If you head out to a significant League Baseball game anytime soon, yes something you’re most likely going come miss:

- as in you’re walk to miss out on seeing it since it’s gone. It’s history.

You are watching: What is an intentional walk in baseball

- additionally as in you’re walk to miss it since it’s walk to take place so fast, you won’t recognize it happened.- weird enough, both misses are brought about by the same brand-new rule change.

No much longer in any kind of MLB game will over there be an intentional go involving four purposely thrown balls.

Now, as soon as a team wants to problem an intentional go (officially notated as IBB, for intentional basic on balls), the manager merely signals to the umpire the he intends to purposely walk the batter that is coming up or is at the plate in ~ the time.

It’s not clear what that signal from the manager is. Does he yell “Time!” and also rub his stomach? Or pretend to walk in place? not clear. He just “signals.”

It’s likewise not clear what the umpire says to the batter who’s to be walked intentionally. It could be “Take your base,” or “You’ve simply been granted an knowingly walk” or “Get outta here and go was standing on first.” It’s just not all that clear.

On one website, this explanation the the dominion and procedure was provided, which may or may not be the main language:

the start of a no-pitch intentional walk, allowing the protective team’s manager come signal a decision to the home plate umpire to intentionally walk the batter. Following the signal of the manager’s intention, the umpire will immediately award an initial base to the batter.”

Whatever it every means, when the manager signals the umpire, the batter automatically takes first.History made.

You can difficulty your friends through this trivia question: Who to be the very first player to it is in issued the no-pitch intentional walk?

The answer is Yadier Molina, catcher because that the St. Luigi Cardinals. It happened in the very very first game of the 2017 season against the Cubs.

It’s taking some time for players to acquire used to the brand-new rule. In the Angels’ very first game this season, Mike Trout had stretched a single into a twin and to be on second with no outs in the 8 hours inning against the A’s. Albert Pujols was around to settle into the batter’s box. Trout was sizing up the situation.

When Trout looked in ~ home, Pujols no in the batter’s box. Instead, the was already standing on first base. According to the Los Angeles Times, Trout and Pujols simply looked at each other and laughed.

The “free pass” is currently the “fast pass.”

Why the change?

Supposedly, eliminating the four-pitch intentional to walk is viewed as crucial tool because that speeding the game up, or at the very least to give fans a an ext entertaining experience. Commissioner that Baseball plunder Manfred is on a project to enhance the game for fans, and also most transforms of late have involved trying to accelerate the “pace of game,” as major League Baseball describes it.

Here’s what the commissioner said before the season:

“I think the a mistake...to ignore the truth that our video game has adjusted and continues to change.... Last year, balls in play to be at a record low, and we all understand that things favor the usage of relief pitchers has changed dramatically in the last 30 years. Ns firmly convinced that ours fans—both our avid fans and also casual fans—want us to answers to and also manage the change that’s going on in the game.”

Still, most world think that eliminating the four-pitch intentional to walk isn’t yes, really going to do lot to speed up the game or improve it. and also if friend look in ~ the numbers, they space absolutely right around that.

According to main MLB statistics for 2016, there to be 932 intentional walks issued during the whole MLB season. Number crunching concludes that functions out to one intended walk for every three games.

Not exactly what you’d speak to a disruptive occurrence.

Why pick on the knowingly walk?

As it transforms out, the intended walk has actually been target before. Prior to the begin of the 1920 season, baseball owners proposed a rule change that would penalize a team for deliberately walking a batter: your idea was walk a guy and get fee an automatic balk, i beg your pardon would advancement any runners top top base.

Their thinking, interestingly follow me the very same lines as current rule-change ideas, was the move could increase scoring and assist boost attendance. Your proposal no granted.

However, a new wrinkle for the intended walk was introduced: From that season on, the catcher had to stand up and also call for the pitches by sticking out his arm while was standing in the batter’s box. It is the means it’s to be from climate till now.

At least, it spins the finish of critical year’s human being Series.

And that’s why—or how—some pitchers have thrown a wild key when merely trying to throw an intended ball, allowing a runner on third (or second) basic to score a to win run.

And the why a handful of players have actually been able come swing and reach out sufficient to obtain a piece of a sphere for a hit, and also even journey in a go-ahead run in extra innings. (You deserve to see the on YouTube. Miguel Cabrera the the Tigers versus the Baltimore Orioles, 2006.) The last male to obtain his bat on an errant to plan intentional round was Gary Sanchez that the Yankees in 2016. He finished up hitting a sac fly, driving in a run.

So, how countless times carry out you think a batter has gained a basic hit turn off an knowingly ball? You could be surprised. Only 12 time in the past 100 years, follow to the society for American Baseball Research.

Miguel Cabrera’s 2006 base hit to be the critical one.

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and also unless the rule transforms again, the will remain the last one forevermore.

Resources: sabr.org; https://en.wikipedia.org; latimes.com; http://m.yankees.mlb.com