Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Posted by el duque at 8:11 AM
Now, kiss it goodbye. In a ludicrous attempt to speed up the game, the tiny-fingered lords of baseball have taken it upon themselves to eliminate the intentional pass. From now on, instead of requiring a pitcher to throw four balls, a manager will make a hand signal, and the batter will stroll to first base. We will save a minute.
Let me outline the stupidity of this in four lobbed pitches.
1. It won't speed up anything. An intentional walk takes about 60 seconds and occurs once in every 2.6 games. This is progress? The reason games go so long is the concrete dead zones of commercials that are stuffed between half-innings and pitching changes. Want to shrink the game? Require pitchers to be warmed up when reaching the mound. Or cut commercials. Why are intentional walks banned? Easy. The lords never monetized them.
2. It won't boost excitement. Intentional walks come in crisis moments, with a big hitter at the plate and a pitcher slightly unhinged. The game is on the line. The crowd is standing. The on-deck batter is glaring over this clear sign of disrespect.This is the theater of baseball at its best. This is crunch time. These are NOT the moments you cut.
3. Mistakes do get made. Balls get thrown in the dirt - or too close to the plate. Sanchez's ball electrified Yankee Stadium. Now... nothing? Unbelievable.
4. It's a sign of obsessive tinkering - generally a bad thing. Look at the NFL. Every year, the football lords tweak the game, creating confusion. Yet the games only get longer - mostly because video replays practically require lawyers to rule on infractions. Baseball didn't tinker with time-cherished rules. Until now, that is.
And they actually are pondering starting extra inning games with runners on base. Insane.