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