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Guest Willy

Legal or balk?

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Guest Willy

My son could do this move - as he is reasonably ambidextrous. Is this legal?
 

 

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wow, that's cool and totally legal. once you step off the back of the rubber with your pivot foot, you're considered an infielder and can do whatever you want. 

Edit: guess not? Explain @noumpere

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Guest Willy
25 minutes ago, noumpere said:

Balk.

Can you explain why? If he doesn't transfer the ball until after the step off  ---

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16 minutes ago, Guest Willy said:

Can you explain why? If he doesn't transfer the ball until after the step off  ---

He hasn't stepped off until the foot hits the ground.

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It would be better if there was a rubber, though it may not matter.

Pitcher steps off rubber, feigns some kind of discomfort, sneaks hand out of glove.   Then I assume steps on rubber.  Then transfers the ball from one hand to the other. Then throws directly to second with opposite hand.

I can't see how that's legal.

 

it is a balk when:

The pitcher, after coming to a legal pitching position, removes one hand from the ball other than in an actual pitch, or in throwing to a base   (ie. the only time the ball can leave your hand is when it is leaving it in a throw or pitch - he transfers the ball from one hand to the other while on the rubber - there's nfw he is transferring the ball after he lifts his foot)

Maybe it would be legal if he stepped on the rubber with the ball in his "glove" hand??

 

I assume this would be legal if he was straddling the rubber - that in itself would surprise a base runner and could be effective.

 

Would this be legal if the pitcher never wore a glove and went to the rubber with two bare hands?

Would this be legal if the pitcher threw the ball with his glove hand while still wearing the glove?

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One -- this was a step with a throw -- not a disengagement followed by a throw.  Since the step was with the pivot foot, it's a balk.

Even without this, it's a balk.  You need to extend some case plays / interps, I suppose, but there are some where a LH pitcher can't take the mound as a RH pitcher and where an ambidextrous pitcher switches the glove hand on the sly (and I recognize that some of the specific wording in this interp is tortuous -- relating to facing a batter only as a LH or RH pitcher):

 

SITUATION 20: F1 is an ambidextrous pitcher with an ambidextrous glove. After a runner reaches first base, the field umpire moves to the B position. The pitcher standing just behind the pitcher's plate, assumes a windup position and with his hands up and in front of his body. He then slides his left hand into the glove while bringing his right hand into the glove to grip the ball completing the switch from a left-handed thrower to right-handed thrower to face a right-handed batter. The pitcher then engages the pitcher's plate. The umpire in the B position did not see the pitcher switch throwing hands. The pitcher, in the wind-up position as a right-handed pitcher, steps off the pitcher's plate with the pivot (right) foot first and then throws to first base in an attempt to pick off a runner. The umpire in B calls a balk because he thought the pitcher was left-handed. Is this a balk? How obvious does the pitcher have to be in making the switch from left to right? RULING: This is a balk. An ambidextrous pitcher must face a batter either as a left-handed or right-handed pitcher but not both. He may change to the other hand to pitch on the next batter, but he must begin and complete his pitching responsibility to an individual batter with the same hand through his turn at bat. This is deceptive and not in the spirit of fair play. (2-28-3, 3-3-1g, 6-1-1 note, 6-2-5)

 

And, somewhere, it might define the "pivot foot" as being the non-glove hand (or something along those lines). That's clearly being violated in the example.

 

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Guest Willy
28 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

Maybe it would be legal if he stepped on the rubber with the ball in his "glove" hand??

That's what I was thinking. Put ball in the glove hand prior to engaging rubber. Regardless - I think it's pretty cool and would be fun. I also like the idea of just doing it quick without engaging the rubber. 

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I think the thing that I always think when I see these sort of "plays" is that it isn't expected to be legal, its a ploy to attempt to get an out. The underlying hope is that the umpires either don't notice the ploy or do not know it is illegal. These plays are always found in youth ball. If they were legal we would see it all the way to the Major Leagues and we don't. One of the roles of the umpire is to insure that no team gains an unfair advantage not intended by the rules.......

I've got a Balk here.... 

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Guest Willy
29 minutes ago, Stan W. said:

I think the thing that I always think when I see these sort of "plays" is that it isn't expected to be legal, its a ploy to attempt to get an out. The underlying hope is that the umpires either don't notice the ploy or do not know it is illegal. These plays are always found in youth ball. If they were legal we would see it all the way to the Major Leagues and we don't. One of the roles of the umpire is to insure that no team gains an unfair advantage not intended by the rules.......

I've got a Balk here.... 

Why'd you have to spoil all the fun. LOL - I expected as much - but it sure would be fun. 

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34 minutes ago, Stan W. said:

I think the thing that I always think when I see these sort of "plays" is that it isn't expected to be legal, its a ploy to attempt to get an out. The underlying hope is that the umpires either don't notice the ploy or do not know it is illegal. These plays are always found in youth ball. If they were legal we would see it all the way to the Major Leagues and we don't. One of the roles of the umpire is to insure that no team gains an unfair advantage not intended by the rules.......

I've got a Balk here.... 

I agree this is a balk, but under the rules. I think when you start using the reasoning stated here, it's a slippery slope (lots of stuff in youth ball that's legal but you don't see "all the way the the Major Leagues" because of differences in player abilities, not because it's a violation of the rules) and I don't agree that "One of the roles of the umpire is to insure that no team gains an unfair advantage not intended by the rules" because now you're using guidelines that are completely arbitrary and undefined. Here, you have, I think, an actual rule violation and don't need to resort to subjective analysis to get a balk. It reminds me of all the coaches that want to use the comment about "deception" to argue for balks.

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4 hours ago, roothog66 said:

I agree this is a balk, but under the rules. I think when you start using the reasoning stated here, it's a slippery slope (lots of stuff in youth ball that's legal but you don't see "all the way the the Major Leagues" because of differences in player abilities, not because it's a violation of the rules) and I don't agree that "One of the roles of the umpire is to insure that no team gains an unfair advantage not intended by the rules" because now you're using guidelines that are completely arbitrary and undefined. Here, you have, I think, an actual rule violation and don't need to resort to subjective analysis to get a balk. It reminds me of all the coaches that want to use the comment about "deception" to argue for balks.

This exact line has been included in many sport rule books over the years..........NFHS / American Legion / OBR..............the "Unfair advantage" line is listed many times where umpire judgment is stated...........so I stand by the line......The rules clearly tell you what is legal...........our job is to make sure no one bypasses them to gain an unfair advantage.

IMHO of course

   

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6 minutes ago, Stan W. said:

This exact line has been included in many sport rule books over the years..........NFHS / American Legion / OBR..............the "Unfair advantage" line is listed many times where umpire judgment is stated...........so I stand by the line......The rules clearly tell you what is legal...........our job is to make sure no one bypasses them to gain an unfair advantage.

IMHO of course

   

I understand where you're coming from, but the phrasing is extremely clunky. For example, " no team gains an unfair advantage not intended by the rules" Are there unfair advantages that are intended by the rules? If not, then you're back to simply making a judgment of "unfair" regardless of the rules and that's extremely subjective. I understand the comments meaning to give guidance, but I prefer an umpire be able to actually explain what balk rule was violated rather than an explanation that it was "unfair." I don't see how it's any different than people clinging to the "deceptive" comment to claim something is a balk. I HATE that comment. It's caused more confusion over the years than any other phrase in the rule book. 

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2 hours ago, roothog66 said:

Are there unfair advantages that are intended by the rules?

It might be more accurate to say that there are many unfair advantages the rules ignore.   The rules don't care if one team has nine superstars and the other has nine duds.

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2 hours ago, roothog66 said:

Are there unfair advantages that are intended by the rules?

No. 'Fairness' in this context entails the same rules being applied to both teams consistently throughout the game.

One obvious "advantage" that a team might consider "unfair" in some other sense is the opposing team having substantially better players. Such an "advantage" is consistent with the rules.

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If he were to step off with his pivot foot, thus disengaging,  and then step towards the base with the free foot, would it then be legal? 

 

 Ow if it is, the extra time for the second step may certainly negate the “trick play” advantage 

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On 5/3/2018 at 10:10 AM, Guest Willy said:

...it sure would be fun. 

At the risk of raining on your parade, I don't see the fun in this.  It's an attempt to game the system, and that is neither within the spirit of the rules nor the concept of good sportsmanship.

The bush league nature of it notwithstanding, in FED rules, 1-3-6 states gloves "shall be worn by all players" and the pitcher in this scenario isn't wearing his. So it also violates 6-1-3 which states the "pitcher shall have the ball in either his gloved hand or his pitching hand." Without the glove on, and standing as he was on the rubber, the right hand would be his gloved hand were he wearing it. But since he isn't, it's implicitly not allowed.

 

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3 hours ago, Stk004 said:

 

TY, got some video watchin to do

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Trivia question:  Who was the last major league pitcher to pick a runner off base by throwing with his non-pitching arm? Answer:  Jackie Collum in 1953.

I stumbled upon the following article titled Jackie Collum: A Living Baseball Legend by William L. Sherman on the SABR website at—

http://chapters.sabr.org/fieldofdreams/images/pdf/Jackie Collum2.pdf

--and here is an excerpt that seems to answer the question in the OP.

David Nemec, who is a baseball rules authority and has done extensive research on pick-off plays, explained that a rule requiring pitchers to throw on pick-off plays with their pitching arm was adopted late in the 19th century, when there were a number of major league pitchers capable of throwing with both arms. This was also at a time when many players did not wear gloves. The rule adopted required that the arm with which it appeared the pitcher was going to pitch was assumed to be his pitching arm and he could not throw with the other to deceive a base runner.

Nemec noted that it is legal for a pitcher to pitch with both arms in the same inning and even to the same batter as long as he switches gloves and glove hands prior to every pitch in which he intends to change arms. This must be done in full view of both the batter and any base runners. What makes this play even more confusing is there is no mention of pick off attempts in the regular major league rule book. It is covered in the special umpires’ rule book which deals with special situations that for a variety of reasons are not covered in the official rule book available to the public,” Nemec explained.

 

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1 hour ago, Senor Azul said:

Nemec noted that it is legal for a pitcher to pitch with both arms in the same inning and even to the same batter

 

No longer true

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