The MLB is reportedly looking at ridding the game of the useless procedure of tossing four wide balls to the plate to intentionally walk the batter. I have always wondered why the league did not just simply toss one pitch to the standing catcher and then allow the runner to take his free base. Sparing us that one pitch that I propose for a simple signal is even better.
The league is using the guise of “pace of action” to attempt to implement the move. That’s BS! The league just wants to get rid of what is generally known as one of the more boring aspects of the game. Look at how the CFL and NFL moved back the spot of the extra point after a touchdown is kicked. Same concept here! In this case, instead of taking the most routine play in the game and making it more exciting, you are effectively “fast-forwarding” fans back to the mano a mano battle between pitcher versus batter.
The traditionalist baseball fan will fight against change because that is what traditionalists do. You will hear about the glorious few moments that a pitcher does not throw it quite far enough outside and a batter connects for a hit. You will hear about the minimal times when an intentional pitch goes far too outside creating hilarity and havoc on the basepaths. So for the small percentage of a chance that a ball gets away from the catcher, you are willing to see four balls lobbed up to the plate? Really!
The athletes who play baseball make the game look easier than it really is. The plays you often see Josh Donaldson or Nolan Arenado make at third base are extremely difficult. The picking the ball out of the dirt play seen so often by first baseman is not near as easy as you would be led to believe by simply watching the game everyday on your television. The “Superman” catches made by outfielders are called Superman catches for a reason. You do NOT watch a baseball game waiting or hoping for a position player to make an error, yes we have all hoped for some divine intervention when a “routine” ball is hit by our favourite slugger toward a waiting fielder, but that is not why we watch. One of the reasons w all watch the game of baseball is for these amazing feats performed by the fielders.
So tell me again that you want to see a pitcher lobbing a ball up to the plate four times in hopes that something magically goes awry? I’m sorry, I don’t believe you!
I am much more excited to see how a batter does with men on base than seeing a batter helplessly watch four pitches. Yes, even if the next batter is a pitcher! I would rather see him flail at three pitches over the plate than watch my number eight batter think about where he is going for a bite to eat after the game while the opposing team plays out a boring strategy.
You cannot make a pitcher pitch to a batter, that goes against the fabric of the game. Asking teams to simply signify an intentional walk instead of throwing four meaningless pitches is not against the fabric of the game, it is long overdue logic.