Fake to 3rd; Throw to 1st = Balk?

What do you think about this?

Jayson Stark of ESPN wrote…
The third rule is the one I hope gets approved more than the rest. The infamous third to first move … fake the pick-off move to third and then look to first … might be made a balk. While this fake move might lead to pick-offs in little league, the move in the major league is often used to see if runners on first are leaning toward stealing second, or if the batter might be squaring for a possible safety squeeze. It’s a micromanaging strategic move that managers use. But it also slows the game down and makes it longer, and I think we can all agree that isn’t a good thing.

It seems there are any number of ways to make the game faster without removing a strategic tool. For example, enforcing the rule about time between pitches, or having players run on and off the field every time. Right now only the home team in the top of the 1st inning runs out there, and that’s just for show. How about having the batter get in the batter’s box in a reasonable amount of time or force them to keep one foot in the box at all times between pitches so they can’t take a lap around the home plate circle after each pitch? How about making hitters wear all their at-bat body armor / protective gear while running around the bases so every base hit doesn’t require a commercial break for him to take off his samurai armor? How about limiting all the pitchers’ pre-pitch genuflecting and pointing to the heavens and the superstitious pre-pitch routines of MLB hitters?

Where will this lead? Will pitchers no longer be allowed a fake to second base?

The baseball rules should be treated with a bit more sanctity… like the US constitution. When was the last time The Bible was changed? Hmmm…some of those commandments are a bit inconvenient, maybe we should contact The Pope :wink:

Ya know…I don’t think the game needs to be managed for time “better”, the pace on an MLB field is very precise and orchestrated, 8 warm-ups, on and off with a bit of groundskeeping…The issue to me is TV. I mean really…just exactly how many times in a game do you see this move? once every 3 or 4 games…maybe. No it isn’t the time waster and changing aspects of the game such as this only serves TV, not the fans or the game. Baseball is a local game, played nationally. As Ken Burns pointed out in his series, the game has a rhythm…I’ve watched the Cubs on WGN since the 60’s and still do (Thanks to satellite TV).
No what they want is “action” they want near constant action so the viewers don’t tune away. Sadly, they’ll win. Things will get altered by jerks who’ve never been to a MLB park and watched the game and the experience will be worse for it.

Not to mention if the runner on first now has a green light to go on the pitcher’s first move. It will remove many double play possibilities. I think double plays help move the game along :oops: As a matter of fact, I think the games will be longer with more successful steals of second base with runners at the corners and fewer ground ball double plays in those same situations. The insignificant time saved from this rule has the potential to make the games even longer.

Agree with what everyone is posting. The main two reasons the game has become longer in my opinion is first much, much more tv coverage and more specialization with pitchers. Outside of that the game is the game.
These sorts of debates by the suits of baseball reminds me of footballs obsession with making the game “more exciting” for the lay fan. By changing the rules to encourage the “exciting” passing game they have made sort of a mockery of defense. If Marino, Elway, Fouts ect didnt have to worry about taking hard hits how would their stats compare to todays babied quarterbacks? By giving quarterbacks a seperate set of rules about being hit (esp if your name is Brady), not allowing dbs to touch a receiver more than 5 yards down field, not allowing a defender to hit a receiver if his head is turned almost regardless of the hit and enforcing penalties that can stretch half the distance of the field (PI) the fundamentals of the game have been changed. And for what reason?? To appeal to the ignorant “fan” who can’t appreciate good defense. The misguilded notion that more points blanketly means more excitment removes the game from its original form and appeals to a fan base that has a limited understanding of the game. Screw it…lets just start each team with 17 points instead of 0-0 so that almost all games end with scores in the 30s…how exciting.
For baseball there is no point in some tiny rule tweat to speed the game up. I enjoy the fact that baseball has no time limit. Going to one game that flys by in 2 hours with pitching setting guys down in order, then going to a game the next day with the same two teams that stretches out with hitting on display is fantastic. STOP trying to make the game so generic that every game is the same. The real driver for this probably comes from tv wanting to more easy program around the game. This rule change will change nothing in terms of speeding the game up. How about we just switch to 7 inning games (sarcastic) or put time or run limits like little league? Nothing will mess up a good game like front offices and the suits.

The rule has been changed, and now this move is a balk. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of them this season. :roll:

Good thing Jeff Nelson isn’t pitching anymore. He might find this rule hard to adhere to.