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Guest Duke103

Balk

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Guest Duke103

A left handed pitcher, from the stretch, legally comes to the set position, raises his lead knee and lowers it toward first, where he stops again before his lead foot touches the ground, then moves that foot toward home, and delivers the pitch. 

Is this a balk? 

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10 hours ago, Guest Duke103 said:

A left handed pitcher, from the stretch, legally comes to the set position, raises his lead knee and lowers it toward first, where he stops again before his lead foot touches the ground, then moves that foot toward home, and delivers the pitch. 

Is this a balk? 

Sounds like the pitcher came set, started his motion (with non-pivot foot), paused (while looking at 1st), then delivered. Correct?

As noumpere stated, HTBT

Assuming the "pause" is what's being questioned. 

If anything was moving during delivery, the answer to the OP is, no. 

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Guest Duke103
13 hours ago, Tborze said:

Sounds like the pitcher came set, started his motion (with non-pivot foot), paused (while looking at 1st), then delivered. Correct?

As noumpere stated, HTBT

Assuming the "pause" is what's being questioned. 

If anything was moving during delivery, the answer to the OP is, no. 

To be clear, he didn't just pause. He raised his lead knee, lowered it in the direction of first base and stopped 3 to 4 inches from the ground, paused for a second, then moved his foot toward home plate and delivered the pitch. The same pitcher, in the same inning, used three different stretch motions. The balk rule makes reference to "deception". In my mind, that is clear deception and thus, a balk.

Btw, you'll have to excuse me, but what is HTBT?

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From the 2013 Wendelstedt rules interpretation manual (section 6.3, p. 102):

It is a balk when…

The pitcher suspends his foot in the air (he stopped his delivery) in an attempt to hold a runner.

Play 132:  R1, no outs, no count. The left-handed pitcher, after coming stopped in the set position, raises his non-pivot foot off the ground and suspends it in the air, freezing R1. He then steps and throws to first base in an attempt to pick-off R1. Ruling:  This is a balk.

From the 2017 Jaksa/Roder rules interpretation manual (Chapter 18, p. 144):

It is a balk if a pitcher who is in-contact…hesitates in or interrupts his motion to join hands, pitch, throw, or disengage.

R1. A left-handed pitcher lifts his free foot and suspends it, unmoving, for a split second before proceeding in his motion to throw:  hesitation, balk.

And the acronym HTBT is umpire shorthand for had to be there meaning that in order to make a proper call we would have had to actually been there and seen the play in question. But I think your description is more than adequate to be able to tell you that it was a balk. It was a balk for a couple of reasons—the start/stop (suspending his lead foot) and the move toward first without throwing.

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6 hours ago, Guest Duke103 said:

The balk rule makes reference to "deception". In my mind, that is clear deception and thus, a balk.

Some deception is legal, some is illegal. The fact that a move is deceptive tells you NOTHING about whether it's a balk. We must know which kinds the rules prohibit in order to know what's a balk.

6 hours ago, Guest Duke103 said:

The same pitcher, in the same inning, used three different stretch motions.

That's perfectly legal. A pitcher can use a different motion for every pitch of the game if he wishes, provided only that they all conform to the rules.

6 hours ago, Guest Duke103 said:

He raised his lead knee, lowered it in the direction of first base and stopped 3 to 4 inches from the ground, paused for a second, then moved his foot toward home plate and delivered the pitch.

If his entire body (literally: every single part of his body, head, face, arms, torso, legs, feet) froze for a substantial interval (umpire judgment), then that would make the pitching motion illegal. The rules require that F1 deliver the pitch "without interruption" once the motion begins, and such a pause would constitute an illegal interruption.

With runners on, that's a balk.

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6 hours ago, Guest Duke103 said:

To be clear, he didn't just pause. He raised his lead knee, lowered it in the direction of first base and stopped 3 to 4 inches from the ground, paused for a second, then moved his foot toward home plate and delivered the pitch. The same pitcher, in the same inning, used three different stretch motions. The balk rule makes reference to "deception". In my mind, that is clear deception and thus, a balk.

Btw, you'll have to excuse me, but what is HTBT?

I'm not sure how one lowers a knee in the direction of first base, and I've not seen a pitcher lower the lead knee to 3-4 inches off the ground.  So, I'm assuming you meant the foot.

I don't see a balk in anything you've described, except, maybe, the pause.

If, as part of lowering the leg, the foot kicked out toward first, and THEN swung toward the plate -- that *could be* a balk, depending on how the umpire saw it -- but it's very hard to have a pause after the foot kicks out.  If the leg was just raised, and then lowered in approximately the same path, and then swung toward the plate, that would be legal.

HTBT is "Had To Be There" -- and I hope you can now see why -- it's difficult to describe what happened so that the reader gets a clear picture in his/her mind and, thus, can opine correctly on the call.

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16 hours ago, noumpere said:

.  If the leg was just raised, and then lowered in approximately the same path, and then swung toward the plate, that would be legal.

 

See Andy Pettitte. 

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On 6/19/2019 at 1:17 AM, Guest Duke103 said:

 

Btw, you'll have to excuse me, but what is HTBT?

HAD TO BE THERE

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Guest Duke103
On 6/18/2019 at 10:21 AM, Tborze said:

Sounds like the pitcher came set, started his motion (with non-pivot foot), paused (while looking at 1st), then delivered. Correct?

As noumpere stated, HTBT

Assuming the "pause" is what's being questioned. 

If anything was moving during delivery, the answer to the OP is, no. 

Thank you all for your informative answers. 

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Mr. maven, are you implying that both the Wendelstedt and the Jaksa/Roder manuals are wrong? Both examples I posted from those books say a pitcher cannot suspend his leg legally. Neither book says anything at all about a pitcher moving his face will make a suspended leg legal. So, just to be crystal clear, you are telling us that if a pitcher is wriggling his nose like Samantha from Bewitched he can suspend his leg as long as he wants. Right?

I wonder how an umpire or a base runner could see that kind of movement. It is a lot easier to see the movement of a hand, arm, or leg than it is to see a nose wriggle, eye blink, or lip curl. Wouldn’t you agree? How about the act of breathing? That moves the chest under the jersey of the pitcher, doesn’t it? I also wonder why there are no case plays or any mentions in any manual or website of this very important detail that makes almost any pitching hesitation or interruption legal.

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Just balk that SH*# early so you don't have to deal with it all game.

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