Will The Fake-to-Third, Throw-to-First “Pickoff” Get Outlawed?

Via Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk, here’s more proof that G-d exists and is merciful:

Major League Baseball is poised to pick off the much-maligned move, the fake-to-third, throw-to-first ploy that often succeeds only in getting the whole ballpark to shout “Balk!”

“I think they should get rid of it,” Yankees reliever Boone Logan said. “Us lefties can’t do that. If we do, they call a balk.”

“Besides, how often does it work? Maybe once in never,” he said.

The Playing Rules Committee has approved a proposal to make it a balk, too, with MLB executives and umpires in agreement. The players’ union vetoed the plan for this season to discuss it further. MLB is allowed to implement the change after a one-year wait – no telling whether that would happen if players strongly object.

Under the new wording, a pitcher could not fake to third unless he first stepped off the rubber.

If approved, the revised language would take effect next season.

Let’s hope the proposal sails through. I have never understood why so many fans, including grizzly old-timers armed with their scorebooks and pencils, scream “Balk!” when the “pickoff” attempt has been a perfectly legal, albeit ridiculous maneuver.

More here.

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