You Want to Walk Someone? Throw Four Pitches
So Major League Baseball is strongly considering yet more alteration to the national pastime. Enough is enough.
It began with All-Star Games that now “count” toward something larger than a mid-season exhibition to flaunt the best of the best. Instead, it would determine home field for the World Series rather than, you know, whichever team had the best record at season’s end.
That was quickly followed alterations to catchers blocking home plate because Buster Posey suffered a season-ending injury a few years back, then shortening the amount of time between innings with pitch clocks in the very near future and after Chase Utley’s act of douchebaggery last October, players were now told how to slide and that the neighborhood play would be a thing of the past.
All things that have been in place for (quick glance at my watch) as long as baseball has been played.
Now the powers that be want to dictate that the bottom of the strike zone will be the top of the knees rather than below and potentially eliminate having to throw pitches for intentional walks.
Let’s focus on the latter.
Are you kidding me?
I’ve seen wild pitches and near wild pitches result during the act of an intentional walk. It can have an impact if not executed properly. Granted, not often, but it has happened.
Yes, simply holding up four fingers to the umpire and having whomever a team wants to offer up a free pass to will speed up the game, but blah, blah, freaking blah.
I have never gone to a game and thought to myself, “Enough already. I wanna get going.”
Believe me, I am not a proponent of four-hour games, but how much time would be saved by eliminating the need to toss four pitch outs?
And what if there are runners on second and third late in a game and some hurler uncorks an errant toss that eludes the catcher which leads to a run and another possible tally now just ninety feet away?
I’m all for player safety and making small adjustments to save a bit of time here and there, but at the end of the day, let the game be the game. However long that takes.
If a team wants to gift a baserunner, throw the ball four times. Then shut up.