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MLB May Outlaw Fake-To-Third, Throw-To-First Because of Blah Blah Words Words Words Blah


Thursday, May 10, 2012 by

MLB, in all of their infinite wisdom, is contemplating the removal of the fake-to-third, throw-to-first move that has been used by pitchers for an eternity. Does it work? Usually not but then again it doesn't get used that often either. It certainly doesn't get used so much that it drastically slows the pace of the game yet that is MLB's reasoning.

Here is an example of when it did work.

This move is protected under Rule 8.05(c) which states:

"It is possible, with runners on first and third, for the pitcher to step toward third and not throw, merely to bluff the runner back to third; then seeing the runner on first start for second, turn and step toward and throw to first base. This is legal."

This is how MLB tries to speed the game up? By outlawing a move that takes place once, maybe twice a game? Odd. If MLB is so concerned with the pace of the game (which, oh by the way, baseball fans are not) then why not just enforce the rules that you already have in play? They can start with Rule 8.04:

"When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “Ball.” The 12-second timing starts when the pitcher is in possession of the ball and the batter is in the box, alert to the pitcher. The timing stops when the pitcher releases the ball. The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire."

Next time you watch a game count the seconds in between pitches. See if the guidelines are being met. Guess what...they aren't. Now I know that honing the skills of the umpires is not a priority (O-B-V-I-O-U-S-L-Y) but I think that they are barking up the wrong tree.

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