Why Fix What Isn’t Broken
I saw an article on Sports Illustrated’s news wire today that says that major league baseball as of the 2013 season is banning the fake pick-off move to third and then turn to first, a move which I’ve never seen actually work and which I doubt few, if any fans, have ever seen actually work. You know the move I’m taking about: with runners on first and third, the pitcher bluffs a throw to third and then turns to see if the runner on first has been tricked into leaning the wrong way off first base. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the pitcher even make a throw to first, let alone catch the runner leaning the wrong way.
This move will now be called a balk, which invites the question, why change a rule on a play that never catches anyone anyway? The players’ association vetoed an attempt by the owners to change the rule a year ago, but under the collective bargaining agreement, the owners could wait a year and then change the rule unilaterally. The owners felt strongly enough about it that they damn well changed the rule.
Next, the owners will be banning the fake pick-off move to second base and fining players who step out of the box to adjust their cups. Yeesh!