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Major League Baseball: Five pace of play change ideas

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Intentional Walk – Just take your base

This is a very quick and easy change that can be made.  If the manager signals to the catcher or the pitcher to give the batter the free pass – then just relay it to the umpire and tell the batter to drop the bat and go to first.  There is no need to throw the four pitches and waste the time and effort.  While I know there have been a couple of wild throws to happen and this allows a possible runner on base to move up – those occurrences are extremely rare.

My local high school league had this rule implemented – I’m sure others, if not all, also have this rule and it just makes sense.  Check out video of a Red Sox game when David Ortiz gets intentionally walked.  It happens almost every game.  He still goes through a routine (a slightly shorter one than his normal) while he knows he’s getting a free pass.  It just makes for more time of zero action on the field – which is essentially the real issue.

I don’t like the intentional walk – I’d rather see a pitcher go out there and at least try to throw something out of the zone and see if you can get an anxious hitter to bite.  But a lot of managers do not want to take that chance when there is a hitter like Big Papi or Mike Trout up to the plate with two on in a one-run game.  I just think it’s an easy way out of having to play the game.

Next: Don't just pull

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