By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck:
I came across another Facebook post that drew a ton of responses. In this one the poster wrote: "If you intentionally walk a batter in a youth game you should be banned from coaching for life." Here are some of the comments. (By the way, for what it is worth, the majority of these comments came from people whose profile pictures were them with their children on a baseball or softball field):
Yeah what a shame to teach the game. I suppose bunting to move a runner is just as bad? If you don't take an empty base away if the situation calls for it you shouldn't be coaching.
I had a coach tell me (with the game on the line) that he considered walking my kid with the bases loaded and just eat the one run, vs giving Landon a chance to beat them..I told him I absolutely would have walked him in that situation lol. They got him out to end the game, but Landon has already torched them for 5 runs lol
Haha. We just did this to a kid in a tournament a couple weekends ago. Bases loaded intentional walk. The Barry Bonds treatment! Respect! We took the 1 run and then got the next kid to pop up. If we left one anywhere over the plate, this kid was putting it over the trees like he did a couple innings prior. 11u AAA/Majors game. Kid looks like he’s 14!
I'm certainly not going to intentionally walk a kid with the bases empty when up 4 runs just because he's really good. Or in Little League games for that matter. But, if it's in a 11U or higher tournament and it's "good baseball" to intentionally walk someone, then it should be done. For example: Runner on 2nd, 1st is open with 1 out and their best hitter is coming up. Walk him. Set up the double play and/or force at any bag. Shame on those who don't want to teach good baseball. If it's part of the game, our kids learn it. Intentional walks are part of the game. It's your job to put your kids in the best situation for success and to teach the game. It's the other team's job to make it hurt. You are not supposed to make it easier for them to score. That's not good baseball.
I once intentionally walked a girl in a boys baseball tournament. She was 3-3 with a bomb and 2B, she played SS and was their best pitcher. It was late in the game we had the lead so I walk her and strikeout the kid that’s 0-3 with 3 k’s on deck. We win. I’d do it again without hesitation.
I had this situation in a youth game. Our team up 6-5 with 2 outs. Other team has runners on 1st and 3rd and their best hitter up. Talk to my pitcher and tell him if they steal second base then we will walk the hitter. They steal second, we walk their best hitter ,then strikeout the next hitter and the games over. Would not have walked the kid if the runner had stayed on first.
We were playing 9U, up by 1 in the bottom of the last inning with 2 outs with a runner at 1B. Their batter was 4-4 with 4 home runs that day. I intentionally walked him to put runners on 1B and 2B. The next batter hit a ground ball to 3B. We fielded it and stepped on 3B to win the tournament. The kid’s parents that I walked tried to fight me in the parking lot. I’d do it again today! I also didn’t get banned. I’m actually now a college baseball coach…