According to a report from Jayson Stark, several rules changes were voted on and tentatively approved during last week’s owners meetings. The changes must be approved by the players’ union before the changes can be implemented for the upcoming season.
Teams will be permitted to have a seventh coach in uniform in the dugout during games, the fake-to-third, throw-to-first pick off move would be considered a balk and coaches and managers will be allowed to bring interpreters to the mound were among the rules changes approved by the owners.
Baseball’s rules committee voted last year to outlaw the fake-to-third, throw-to-first move. The decision was vetoed temporarily in order to discuss the decision further. Major League Baseball can implement the rule change without having the players vote to implement the new rule. Once the rule is put into books, if a pitcher tries the old trick move, it will be called a balk.
By allowing a seventh uniformed coach in the dugout during games, teams will be able to have assistant hitting coaches on the bench. Under the old rules, assistant hitting coaches, or a seventh coach, could not be in the dugout. The Cubs would be able to have Rob Deer in uniform, along with Dale Sveum, Jamie Quirk, Chris Bosio, James Rowson, Dave McKay and David Bell.
Interpreters would be able to join managers and coaches on the mound for conferences with foreign-born pitches that do not speak fluent English.
While these changes may seem insignificant, they are noteworthy moving forward with the game has evolved in recent years.