to skip all that. It depends on the tradeoff between {delay long enough for reliever to warm up} and {no risk of runners advancing}. The manager has the option to give up the former for the latter. Given how infrequently the latter happens I don't see too many occasions where the manager should opt for it.

But how often do you think the manager is issuing an IBB specifically to give his reliever the time to warm up? It's issued because the club would rather face the next guy/have a force than the one up, and he's either staying with the pitcher on the hill, or the next reliever is ready to go already.

Given that, I don't see many managers taking the slight risk that comes with throwing four pitches, other than in the infrequently occuring situation you mention.
   37. JRVJ Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:33 AM (#5406621)
34, let's look at this objectively.

1. MLB is tweaking how it deals with IBBs because it believes they are a waste of time that lengthen the game unnecessarily.

2. IBBs are one of the most boring features in baseball, though in a very limited number of cases, a mishaps happens which is exciting/different.

3. IBBs are down right now.

SUBJECTIVELY, you think that there's no reason to make this change, because it affects the way the game is played, and really, it's a small matter so (a) the saved time will be minimal; (b) is not worth the effort.

SUBJECTIVELY, I think the change to the way the game is played is so "de minimis" that its worth making this small, even if the time saved is negligible. I'm also willing to countenance small changes on a case by case basis (I would not agree with outlawing shifts or limiting pick offs, I would agree to something like limiting the number of warm up pitchers a reliever can throw when he comes into a game).

Let's agree to disagree.
   38. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5406624)
   39. catomi01 Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:38 AM (#5406626)
The only plus I have been able to come up with on this is for the pitcher himself - though I have no evidence of this being true at all - I can imagine throwing 4 balls wild intentionally, and at a lower speed/effort than normal probably has some impact on the next couple of pitches afterward, if only for breaking up the pitcher's rhythm...sometimes that might help as it give the guy time to settle back down if it was a rough inning (which is usually the case if a IBB is called for) - but I can also see it throwing off the tempo and feel of a pitchers game.
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:48 AM (#5406636)
The only plus I have been able to come up with on this is for the pitcher himself - though I have no evidence of this being true at all - I can imagine throwing 4 balls wild intentionally, and at a lower speed/effort than normal probably has some impact on the next couple of pitches afterward, if only for breaking up the pitcher's rhythm...sometimes that might help as it give the guy time to settle back down if it was a rough inning (which is usually the case if a IBB is called for) - but I can also see it throwing off the tempo and feel of a pitchers game.


And I'd see that as another good thing. An intentional walk is entirely the choice of the defense, and generally not a play anyone likes (with or without the pitches being thrown). If there are downsides to the defense for choosing that unsatisfying tactic, we shouldn't want them eliminated.

   41. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:50 AM (#5406639)
So who will the first manager be to inadvertently signal for an intentional walk (meaning the ump thinks he signaled for it when really he was just gesticulating about something else), followed by a lengthy tirade and ejection?

Feels like Scioscia.
   42. JRVJ Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:57 AM (#5406645)
Let's not confuse "We shouldn't want them" with "I don't want them".
   43. Khrushin it bro Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:05 PM (#5406651)
Don't forget when Bonds took about a bazillion intentional walks. Next time a truly great hitter is around it will be that much easier to avoid him.
   44. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:08 PM (#5406655)
Accomplishes nothing, changes the fabric of the game. Good work, Robby.
   45. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:12 PM (#5406658)

Let's not confuse "We shouldn't want them" with "I don't want them".


I'm not.

Why should anyone want one side of the ball deliberately choosing any particular strategy to avoid the potential negative consequences of such a choice? And, in particular case of this strategy, since it's such an unsatisfying event to begin with (a position you seem to agree with above).
   46. JRVJ Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:13 PM (#5406659)
Don't forget when Bonds took about a bazillion intentional walks. Next time a truly great hitter is around it will be that much easier to avoid him.


Ok, I don't understand how you can go from phrase 1 to phrase 2.

MLB's rationale seems to be "We can't get rid of unintentional IBB if teams actually want to issue them, so let's at least cut the charade ala when Barry Bonds would come up to the plate".

You may disagree with MLB's thought process, but it's not like the very small risk of throwing a wild pitch/having a passed ball/allowing Barry to groove one too close to the plate was a deterrent to IBBing him.
   47. JRVJ Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5406661)
Why should anyone want one side of the ball deliberately choosing any particular strategy to avoid the potential negative consequences of such a choice


Because the so-called potentially negative consequences are so small (as above, WP/PB/having the hitter groove one too close to the plate), that they're not what's driving this.

Let's not kid ourselves.
   48. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5406662)
MLB's rationale seems to be "We can't get rid of unintentional IBB if teams actually want to issue them, so let's at least cut the charade ala when Barry Bonds would come up to the plate".


What does this have to do with unintentional IBBs?
   49. EddieA Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:21 PM (#5406666)
Don't forget when Bonds took about a bazillion intentional walks.


For those cases where Bonds was walked with the bases empty, not much else could have happened other than him going to first base. That is the only circumstance I can imagine where there isn't some risk to the defense in throwing the 4 pitches. Also, for some reason I have vivid memories of Bonds unwrapping during the 4th pitch, scowling at the opposing dugout, and gently handing his equipment to the batboy. It was somewhat entertaining I guess and more than having him just jog to first base like a pinch runner.

Love that Texas A&M link.
   50. JRVJ Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:21 PM (#5406667)
IBBs exist. If MLB bans them, teams can still issue unintentional IBBs (as very correctly pointed out by 35 above).
   51. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:24 PM (#5406669)
Because the so-called potentially negative consequences are so small (as above, WP/PB/having the hitter groove one too close to the plate), that they're not what's driving this.


Perhaps, but that doesn't really answer the question. If a team chooses Tactic A, then the default position is that they should have to face all of the negative consequences that come from that choice. Absent anything else, we shouldn't be looking to absolve them of those downside risks.

Is that enough to warrant not changing the rules? Not necessarily, if you make a strong case that the rule should be changed. The problem, MLB hasn't made that strong case, or much of a case at all.
   52. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:30 PM (#5406673)

IBBs exist. If MLB bans them, teams can still issue unintentional IBBs (as very correctly pointed out by 35 above).


He wasn't talking about unintentional IBBs. He was talking about IBBs. UIBBs exist in that middle ground between having your catcher stand up and point away from the hitter, and pitching a guy carefully. The PAs where you keep your catcher in his crouch, but don't come all that close to the strike zone. You hope you get the guy to chase something, but you're not really expecting it.



   53. JRVJ Posted: February 22, 2017 at 12:42 PM (#5406681)
Perhaps, but that doesn't really answer the question. If a team chooses Tactic A, then the default position is that they should have to face all of the negative consequences that come from that choice. Absent anything else, we shouldn't be looking to absolve them of those downside risks.

Is that enough to warrant not changing the rules? Not necessarily, if you make a strong case that the rule should be changed. The problem, MLB hasn't made that strong case, or much of a case at all.


I disagree on both points. On the first one, you seem to have a very rigid belief in the sanctity of the sport "as is". As such, you seem to be very lukewarm to absolving the defending team from downside risks. I respectfully do not see IBBs as an integral part of baseball (I mean, really?), and the downside risks are so miniscule that this is just grasping at straws.

I disagree asa to MLB having to make a strong case about this. This is a very "de minimis" matter.

He wasn't talking about unintentional IBBs. He was talking about IBBs. UIBBs exist in that middle ground between having your catcher stand up and point away from the hitter, and pitching a guy carefully. The PAs where you keep your catcher in his crouch, but don't come all that close to the strike zone. You hope you get the guy to chase something, but you're not really expecting it.


Let's concentrate on the fact that you acknowledge that there is such as thing as UIBBs. Since you do, then my whole rationale about how you can't really forbid UIBBs should make sense to you.
   54. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 01:01 PM (#5406697)
n the first one, you seem to have a very rigid belief in the sanctity of the sport "as is". As such, you seem to be very lukewarm to absolving the defending team from downside risks. I respectfully do not see IBBs as an integral part of baseball (I mean, really?), and the downside risks are so miniscule that this is just gasping at straws.


For starters, I think when you're changing the way the game is played, you should have more than miniscule gains in mind. Yes, I do believe that. You've made no points to disabuse me of that notion.

Baseball requires defensive players to complete outs to get outs (no dropped strike three). To touch home plate to score runs. To throw four balls to walk a guy. It really doesn't do automatic. And thus, if you're going to move away from one of the rules that's governed the way the game is played for more than 100 years, I think you should have a damn good reason to do so.

And I'm not even sure what you were getting at with the downside risks argument you're making. My belief is that if one side is choosing a specific tactic, in this case, the defense, removing downside risks from that decision (however small) should be avoided. I don't see how that's particularly controversial.

In this specific case, the IBB is not just a choice by the defense, but one that really runs counter to the central appeal of the sport (the pitcher-batter battle, specifically among the game's best hitters, the guys most likely to get IBB'd). We should never be looking to make that particular tactic more appealing to the defense, regardless how miniscule those gains in appeal are.

If the change to the point-and-walk IBB introduced a new downside risk to the defense for the choice, or eliminated a downside risk to the offense, then the change could have more supporting it. It really doesn't.

Let's concentrate on the fact that you acknowledge that there is such as thing as UIBBs. Since you do, then my whole rationale about how you can't really forbid UIBBs should make sense to you.


I was asking what it had to do with the original comment, which said nothing about UIBBs, but IBBs. I wasn't suggesting you could do away with UIBBs (or IBBs).
   55. JRVJ Posted: February 22, 2017 at 01:26 PM (#5406718)
I'll let you have the last word, because as mentioned in 37, we have different SUBJECTIVE opinions on the matter, and surely can agree to disagree.
   56. Ziggy's screen name Posted: February 22, 2017 at 01:41 PM (#5406735)
I always wanted Bonds to take a swing at some point during the IBB, essentially saying "okay, fine, I'll give you a strike, now let's play some baseball".
   57. Rusty Priske Posted: February 22, 2017 at 01:46 PM (#5406739)
The reason I am okay with the change is very simple - intentional walks are LITERALLY the most boring part of watching a baseball game. (In-inning pitching changes would be a second. Changing those would be a major change to the game. Changing intentional walks is a really minor way to erase something dull.)

I actually find it funny that people find the replay system slow and boring and are against this change. The replay system involves some measure of anticipation. An intentional walk doesn't. (Hoping that the batter makes a bad decision and tries to hit the ball anyway?)
   58. Khrushin it bro Posted: February 22, 2017 at 01:54 PM (#5406748)
Ok, I don't understand how you can go from phrase 1 to phrase 2.


It's easier to point to first than to lob 4 balls. Simple as that.
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 01:57 PM (#5406755)
The reason I am okay with the change is very simple - intentional walks are LITERALLY the most boring part of watching a baseball game.


I'd say the most boring part of baseball is the 30 second between every pitch. You know, the real problem.

(In-inning pitching changes would be a second. Changing those would be a major change to the game. Changing intentional walks is a really minor way to erase something dull.)


Outlawing mid-inning pitching changes would be a major change, and something I don't support. Mandating relievers pitch to two batters instead of one or reducing the number of warm-up pitches wouldn't be such a monumental shift.

In contrast, a walk has been four balls thrown out of the strike zone for more than 100 years. Now it doesn't have to be. I think that's a big change.

(Hoping that the batter makes a bad decision and tries to hit the ball anyway?)


I think big league hitters, the kind who get I'BB'd, have a pretty good idea whether it's a good idea to swing. It's a BP fastball in a situation when your opponent doesn't want you swinging.
   60. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:19 PM (#5406768)
The reason I am okay with the change is very simple - intentional walks are LITERALLY the most boring part of watching a baseball game.
No. The most boring part of watching a baseball game is when nothing is happening. On an intentional walk, something is happening. Not a lot, but something. The pitcher wandering around the pitcher's mound while the batter stands around checking the signs, and adjusting his gloves, protective armor, hat, belt, etc. is the most boring part.
   61. Rusty Priske Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5406772)
I'd say the most boring part of baseball is the 30 second between every pitch. You know, the real problem.


I agree with the latter part of that sentence and disagree with the former. I agree that the accumulation of those periods of time lead to longer games. I disagree that the time between pitches is boring. The moment when the pitcher is staring in, just before the pitch, is amazing. That IS baseball.

I am in the 'subjective' camp, for the most part. You have your opinion, I have mine. That's all good.

I have a problem with the second part of your post, though. The idea that forcing relievers to pitch to a least two batters is a SMALLER change than being able to call for an intentional walk is straight up ludicrous.
   62. Zach Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:27 PM (#5406774)
Of all the stupid rules in all the world...
   63. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:29 PM (#5406778)
   64. Zach Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:30 PM (#5406779)
And Selig had his share of stupid rule changes, too - look at "This Time it Counts".

To be fair to Selig, that was a stupid rule change that resulted in teams actually competing in the All Star Game again. For a while there, it turned into an unwatchable exhibition.
   65. Rusty Priske Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:39 PM (#5406790)
To be fair to Selig, that was a stupid rule change that resulted in teams actually competing in the All Star Game again. For a while there, it turned into an unwatchable exhibition.


Did the game actually seem any different to you after the rule change than before?

I really don't think it made any noticeable difference on the field.

And what do you mean 'turned into an exhibition'? It was (and is) an exhibition. Right from the first time it was played.
   66. EddieA Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:50 PM (#5406803)
The most boring part of baseball is pitching changes.

Jason Kipnis tweeted he has scored twice on overthrows on intentional walks, so mistakes are not that uncommon.
   67. SoSH U at work Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:53 PM (#5406808)
To be fair to Selig, that was a stupid rule change that resulted in teams actually competing in the All Star Game again. For a while there, it turned into an unwatchable exhibition.


That was a rule change that turned the privilege of hosting the seventh game of the World Series (if necessary) to one based on a miniscule amount of merit from one based on taking the year and dividing by two. Tying HFA to the All-Star game may be somewhat stupid, but it was no more stupid than the previous method.
   68. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: February 22, 2017 at 02:59 PM (#5406818)
Sarcastically, Russell Martin chimed in and suggested that if Major League Baseball really wanted to quicken the pace of games, they could eliminate players circling the bases after a home run. Then he turned to a reporter nearby and said, you can Tweet that.
   69. . Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5406820)
Pointless in the grand scheme of things, for the functional equivalent of zero return, creates a pretend "walk."

Yuck.
   70. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: February 22, 2017 at 03:31 PM (#5406861)
IMPORTANT UPDATE:

In 2017, for the first time ever, it will be possible for a pitcher to throw a no-hitter without throwing a single pitch.
   71. JAHV Posted: February 22, 2017 at 04:23 PM (#5406932)
The moment when the pitcher is staring in, just before the pitch, is amazing. That IS baseball.


Absolutely. But let's define the length of "moment." I would call that moment roughly five seconds. Anything above and beyond that is extra. And sure, SOME of that is necessary for the pitcher to gather himself and maybe check a baserunner. But there is no reason for 20 seconds to pass without a pitch being thrown or a pickoff throw being made. You're not losing the moment we all love by eliminating the extra time spent huffing around the mound or messing with batting gloves.

As for the IBB issue, I've agreed with everything SoSH has said here. You're removing the downside risk for making a defensive decision and making something automatic that doesn't need to be. If we were talking about saving 15 minutes a game, I'd be more amenable to it. But it's not worth it for 30 seconds every other game.
   72. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 22, 2017 at 05:05 PM (#5406980)
You're ... making something automatic that doesn't need to be.

That's my biggest gripe with it. I hate the idea of an "automatic" anything on general principle. A batter doesn't get an automatic home run (yet) for hitting the ball over the fence, although I'm sure Manfred would consider it. The batter has to touch all the bases in order first. A pitcher doesn't get an automatic strikeout (yet) when a batter swings and misses at strike three. The catcher has to cleanly catch the ball to record the putout, although I'm sure Manfred would consider that too in order to shave a couple more seconds off of each game time for the catcher to retrieve the ball and tag the batter or throw to first. The batter reaching first or even second when the catcher throws the ball away is one of those rare quirks that baseball apparently doesn't need any more in the Manfred Era. The expedience of the automatic result is preferable to the rare oddball result that takes a little longer to complete.
   73. Hysterical & Useless Posted: February 22, 2017 at 05:20 PM (#5406987)
I respectfully do not see IBBs as an integral part of baseball


No, but actually throwing pitches IS.
   74. Internet Commenter Posted: February 22, 2017 at 07:25 PM (#5407050)
This could've been an interesting change if the batter was awarded two bases.
   75. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 22, 2017 at 07:40 PM (#5407060)
I have a problem with the second part of your post, though. The idea that forcing relievers to pitch to a least two batters is a SMALLER change than being able to call for an intentional walk is straight up ludicrous.
One is a change to game play on the field, and one isn't. One could play a game of baseball without any substitutions at all, and it would be the same game. So a fortiori, merely limiting substitutions isn't a change to the game. But saying that people can suddenly appear on base, without doing anything, that a plate appearance can end without a pitch even having been thrown, is a complete change to the play of the game.
   76. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 22, 2017 at 07:45 PM (#5407063)
But let's define the length of "moment." I would call that moment roughly five seconds. 


In the Italian league it's long enough to sing an aria.
   77. villageidiom Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:01 PM (#5407151)
But how often do you think the manager is issuing an IBB specifically to give his reliever the time to warm up? It's issued because the club would rather face the next guy/have a force than the one up, and he's either staying with the pitcher on the hill, or the next reliever is ready to go already.
I think most often a manager is issuing an IBB to avoid one batter or to set up a force play. That won't change. But whether he opts for the instant IBB that gives his reliever enough time for 1 warmup pitch, or the traditional IBB that gives his reliever up to 8 warmup pitches depending on how long the current pitcher takes between pitches, will depend on how ready the reliever is.
   78. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 22, 2017 at 11:52 PM (#5407164)
I think most often a manager is issuing an IBB to avoid one batter or to set up a force play. That won't change. But whether he opts for the instant IBB that gives his reliever enough time for 1 warmup pitch, or the traditional IBB that gives his reliever up to 8 warmup pitches depending on how long the current pitcher takes between pitches, will depend on how ready the reliever is.


I think I didn't phrase my initial response correctly. I understand what you're just saying, I'm just curious how often do you think the reliever needs that extra time when an IBB is being issued. Maybe it's more than I think, but it doesn't seem like a situation that comes up all that often.
   79. Howie Menckel Posted: February 23, 2017 at 12:41 AM (#5407173)
Pass.
   80. JAHV Posted: February 23, 2017 at 03:21 AM (#5407195)
I think I didn't phrase my initial response correctly. I understand what you're just saying, I'm just curious how often do you think the reliever needs that extra time when an IBB is being issued. Maybe it's more than I think, but it doesn't seem like a situation that comes up all that often.


I think that situation is a decent percentage of IBBs, and it makes sense. A pitcher struggles in the late innings. You get a guy up in the pen but hope your current pitcher can get you one more out. Instead he gives up a double, or maybe wild pitches a guy to second, and a dangerous hitter is at the plate. Your reliever isn't quite ready and you have a base open, so you issue the IBB to both waste time and set up a double play/avoid a good hitter.

It's certainly not every IBB, but I think it happens quite a bit. I could see plenty of managers continue to use the traditional IBB in these situations. Unless it's not even a thing they can do anymore at all. Are you even allowed to issue a traditional IBB? Or would a manager have to resort to an unintentional IBB?
   81. cardsfanboy Posted: February 23, 2017 at 03:55 AM (#5407197)

That was a rule change that turned the privilege of hosting the seventh game of the World Series (if necessary) to one based on a miniscule amount of merit from one based on taking the year and dividing by two. Tying HFA to the All-Star game may be somewhat stupid, but it was no more stupid than the previous method.


Agreed, I never understood the hatred of "this time it counts" other than the fact that there was probably no change... it was less arbitrary than the previous method, but it really didn't make a bit of difference... I get the ridicule, but I think often times the ridicule was misdirected.
   82. villageidiom Posted: February 23, 2017 at 08:45 AM (#5407207)
I think I didn't phrase my initial response correctly. I understand what you're just saying, I'm just curious how often do you think the reliever needs that extra time when an IBB is being issued. Maybe it's more than I think, but it doesn't seem like a situation that comes up all that often.
Even if it happens once, my point is that unless they're making more drastic rule changes a team could still do the IBB if so inclined.
   83. BDC Posted: February 23, 2017 at 09:09 AM (#5407211)
unless they're making more drastic rule changes a team could still do the IBB if so inclined

I think this would have to be the case. If you can pitch out, you can do a conventional IBB.
   84. SoSH U at work Posted: February 23, 2017 at 10:08 AM (#5407242)
Even if it happens once, my point is that unless they're making more drastic rule changes a team could still do the IBB if so inclined.


Yeah, I don't see any reason why they couldn't. I just don't do think we'll see it very often.
   85. SOLockwood Posted: February 23, 2017 at 10:44 AM (#5407274)
In those cases where a runner advances from 1st to 2nd mid-at-bat and/or the count goes to 3-0 and only then it's decided to intentionally walk the batter, will the remaining Balls be skipped? Or must the auto-IBB be decided at the beginning of the plate appearance?
   86. SoSH U at work Posted: February 23, 2017 at 10:54 AM (#5407281)

In those cases where a runner advances from 1st to 2nd mid-at-bat and/or the count goes to 3-0 and only then it's decided to intentionally walk the batter, will the remaining Balls be skipped? Or must the auto-IBB be decided at the beginning of the plate appearance?


I'd guess that you could perform it at any time. Then again, I'd guess you've given more thought to how this plays out than Manfred, so who really knows.

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