Why Chris Iannetta seemingly refused to accept a walk

If a walk’s as good as a hit, then it has to be better than a strikeout. Right?

We’re pretty sure that’s true, yet for some reason Seattle Mariners catcher Chris Iannetta seemed determined to refuse a walk while instead accepting a strikeout that never happened during Wednesday’s 14-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.

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The scene was obviously very strange. Iannetta had clearly checked his swing on a 3-2 pitch from Rangers’ hurler Martin Perez, but home-plate umpire Todd Tichenor still signaled to first base for help. For whatever reason, Iannetta interpreted that signal as Tichenor ringing him up, so he began his stroll back to the dugout.

From there, it only got weirder. After first-base umpire Carlos Torres correctly ruled that Iannetta didn’t swing, Tichenor attempted to explain that Iannetta could go to first base. Despite Tichenor’s efforts, Iannetta still seemed resigned to the strikeout and almost reluctantly took his base.

A confused Chris Iannetta is talked into taking his base. (MLB)
A confused Chris Iannetta is talked into taking his base. (MLB)

Clearly, Iannetta was confused. Perhaps by the end he was even embarrassed after realizing what had actually happened.

One thing we definitely know: Iannetta wasn’t the only Mariner who had a bad day.

As noted, they lost 14-1, which means Iannetta’s head was likely spinning just from watching Rangers cross home plate. The thought that he wanted to sit down rather than run after crouching down in his catcher’s gear all afternoon makes some sense too. After all, the only thing less forgiving than the Rangers offense is the hot Texas sun in August.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!