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Kershaw Pickoff Riley LAD@ATL B-2nd 6/5/21


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I know and agree, and I suspect that appearance is partly due to the more or less consistent placement of cameras where we do not get the umpire's angle on the play. You'd better believe MLB is a

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35 minutes ago, Larry in TN said:

I'm interested in the Balk/No Balk breakdown on this pickoff.  It was ruled no-balk but it looks like Kershaw moved forward, toward the plate, before throwing to 1B.  What keeps this from being a balk?

https://www.mlb.com/video/pickoff-attempt-1b-7q13fu

Umpire judgement that the step was more towards 1B than HP. Lefties get away with murder.

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2 hours ago, Larry in TN said:

I'm interested in the Balk/No Balk breakdown on this pickoff.  It was ruled no-balk but it looks like Kershaw moved forward, toward the plate, before throwing to 1B.  What keeps this from being a balk?

https://www.mlb.com/video/pickoff-attempt-1b-7q13fu

because those in power do not want this called a balk is the simple answer. The rule already says a pitcher is to step directly toward a base and obviously very few step directly toward as written. You are not trying to pick the runner off every time, just keep him from getting a tremendous jump IMHO. Vary your set position or cadence etc, etc. But today you got to keep the money ball analytics in play. No little ball. So, for more than anyone on here can tell you, call up your good buddy Dale Ford, now that he is not in office at the moment, and i bet dollars to doughnuts he can and would love to tell you all about this question and more. Remember HOFer Al Barlick quit for a time because umpires were not being backed up on the balk rule as it was written at the time. Write the rule up anyway you want, just back the umpires when they call a violation because it is a balk by the rule you drew up, or when they do not call a violation because it is not a balk by the rule you drew up. And, just like any rule with judgement (think check swing here), there would still be an argument at some point about the term directly or however any rule is written. Got to keep judgment in the equation so we can still have ejections to break up the monotony of just a bunch of strike outs and home runs.

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Impossible to tell from that camera angle. Ideally, you want to see the sky-cam view to judge angle.

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2 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

good enough for me .....I've always thought Kershaw balks CONSTANTLY ...his body is ALWAYS moving towards home, and his step ... good lord .......

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Jeff, camera angles flatten and distort, and the extent of distortion depends on the lens used. We see this all the time in football: on a goal-line drive, if the camera is slightly into the field of play, the ball always appears to be across the goal line; if slightly into the endzone, the ball appears not to cross the goal line. Only a shot directly down the line (the pylon cam is a super invention) can provide the angle required to determine the forward progress of the ball. The effect can appear to move the ball as much as a FOOT. 

I'm not denying that Kershaw balked here, but I guarantee that this camera angle proves nothing. If you lined up photos of 90 legal moves and 10 balks from this angle, you could not reliably pick out the balks (if you got some, it would be luck). This is not your fault: it's optics and geometry. You know, science.

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It's also possible that the umpires just missed it; and it's possible that this isn't, by some agreement / interp / instruction to be called a balk in MLB but should be called in the games we do.

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41 minutes ago, maven said:

Jeff, camera angles flatten and distort, and the extent of distortion depends on the lens used. We see this all the time in football: on a goal-line drive, if the camera is slightly into the field of play, the ball always appears to be across the goal line; if slightly into the endzone, the ball appears not to cross the goal line. Only a shot directly down the line (the pylon cam is a super invention) can provide the angle required to determine the forward progress of the ball. The effect can appear to move the ball as much as a FOOT. 

I'm not denying that Kershaw balked here, but I guarantee that this camera angle proves nothing. If you lined up photos of 90 legal moves and 10 balks from this angle, you could not reliably pick out the balks (if you got some, it would be luck). This is not your fault: it's optics and geometry. You know, science.

Understood.  I'm moreso going off of what I've seen Kershaw do in other games.   He looks like he balks all the time! ;)

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5 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

Understood.  I'm moreso going off of what I've seen Kershaw do in other games.   He looks like he balks all the time! ;)

I know and agree, and I suspect that appearance is partly due to the more or less consistent placement of cameras where we do not get the umpire's angle on the play.

You'd better believe MLB is aware of the situation and has decided how they want to handle it. It's quite possible that the umpires say, "that's not what it looks like from where we're standing!"

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