Current Mets manager Buck Showalter once ordered Barry Bonds — baseball’s top batter at the time — to be walked with loaded bases.
But Corey Seager?
Angels manager Joe Maddon had pitcher Austin Warren issue a free pass to the new Rangers shortstop with loaded bases in the fourth inning of Friday’s game in Texas. The move initially backfired as the Rangers scored two extra runs in the inning before the Angels came back to record a 9-6 win.
“I figured if I went for a walk with Seager, I’d avoid the big hit,” Maddon explained after the game. “And honestly just to stir up the group. It’s not something you normally do. I thought if I go up there and do something like that, the team could react to something like that.”
Maddon had attempted this before during his 19 seasons as a big league manager, when he joined full-base Texas star Josh Hamilton as manager of the Rays in 2008.
Showalter’s decision to walk Bonds with the Diamondbacks in 1998 was the only other instance of a deliberate base walk since 1950. There have been five previously recorded instances, including by Hall of Famers Nap Lajoie in 1901 and Mel Ott in 1929.
Seager, the former Dodgers shortstop who signed a 10-year deal worth $325 million with Texas as a free agent during the offseason, is batting with a .333 with a home run and six RBIs in seven games this season.
After the intentional walk, Mitch Garver lifted a sacrificial fly and Warren failed with another run for a 6-2 lead in Texas. The Angels scored five runs atop the fifth – including a homer by Shohei Ohtani – and two more in the seventh to improve to 4-4 this season.
“Absolutely, it surprised me, but I’m not going to say no to Joe Maddon,” Warren said after the game. “I trust Maddon a lot and it worked.
“Whatever it did, it woke us up. Because we have five runs in the next inning. So everything worked out.”
Texas coach Chris Woodward admittedly was surprised by Maddon’s move as well.
“I think everyone was [surprised]’ Woodward said. “I’ve seen the best batsman in the game get done at Barry Bonds. It’s obviously a compliment to Seager for how good he is. Who knows, maybe it’s a Grand Slam or maybe a doubles match? But that wasn’t why they won. That’s why they didn’t come out. And that’s why we ended up scoring a couple of runs.”
https://nypost.com/2022/04/16/angels-manager-joe-maddon-orders-intentional-walk-with-bases-loaded/ Angels manager Joe Maddon orders a deliberate base-loaded walk