The further we get into this – as we peel the smelly onion back layer by layer – I’m just realizing Rob Manfred is such a slimy little weasel. The guy seems to have little to no interest of maintaining all that is holy for the sacred game that has remained largely unchanged since the late 1800’s. He’s so damn progressive. And in this sport, a mind like that is dangerous.
The latest changes to our sacred game are reported by Jayson Stark. Baseball has filed a proposal that would scrap the four-pitch intentional walk, as well as issue changes to the strike zone.
MLB’s proposal would raise the lower part of the strike zone to the top of the hitter’s knees. Since 1996, the bottom of the zone has been defined as “the hollow beneath the kneecap.” But data shows that umpires have been increasingly calling strikes on so many pitches below the knees that, if umpires enforce the redefined strike zone, it would effectively raise the zone by an estimated 2 inches.
The change in the intentional-walk rule would end the long-standing practice of requiring the pitcher to toss four soft pitches outside the strike zone. Instead, a team could just signify it wants to issue an intentional walk, and the hitter would be sent directly to first base.
You want to continue to tinker with my strike zone to get the desired results that you want? Fine by me. Screw with it all you want. School your umpires to call it differently than they’ve grown up learning. They’ll still mess it up because they’re human and that’s beautiful.
But change my mundane version of intentional walks? No! Why? It’s fine how it is. There’s something peaceful about not only knowing your guy is getting four free ones, but then seeing them surrender them like little egg drops so peacefully. One at a time.
If Manfred keeps this shit up, we will have a ‘Rob Manfred Weasel of the Week’ award on the blog.