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Guest Austin

balk move?

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Guest Austin

Man on first only, right handed pitcher with right foot on the rubber lifts his free foot first, free foot knee bends slightly first, free foot heal rises slightly, but then throws to first is that a balk?  

From the rule book. "The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery"

To me, if the normal first move of a pitch to home is bending the left knee then you can't bend the left knee first and go to first.   Am I right or wrong?  Thank you

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24 minutes ago, Guest Austin said:

Am I right or wrong?

Unfortunately, both. Right call, wrong reason.

You're right that a RHP raising his free foot/let sufficiently—say, to the balance point—must deliver to the batter. But you're not citing the right provision of the rules to justify calling a balk.

Raising the leg in that way violates the requirement to step directly to 1B. By interpretation, the step must gain "distance and direction" to 1B: it must be more toward 1B than HP, and it must move some distance along that line. But the step must be "direct" and more or less immediate. 

A LHP can lift the leg more, because doing so can still be a move directly to 1B. Not so for a RHP, which is why most of them use a jump turn or jab step instead. A step, though not illegal in itself (it is possible for a RHP to step and throw to 1B), tends to telegraph the move a bit more.

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