Believe it or not, the headline you just read does not include any type-o’s. We have all heard of intentional walks and we see them numerous times on a daily basis. But intentional balks? Those are far less common. Not only do they exist, but their use recently earned an A’s minor league coach a year ban from the California League.
According to Brian VanderBeek of the Modesto Bee, Class A California coach Todd Steverson — who was the acting manager of the Stockton Ports on June 23 — has been fined and suspended for an entire year after he ordered his players intentionally balk in the 17th and 18th innings of an extremely long game against the Modesto Nuts. Having already been forced to use position players as pitchers, Steverson said he was trying to avoid uneccesary injuries.
“We had a position player out there and I didn’t want to put another position player on the mound and get him hurt,” he explined. “I didn’t get any of my pitchers hurt and I didn’t get any position players hurt. So a game on June 23, 2012, well, these guys will be playing many more games more important than that.”