Hurdle doesn't balk at rule-change talk

Hurdle doesn't balk at rule-change talk

PITTSBURGH -- Clint Hurdle is neither puzzled nor alarmed to hear that Major League Baseball is considering legislating pitchers' third-to-first pickoff ploy out of the game.

However, the Pirates manager suggested that the deception is anything but a vain act.

"At least twice a year it gets somebody," Hurdle said. "It'll get someone on our team, and we'll get someone on the other team."

Concurring with a popular opinion, Hurdle called former Kansas City right-hander Steve Busby "the best ever" at the trick pickoff.

Hurdle also nominated Steve Reed, a right-hander who spent 14 years exclusively in relief for six teams, including Hurdle's 2003-04 Rockies, for the First-to-Third Hall of Fame.

"His move was the first thing anybody talked about at the [pre-game] scout meetings," Hurdle said. "And he'd go out there and still get a guy that night. That's how good he was."