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Balks..... again


Umpire942

Question

FED rules but would like to know if NCAA difference.

R2 on 2B, 1 out.

Im watching pitcher (not good enough though) but runner had a good jump, throw ends up at third.    PU calls no balk.  I call no balk and signal out.    Coach is saying THAT IS A BALK.

Now because i looked to fast to the base for the tag, i wasnt looking close enough.  After the conference with plate , I explained the left hander, lifted his leg turned, but did not step towards second but spun past and stepped and through to 3rd.  PU says well call balk then.

After explaining to PU he says call balk and loud.

Pitcher claims he was already planning a step fake to second and is yelling at me thats what he did.  1) no way he would have got him if he did.   2) it was all in one motion through like I explained.

 

So 2 questions:

 

1) If he did in fact pump fake to 2nd, then it would not have been a balk?

2) I could have sworn we had a thread here about balks and throwing to unoccupied bases, and that it was legal if the runner is stealing. PU says no , thats always a balk even if stealing

 

(obviously stepping off anything would be legal)

 

 

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Once the front foot is raised, the pitcher is committed to throwing (or feting where allowed) to the base being faced, second, or home.  Once the Front foot crosses the rubber (the specifics of "crossing" might vary), the pitcher is committed to throwing(or feinting where allowed) to second or the plate.

 

So, if the LH pitcher made a complete rotation and threw or feinted to third, it's a balk.  To make this legal, F1 would need to step toward second, break contact at least (in NCAA; probably not in FED), with the rubber and then throw or feint to third.  Just like the (old, since it's not allowed in NCAA) 3-1 move requirements.

 

Here's the NCAA rule; it's not specifically covered in FED or OBR, but I'd rule the same:

The pitcher is committed, upon raising the lead leg, to throw to the base being
faced, to second base or to the plate. When throwing or feinting a throw
to a base not being faced, the pitcher must step immediately, directly and
gain ground toward that base.

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<sigh> Once again, a pitcher may throw to an unoccupied base, without balking, for purposes of making a play, despite your partner's assertion to the contrary. See OBR 6.02(a)(4); NFHS 6-2-4(b); I assume there is a similar NCAA provision.

This is the thread you referenced, I think: https://umpire-empire.com/topic/75660-case-play-for-pitchers-throw-to-unoccupied-3b-on-a-steal/

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, LRZ said:

<sigh> Once again, a pitcher may throw to an unoccupied base, without balking, for purposes of making a play,

Yes -- but that doesn't seem to be the issue here.  It's not a balk for throwing to an unoccupied base; it's a balk for not stepping immediately and directly to the base.

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13 minutes ago, noumpere said:

Yes -- but that doesn't seem to be the issue here.  It's not a balk for throwing to an unoccupied base; it's a balk for not stepping immediately and directly to the base.

I did need clarification again on another question which I thought we went over here.  

Its my fault for not watching all the footwork to be 100% certain as needed to at some point look at the tag and missed the first play (balk) which is the most important.

anyway,   pitcher claim he pump faked to second and stepped and then went to third.  I did not see that , i confirmed with that what I explained on the miss to PU the same with the 3rd base coach as what the step balk was and overturned my out call to a balk, was indeed eventually correct. 

 

I then stated an inning or 2 later to PU that if he stepped to third that would not have been a balk, and he said it was and would be deceiving the runner.  I said im pretty sure its not (as the thread was linked above talking about this)

 

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38 minutes ago, noumpere said:

Yes -- but that doesn't seem to be the issue here.  It's not a balk for throwing to an unoccupied base; it's a balk for not stepping immediately and directly to the base.

The OP raised several issues. I was responding to this part of the OP, and the PO's partner's balk claim: "2) I could have sworn we had a thread here about balks and throwing to unoccupied bases, and that it was legal if the runner is stealing. PU says no , thats always a balk even if stealing."

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1 hour ago, Umpire942 said:

anyway,   pitcher claim he pump faked to second and stepped and then went to third

If that's what he did it would be legal.

1 hour ago, Umpire942 said:

I then stated an inning or 2 later to PU that if he stepped to third that would not have been a balk

If F1 turned to his right and went to third (and the runner was stealing or feinting*), you are correct that this would be legal

* the specific words on "feinting" vary by code but for all the levels we do the effect is the same.

1 hour ago, Umpire942 said:

ts my fault for not watching all the footwork

That's the important lesson here.  You can be moving toward the expected play, but you need to keep your eyes on the pitcher until he throws.

 

And, PU can (and should have) help here.

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1 hour ago, noumpere said:

That's the important lesson here.  You can be moving toward the expected play, but you need to keep your eyes on the pitcher until he throws.

 

This is probably the sagest advice offered. 

The philosophy of keeping your eye on the ball should be applied throughout every play of every game. I was taught to keep my chest to the ball and my head on a swivel. This will serve you well regardless of where the ball is. Recognize that in the two man system there is no way to see everything that happens on a baseball field and understand that the ball will take you to whatever play that needs to be adjudicated.

And it seems like your PU graduated from the MSU school of umpiring.

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