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Probably the worst news that the intentional walk has provided a certain subset of baseball fans was in 2017, when in the interest of shaving 10 seconds off of every other three-plus hour game, the league ended the formality of making the pitcher lob four balls outside. We all mourned our loss in separate ways—I particularly miss the outstretched fist of the catcher, a strange collision of a symbol of strength with an act of cowardice—but for most, the change is already forgotten. Mostly because it rarely even comes up these days.

The intentional walk is dying.

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