MLB is about to make some changes, and a lot of purists are not going to be very happy about it.
For starters, the 4 pitch intentional walk is about to become a thing of the past. Now, you will simply signal that you want to walk a guy and off to first he goes. No more watching a pitcher struggle to throw a ball outside the zone, while praying to not throw the ball away. Of course you’ll never hold your breath hoping the pitcher misses inside and some slugger deposits the ball into the Right Field bleachers.
This is a change that’s been talked about and debated for years. On one hand, a purist might argue that the game needs to be played all the way through, because throwing the pitches could lead to a mistake that alters the game. We’ve seen wild pitches on intentional walks before, so it’s a valid point.
Second and more importantly, the strike zone is about to be modified and ignored by umpires once again. Currently, the strike zone is defined as the area over the plate, between the batter’s knees and the mid point of their torso. You know, really scientific like that. It’s a wonder the zone changes from batter to batter and umpire to umpire. Instead of reinforcing the strike zone and actually, you know, punishing umpires with horrible strike zones, MLB has decided to make a change, to only further confuse pretty much everyone involved. The new strike zone will now stop at the top of the knee thereby shrinking the strike zone and infuriating even pitchers even further. I’m sure this will go over well. I’m also not really sure how shrinking the strike zone is supposed to help with the growing length of baseball games. Don’t look now, but baseball games are taking a LOT longer than they did last year.