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Watching a LL Regional game and I just learned that if a batter is given an intentional base on balls (in which no actual pitches are thrown) four pitches are still added to the pitcher's pitch count.  My question to LL umpires: what in the heck is the rationale for that rule?  

I mean, the pitch count is a safety rule (at least it is in high school).  If a pitcher doesn't actually pitch the ball...there are no safety issues (that's pretty much in the "common sense" department).  Thus, in HS (at least in my state) no pitches are added to F1's pitch count if a no-pitch intentional walk is awarded.  I can't wait to hear from you all as to LL's rationale on this one.

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Hah, you expect them to give us a rationale?  Two years ago they replaced the slightly looser and more rec-appropriate substitution rule with the tournament substitution rule, after rulebooks had been printed (it was a vote by the LL Congress, but still), and left us to twist in the wind while not being able to evenly dish out playing time as is appropriate in a more development focused organization.

I can rationalize that they want to discourage the tactic (not giving you a free shot to keep your best pitcher in longer), but that's all it is, my guesswork.

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4 minutes ago, stevis said:

Hah, you expect them to give us a rationale?  Two years ago they replaced the slightly looser and more rec-appropriate substitution rule with the tournament substitution rule, after rulebooks had been printed (it was a vote by the LL Congress, but still), and left us to twist in the wind while not being able to evenly dish out playing time as is appropriate in a more development focused organization.

I can rationalize that they want to discourage the tactic (not giving you a free shot to keep your best pitcher in longer), but that's all it is, my guesswork.

Yup. Without the "penalty" , it would absolutely be a strategic move to keep your pitchers count down to extend it to another possible inning / game without  "X" days of rest.

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Prevents “gaming” the pitch count regs by walking one or more stronger hitters to get to a weaker hitter when F1 is near a break point in the days  of  rest pitch count 

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The following excerpts are from an article dated February 2017 written by Tom Robinson for the GameChanger website. Even though Little League announced the rule change as an increase to the pace of play, Mr. Robinson says it really was for the following reason—

It was during the 2016 Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania that Goodlettsville (Tennessee) manager Joey Hale and Bend North (Oregon) manager Steve Mora found themselves in a chess match over an intentional walk in the opening game’s decisive inning.

Mora went to issue an intentional walk with Bend North, the Northwest Regional champion, trying to close out a 2-1 victory in the bottom of the sixth inning.

 Hale “declined” the intentional walk, choosing to have Zach McWilliams swing at a 2-0 pitch that was well out of reach in order to try to get starting pitcher Zach Reynolds closer to the 85-pitch limit.

 With the count now 2-1, Mora changed his mind. He went for and got the first out of the inning.

 By using six pitches instead of four, however, Reynolds left the game one batter earlier than he would have and the Southeast Regional champions wound up rallying for a 3-2 win…

With the new rule in place, the option to turn down an intentional walk in the hopes of driving up pitch counts will no longer be available. This change means managers will not have to figure that into the equation in the future, eliminating an odd Little League situation that would be far less likely to happen on other levels of baseball where pitch limits are not an issue.

 

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11 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

The following excerpts are from an article dated February 2017 written by Tom Robinson for the GameChanger website. Even though Little League announced the rule change as an increase to the pace of play, Mr. Robinson says it really was for the following reason—

It was during the 2016 Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania that Goodlettsville (Tennessee) manager Joey Hale and Bend North (Oregon) manager Steve Mora found themselves in a chess match over an intentional walk in the opening game’s decisive inning.

Mora went to issue an intentional walk with Bend North, the Northwest Regional champion, trying to close out a 2-1 victory in the bottom of the sixth inning.

 Hale “declined” the intentional walk, choosing to have Zach McWilliams swing at a 2-0 pitch that was well out of reach in order to try to get starting pitcher Zach Reynolds closer to the 85-pitch limit.

 With the count now 2-1, Mora changed his mind. He went for and got the first out of the inning.

 By using six pitches instead of four, however, Reynolds left the game one batter earlier than he would have and the Southeast Regional champions wound up rallying for a 3-2 win…

With the new rule in place, the option to turn down an intentional walk in the hopes of driving up pitch counts will no longer be available. This change means managers will not have to figure that into the equation in the future, eliminating an odd Little League situation that would be far less likely to happen on other levels of baseball where pitch limits are not an issue.

 

This makes no sense. You cannot decline an IW. You can swing at the pitches to get a strike call and drive up the pitch count. I think the author misunderstood something when he said "decline".

And no - that isn't the reason it was changed.  SJA has the real reason.

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I did a double-take when I read that too.  He meant that the coach instructed the hitter to swing, not that he had an option to declare.

 

I keep saying it about rule books and I beat this into the ground professionally ... WORDS MATTER.  If you are writing a published article you should know that.  To be fair, he did put quotes around “declined” to indicate an tongue-in-cheek use of the word.

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@The Man in Blue

I’m ashamed to say that I am part of the emoji generation. Whenever I read an article from contemporary news outlets, (vice, huff post, etc...) and even some big name news sources for that matter, I can’t do it without my red pen in hand. A lot of them are simple mistakes that should have been taught in middle school, and caught on the first edit of the article.  I can’t understand how multimillion dollar corps allow such atrocious errors to make it into print. People are too accustomed to speaking with ambiguous pictures. But on the same hand I can’t put the full onus on my generation because I’ve had professors try to teach me that nothing really has meaning, so it doesn’t matter what we say... <_<

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Mr. Rich Ives, I copied and pasted the excerpts from the article which means that the word decline which you so object to was in the original and the quote marks around that word are from the original as well. Those quote marks prove that your assertion is just that—an unsupported assertion. Those quote marks are called scare quotes and here’s a definition of the term--

Some writers put quotes around words they want to distance themselves from. Quotation marks used this way are commonly called scare quotes or shudder quotes. It’s a way of implying that you’re using a term in an unusual way or that you don’t necessarily approve of it. They can also be used to emphasize a word or phrase in a sentence in a mocking or annoyed tone.

Scare quotes are sort of like air quotes. I think the use of scare quotes in the article around the word decline shows just the opposite of your claim that the writer misunderstands the concept of an intentional base on balls. Why don’t you try to refute the facts in the article rather than criticize the writing style?  Let me help you by giving you a couple of facts to start your research. The game the writer cites was the fourth game of the first day of the 2016 LLWS (Thursday, August 18). Little League instituted the no-pitch IBB in the 2017 season. Good luck with your research and I am looking forward to your refutation of the article I posted.

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I've been to Congress but i can't claim to know to how anybody within Little League International thinks about this.

I can wildly speculate, though.  There's a rule that prohibits intentionally committing illegal pitches in order to walk batters.  So, at least one time, at least somebody thought intentional walks were a bad thing for Little League baseball.  Maybe they don't want to see a pitcher walk three guys to get to that substitute at the bottom of the order.  Maybe they want the stud to get his chance to hit.

I'm guessing this is a compromise between people with opposing viewpoints and makes no cohesive sense as an individual's opinion.

 

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8 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. Rich Ives, I copied and pasted the excerpts from the article which means that the word decline which you so object to was in the original and the quote marks around that word are from the original as well. Those quote marks prove that your assertion is just that—an unsupported assertion. Those quote marks are called scare quotes and here’s a definition of the term--

Some writers put quotes around words they want to distance themselves from. Quotation marks used this way are commonly called scare quotes or shudder quotes. It’s a way of implying that you’re using a term in an unusual way or that you don’t necessarily approve of it. They can also be used to emphasize a word or phrase in a sentence in a mocking or annoyed tone.

Scare quotes are sort of like air quotes. I think the use of scare quotes in the article around the word decline shows just the opposite of your claim that the writer misunderstands the concept of an intentional base on balls. Why don’t you try to refute the facts in the article rather than criticize the writing style?  Let me help you by giving you a couple of facts to start your research. The game the writer cites was the fourth game of the first day of the 2016 LLWS (Thursday, August 18). Little League instituted the no-pitch IBB in the 2017 season. Good luck with your research and I am looking forward to your refutation of the article I posted.

Did you read UIC's post What a July it Was?

A gazillion folks come here just to read the posts and learn without ever participating.   AKA Lurkers.

Do you want them to walk away thinking a offense can decline an IW?

 

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@Senor Azul

So first of all, it would be nice to supply a link to your source article by Tom Robinson. Since that did not happen I will. http://theseason.gc.com/basbeall-new-little-league-intentional-walk-rules-change-strategy

Second, @lawump's question was essentially, “why add four pitches to a pitch count after an IBB when a total of zero pitches were thrown.” The source text does not even come close to answering that question. In fact, all the article states is that the IBB rule was changed to not require the act of pitching. 

Third, @Rich Ives pointed out quite well that the use of the word “Decline” was inappropriate in this context. You claim this to be a stylistic approach; I disagree. I also find your need to explain how copy and paste works to be quite diminutive since no one ever claimed it worked any other way; nor was it implied that the article was confused for your own words. 

Foruth, there was also no citation to the “definition” of scare quotes. An easy google search could bring this up. The use of scare quotes is really a post-modernist approach of pointing out the flaws of language. The author’s intended use of scare quotes is pointless because it was lost on the audience. The message he is sending, is that he is too lazy to use correct terminology and would rather use words that confuse his audience. By his use of scare quotes, he admits to communicating incorrectly. He admits that there may be a better way of saying what he has to say, he just doesn’t want to think of how to do so. 

Fifth, I don’t mean any malice. I’m not looking for any more enemies (I already have enough of them behind the backstop). You just welcomed a refute so here it is. I probably could have stopped after my second point but I had some more to say. Again, you seem to have a positive reputation here so I’m not saying anything negative about you, I just think it would do you well to consider the article in light of the OP’s question.

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On 8/10/2019 at 6:34 PM, The Short Umpire said:

@The Man in Blue

I’m ashamed to say that I am part of the emoji generation. Whenever I read an article from contemporary news outlets, (vice, huff post, etc...) and even some big name news sources for that matter, I can’t do it without my red pen in hand. A lot of them are simple mistakes that should have been taught in middle school, and caught on the first edit of the article.  I can’t understand how multimillion dollar corps allow such atrocious errors to make it into print. People are too accustomed to speaking with ambiguous pictures. But on the same hand I can’t put the full onus on my generation because I’ve had professors try to teach me that nothing really has meaning, so it doesn’t matter what we say... <_<

Because a vast majority of their articles are written by people who get paid per-view of the article. Many of them are opinion articles anyway, and most don't go through an editor of any sort. The writer has a login, writes a story, sends it, and it gets published on their site.

Those that are written in-house are probably rushed out so quickly that only a cursory glance is made by an editor. Each site wants to be one of the first to publish the story or else they don't get the eyes to their site.

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I was at the WR Finals this past weekend.  Speaking of an intentional pass gone awry.......

VT was leading 1-0.  HT is up with 2 outs and R1 and R2.  Stud hitter comes to bat and takes to a 1-0 count.  VT manager wants time.  He desires to intentionally walk the Stud hitter.  PU tells him that since a count has already started, the pitcher must pitch the remainder of the IBB.

Ok, the VT manager must have thought that meant his pitcher had to PITCH TO THE HITTER!  Next pitch was a bomb hit to center.  3-1!

Communication issue?

Mike

Las Vegas

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On 8/11/2019 at 11:27 PM, Rich Ives said:

Did you read UIC's post What a July it Was?

A gazillion folks come here just to read the posts and learn without ever participating.   AKA Lurkers.

Do you want them to walk away thinking a offense can decline an IW?

 

 

:insertevillaughhere:

I actually convinced by my daughter’s softball coach to try to decline an illegal pitch once.  Our R1 was stealing second and the catcher threw the ball away allowing R1 to score.  Unfortunately the BU had called an illegal pitch (not very well apparently) which is an immediate dead ball - ball to the batter and runners advance one base.  (It is not a delayed dead ball like college.)

I actually convinced her coach to go tell the home plate umpire we wanted to decline it.  Another parent who is also a softball umpire looked at me and said “You know you can’t do that.”  I shrugged and said “There he goes.”  

He was a nice guy off the field but not-so-much on the field.  I liked yanking his chain.

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