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Balks


Guest Danny B

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Guest Danny B

Pitcher calls time.  Team Huddles at mound. Hans ball to 3rd baseman . 3rd baseman tags out runner. Balk or no?

Thanks 

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Need more info. What level of play /rule set?

The team huddles without a coach I take it?  And then they break up and the 3rd baseman (F5) takes the ball with him to third base where he tags the runner.  I assume the runner is off the base and the umpire has resumed play so the ball is live? Where is the pitcher when play is resumed?  That's important.

If time is still called and the ball has not been put back in play, it is nothing of course.

If play has been resumed and the pitcher is on the rubber in his stance without the ball, yes, it's a balk.

If play is resumed and the pitcher is not on the mound (I don't know why the umpire would resume play like this but let's go with it), I don't think that's a balk.

 

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No balk. The ball must be live for a balk to be called. The ball can't properly be put in play until F1 has the ball on the rubber and the batter's ready.

If the umpire makes the ball live by mistake, it's still not a balk. He'll just fix the mistake.

Same ruling all codes.

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24 minutes ago, maven said:

No balk. The ball must be live for a balk to be called. The ball can't properly be put in play until F1 has the ball on the rubber and the batter's ready.

If the umpire makes the ball live by mistake, it's still not a balk. He'll just fix the mistake.

Same ruling all codes.

But if the ball is put into play because the pitcher is making it look like he's ready to pitch, it is indeed a balk in all codes that allow for a balk.

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7 minutes ago, agdz59 said:

But if the ball is put into play because the pitcher is making it look like he's ready to pitch, it is indeed a balk in all codes that allow for a balk.

If the pitcher doesn’t have the ball on the rubber you haven’t put it in play even though you pointed and/ or said “play”. But you are in good company with some guys who have balked this or argued that you can balk this. 

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18 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

If the pitcher doesn’t have the ball on the rubber you haven’t put it in play even though you pointed and/ or said “play”. But you are in good company with some guys who have balked this or argued that you can balk this. 

NFHS 6-2-5: It is also a balk if a runner or runners are on base and the pitcher... places his feet on or astride the pitcher's plate, or positions himself within approximately five feet of the pitcher's plate without having the ball.

OBR 8.05 (i): If there is a runner or runners, it is a balk when the pitcher, without having the ball, stands on or astride the pitcher’s plate or while off the plate, he feints a pitch;

Rule 8.05 Comment: Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire’s mind, the “intent” of the pitcher should govern. However, certain specifics should be borne in mind: (a) Straddling the pitcher’s rubber without the ball is to be interpreted as intent to deceive and ruled a balk.

If I put the ball into play, it is because I think the pitcher is ready to pitch.  If he then shows he does not have the ball and,therefore, has deceived me as well as the runner, I most definitely am calling a balk.

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5 minutes ago, agdz59 said:

NFHS 6-2-5: It is also a balk if a runner or runners are on base and the pitcher... places his feet on or astride the pitcher's plate, or positions himself within approximately five feet of the pitcher's plate without having the ball.

OBR 8.05 (i): If there is a runner or runners, it is a balk when the pitcher, without having the ball, stands on or astride the pitcher’s plate or while off the plate, he feints a pitch;

Rule 8.05 Comment: Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire’s mind, the “intent” of the pitcher should govern. However, certain specifics should be borne in mind: (a) Straddling the pitcher’s rubber without the ball is to be interpreted as intent to deceive and ruled a balk.

If I put the ball into play, it is because I think the pitcher is ready to pitch.  If he then shows he does not have the ball and,therefore, has deceived me as well as the runner, I most definitely am calling a balk.

What are the conditions to put a ball in play? But your last paragraph is what the umps who have kicked this use as an argument. You are in good but wrong company.

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Mr. agdz59, you cited rule 8.05(i) so that has to be a Little League rule, right? Actually, that would not be the applicable rule to the situation in the OP. Here’s the rule that we need [the corresponding OBR is 5.12(b)]…

2019 LL rule 5.11 - After the ball is dead, play shall be resumed when the pitcher takes position on the pitcher’s plate with a new ball, or the same ball in said pitcher’s possession and the plate umpire calls “Play.” The plate umpire shall call “Play” as soon as the pitcher takes position on the plate with possession of the ball.

If an umpire puts the ball back into play when the pitcher actually does not have the ball not all the conditions of the rule have been met to enable the umpire to make the ball live again. The plate umpire having been fooled by the pitcher will be angry but by rule he cannot call a balk for anything happening while the ball is still technically dead. All the umpire can do is fix the mistake and issue a stern warning.

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Often, we must read several rules jointly; this situation is one of them. You are wrong, agdz59, because you looked at the balk rule independently of the live ball/dead ball rules.

By the way, guest Danny B, players don't call "time." They request it, and the umpire calls it (or not, as the circumstances dictate). In your game, did the umpire call "time"? If not, then the ball did indeed remain alive, you would have had an out, and the offensive team would have learned a valuable lesson. But you have provided insufficient facts for us to opine about a balk: where was the pitcher when F5 tagged the runner?

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9 hours ago, agdz59 said:

If I put the ball into play, it is because I think the pitcher is ready to pitch. If he then shows he does not have the ball and,therefore, has deceived me as well as the runner, I most definitely am calling a balk.

Deception as such is not illegal. Pickoffs, fake bunts, deked steals, etc. are all legal acts of deception. Only the acts of deception proscribed by rule are illegal.

The provisions (of all codes) you quoted about being on the rubber without the ball apply during a live ball. They are the main constraint on the hidden ball trick. Like most other rules governing play, they don't apply during a dead ball.

As I said: if we mistakenly put the ball in play when F1 does not have the ball, that's on us: kill it and start over. By rule, F1 must have the ball, be on the rubber, with a batter ready to hit, before we put the ball in play. If those conditions aren't met, then we have not actually put the ball in play, only gone through the motions.

And as Jim points out, many umpires get this wrong. I encourage you not to join them.

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7 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. agdz59, you cited rule 8.05(i) so that has to be a Little League rule, right? Actually, that would not be the applicable rule to the situation in the OP. Here’s the rule that we need [the corresponding OBR is 5.12(b)]…

 

No - I took it from here: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2007/08_the_pitcher.pdf.  Maybe its from an older copy of the rule book. That same wording for both rule and comment is now 6.02(a)(9). https://umpirebible.com/OBR16/6.0.htm#602a.

 

17 minutes ago, LRZ said:

Often, we must read several rules jointly; this situation is one of them. You are wrong, agdz59, because you looked at the balk rule independently of the live ball/dead ball rules.

If the defense did not call time and I have that situation, it isn't going to be the offense that learns something, its going to be the defense that CLEARLY has violated the balk rule cited by me by deceiving runners on base.  If that rule exists, that is the time to use it.  If that is not the time to use it, what the hell is that rule doing in all codes that support a balk.  A pitcher CANNOT step on the pitcher's plate without possession of the ball.

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1 minute ago, maven said:

Deception as such is not illegal. Only the acts of deception proscribed by rule are illegal.

The provisions (of all codes) you quoted about being on the rubber without the ball apply during a live ball. They are the main constraint on the hidden ball trick. Like most other rules governing play, they don't apply during a dead ball.

As I said: if we mistakenly put the ball in play when F1 does not have the ball, that's on us: kill it and start over. By rule, F1 must have the ball, be on the rubber, with a batter ready to hit, before we put the ball in play. If those conditions aren't met, then we have not actually put the ball in play, only gone through the motions.

And as Jim points out, many umpires get this wrong. I encourage you not to join them.

I don't have a problem calling a balk in this situation and would not apologize for getting it wrong.  The defense has tried to deceive.  I, in good faith, put the ball in play.  I, in good faith, am calling a balk.  That's a terrible interpretation if it has become canonical.  Take a rule that is crystal clear and then decide not to apply it in a situation clearly meant to break the rule. It's not my fault I put the ball in play - the defense WANTED me too so they could get a cheap out.  It's not on me, it's on the defense.

I just don't get this culture sometimes.

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1 hour ago, agdz59 said:

I don't have a problem calling a balk in this situation and would not apologize for getting it wrong.  The defense has tried to deceive.  I, in good faith, put the ball in play.  I, in good faith, am calling a balk.

 

When it's you against the world, bet on the world.

 

You can agree with us or not, but if you want to advance in your umpiring career, you should call it (or, in this case, not call it) as everyone else (and I'm adding myself to that list) has suggested in this thread.

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1 hour ago, maven said:

 

And as Jim points out, many umpires get this wrong. I encourage you not to join them.

Too late!  

 

1 hour ago, agdz59 said:

I don't have a problem calling a balk in this situation and would not apologize for getting it wrong.  The defense has tried to deceive.  I, in good faith, put the ball in play.  I, in good faith, am calling a balk.  That's a terrible interpretation if it has become canonical.  Take a rule that is crystal clear and then decide not to apply it in a situation clearly meant to break the rule. It's not my fault I put the ball in play - the defense WANTED me too so they could get a cheap out.  It's not on me, it's on the defense.

I just don't get this culture sometimes.

What is so hard?  In order for the ball to be made live 4 things are needed.  The pitcher having the ball is one of them.

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15 minutes ago, noumpere said:

You can agree with us or not, but if you want to advance in your umpiring career, you should call it (or, in this case, not call it) as everyone else (and I'm adding myself to that list) has suggested in this thread.

That's what I was about to post. Umpires who call this a balk (and otherwise adopt the MSU rule book) don't get past 12U baseball in my area.

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2 hours ago, agdz59 said:

I don't have a problem calling a balk in this situation and would not apologize for getting it wrong.  The defense has tried to deceive.  I, in good faith, put the ball in play.  I, in good faith, am calling a balk.  That's a terrible interpretation if it has become canonical.  Take a rule that is crystal clear and then decide not to apply it in a situation clearly meant to break the rule. It's not my fault I put the ball in play - the defense WANTED me too so they could get a cheap out.  It's not on me, it's on the defense.

I just don't get this culture sometimes.

You're the one breaking the rule--the ball was never in play. The conditions were not met.

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The predicate for virtually everything in baseball is a live ball, and there are several preconditions that must be met before a dead ball can be made live--properly. You are ignoring them.

Are you a member of an association where you can bring this issue up? Have you talked about this with other umpires in your area?

You don't have to "apologize for getting it wrong." But you might want to apologize for not seeking input from local umpires whose opinions you trust and respect.

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3 minutes ago, agdz59 said:

Yes.  But if the pitcher engages the pitcher's plate to help the deception, I'm calling a balk every time.  Same with the case if time was dead and he engages the plate to get me to put the ball in play.  The defense has deceived.  By rule, I'm calling the balk.

above i said the pitcher is off the mound, let alone plate

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1 hour ago, noumpere said:

And you will be wrong.  Every time.

No sir. The rule says the pitcher cannot engage the pitchers plate without the ball. He has deceived me to put the ball in play. I am the plate umpire, when I say the ball is live, the ball is live. He is on the pitcher's plate with out the ball while the ball is live. With the clear intent to deceive. Thats a balk in any game I'm calling.

Kick me out of the association, don't promote me, I don't care. Until the rules change to include a comment that "Though the balk rules are present to prevent the defense from deceiving the offense, the defense is allowed to deceive the offense by having the pitcher engage his plate without the ball. Ignore any rule that says otherwise, we were only kidding.", I am balking that every. Damned. Time. Period.

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18 minutes ago, agdz59 said:

 I am the plate umpire, when I say the ball is live, the ball is live.

 

From the rule book: 

After the ball is dead, play shall be resumed when the pitcher takes
his place on the pitcher’s plate with a new ball or the same ball in
his possession
and the plate umpire calls “Play.”

So, if the ball isn't live, then the runner can't advance.  If the runner can't advance, then the pitcher has gained no unfair / illegal advantage by standing on or astride the rubber without the ball.

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33 minutes ago, agdz59 said:

I am the plate umpire, when I say the ball is live, the ball is live.

After you improperly make the ball live, if the pitcher tries to pick off a baserunner and throws the ball into the dugout, do you move runners up? If you improperly make the ball live, do you allow runners to steal?

36 minutes ago, agdz59 said:

I am balking that every. Damned. Time. Period.

I asked this above, but will ask again: have you run this scenario by your local association or talked with experienced and trustworthy umpires in your area?

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17 minutes ago, noumpere said:

From the rule book: 

After the ball is dead, play shall be resumed when the pitcher takes
his place on the pitcher’s plate with a new ball or the same ball in
his possession
and the plate umpire calls “Play.”

So, if the ball isn't live, then the runner can't advance.  If the runner can't advance, then the pitcher has gained no unfair / illegal advantage by standing on or astride the rubber without the ball.

No, he has. I called "play" assuming he had the ball. F5 has tagged the runner who relied on my call of "play". Both of us were deceived. The defense clearly was actively conspiring to deceive us. I am going to penalize them.

Its this close to making a mockery of the game. 

I'm done here. You know where I stand and that is not going to change. 

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7 minutes ago, LRZ said:

 

After you improperly make the ball live, if the pitcher tries to pick off a baserunner and throws the ball into the dugout, do you move runners up? If you improperly make the ball live, do you allow runners to steal?

The pitcher doesn't have the ball! Thats the point here. He doesn't have the ball because he is conspiring to deceive the offense. That is a balk on my field. All day long.

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