Re: 3-0 count 'rule'
Taking a pitch at 3-0 is a good strategy for two reasons:
1. The first reason is the sacrifice of personal gain for the team. If you walk, you are now a runner on base, which allows for a variety of strategies such as hit and run, attempted steal, etc. The pressure is really on the defense and fielders to make the play. I often encourage the "take" at 3-1 as well because the pressure is still on the pitcher to deliver two consecutive strikes.
2. The second reason (and I believe the one that has cemented the "take" as a rule) is sportsmanship and pride. Not many players take much pride in hitting "batting practice" pitches, whether or not they have "earned" it by working the count.
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