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Guest Jim

Balk

Question

Is it a balk if, with runners on base, a right handed pitcher starts in the set position, comes to complete stop, and then takes a "rocker" step with left foot even if he immediately and without hesitation follows through and delivers the pitch to home?  That is, can a pitcher essentially switch from the set position to the windup without disengaging the pitcher's plate?  I know rule 8.01 comment says it is a balk to go from windup to the set, but it doesn't say that the opposite is true.  As U.I.C. of my local league we have had an explosion of disagreements amongst coaches and umpires about whether the rocker step is an automatic balk in this scenerio.  Thank you for any help.

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2 minutes ago, Guest Jim said:

Is it a balk if, with runners on base, a right handed pitcher starts in the set position, comes to complete stop, and then takes a "rocker" step with left foot even if he immediately and without hesitation follows through and delivers the pitch to home?  That is, can a pitcher essentially switch from the set position to the windup without disengaging the pitcher's plate?  I know rule 8.01 comment says it is a balk to go from windup to the set, but it doesn't say that the opposite is true.  As U.I.C. of my local league we have had an explosion of disagreements amongst coaches and umpires about whether the rocker step is an automatic balk in this scenerio.  Thank you for any help.

Yes. It would constitute a feint to first base.

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I'm picturing a "hybrid" set up. Are you saying he basically takes a rocker step as he would in the windup position with no runners on? OBR actually just added a new rule on this for this season, but I'm not sure what ruleset you are under. For example, I do Cal Ripken and they printed out their rule books before this change came through so I assume that it would not apply.

 

rule 5.07(b) comment.

Quote

With a runner or runners on base, a pitcher will be presumed to be pitching from the Set Position if he stands with his pivot foot in contact with and parallel to the pitcher’s plate, and his other foot in front of the pitcher’s plate, unless he notifies the umpire that he will be pitching from the Windup Position under such circumstances prior to the beginning of an at-bat. A pitcher will be permitted to notify the umpire that he is pitching from the Windup Position within an at-bat only in the event of (i) a substitution by the offensive team; or (ii) immediately upon the advancement of one or more runners (i.e., after one or more base runners advance but before the delivery of the next pitch).

So, it would be a balk if you're playing OBR and the pitcher does not say he's in the windup

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Yes, I am playing pursuant to Cal Ripken Babe Ruth rules.  And yes, after starting in the set position with runners on base, he pitches as if he is pitching from the windup by taking a rocker step and delivering the ball to the plate without stopping or hesitation.  Not good for stopping base stealing since the runners are off as soon as he starts his rocker step, but, is the step a feint to first as Matt above suggests even if it seems like it is part of his normal windup if he started in the windup?

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1 hour ago, Matt said:

Yes. It would constitute a feint to first base.

A backwards step to 1B (sideways RHP), 2B (a normal windup F1), or 3B (sideways LHP) in the windup was not a balk last year. This year I don't think MLB  made the sideways pitcher's windup without notice a balk because it was a feint. Otherwise they would not allow a normal windup backwards step to 2B.

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54 minutes ago, Guest Jim said:

Yes, I am playing pursuant to Cal Ripken Babe Ruth rules.  And yes, after starting in the set position with runners on base, he pitches as if he is pitching from the windup by taking a rocker step and delivering the ball to the plate without stopping or hesitation.  Not good for stopping base stealing since the runners are off as soon as he starts his rocker step, but, is the step a feint to first as Matt above suggests even if it seems like it is part of his normal windup if he started in the windup?

Alert runners are off as soon as they recognize the rocker step and usually can tell it's a windup before the motion starts based on the pitcher's address of the rubber. But MLB is protecting the runner and umpires who can't determine the delivery and/or recognize the rocker step right away. Before this year Wendelstedt used to say this should not be penalized as it gave the advantage to the runner.

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7 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

A backwards step to 1B (sideways RHP), 2B (a normal windup F1), or 3B (sideways LHP) in the windup was not a balk last year. This year I don't think MLB  made the sideways pitcher's windup without notice a balk because it was a feint. Otherwise they would not allow a normal windup backwards step to 2B.

He's not in the windup.

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Once he comes set he can step off, pitch or feint/throw to a base. Since he came set and his first move was his rocker step toward first and failed to throw it while in contact with the rubber. 

Im not sure about the way OBR is worded, but the pitcher from the set must first step back off with his pivot foot before assuming the windup.  

FED

in order to change to the wind-up position, he must first step clearly backward off the pitcher's plate with his pivot foot first.

 

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Just now, Matt said:

He's not in the windup.

This year he is if he says he is. Last year most everyone knew he was and he didn't have to say it. 

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1 minute ago, Jimurray said:

This year he is if he says he is. Last year most everyone knew he was and he didn't have to say it. 

In the OP, the pitcher was in the stretch and came set, then started a windup. 

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2 minutes ago, Tborze said:

Once he comes set he can step off, pitch or feint/throw to a base. Since he came set and his first move was his rocker step toward first and failed to throw it while in contact with the rubber. 

Im not sure about the way OBR is worded, but the pitcher from the set must first step back off with his pivot foot before assuming the windup.  

FED

in order to change to the wind-up position, he must first step clearly backward off the pitcher's plate with his pivot foot first.

 

In OBR  normal windup pitcher can put his hands together and stop and then deliver. A sideways windup pitcher can also put his hands together and stop before delivering. 

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10 minutes ago, Tborze said:

In the OP, the pitcher was in the stretch and came set, then started a windup. 

There might be a case made if there was a free foot re position along with putting the hands together. But since he has told you in OBR now that he was going to wind up I don't think I would balk it. Normal windup pitchers can put their hands together and move the free foot as long as it does not look like the natural movement associated with his delivery of the ball.

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3 hours ago, Jimurray said:

There might be a case made if there was a free foot re position along with putting the hands together. But since he has told you in OBR now that he was going to wind up I don't think I would balk it. Normal windup pitchers can put their hands together and move the free foot as long as it does not look like the natural movement associated with his delivery of the ball.

This may be a better question for local league officials but how do you guys think we should treat this under babe ruth rules? Of course in OBR they have changed this to the quote above, but I can look directly into a 2017 Babe Ruth rulebook and it still shows the rule how it was prior to this year. So, which do we use? I've only seen 1 pitcher use a hybrid stance in all the time I've umpired cal ripken leagues, and he always used the stretch with runners on.

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11 minutes ago, Gfoley4 said:

This may be a better question for local league officials but how do you guys think we should treat this under babe ruth rules? Of course in OBR they have changed this to the quote above, but I can look directly into a 2017 Babe Ruth rulebook and it still shows the rule how it was prior to this year. So, which do we use? I've only seen 1 pitcher use a hybrid stance in all the time I've umpired cal ripken leagues, and he always used the stretch with runners on.

Prior to this year numerous MLB and MiLB pitchers wound up from a sideways stance without denoting what stance they were in, although it could be discerned by most people. So if Babe Ruth hasn't changed allow what MLB allowed last year.

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I guess I was not clear in my OP.

There was never a windup and that has no bearing on my question.

F1 is in the set position.

Rather than stepping off and then throwing to 1B  he steps off the rubber and throws simotaniously.

Does this simotanious step now make F1 a fielder who no longer has to gain distance and direction in his move to 1rst or 3rd (OBR)

 

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On 6/8/2017 at 10:31 PM, MT73 said:

Does this simultanious step now make F1 a fielder who no longer has to gain distance and direction in his move to 1st or 3rd (OBR).

YES.

And award me 10 points for correcting your spelling, President Trump. 

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On 6/8/2017 at 10:31 PM, MT73 said:

I guess I was not clear in my OP.

There was never a windup and that has no bearing on my question.

F1 is in the set position.

Rather than stepping off and then throwing to 1B  he steps off the rubber and throws simotaniously.

Does this simotanious step now make F1 a fielder who no longer has to gain distance and direction in his move to 1rst or 3rd (OBR)

No, the OP was clear (unless you've editted it). MLB F1s have been allowed to go to a wind-up from what has been a traditional set position. But with runners on, non-pivot foot in front of the rubber, hands come together, and a discernible stop, THAT HAS to be considered the set/stop position. It would be unfair (and illegal) to rocker-step towards 1B (fake a move to 1B), then deliver a pitch. That's a balk.

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