I’m no baseball purist.
I’m not going to try to convince you that Christy Mathewson was a better pitcher than Clayton Kershaw.
(I just like mentioning Christy Mathewson.)
I’m not going to try to convince you that Babe Ruth was the greatest ever. (He was. This is not up for debate. If you wish to disagree, I encourage you to set up a Babe Ruth Hater blog. Seriously. This blog is not for you.)
I’m not going to try to convince you that baseball was better in the “good old days.”
Because this, for one.
There are many innovations and changes over the years that have made baseball better. I’m all for ’em.
Putting facemasks on catchers? Good.
Infield fly rule? Kinda weird, but good.
Balk rule? To be honest, I don’t see the point, but I’m good with it. Sure. Balk it up!
Designated hitter? Very good. (Stop arguing, National League, just give in already. DH. Good.)
New 2017 rule mandating that four-pitch intentional walks will no longer include four pitches, but will simply require a simple “Oh waiter? Check please.” wave of the hand from the dugout? Are you kidding?
Baseball’s rule-makers promise us that this simple (stupid) new rule will speed things up. (It was also the only rule change baseball and the player’s union could agree on.)
Four-pitch intentional walks will no longer be an agonizing, endless, thankless ordeal that has ruined the game for countless would-be baseball fans who don’t have the time to spare for such frivolousness.
Time saved? 35 seconds per game. Baseball will be fun again!
I’m not going to waste my 35 seconds arguing about how stupid a rule this is.
Sure, the human attention span is now just eight seconds, which means, congratulations humans!, goldfish are now more thoughtful than we are.
Has no problem with a four-pitch intentional walk.
Anyway, sometimes weird things happen during intentional walks. Weird things that will never happen again, because we don’t have the attention span of a goldfish.
Earlier this week, in an extra-innings college game, an intentional-walk pitch soared over the catcher’s head, allowing the winning run to score.
And, here’s a very young Miguel Cabrera in a game against the Baltimore Orioles in 2006 …
“I’ve just never seen anybody walk anybody like that.” ~ Jim Palmer
Because you had to have a shorter game. You’re oh-so-busy with all the important stuff you have to do. You couldn’t sit there for a few seconds to let a four-pitch intentional walk accurately include four pitches. You had to have your stupid 35 seconds back.
Now, you do. I hope you’re happy.