Will changing the intentional walk rule ruin baseball? | The Tylt

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Will changing the intentional walk rule ruin baseball?
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Critics say MLB is trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist. Intentional walks are fairly rare. Factor in the fact that the MLB estimates the change will only shave off one minute, and the change simply doesn't make sense.

But there's one thing that everyone shares, from the traditionalists to the nerds to the casual fans, and it goes something like this: Baseball is fascinated with the idea of the hyper-rare, the 1-in-1,000, the 1-in-10,000, the 1-in-a-million. It's why the purists insist that you watch every awful at-bat from every pitcher, just to feel rewarded when one of them gets a hit. It's why there are still people who know the name Bill Wambsganss. It's why we remember the squirrels on the field, the mitts thrown to first with baseballs in them, and the hitters who swing at a pitchout to protect a hit-and-run.

Getting rid of the four-pitch walk limits the world of possibility in baseball for no real gain.

It's why baseball fans will take up arms if you try to take the freaks and the flukes away from them. Call it the Church of Youneverknow, and it holds that nothing is more sacred in baseball than the slightest possibility of a fluke occurrence. And this faction is currently angry because the rules of baseball are changing , and intentional walks are going away.
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That said, the intentional walk has never been especially popular among fans. Team managers are okay with the change, saying the rule change does not have a large effect on the game's strategy, but could help speed up the game a bit.

Getting rid of the old-fashioned intentional walk would eliminate about a minute of dead time per walk. In an age when intentional walks actually have been declining -- there were just 932 all last season (or one every 2.6 games) -- that time savings would be minimal. But MLB saw the practice of lobbing four meaningless pitches as antiquated.
"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
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Will changing the intentional walk rule ruin baseball?
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