Post subject: MLB getting rid of the "Turk Wendell" pickoff
Posted: Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm
Legend of NYFS
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:57 pm Posts: 57889 Location: New York, NY
NEW YORK -- Yankees reliever Rafael Soriano stepped toward third base and bluffed a pickoff throw, then twirled and made a soft toss to first. No dice, the Tampa Bay runners didn't fall for that ol' trick -- they'd seen it too often.
Starting next year, no one might ever see that exact play again.
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 he stayed on the rubber, as Soriano did Wednesday night, it would be a balk.
Most every pitcher now makes the move the same way Soriano did.
"Some people think you're just trying to deceive the runner at first, that you have no real intention of getting the guy at third," Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
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