Fake pick-off move becomes a balk
This story originally published on FightinsFuture.com
(Photo: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)

Posted Jan 27, 2013


The pitcher fakes a throw to third and then spins and fakes a throw to first. Usually, the move has fans yelling "balk", but now, the umpires will be yelling "balk", too.

It's a move that hardly ever works, but you see it at least once in every major league game. Runners on first and third and pitchers are bound to try the old fake to third and then look at first. If it works once in a season, it's amazing.

Now, it won't work at all, because the move has been officially declared a balk.

The move has been in the works since the new collective bargaining agreement was signed and last May, Major League Baseball's Playing Rules Committee approved the proposal. MLB executives and the umpires union were in agreement, although the player's association - pardon the pun - balked at the plan.

Two weeks ago, the owners approved the rule change, putting it into effect. The last CBA did allow for the rule change, but only after at least a one-year wait to make the change.

It's thought that one of the intents in approving the rule is to help speed up the game. Many times, a pitcher would use the move simply to give himself more time to think about how he wanted to approach a hitter or to give a relief pitcher a little more time to warm up.

Former pitcher Jeff Nelson told the New York Times, "I think now, the runner at first might get a bit of an advantage. All it's used for is to keep the runner at first close. I might have done it 100 times and gotten two guys on it."




Related Stories
Comparing the NL East Catchers
 -by FightinsFuture.com  Jan 26, 2013
Scouting Phils Prospect #21: Jake Diekman
 -by FightinsFuture.com  Jan 25, 2013
Rollins appears set to hit leadoff for Phils
 -by FightinsFuture.com  Jan 25, 2013

PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION INCLUDES
> Members-only Forums
> Insider Information
> MiLB &
   MLB Draft News
> Expert Chats

Sign Up Today!

Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from OaklandClubhouse.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.