Palladino: Eliminating Intentional Walks Hurts A Perfectly Good Game

By Ernie Palladino
» Extra Ernie Palladino Columns

The American public needs shorter baseball video games.

So, in fact, MLB selected the worst attainable method to get there.

This week, these sensible heads within the government workplaces declared that the “ineffective” 4-pitch intentional stroll would go the best way of the Dodo Fowl, changed by a easy sign from the dugout for the runner to take his base.

Different modifications to the character of the grand previous recreation are additionally being thought-about, together with beginning additional innings with a runner on second.

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All of it comes within the identify of rushing up the sport. Positive, you need quicker video games? Alter the way it’s performed. That’s the reply.

No, it’s not. However the actual reply is one thing baseball management doesn’t even need to think about. That countless string of commercials between innings and through pitching modifications is the main purpose for sore rumps as video games now final three 1/2 hours or longer. If baseball actually cared about shortening the clock, they’d depart just a little cash on the desk. Give pitchers 5 warmup pitches as an alternative of 10, and minimize the business break in half.

However salaries and revenue margins being what they’re, one can be loopy to assume any government, from Commissioner Rob Mansfield right down to a person franchise’s touring secretary, would condone depriving the beer and erectile dysfunction individuals of a second of display time.

However altering the sport isn’t the best way to do it, both.

The intentional stroll will probably be notably missed, not as a result of it’s all that thrilling, however due to the stuff that sometimes occurs. Simply because the catcher stands up together with his mitt out doesn’t imply every little thing mechanically goes as deliberate. It’s the goof-ups and bits of subterfuge that shall be missed.

Ever see the catcher give the sign after which leap again into his crouch for a pitch proper down Broadway? It occurs every now and then, usually leaving a flustered batter to flail on the subsequent two pitches. Or, conversely, a pitch meant for approach outdoors the strike zone will get thrown too shut and subsequently will get whacked right into a run-scoring hit. Or the pitcher throws it to the backstop, permitting a runner on third to attain.

All of it occurs a few occasions per season. Add to that the truth that intentional walks are referred to as as soon as each 2.6 video games on common, and it’s apparent that its…

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