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Dodgers and Kenley Jansen debut the intentional balk

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  • Dodgers and Kenley Jansen debut the intentional balk

    Thanks to bench coach Bob Geren, the closer purposely balked a runner to third so he couldn't read the catcher's signs or location

    Baseball has had intentional walks for decades – why not intentional balks?

    “Me and Bob have been talking about it for awhile, but I kept forgetting about doing it,” Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen said, crediting bench coach Bob Geren for the idea. “We’ve been talking about it since spring training. I just finally said yesterday, ‘Let’s try it. This is a good time to try it.’ It worked out pretty well.”

    With Jason Heyward at second base and Jansen trying to protect a two-run lead over the Chicago Cubs in the ninth inning Friday night, he struck out David Bote for the second out of the inning. Jansen turned toward second base and told umpire D.J. Reyburn, “I’m gonna balk” – clearly enough to be caught on the telecast and lip-read by anyone who cared to try.
    Then he did it, moving his right foot on the rubber before delivering his first pitch to the next batter. Heyward – whose run was unimportant in a two-run game – was waved to third base and Jansen struck out Victor Caratini to end the game.

    The strategy was aimed at preventing the runner at second base from reading catcher Russell Martin’s signs and relaying that information or the anticipated location of the next pitch to the batter. Like every team, the Dodgers change the catcher’s signs when a runner is on second base with a clear view into home plate. The intentional balk took that a step farther, moving the runner along so he couldn’t read the catcher’s setup to relay location to the batter either.

    “Not accusing anybody. Not saying anybody’s stealing signs,” Jansen said. “But you want to be also extra cautious. You never know in this game. The way how advanced this game is now, I just feel better for him to go to third.
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  • #2
    Hard to believe this has never happened before.

    Pete (thinks that there have been far too many baseball games played for much new stuff to come up now)



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