Major League Baseball has always been behind the times when it comes to change. Baseball is well behind football and basketball and even hockey in the addition of instant replay. The game of baseball has always stayed true to its roots. Unlike most other sports there are the old-timers that don’t want anything to change… ever. So what does Major League Baseball go and do? Change something that doesn’t need to be fixed.
The pick-off move in baseball is very important to keeping base runners honest on the bases. Although it’s hardly ever used or successful, league officials felt the need to take the fake-to-third, throw-to-first move out of the game. The question is, why?
I would like to think I watch a lot of baseball, and I like to watch as many Detroit Tigers games as I can, as well as nationally televised games. I don’t think I saw that move used more than maybe twenty times all year. The league says that they are doing it to speed up the game, but I say, how much time are they really saving?
Tigers starting pitchers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer are not happy with the rule change either. Scherzer was quoted saying, “I’m ticked” (well, he was a little more colorful in his expression) regarding the new rule. Verlander shares the same feelings, “(Scherzer) gets one or two guys a year on that thing”. he said. Taking a pick off move away from the pitchers to save 10 to 15 seconds in a game just seems silly to me.
Verlander led the league in pick-off throws last year with 165, and considering he started 33 games last year he only attempted five pick-offs a game, so I don’t understand how the league can defend this rule change with the reasoning of saving time. This is doing nothing but give base runners an advantage and making it harder for a pitcher to pick someone off. I’m all for change, if it makes the game better, but don’t insult my intelligence with the flimsy reasoning of the new rule. If it’s not broke, why fix it?