Major League Baseball is about to make another change in its ongoing effort to speed up the game.
The league and the players' union have supposedly agreed to make intentional walks automatic, meaning that pitchers will no longer have to lob four meaningless balls to the catcher.
The team could just signal an intentional walk from the dugout, and that's it. The change COULD go into effect for this coming season, but that isn't official yet.
Unless you're a SERIOUS purist, the game wouldn't be losing anything by doing this. But they're not really gaining anything either.
Not throwing the four pitches is a savings of about ONE MINUTE per intentional walk. There's roughly one intentional walk every 2.6 games . . . so this is cutting the time of the average baseball game down by 23 SECONDS. (???)