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SPORTS : Major Leagues Balk at Balk Rule

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Baseball’s controversial balk rule, which created havoc for pitchers during the 1988 season and led to a 160% increase in balks, is being scrapped for the 1989 season.

The Major League Baseball Players Assn., which accepted the rule last spring on a one-year trial basis, has decided to block it for this season. The Official Playing Rules Committee decided to go back to the old rule, which said pitchers must come to a “complete stop” instead of a “complete and discernible stop.” A record 924 balks were called in 1988. The previous record was 356 in 1987.


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