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Guest reid

Balk or no? - Lefty edition

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Guest reid

Lefty pitcher on the mound.  Runner on 1B (only runner on base).  P steps on rubber, gets sign and as he is coming set "flicks" ball over to 1B for a pick.  Is this a balk?  P is already facing 1B and is in process of coming set (but never does) and makes a single motion to throw the ball to 1B.

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14 minutes ago, Guest reid said:

Lefty pitcher on the mound.  Runner on 1B (only runner on base).  P steps on rubber, gets sign and as he is coming set "flicks" ball over to 1B for a pick.  Is this a balk?  P is already facing 1B and is in process of coming set (but never does) and makes a single motion to throw the ball to 1B.

If he stepped while throwing it's not a balk. You can step and throw while coming set but there is the possibility of the umpire perceiving a failure to come set "without interruption and
in one continuous motion". Any pause between the coming set and the throw might be balked.   

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Guest reid
7 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

If he stepped while throwing it's not a balk. You can step and throw while coming set but there is the possibility of the umpire perceiving a failure to come set "without interruption and
in one continuous motion". Any pause between the coming set and the throw might be balked.   

So what if the feet never really move?   And full disclosure..... this is my kid who did this and a balk wasn't called.  I guess he kinda sort of moved towards 1B at the end of the throw just because him momentum carried him that way (and I've always drilled it into him to make sure he does when picking).

And if the ball isn't delivered to the plate, how can it be called a balk for not coming set?

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2018 OBR rule 5.07(d) Throwing to the Bases

At any time during the pitcher’s preliminary movements and until his natural pitching motion commits him to the pitch, he may throw to any base provided he steps directly toward such base before making the throw.

Rule 5.07(d) Comment: The pitcher shall step “ahead of the throw.” A snap throw followed by the step directly toward the base is a balk.

 

2018 OBR rule 6.02 Pitcher Illegal Action

(a) Balks

 If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when:

(3) The pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base;

Rule 6.02(a )(3) Comment: Requires the pitcher, while touching his plate, to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his free foot without actually stepping or if he turns his body and throws before stepping, it is a balk

A pitcher is to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base and is required to throw (except to second base) because he steps…

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Guest reid
19 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

2018 OBR rule 5.07(d) Throwing to the Bases

At any time during the pitcher’s preliminary movements and until his natural pitching motion commits him to the pitch, he may throw to any base provided he steps directly toward such base before making the throw.

Rule 5.07(d) Comment: The pitcher shall step “ahead of the throw.” A snap throw followed by the step directly toward the base is a balk.

 

2018 OBR rule 6.02 Pitcher Illegal Action

(a) Balks

 If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when:

(3) The pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base;

Rule 6.02(a )(3) Comment: Requires the pitcher, while touching his plate, to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his free foot without actually stepping or if he turns his body and throws before stepping, it is a balk

A pitcher is to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base and is required to throw (except to second base) because he steps…

So I'm wondering if because when he is coming set he always comes set in a "closed" position (right foot towards 1B a little more) it "appears" that he is stepping towards 1B to the 2 man crew and maybe would be called with a full crew?    And I'm not saying these umps we're talking about are probably the sharpest arrows in the quiver......... I appreciate all this information immensely.  Something the boy started doing all on his own and its been argued whether its actually legal or not.

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50 minutes ago, Guest reid said:

So what if the feet never really move?   And full disclosure..... this is my kid who did this and a balk wasn't called.  I guess he kinda sort of moved towards 1B at the end of the throw just because him momentum carried him that way (and I've always drilled it into him to make sure he does when picking).

And if the ball isn't delivered to the plate, how can it be called a balk for not coming set?

If there was no step it's a balk. If he started to come set and stopped, without some other continuous motion to pick,  it's a balk for interrupting the motion to come set. That balk penalty for that is not addressed in the OBR rule but MLB umpire schools will tell you it's a balk. College and High School rules address it as a balk.

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Here’s the professional definition of a step by the pitcher that complies with the rules:

To step toward a base the pitcher must lift his non-pivot foot and put it down in a new location (some distance) toward the base.

So, a pitcher MUST step ahead of the throw by rule; i.e., a snap throw followed by a step is a balk. We umpires sum it up as a step must have distance and direction to the base. If your son threw the ball without first stepping toward the base then he balked—the umpires in your game missed the call.

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17 hours ago, Guest reid said:

So I'm wondering if because when he is coming set he always comes set in a "closed" position (right foot towards 1B a little more) it "appears" that he is stepping towards 1B to the 2 man crew and maybe would be called with a full crew?  

It is possible, and I think this is what you are saying, for the pitcher's foot to gain "distance and direction" toward first *as* the pitcher is coming set.  So, the same foot movement would be legal *both* for coming set *and* for throwing toward first.  The number of umpires should have almost nothing to do with this.

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Plus, the step must be more toward first base than home.  The non-pivot foot must land past the 45 degree line bisecting the home-rubber-1B angle.  This is a judgment call, and the pitcher is usually given the benefit of any doubt.

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12 hours ago, MooseLoop said:

Plus, the step must be more toward first base than home.  The non-pivot foot must land past the 45 degree line bisecting the home-rubber-1B angle.  This is a judgment call, and the pitcher is usually given the benefit of any doubt.

The home-rubber-1B angle is not bisected by 45 degrees as it’s not exactly 90 degrees and it’s not measured from the rubber. NCAA expresses it well:

”6) The pitcher must step directly and gain ground toward a base in an attempt to pick off a runner. “Directly” is interpreted to mean within a 45-degree angle measuring from the pivot foot toward the base the pitcher is throwing to or feinting a throw.”

added: But I would not quibble with using the start of the running lane as a guide for throws to 1B:)

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12 hours ago, MooseLoop said:

Plus, the step must be more toward first base than home.  The non-pivot foot must land past the 45 degree line bisecting the home-rubber-1B angle.  This is a judgment call, and the pitcher is usually given the benefit of any doubt.

Since we are talking about a lefty. And I'm not sure it has been brought up yet. The pitcher may also disengage and throw to first without having his non pivot foot step towards first.

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