MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrmojo1120. Show mrmojo1120's posts

    MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    From Yahoo.com:

    Like a professional wrestler hitting his opponent with brass knuckles behind the referee‘s back, the surest way to draw an angry reaction from baseball fans is to break out the old fake-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff move.

    Of course, the difference is the pitcher’s intent isn’t to draw a reaction from the crowd. Often times there is real sound strategy involved, whether it's attempting to dupe a base runner into making a mistake, a hitter into showing his hand too early, or even just buying some extra time to collect his thoughts or allow a reliever to warm up.

    It really has served a purpose other than to annoy. But I guess that doesn’t change the fact the play rarely worked — you can count the successful attempts every season on one hand — and often killed the flow of a game. And that’s not to mention I've always felt the move fit the technical description of a balk since deception was involved. 

    It was with all of those factors in mind that Major League Baseball began a discussion to eliminate the "pickoff attempt" last spring. Now comes word from the New York Times' Tyler Kepner that the change is official, and beginning this season any such attempt to fake a move towards third base will result in a balk.

    Under a rule change imposed by Major League Baseball for this season, pitchers can no longer fake a pickoff throw to third base. Pitchers who did this would almost always follow by wheeling and firing to first — or to second, if a duped runner had taken off in that direction. No more.

    The play is now part of baseball’s graveyard, like the bullpen cart, the Montreal Expos, pullover jerseys and World Series games in the sunshine. It simply did not work often enough to be worth the wasted time.

    It make not work enough to be worth the wasted time, but as former major leaguer Jeff Nelson alludes to in the same article, it definitely kept baserunners on their toes and will now work in their favor as they no longer have to worry about the embarrassment of being tricked by the move.

    “The managers say it’s all about speeding up the game,” said Nelson, now a contributor to MLB.com. “I think now, the runner at first might get a little 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.”

    Ah, yes, he also mentions speeding up the game. That's another factor. But our own Kevin Kaduk made a pretty good point about that when this discussion first came up eight months ago.

    Also, if it's something that's designed to speed up the game, it seems like a token move, at best. After all, if Bruce Chen can still throw 1o regular pickoff attempts in one at-bat, what good does getting rid of an occasional gimmick pickoff attempt do? (Outside of giving us the pleasure of yelling "BALK!" with the previously misinformed, of course?)

    We'll probably never know what the true reason for the change is. I think a lot of people would actually accept it if they just flat out said the play was maddening, but it's more than likely a combination of all the aforementioned factors. And perhaps it's even done to make it look like they're working on something while they allow issues such as instant replay to hang in the wind.

    Only those who approved the change know for sure.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    Excellent news.

     
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  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrmojo1120. Show mrmojo1120's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    Personally,I think it's a bad change.When you take a component of baseball and change it just for the sake of it "speeding up the game",as far as I'm concerned,there's a problem.What's going to be eliminated next to speed up the game?Something ridiculous like,no more pick off throws to first?Change games from 9 innings to 7 innings?Two outs an inning?Perhaps,instead of an intentional walk using four pitches,just have the pitcher just plunk the batter on the first pitch.That would save 3 throws on the pitcher's arm and help speed up the game.It would also eliminate the chances of a passed ball on the other three pitches. 

      The fake throw to third,pick off throw to first is part of the game.Yes,it's deceptive,but so is a bunt,hit and run,stealing a base and a pitchout.It doesn't work often and may be boring ,but it still works sometimes.It also served as a deterrent for runners on first getting a bigger lead,so look for an increase of runners stealing second now while there's a runner on third.

    The change seems like nonsense to me. Baseball just isn't a game for people with short attention spans. 

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

    Excellent news.



    This is a rule that IMHO didn't need to be fixed...if they want to address what is and is not a balk. The pick move to second is the one that needs to be cleaned up. By rule a balk is called when in the judgment of the umpire the pitcher tried to decieve the runner. With a runner on first, when the pitchers stride foot breaks the plane of the rubber, the pitcher must then throw the ball to the batter. However when the runners is on second the same rule does not apply. 

    As for the double move, my biggest issue with it is that the pitcher in faking to the third doesn't have to throw the ball to first, instead is credited with stepping off and can then can throw to an unoccupied base (2nd). which is a balk for example when the runners is on first, the pitcher must complete the throw to the occupied base (1st), and cannot stop, then throw to 2nd.

    Just not sure exactly what this rule change is trying to accomplish. The intent of the move rarely is to pick the guy, rather to see if the offensive team tips their hand. It works at the youth level more so because young players sometimes fall a sleep at the wheel or are coached to run on first move. Seems like this is one of those head scratching changes to the subtlties of the game that the purest love, but annoy the casual fan...

     

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ThatWasMe. Show ThatWasMe's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    In response to mrmojo1120's comment:

    From Yahoo.com:

    Like a professional wrestler hitting his opponent with brass knuckles behind the referee‘s back, the surest way to draw an angry reaction from baseball fans is to break out the old fake-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff move.

    Of course, the difference is the pitcher’s intent isn’t to draw a reaction from the crowd. Often times there is real sound strategy involved, whether it's attempting to dupe a base runner into making a mistake, a hitter into showing his hand too early, or even just buying some extra time to collect his thoughts or allow a reliever to warm up.

    It really has served a purpose other than to annoy. But I guess that doesn’t change the fact the play rarely worked — you can count the successful attempts every season on one hand — and often killed the flow of a game. And that’s not to mention I've always felt the move fit the technical description of a balk since deception was involved. 

    It was with all of those factors in mind that Major League Baseball began a discussion to eliminate the "pickoff attempt" last spring. Now comes word from the New York Times' Tyler Kepner that the change is official, and beginning this season any such attempt to fake a move towards third base will result in a balk.

    Under a rule change imposed by Major League Baseball for this season, pitchers can no longer fake a pickoff throw to third base. Pitchers who did this would almost always follow by wheeling and firing to first — or to second, if a duped runner had taken off in that direction. No more.

    The play is now part of baseball’s graveyard, like the bullpen cart, the Montreal Expos, pullover jerseys and World Series games in the sunshine. It simply did not work often enough to be worth the wasted time.

    It make not work enough to be worth the wasted time, but as former major leaguer Jeff Nelson alludes to in the same article, it definitely kept baserunners on their toes and will now work in their favor as they no longer have to worry about the embarrassment of being tricked by the move.

    “The managers say it’s all about speeding up the game,” said Nelson, now a contributor to MLB.com. “I think now, the runner at first might get a little 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.”

    Ah, yes, he also mentions speeding up the game. That's another factor. But our own Kevin Kaduk made a pretty good point about that when this discussion first came up eight months ago.

    Also, if it's something that's designed to speed up the game, it seems like a token move, at best. After all, if Bruce Chen can still throw 1o regular pickoff attempts in one at-bat, what good does getting rid of an occasional gimmick pickoff attempt do? (Outside of giving us the pleasure of yelling "BALK!" with the previously misinformed, of course?)

    We'll probably never know what the true reason for the change is. I think a lot of people would actually accept it if they just flat out said the play was maddening, but it's more than likely a combination of all the aforementioned factors. And perhaps it's even done to make it look like they're working on something while they allow issues such as instant replay to hang in the wind.

    Only those who approved the change know for sure.




    A game changer. No farting in the dugout is next.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from nhsteven. Show nhsteven's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    I think it'a a good rule. And IMO, it really is a balk. Has anyone ever been picked off 3rd on this play anyway?

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrmojo1120. Show mrmojo1120's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    In response to nhsteven's comment:

     

    I think it'a a good rule. And IMO, it really is a balk. Has anyone ever been picked off 3rd on this play anyway?

     



    It's designed more to pick off the runner at first.For example,from ESPN.com:

     

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7915369/major-league-baseball-poised-pick-1st-3rd-trick-move

    Last August, with the Angels leading 6-4 at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees put men at the corners with two outs in the ninth inning. Rookie Jordan Walden bluffed toward third a couple of times, then did it again and trapped Curtis Granderson off first for the final out.

    This year, the Angels struck again in the Bronx when starter Ervin Santana faked to third and nailed Brett Gardner at first.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    It's absurd to make a fake throw to 3rd illegal when you can fake a throw to 1B anytime, but I guess in the interest of speeding up the game, and since the play rarely works, except to maybe hold the runner at 1B a little closer (the intention), it's no biggie to me.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from SinceYaz. Show SinceYaz's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    In response to Bill-806's comment:

      INTERESTING......  Look for larger leads off of 3rd base....




    More steals from 3rd too ... stealing home will become much more a strategy

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Soxdog67. Show Soxdog67's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    In my opinion, this rule change might just slow the game down further...

    ...how can a fake 3rd to 1st pickoff attempt slow the game down anymore than a throw to 1st base to hold the runner??

    ...also, I can see pitchers now holding the ball longer between pitches, first checking the runner on 3rd, then the runner on 1st, etc...to keep the runners from reading them...thus slowing the game down.

    Just because fans who don't know that stepping off the rubber used to negate balks, still boo everytime the trick pickoff is attempted, doesn't mean the rules should be changed...hey, if I was a player I'd make that move just to draw a reaction from the home crowd when I was pitching on the road.

    Next thing is they'll take leads away amd make runners stand on the bag until the pitch is released and bring us back to little league rules. Seriously wouldn't that dramatically speed up the game??

     

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from jete02fan. Show jete02fan's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    LOL...the "Jeff Nelson" is no more :-)

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    It was over used.

    But the real reason the games are lasting so long is because everyone is working the pitcher.  Blame Bill James.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from JimfromFlorida. Show JimfromFlorida's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    You might see 3rd basemen holding runners on?

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    In response to DirtyWaterLover's comment:

    It was over used.

    But the real reason the games are lasting so long is because everyone is working the pitcher.  Blame Bill James.



    The reason the games take so long is two fold...the strike zone is too small and the hitters step out too much. It's really an easy solution....stay in the box between pitches and call the strike zone according to the rule book...

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from GreenPartyCelt. Show GreenPartyCelt's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    I will miss it a bit, but I agree with moon it's "no biggie"....But it will be fun this year waiting to see who are the first battery mates to have a brain lock, and do the fake third-then-first pickoff move...Maybe Vegas should do an over/under on how many times it will happen....I keep seeing Sabathia/Stewart in my mind's eye....And Michael Kay going on and on and on about it.....

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from jete02fan. Show jete02fan's posts

    Re: MLB official rule change: Fake pick off to 3rd throw to 1st now a Balk

    i wonder if at some point someone will actually throw to 3rd...especially with a man on 1st

     
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