The Ole Ball Game

Isn't there a new rule about "intentional walk"?

by Jim
(Phoenix, AZ)

Jim asked: This past weekend (May 29-31, 2015; and even tonight, June 1) as I watched the Arizona Diamondbacks games, I noticed several 4-pitch "intentional walks."

I thought there was a new rule for this season that if there was going to be an intentional walk, the manager was supposed to give the umpire a 4-finger 'salute' and the batter would automatically be 'awarded' first base.

Does this rule actually exist?

If it does, why isn't it being followed?

Rick answered: Jim, thank you for your question.

While that topic probably was talked about in the context of ways to speed up the games, I don't believe it was instituted for the 2015 season.

MLB is very interested in speeding up the time it takes to play their games. They did put in a rule that a batter must keep one foot in the batter's box at all times, unless forced out for some reason.

Game times have come down some, the intentional walk rule probably would be one that won't be initiated in my opinion.

While it would speed up the process, it is a play which can be a game changer, as occasionally a pitcher will turn loose a wild pitch in that situation and a run scores. It happened last fall in the National League Championship Series, between the Nationals and the Giants, becoming a game changer as the Giants went on to win.

Yours in baseball,


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