MLB

Trick pickoff move to 3B now a balk

Image: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (© Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)
Pitchers like Dodger Clayton Kershaw can forget about the trick move to third.
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NEW YORK (AP)

One of the oldest trick plays in baseball is now a balk.

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Under a rule change imposed by Major League Baseball, pitchers will no longer be allowed to fake a pickoff to third base and throw to first as a way to dupe a runner on first base into breaking for second. Next season, that move would be a balk. Pitchers can still step off the rubber and fake to third.

The change was approved at the owners' meetings two weeks ago.

The Associated Press first reported the pending rule change last May after the Playing Rules Committee approved the proposal with MLB executives and umpires in agreement. The players' union, though, vetoed the plan.

The collective bargaining agreement allowed MLB to implement the change after a one-year wait.

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