MLB is adding a new rule that allows a team to intentionally walk a batter with just a signal from the dugout. The pitcher will no longer have to throw four pitches outside the strike zone. Is this a bad idea? Well, who’s to say, but yes, yes it is.
The reason for the new rule is MLB’s current obsession with speeding up the game, because the human attention span is now shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. (Although I frequently make shit up if it fits my worldview, that is actually a true scientific fact, and if you don’t believe me see here.) Well, if you do the math, and I have, an intentional walk only happens, on average, once every three games. If an intentional walk takes about, what, a minute, that means MLB is saving an average of 20 seconds a game. BFD.
But in exchange for those 20 seconds, we lose the possibility of seeing something crazy happen, like a runner scoring on an overthrown ball, or the pitcher hanging one close enough to the batter that he knocks it out of the park. That’s the best part of watching baseball, when crazy shit like that happens. And it does happen, as you can see from the video above. And all to save a measly 20 seconds a game. Doesn’t even make any sense.