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Rock Bottom

Straight into set

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I had a pitcher today start on the set position with pitching hand in glove and set as he took the rubber. First move was the delivery. Is this legal? I'm thinking based on the below (Fed 6-1-3) I should have balked him, but I wasn't sure and the opposition never even hinted at complaining about it so I let it go. This is for a rec league and I didn't want to start issues where there weren't any so I figured I'd check here tonight.

Thoughts?

6-1-3 ART. "For the set position, the pitcher shall have the ball in either his gloved hand or his pitching hand. His pitching hand shall be down at his side or behind his back...."

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4 hours ago, Rock Bottom said:

I had a pitcher today start on the set position with pitching hand in glove and set as he took the rubber. First move was the delivery. Is this legal? I'm thinking based on the below (Fed 6-1-3) I should have balked him, but I wasn't sure and the opposition never even hinted at complaining about it so I let it go. This is for a rec league and I didn't want to start issues where there weren't any so I figured I'd check here tonight.

Thoughts?

6-1-3 ART. "For the set position, the pitcher shall have the ball in either his gloved hand or his pitching hand. His pitching hand shall be down at his side or behind his back...."

Time, don’t do that. Keep your hands apart when you take the rubber. 

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6 hours ago, Rock Bottom said:

Is this legal?

No. You have the correct rule reference.

6 hours ago, Rock Bottom said:

I'm thinking based on the below (Fed 6-1-3) I should have balked him

That's the mistake. There is no penalty specified (in any code) for this action, and it's a dangerous instinct to reach for a balk for just any illegal action by F1.

It is true that an illegal pitch with runners on is a balk, and this could be a source of confusion on this point. But note that, provided his set position was otherwise legal, the pitch itself was not illegal. If the pitch is not illegal and the provisions of 6-2-4 (the "balk rule") are all satisfied, we can't properly call a balk.

Compare a pitch from the hybrid position: it's not illegal to engage the rubber in that position (F1 can disengage and take a legal position), it's just illegal to pitch from it. If F1 throws a pitch, it's an illegal pitch and a balk with runners on.

So we simply don't allow F1 to take the rubber with hands together. Hence, the previous guidance: kill it, tell him not to do that (and probably explain it to the coach).

If he persists, depending on the heat of the game, you could give him one more chance, then eject him. But it's never a balk.

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