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Thursday, April 20, 2017

The "Baseball Played The Right Way!" Story

Grandson Caden who just turned 12 last week.
It was an ordinary day.  Talking to my grandson, Caden, about how well he did in his pre-season game today.  Told me he played 3rd a couple of innings, SS a couple of innings, 1st for an inning and pitched an inning.  Said he struck out two batters, walked one and another hit the ball back to him and he threw him out.  Since I have been having some medical problems, I haven't been able to see any of his preseason games, but all that will change Tuesday evening when his league season begins and the weather is predicted to be mild.  My son, Derek, is coaching Caden's team for the 2nd year.  Had a fantastic season last year and with Caden leading the way on the mound this year, he hopes to have another good season.  I then asked Caden what he thought of the new rule change that has been initiated this year in the Major Leagues.  Rule states that instead of having to throw four pitches to intentionally walk a batter, you just have to declare you want to walk the batter and he just goes to first base.  The rule was changed to attempt to speed up the game.  Caden said he saw it called one time on TV in the pre-season, but not since the season has begun.   I told Caden I didn't think it was going to speed up the game more than a minute or two.  And, it may take the thrill out of walking the batter without making a mistake along the way.  I told Caden I remember a few years ago, while watching a Jr. Midget (ages 13-14) game at Mt. Joy's Kunkle Field with his uncle, and my other son Tad, the Manheim Township team filled the bases with two outs.  The team leader for MT came to the plate with his team behind by two runs.  Then, something happened that doesn't happen very often.  The manager for the other team told his pitcher to intentionally walk the batter, which would give MT a run, but stop the batter from getting a hit and scoring more than the one run.  The pitcher threw three balls far away from the batter, but on his final ball, threw a bit to close to the batter who swung his bat and hit the ball over the fence.  MT won the game.  So, announcing you want to walk the batter without pitching to him will take that slim chance away that something exciting may happen during an intentional walk.  I also remember a World Series game years ago when the manager walked to the mound to talk to his pitcher.  The batter had three balls and two strikes on him and when the manager left the mound it looked as if he was telling the pitcher to throw another ball and intentionally walk the batter.  So, the batter just stood there, waiting to walk to first.  Funny thing happened though when the pitcher threw it across the plate and struck the batter out.  Sort of a trick play, but not illegal.  So, am I in favor of the new rule?  Not at all!  May save 35 seconds during the game, as established by an baseball analyst, but takes away from the excitement of the intentional walk.  Caden agreed with me, but of course he is my grandson who would agree with anything his Tampah said.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.   

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