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Watch: Cabrera turns intentional walk into RBI single

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — Major League Baseball, in its constant quest to speed up the pace of play, has OK’d a change to the intentional walk.

Forever, a pitcher would have to throw intentionally wide pitches before the batter would then take his base. But not anymore. Starting this season, if a manager wants to put a guy on, all he’ll have to do is signal from the dugout, and it’s a done deal. No more wasted pitches.

Seems minor enough, right?

Not so fast.

While it’s rather rare, intentional walks gone wrong have had an impact on games before.

Like that time in 2006 when Miguel Cabrera, then with the Florida Marlins, took a whack at a wide pitch and turned it into an RBI single.

Or that time in 2015 a wild pitch led to an extra base for Tigers base runner Anthony Gose.

Or that time last season when a wild pitch actually led to a run for the Tigers.

And, of course, who could forget the climactic scene in “The Bad News Bears”?

Again, those instances are few and far between, enough that MLB and the Players Association figure it’s not altering the game much by doing away with the four intentionally wide pitches.

Compared to other ideas MLB is tossing around — like starting extra innings with a runner on second base, like some slow-pitch, softball beer league — this one’s pretty tame.

But it still is a significant alteration, as the above videos prove.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/tonypaul1984