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Guest Richard

I have a feeling this has been a common topic but I can't seem to find any answers that specifically answer this as right or wrong so please help...

Situation: Runner on 1st only - Pitcher set position.  Pitcher begins wind up and runner takes off to steal second base.  Pitcher turns and throws to player covering 2nd base to tag runner on the steal.  Now here's the controversy...all umpires I speak with on this give me different answers.  Some say balk, some say legal.  I know, and I have shown those calling it a balk, that rule 8.05(m)(b) gives a pitcher the right to make this move as 2nd base is not considered occupied in this situation.  The next dilemma is this...If the pitcher makes this move and then the runner stops and goes back to 1st, I am being told that it is NOW a balk because the runner stalling his movement to 2nd cancels the pitchers justification to throw to 2nd "for the purpose of making a play" since the runner is not stealing. My problem, and hope for clarification for, is this accurate?  Is the runner stalling a way to "defeat" the pitcher able to throw to 2nd during a 1st to 2nd steal or is it still a legal move whether the runner continues or stops?

 

Thank you for any help and clarification I can get because it's been a point of contention since before the season began, we have 3 games left and I STILL don't have an answer so I don't let my pitchers make the move in fear of an unknown balk call because of an umpires interpretation of the two lines;

(1)"for the purposes of making a play" and

(2)"With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base"

Because depending on interpretation, the second line could cover the move as legal regardless of the runner stopping his steal or not.

 

-Richard

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In Fed, it's definitely legal, even if R1 fakes an advance.

 

In OBR, it's more tricky and is up to umpire judgment as to whether or not R1 was actually advancing, or just faking his advance.  In OBR, if the runner was going and turned around to go back to first after seeing F1 use the inside move, then in my judgment he was stealing and F1's move is legal.  If R1 was just taking an aggressive secondary and F1 uses the inside move to throw or fake to second, then it's a balk.

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Guest Richard

 

"Pitcher set position.  Pitcher begins wind up..."

That part confused me some.  Is he in the set or the wind-up?  Or by "wind up," do you mean starts his motion?

 

My apologies, I meant he starts his motion once coming set.

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I have a feeling this has been a common topic but I can't seem to find any answers that specifically answer this as right or wrong so please help...

Situation: Runner on 1st only - Pitcher set position.  Pitcher begins wind up and runner takes off to steal second base.  Pitcher turns and throws to player covering 2nd base to tag runner on the steal.  Now here's the controversy...all umpires I speak with on this give me different answers.  Some say balk, some say legal.  I know, and I have shown those calling it a balk, that rule 8.05(m)(b) gives a pitcher the right to make this move as 2nd base is not considered occupied in this situation.  The next dilemma is this...If the pitcher makes this move and then the runner stops and goes back to 1st, I am being told that it is NOW a balk because the runner stalling his movement to 2nd cancels the pitchers justification to throw to 2nd "for the purpose of making a play" since the runner is not stealing. My problem, and hope for clarification for, is this accurate?  Is the runner stalling a way to "defeat" the pitcher able to throw to 2nd during a 1st to 2nd steal or is it still a legal move whether the runner continues or stops?

 

Thank you for any help and clarification I can get because it's been a point of contention since before the season began, we have 3 games left and I STILL don't have an answer so I don't let my pitchers make the move in fear of an unknown balk call because of an umpires interpretation of the two lines;

(1)"for the purposes of making a play" and

(2)"With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base"

Because depending on interpretation, the second line could cover the move as legal regardless of the runner stopping his steal or not.

 

-Richard

 

I agree with everything said so far. I have a question for Richard though. If I read the OP correctly, it states, "Runner on 1st only - Pitcher set position.  Pitcher begins wind up and runner takes off to steal second base.  Pitcher turns and throws to player covering 2nd base to tag runner on the steal."

 

If the pitcher has begun his pitching motion from the set, unless he is swinging the non-pivot foot back towards second, if he has his motion starting towards home, he is going to balk if he changes his delivery motion from what it has been all game and hesitates and goes to second base.

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Guest Richard

 

I have a feeling this has been a common topic but I can't seem to find any answers that specifically answer this as right or wrong so please help...

Situation: Runner on 1st only - Pitcher set position.  Pitcher begins wind up and runner takes off to steal second base.  Pitcher turns and throws to player covering 2nd base to tag runner on the steal.  Now here's the controversy...all umpires I speak with on this give me different answers.  Some say balk, some say legal.  I know, and I have shown those calling it a balk, that rule 8.05(m)(b) gives a pitcher the right to make this move as 2nd base is not considered occupied in this situation.  The next dilemma is this...If the pitcher makes this move and then the runner stops and goes back to 1st, I am being told that it is NOW a balk because the runner stalling his movement to 2nd cancels the pitchers justification to throw to 2nd "for the purpose of making a play" since the runner is not stealing. My problem, and hope for clarification for, is this accurate?  Is the runner stalling a way to "defeat" the pitcher able to throw to 2nd during a 1st to 2nd steal or is it still a legal move whether the runner continues or stops?

 

Thank you for any help and clarification I can get because it's been a point of contention since before the season began, we have 3 games left and I STILL don't have an answer so I don't let my pitchers make the move in fear of an unknown balk call because of an umpires interpretation of the two lines;

(1)"for the purposes of making a play" and

(2)"With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base"

Because depending on interpretation, the second line could cover the move as legal regardless of the runner stopping his steal or not.

 

-Richard

 

I agree with everything said so far. I have a question for Richard though. If I read the OP correctly, it states, "Runner on 1st only - Pitcher set position.  Pitcher begins wind up and runner takes off to steal second base.  Pitcher turns and throws to player covering 2nd base to tag runner on the steal."

 

If the pitcher has begun his pitching motion from the set, unless he is swinging the non-pivot foot back towards second, if he has his motion starting towards home, he is going to balk if he changes his delivery motion from what it has been all game and hesitates and goes to second base.

 

Sorry for the cloudy image everyone...not an umpire myself I don't think in the same verbiage as one....let me try to clarify.....

Pitcher is in set position with a runner on 1st base.  The runner breaks for a steal as the pitchers front foot leaves the ground.  The pitcher lifts his leg straight up with no motion or indication to home plate, swings non-pivot foot backwards toward second and throws to 2nd base.  The same motion made when attempting to pick off a runner on 2nd base.

I hope that helps.

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Pitcher is in set position with a runner on 1st base.  The runner breaks for a steal as the pitchers front foot leaves the ground.  The pitcher lifts his leg straight up with no motion or indication to home plate, swings non-pivot foot backwards toward second and throws to 2nd base.  The same motion made when attempting to pick off a runner on 2nd base.

I hope that helps.

As described the move is legal in all codes with R1 stealing, provided that F1 steps toward 2B and the move is done without hesitation.

 

I have seldom seen it done correctly, however. There's generally some hitch or hop toward 1B prior to a throw to 2B, and that would be a balk for feinting to 1B.

 

There are many, many legal moves: some of them are fugly, some not. Ugly ≠ illegal. It's generally easier to know what's permitted, and to work backward to what's illegal.

 

From the set position, F1 may pitch, step off, or step and throw to a base. He may throw to an unoccupied base only for the purpose of making a play, which is what you have in your situation.

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I have a feeling this has been a common topic but I can't seem to find any answers that specifically answer this as right or wrong so please help...

Situation: Runner on 1st only - Pitcher set position.  Pitcher begins wind up and runner takes off to steal second base.  Pitcher turns and throws to player covering 2nd base to tag runner on the steal.  Now here's the controversy...all umpires I speak with on this give me different answers.  Some say balk, some say legal.  I know, and I have shown those calling it a balk, that rule 8.05(m)(b) gives a pitcher the right to make this move as 2nd base is not considered occupied in this situation.  The next dilemma is this...If the pitcher makes this move and then the runner stops and goes back to 1st, I am being told that it is NOW a balk because the runner stalling his movement to 2nd cancels the pitchers justification to throw to 2nd "for the purpose of making a play" since the runner is not stealing. My problem, and hope for clarification for, is this accurate?  Is the runner stalling a way to "defeat" the pitcher able to throw to 2nd during a 1st to 2nd steal or is it still a legal move whether the runner continues or stops?

 

Thank you for any help and clarification I can get because it's been a point of contention since before the season began, we have 3 games left and I STILL don't have an answer so I don't let my pitchers make the move in fear of an unknown balk call because of an umpires interpretation of the two lines;

(1)"for the purposes of making a play" and

(2)"With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base"

Because depending on interpretation, the second line could cover the move as legal regardless of the runner stopping his steal or not.

 

-Richard

 

I agree with everything said so far. I have a question for Richard though. If I read the OP correctly, it states, "Runner on 1st only - Pitcher set position.  Pitcher begins wind up and runner takes off to steal second base.  Pitcher turns and throws to player covering 2nd base to tag runner on the steal."

 

If the pitcher has begun his pitching motion from the set, unless he is swinging the non-pivot foot back towards second, if he has his motion starting towards home, he is going to balk if he changes his delivery motion from what it has been all game and hesitates and goes to second base.

 

Sorry for the cloudy image everyone...not an umpire myself I don't think in the same verbiage as one....let me try to clarify.....

Pitcher is in set position with a runner on 1st base.  The runner breaks for a steal as the pitchers front foot leaves the ground.  The pitcher lifts his leg straight up with no motion or indication to home plate, swings non-pivot foot backwards toward second and throws to 2nd base.  The same motion made when attempting to pick off a runner on 2nd base.

I hope that helps.

 

 

I think you already have the answers, as Grayhawk answered above with the assumption that the move itself was legal and the only issue was the going/not-going.  (Obviously, there is also the possibility of the actual move becoming a balk if not properly executed.)  If you are playing OBR, you at the risk that the U deems it a fake and not actually going, in which case it would be a balk.

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If you are playing OBR, you at the risk that the U deems it a fake and not actually going, in which case it would be a balk.

I think @noumpere posted in another thread: if R1 "feints" more than 1 step, I'm probably allowing F1 to throw to 2B. And since the defense probably isn't prompting F1 to throw to 2B (or step off) for less, this throw is usually going to end up legal. IOW, benefit of any doubt to the defense.

 

That's what I'm allowing. :)

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Guest Richard

I greatly appreciate all of your answers and help!!  I can definitely see how it could easily be a balk if done incorrectly.  I coach an 11 year old team and I have yet to play a team whereas their runners feint, fake or make a false steal motion.  They're either running or not running LOL, so again, thank you all for your inputs!!

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Any easy way that I was taught was think of it as advantage vs. disadvantage.  You're not going to give one team an advantage, by giving the other a disadvantage.  By the runner "making the pitcher believe he was going to 2nd", you don't place the defense at a DISadvantage, if he throws to 2nd by calling a balk.  As previously mentioned, judgement call. 

 

 

ALSO, as previously mentioned............... if the pitcher doesn't complete this move CORRECTLY, well, then you have a different situation.

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If you are playing OBR, you at the risk that the U deems it a fake and not actually going, in which case it would be a balk.

I think @noumpere posted in another thread: if R1 "feints" more than 1 step, I'm probably allowing F1 to throw to 2B. And since the defense probably isn't prompting F1 to throw to 2B (or step off) for less, this throw is usually going to end up legal. IOW, benefit of any doubt to the defense.

 

That's what I'm allowing. :)

 

Agreed.  And, I think OBR (or some interp) changed a little this year so it's easier to allow the throw as legal.  I don't have the reference handy, though.

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If you are playing OBR, you at the risk that the U deems it a fake and not actually going, in which case it would be a balk.

I think @noumpere posted in another thread: if R1 "feints" more than 1 step, I'm probably allowing F1 to throw to 2B. And since the defense probably isn't prompting F1 to throw to 2B (or step off) for less, this throw is usually going to end up legal. IOW, benefit of any doubt to the defense.

 

That's what I'm allowing. :)

Agreed.  And, I think OBR (or some interp) changed a little this year so it's easier to allow the throw as legal.  I don't have the reference handy, though.

They added this:

Rule 8.05(d) Comment: When determining whether the pitcher throws or feints a throw to an

unoccupied base for the purpose of making a play, the umpire should consider whether a runner on the previous base demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression of his intent to advance to such unoc- cupied base.

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They added this:

Rule 8.05(d) Comment: When determining whether the pitcher throws or feints a throw to an

unoccupied base for the purpose of making a play, the umpire should consider whether a runner on the previous base demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression of his intent to advance to such unoc- cupied base.

Oh, that's helpful. To determine whether he feinted, all I need to do is check whether he "demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression" (which makes no sense, BTW). Gee, I had no idea that 'feinting' had anything to do with "creating an impression." Thanks, MLB!

 

@Jimurray: you did nothing wrong, I'm just whinging about the uselessness of that comment.

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They added this:

Rule 8.05(d) Comment: When determining whether the pitcher throws or feints a throw to an

unoccupied base for the purpose of making a play, the umpire should consider whether a runner on the previous base demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression of his intent to advance to such unoc- cupied base.

Oh, that's helpful. To determine whether he feinted, all I need to do is check whether he "demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression" (which makes no sense, BTW). Gee, I had no idea that 'feinting' had anything to do with "creating an impression." Thanks, MLB!

 

@Jimurray: you did nothing wrong, I'm just whinging about the uselessness of that comment.

I don't have the 2014 MLBUM but I bet it addresses what the added comment means. PBUC probably does also since both have the previous interp regarding "bluffing". Or we could just go on noumpires opinion that its easier to allow the throw now. That's my opinion also.

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so a LHP ,when R1 goes on first movement, could continue his motion to an inside move and throw or not throw to F4 F6. I will teach this in the future insteard of throwing to F3 when runner leaves on first movement. Thanks I had no idea

 

Not likely to work. If F1 moves toward 1B, then interrupts his step and throw to turn to 2B, that is a balk for failing to step directly to 2B.

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so a LHP ,when R1 goes on first movement, could continue his motion to an inside move and throw or not throw to F4 F6. I will teach this in the future insteard of throwing to F3 when runner leaves on first movement. Thanks I had no idea

I wouldn't go there. Even if you are able to teach your pitcher how to do this legally, he might run into an umpire who balks it, which is going to be frustrating for you and the pitcher. Nobody uses this move at the advanced levels, either.

There's just too much that can go wrong.

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Guest roothog66

so a LHP ,when R1 goes on first movement, could continue his motion to an inside move and throw or not throw to F4 F6. I will teach this in the future insteard of throwing to F3 when runner leaves on first movement. Thanks I had no idea

I had thought of this myself a few years ago, based on the comment concerning not hesitating toward first and going directly to second. I tried to teach it to my lefties. It's almost ipossible for them to get right. They come set and make a decision to either throw to first or throw to the plate. It's difficult, if not impossible, for them to set their pivot foot in a manner that allows them to decide last minute to continue on to second. They're best just making the strong throw to F3 on the play and letting him throw to F6.

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so a LHP ,when R1 goes on first movement, could continue his motion to an inside move and throw or not throw to F4 F6. I will teach this in the future insteard of throwing to F3 when runner leaves on first movement. Thanks I had no idea

I had thought of this myself a few years ago, based on the comment concerning not hesitating toward first and going directly to second. I tried to teach it to my lefties. It's almost ipossible for them to get right. They come set and make a decision to either throw to first or throw to the plate. It's difficult, if not impossible, for them to set their pivot foot in a manner that allows them to decide last minute to continue on to second. They're best just making the strong throw to F3 on the play and letting him throw to F6.

 

 

I agree with this.  There are much, much bigger fish to fry....one off the top of my head is throwing the ball across the plate. 

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8.05(d) comment changed last year and I don't know whether makes it more or less tricky to judge:

"Rule 8.05(d) Comment: When determining whether the pitcher throws or feints a throw to an

unoccupied base for the purpose of making a play, the umpire should consider whether a runner on the previous base demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression of his intent to advance to such unoc- cupied base."

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