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12 posts in this topic
This may be the equiv of a unicorn sighting
So last night, for the first time ever, I called the "both hands moving then stopped" balk. What happened next left me in shock and awe.
R2/R3, pitcher takes the rubber with hands down at his side in the windup. I'm VERY lenient on any movement to bring the hands together as 'assuming his initial position' if it's even remotely close. This, however, was not. He stood there with both hands at his side, looked in at the catcher for a bit, then brought both hands together in front of him. And stopped. I waited a sec, thinking 'is he going to keep going, however slowly?'...but nope, he stopped. Called the balk, he was perplexed...since it was a JV game, I thought it appropriate to tell him specifically why it happened, the whole 'with both hands down, moving both is start of motion'. This is a pet peeve of our state director, who had the good fortune to call it twice last year in a varsity game and have to hear "NO ONE HAS CALLED THAT ALL YEAR!". So he made sure we ALL knew about it this year.
But the amazing part was what happened next. I braced for the coach to come out asking what happened. It was only a 1-0 game, and this balked in a run. Nope, he stayed put. So maybe he was busy and didn't notice? Nope....as soon as the inning ended on the next batter, the pitcher went to his dugout and started asking what that was for. And the coach not only explained it, but demonstrated what he did wrong. He's not an umpire as far as I knew, but not only knew the rule but used it as a teaching moment for his pitcher.
A friend asked me this the other night.
R3. F1 is in the windup position with both hands at his side. He raises both hands simultaneously and brings them together chest high and pauses while he takes the signs from F2. Once he receives his signs, he begins a rocker step and continues with the pitch with no stop.
Our chapter interpreter said balk and I disagreed. Interpreter said it would not be a balk if F1 started with glove hand at chest height and brought his hands together, but because he moved both hands it simulated the start of the pitching motion. My thought is that bringing the hands together is not the start of the pitching motion.
Fed case books has these:
6.1.2 SITUATION C:
With a runner on third base, F1 steps on to the pitcher’s plate in the windup position and his glove hand in front of his body and his pitching hand at his side (a) immediately brings his hands together for the purpose of taking the sign but does not begin his delivery, or (b) gets the sign and then brings his hands together and stops before delivering a pitch, or (c) gets the sign, brings his hands together and continues his pitching motion.
RULING: In (a), (b) and (c), these are all legal moves.
6.1.2 SITUATION H:
F1, with both arms at his side in the wind-up position, first moves his glove to a position in front of his chest, stops his momentum, and then moves his pitching hand into the glove.
RULING: This is legal.
Both of these address bringing the hands together, but both situations start with F1 having his glove hand in front to start. Can anyone offer more interpretations?
A legal step to 2B?
R2. Any rule set. Pitcher on the rubber in set position, with his free foot one meter in front of the rubber. He lifts his free foot and steps toward 2B, then feints or throws to 2B. My question is HOW FAR must his free foot step? Certainly the foot must clear the footprint of where his foot was when he came set. Can the free foot land IN FRONT of the rubber (i.e., on the home plate side of the rubber)? Would that constitute distance and direction to 2B? Or must the free foot step to, or behind, the pivot foot?
First Game Fun .....
I guess I could have posted this in the high school forum, but it actually applies to any rule-set, and it's generic enough that I think it fits here in Free For All better ......
Monday, ...first game of the year, I'm on the dish, partner in B .... Varsity, (home team's 2nd pitcher).....
Coach from the bench .... "Joe, you've got to stop, slow down" This pitcher was coming close, very close, but he did have a very short pause. Well, even after a coaches warning to him, .... he really started blowing through his sets, .... BOOM ..."THAT'S A BALK, TIME" (I echo) ..... There was some grumbling from the bench but not too much. Until he did it AGAIN!!! Now the bench is mad!! I'm thinking, ..what?!?
Wait a minute .......... YOU'RE telling YOUR OWN PITCHER to stop, and slow down, but you're going to piss and moan when he blows through sets and we call him on it?! Geeez ........
Pitcher Decoy Trick
A twist on the hidden ball trick...
B1 reaches 1B. The ball remains live as the pitcher and first-baseman confer. The first-baseman goes to the mound and positions himself astride the pitcher's plate, intending to fool the runner that the pitcher is astride the pitcher's plate. The real pitcher, with the ball hidden in his glove, walks to 1B and pretends to be the first-baseman. B1 steps off 1B and is tagged by F1. Balk? Out? "Time! Don't do that again!"?
F1 and F3 are identical twins.