I am so angry I could spit.
There are already so many problems with modern baseball… now this.
Is the Novus Ordo age of baseball upon us?
From Hot Air:
Another bad idea from MLB: Intentional walks will now be automatic
Is there no non-problem Commissioner Rob Manfred won’t try to solve?
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, it was announced Wednesday…
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. [STUPID STUPID STUPID! Sometimes something doesn’t go as expected!]
This is less egregious than the other proposed rule change, to begin each extra inning with a runner on second, [LOL] but they’re both part of a trend of MLB trying to automate facets of the game that traditionally have depended, and should depend, on skill. Intentional walks are nearly automatic as is — but not entirely, as the lowlight reel below will remind you. (Once every decade or two, a hitter even manages to put a pitch in play during an intentional walk.) Eliminating a tiny amount of risk that requires a tiny amount of skill in the name of speeding up the game seems reasonable in theory, but how much speedier would the game actually be?
By one estimate, replacing an intentional walk with a dugout signal would make the average game … 35 seconds shorter. Another estimate says it’s more like 14 seconds. If you prefer to think of it in terms of pitch count, it would save an average of 1.54 pitches per contest. In exchange for that, you’d lose the fun of watching the visiting team’s pitcher booed lustily for 30 seconds while he walks the home team’s slugger and you’d lose the minor suspense involved in seeing if he accidentally throws the ball away. Not a major sacrifice for a fan, but why is a sacrifice required at all?
This rule change is a special affront to a conservative temperament, I think, because it shows signs of poor policy thinking of the “change for change’s sake” variety. In isolation it might be tolerable; paired with the reform to extra innings, it feels like a slippery slope in which elements of the game that depend on execution — like, say, putting a man in scoring position — will be replaced by gimmicks meant to either save time or grab eyeballs.
Tinker tinker tinker. Tinkeritis. The Good Idea Fairies who plague all organizations should be shot on sight.
•The MLB has approved to change the intentional walk rule. Which now will be granted following dugout signal. Take a look at these classics. pic.twitter.com/g3iyEW5kB3
— Dylan (@DylansFreshTake) February 22, 2017
Wussify the game some more.
There are a lot of other ways to speed up the game. One of them would be to cut down the time batters step out – after every pitch – and adjust and readjust and adjust again. After every … blessed pitch.