I, for one, am in favor of one of the most discussed rule changes in baseball this offseason: Outlawing the pitcher’s fake pickoff-to-third, throw-to-first move.
It’s an old trick play — sometimes even used as a stall tactic to help a reliever warm up — that will now be called a balk.
Under the rule change by MLB, pitchers will be called for a balk when they attempt to fake a pickoff to third base and throw to first as a way to entice a runner on first into trying to steal second. Pitchers still will be able to step off the rubber and fake to third.
Read more about the change here.
The move almost never works and seems to just slow down the game. I especially love when a pitcher tries it when no runner is on third. That’s just ridiculous. Good riddance.