And that’s why I am now going to introduce my fully-operational intentional walk idea. This is playing off Bill James’ ideas and some thoughts I’ve had on the subject before. Now I have a rule I feel good about it. The rule would be simply this:
• If you are walked on four pitches, you have the right to DECLINE the walk.
That’s the whole rule. I think this is not just fair, it also fits into the larger fabric and history of the game. Walks were created to impress upon the pitcher the importance of pitching the ball in the strike zone — in other words, the importance of giving the hitter a fair opportunity to hit the ball.
Hey, that's kinda nuts. But of course it's more a point of discussion than an actual possibility, so what do you think? Can't say I love the idea, although I wouldn't mind seeing it tried out in, say, spring training.