The MLB’s Playing Rules Committee is moving forward with plans to ban the ol’ fake-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff move. Because that’s the most urgent rule change the committee needed to make.
According to the new wording, such action by a right-handed pitcher would constitute a balk unless he steps off the rubber before throwing to third.
Really, what’s the point? If a runner is dumb enough to stray off first for that long, he deserves to be picked off anyway.
Meanwhile, important issues surrounding video replay remain untouched. Remember when Jim Joyce cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game with a blown call at first base? Or this blown call at first by Ron Kulpa, when Todd Helton’s foot was at least three feet off the bag? What about Jerry Meals’ blunder in the 19th inning at home plate? The list is a long one, but you probably have more important things to do than rehash the ocular transgressions of slightly overweight, middle-aged white men, so we’ll stop there.
Frankly, the MLB can afford to pay three suits per game with 20/15 vision to review every close call. Give the crew chief an earpiece, let him know when a close call should be reviewed and be done with it. Baseball games are already too long, so an extra 15 minutes won’t kill anyone.