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New rules would ban 'trick' pickoffs, add interpreters

In addition, teams could dress seventh coach under proposals awaiting OK by union

A series of rules changes proposed by the general managers in November and approved by the sport's top executives at the recent Owners Meetings are awaiting ratification by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

There are more than a dozen alterations and amendments on the table. Among them is the fake-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff move, which would be ruled a balk, and the allowance of an interpreter to accompany a pitching coach or manager to the mound and assist in communicating with pitchers who don't speak fluent English.

Clubs would also be permitted to have a seventh coach in uniform and in the dugout during games, a response to the number of teams that have added a second hitting coach in recent years. first reported the proposed rules changes to permit an interpreter to join mound conferences and to have an additional coach on the bench during games.

Generally, details of such tentative amendments aren't revealed until after the union signs off on them. For example, there was a push to ban the third-to-first pickoff play last year, but the union asked for more time to study the issue.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for