In a never ending quest to make the topic of balks in baseball the most confusing thing ever, California League President Charlie Blaney has fined A's hitting instructor Todd Steverson and undisclosed amount as well as banning him from dugouts for a year following Steverson's order to intentionally balk the opposing batters.â†µ
But wait, isn't a balk a bad thing? Well normally it is, except when it is the 18th inning and you have a position player pitching as was the case on June 23 between the Stockton Ports and Modesto, as the Modesto Bee reported.â†µ
Steverson was filling in for Stockton's manager and confirmed he ordered three intentional balks in the 17th and 18th innings in an effort to bring a conclusion to the game. He said he was concerned about position players being exposed to injury while pitching and playing an unfamiliar position. While Blaney might be concerned about the Ports trying to throw the game, usually those concerns evaporate after the 15th inning or so.