Major League Baseball may make unilateral rule changes for 2018

There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The high muckety-mucks and players of Major League Baseball have made a decision to get rid of requiring pitchers to throw four pitches to intentionally walk a batter, making the pitchless intentional walk a reality for the 2017 season.

"I don't think that's a big deal", Girardi said Wednesday at Steinbrenner Field. Will Cleveland Indians fans rain boos down from the bleachers the first time Terry Francona waves Eric Hosmer to first base late in a heated July showdown?

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change. Reuters first reported the news.

"I'm OK with it".

"I have great respect for the labor relations process, and I have a pretty good track record for getting things done with the MLBPA", he said.

The league implemented the change in order to cut down on the overall time of games, however, the Wall Street Journal calculated that only 14 seconds would be shaved off of each game, as there was one walk every 2.6 games last season.

"When a guy hits a home run, to speed up the game should he - just like in softball - just walk to the dugout?"

While there is certain to be a fight with the player's union over the imposition of the rule at the major league level, I wanted to see what the players in the minors thought of the pitch clock.

"I've often wondered why we don't bring in your shortstop, have the pitcher stand at short, and let the shortstop walk him, because they're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is". Manfred argued that these changes would have "little effect of the competitive character of the game" but would "take dead time out of the game" and "keep fans engaged". Commissioner Rob Manfred has suggested a number of possible rule changes in recent weeks, but all of them were shot down by the MLB Players Association.

Sports leagues, like all creators of TV programming, are struggling to adjust to massive changes in the way consumers view video.

"It makes ideal sense that they would be going after name brand properties like the Major League Baseball", he said.

  • Julie Sanders