Houston Astros infielder Alex Bregman had some words to say about the new NCAA baseball rule concerning batters getting hit by a pitch.
Bregman took to Twitter, quoting an original tweet showing a Duke baseball player during their game against the University of Virginia in which the batter was hit by the pitch, but the umpire determined that the batter intentionally leaned in to the pitch. This resulted in a strikeout.
The NCAA baseball rules that have been updated and changed for the 2019 and 2020 seasons states [in concern with batters being hit by a pitch]:
"To penalize the batter with a strike and not award first base if, in the judgement of the umpire, the batter makes an intentional movement to be hit by a pitch, regardless of where the pitch is located."
Rationale: "To provide guidance in enforcing the hit by pitch rule and to deter batters from attempting to be hit by the pitch. “Freezing” by a batter is not considered making an intentional movement. A batter who freezes inside the batter’s box and who is hit by a pitch shall be awarded first base."
Bregman is right to be upset with this call. How else is a player supposed to take an inside pitch? The Duke batter was not leaning in and was clearly trying to avoid taking a smack to his hip bone. On top of that, he did not exceed the boundaries of the batter's box and should have been granted a place on first base.
It is encouraging that major leaguers are using their platform to voice this absurdity.