The IWRS Leaderboard

So, thanks to Chris over at Beyond the Box Score for putting together an Intentional Walk Rage Scale Leaderboard. A couple of quick takeaways.

The only 0-point intentional walk happened when St. Louis played Cincinnati on April 2. The score was 0-0 in the ninth, the Reds got their first two men on. After a sacrifice bunt -- one of those few of THOSE I can tolerate -- St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez intentionally walked Brayan Pena to load the bases. Put in into the walk-o-meter!

Q1: What inning was it? Ninth inning. There’s a lot less rage if someone is bunting in the ninth when one run is all you want or need.

Result: 1 point. Total: 1 point.

Q2: Did the walk bring up the opposing pitcher or a particularly weak hitter? Yes. The pitcher was due next.

Result: 0 points. Total: 1 point.

Q3: Did the walk give your team the platoon advantage or force the opposing manager to go his bench? Yes. The next batter was the pitcher and the Reds sent up a pinch hitter.

Result: 0 points. Total: 1 point.

Q4: Did the base runner matter? No. Well, that’s a bit controversial ... it did load the bases which means a walk would have scored the winning run. So in a sense it mattered. But Pena’s run did not matter.

Result: minus-1 point. Total: 0 points.

Q5 Are you setting up the double play to get out of an inning. Yes.

Result: 0 points. Total: 0 points.

Q6: Are you intentionally walking someone solely to avoid a great hitter. No. I love Brayan Pena -- wonderful guy, wonderful story. But ... no.

Result: 0 points. Total: 0 points.

This, then, is the least offensive intentional walk in the game this year.

I’d have to say that all intentional walks below 5 or 6 points are tolerable. I don’t like the walk at all, but used strategically -- tolerable.

On the other side of the spectrum, there has not yet been a perfect rage walk yet this year. The worst one this year was ordered by Seattle’s Lloyd McClendon against Miami when he walked Giancarlo Stanton in the second inning to bring up a good hitter with a platoon advantage even though there were already two outs. In the first inning, that would have been the perfect rage walk.

Chris also lists a leaderboard among managers -- it is not a surprise that Kansas City’s Ned Yost, who inspired the whole thing, is ranked so far as the third-most enraging intentional walker. But the leader so far, by far, is Washington’s Matt Williams. I have mentioned here before ... I get a very, very bad vibe from the way Williams manages baseball games. I watch that team pretty often and they’re just kind of a mess. Their defense is awful, his bullpen usage seems kind of curious, he talks a lot about stuff like grit. Of course, he also has just started and might be working his way into the job. In the meantime, he has only called for four intentional walks but they have all been maddening.