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Hidden Ball Trick coming out of Dead Ball


Guest CRC

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OBR (Pony)

With a runner at second the defense changes pitchers.  The defense attempts a hidden ball trick.  The 2B has the ball.   I am not sure if the pitcher was standing on or astride the rubber or if the umpire actually pointed play.   The 2B shades to the bag acting as if he might take a pick-off throw.  He then tags the runner (who has now led off) and shows the ball the base ump.  The home plate umpire calls a balk.   

The Defense's coach (who appeared not to have called the play - he was annoyed with his team) says that the ball was still dead as the umpire couldn't put it in play properly.   Play not live = no balk possible.  The umpire did not agree and the runner moved to 3rd. 

I believe the defensive coach was correct.  If the umpire mistakenly puts the ball in play shouldn't he just kill it and start over?  Or can he allow the balk to stand since he put it in play?  Are there rules or interpretations that support one or the other action? 

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3 minutes ago, Guest CRC said:

OBR (Pony)

With a runner at second the defense changes pitchers.  The defense attempts a hidden ball trick.  The 2B has the ball.   I am not sure if the pitcher was standing on or astride the rubber or if the umpire actually pointed play.   The 2B shades to the bag acting as if he might take a pick-off throw.  He then tags the runner (who has now led off) and shows the ball the base ump.  The home plate umpire calls a balk.   

The Defense's coach (who appeared not to have called the play - he was annoyed with his team) says that the ball was still dead as the umpire couldn't put it in play properly.   Play not live = no balk possible.  The umpire did not agree and the runner moved to 3rd. 

I believe the defensive coach was correct.  If the umpire mistakenly puts the ball in play shouldn't he just kill it and start over?  Or can he allow the balk to stand since he put it in play?  Are there rules or interpretations that support one or the other action? 

The defensive coach was correct. There are requirements to put the ball in play and it is in violation of that rule to put it in play without all of them. Without the ball in play, there are no balks nor plays on runners.

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7 hours ago, Matt said:

The defensive coach was correct. There are requirements to put the ball in play and it is in violation of that rule to put it in play without all of them. Without the ball in play, there are no balks nor plays on runners.

Just keeping up with my tally. 3 balks with a dead ball on U-E. 1 more I'm aware of personally. The question is, if you explain the rule kick to the umpire, will he acknowledge his error? The one I personally have knowledge of was agreed with by half my chapter that if they fool him into pointing it live it's a balk.

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Stop stop stop stop STOP.

We've had this discussion before. It has been intense. I carry around the scars from it because I nearly lost a long-time friendship and mentorship over it (he's in the "Balk" camp; I'm in the "That's Nothing" camp). 

Here's the first part: 

Here's the most poignant part (for me, anyway): 

It took some digging, but I indeed found it. It had been inspired from a posting just prior to it... this one: 

From this thread came one of the most wise, thorough, and applicable replies I've ever seen on this topic, from @johnnyg08:

The best quote is the opening one – "I think you would lose a protest if you balked the hidden ball trick when you improperly made the ball live when it shouldn't have been made live". 

So, are you (as an umpire) going to stand there, pig-headed and obstinate, and insist that you are right, and declaring a Balk... with no rules support to back you??

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2 hours ago, MadMax said:

So, are you (as an umpire) going to stand there, pig-headed and obstinate, and insist that you are right, and declaring a Balk... with no rules support to back you??

That's not quite fair. They think that the provision about pitching motion off the rubber makes this a balk.

They should go to some practices and call all those pitchers for balks during warmups.

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If the Umpire knows the ball is with the 2nd baseman and NOT with the pitcher can he actually put the ball in play?

Pretty sure I was told in order to put the ball in play the battery has to all be in position.  ie pitcher on mound on the rubber, catcher in box, batter in box.

Least that is what I was told at the LL level

 

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Mr. ArchAngel72, your instructors forgot to tell you one very important detail—the pitcher must have the ball before play can resume. From the 2020 Little League Rules Instruction Manual (rule 5.11)(emphasis added):

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.

INSTRUCTOR COMMENT

Play shall be resumed when: the pitcher takes a position on the pitcher’s plate with a new ball or the same ball in the pitcher’s possession and all fielders, other than the catcher are in Fair Territory. If a foul ball has occurred, all runners additionally must have returned to and re-touched their bases.

➔ In the special case when the ball must legally be put back into play at the end of a half inning or at the end of the game in order to appeal a base running violation (Rule 7.10), the only condition required is for the pitcher to take a position on the pitcher’s plate with a new ball or the same ball in said pitcher’s possession and have the Plate Umpire call “Play”. The Plate Umpire shall call “Play” as soon as the pitcher takes a position on the pitcher’s plate with the ball.

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For all those "umpires" claiming that there can be a balk without the ball being in play...

Do they balk every pitcher who stops their motion when the umpire calls time? Do they balk the pitcher waiting for the ball to be put back in play when he steps off with the wrong foot?

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40 minutes ago, Matt said:

For all those "umpires" claiming that there can be a balk without the ball being in play...

Do they balk every pitcher who stops their motion when the umpire calls time? Do they balk the pitcher waiting for the ball to be put back in play when he steps off with the wrong foot?

Better yet, during a pitching change with runners on, are these umps calling balk through the 8 warmup pitches???

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Had an NCAA game this year, D2, two-man. One runner on (partner in B)

Foul ball had been hit.  Pitcher has new ball and is getting ready , and just as he gets on rubber dropped the ball.

Offense starts yelling that’s a balk.

I said loud and firm, “I have not put ball in play yet”, bc all 3 players were not in position.

my partner, 20 year vet, clapped in approval.

Different situation, same principle

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15 minutes ago, Recontra said:

Time is out. Pitcher engages pitcher's plate, and then goes hand to mouth before the ball is put in play. I got nothing. I tell pitcher to step off and reset, and if he's touched the ball, I change it out before putting ball back in play. Same with a dropped ball while time is out. There's no deception to any runner, no play can be made on a runner, because the ball is dead.

While I might be convinced to rule the same way in the OP, I see it a bit differently, and I just bet an umpire could call and justify the call either way. Here, the pitcher intentionally deceived me and the runners by engaging the plate and I put the ball in play. We have a live ball. He balks by being engaged with the plate on a live ball without the ball. "Oh, but you made the mistake, Mr. Umpire, because I tricked you into putting the ball back in play, so you should now signal Time and retroactively declare that the ball was really dead." I'm not convinced.

Say same situation, but the hidden ball trick fails after I've put the ball in play, F-4 throws the ball back to the pitcher, who then re-engages the plate and drops the ball or goes hand to mouth. You're seriously not going to call that a balk?? "Oh, that's a complete and total do-over Folks, because I was tricked by the pitcher into putting the ball in play, so now I need to retroactively call Time and declare that nothing that happened counts."

Pitcher doesn't drop the ball when he gets it, but immediately pitches it to B-4 who hits it over the fence. Defense runs out and demands the homerun be taken off the board, because the ball should still have been dead because the umpire was tricked into putting the ball back in play, and I shoud rule that the homerun was hit while the ball was dead. Nah.

I think I'm calling a balk in the OP situation, and if anyone protests, my report will state that I exercised my discretion per the Rules to rule on situations that are not covered by the Rules. The ball was live, even though I technically put the ball back into play when the pitcher didn't have the ball. I think I win. Now, if there's some learned authority that says I'm wrong, the Protest will be upheld I suppose. But I'm not aware of any.

Anyone of you ever call Play! and then realize that the pitcher really isn't engaged, because he then moves his foot onto the rubber?? If he then balks, are you going to retroactively declare the ball dead, just because all the conditions for putting the ball back into play technically didn't exist at the time the ball was put back into play? I don't think so. How is the "has possession of the ball" requirement any different than the "has engaged the rubber" requirement?

What am I missing?  Serious question.

I got the pitcher balking on a live ball.

I don’t have my rule book on me (at work) but I believe by DEFINITION , a balk is a live ball infraction and can only occur during live ball.  (I know this is true but I think it’s in rules too) By definition, a ball can not be live until certain conditions are met.

You can not call balk.  You are getting into an ethics debate and not a rules one.

Since they intentionally deceived, they must be punished!!

nooo…what happened is they want to try a “cool trick play” and don’t know the rules.  If ethics was an issue, then all hidden ball TRICKS would be illegal because it’s deceptive.  So is a lefty lifting his leg looking like a pitch and then throwing to first.  So is the 3rd to 1st move in high school.

They tried a play, it can’t work because it can’t be live.  And their “punishment” is that they gave away what they want to do and won’t get a runner on it now later when they try it “legally”

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I respect your opinion, and I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I got a balk on a "live" ball, not a "dead" ball. I put the ball in play when I thought all the conditions existed. It's got nothing to do with ethics, punishment. I got a live ball, and you've got a dead ball. That's essentially the difference in the way we umpired the play.

But, since I see where this thread is going (sounds like the same place the 2-3 previous threads went), I'm willing to just drop it and go on my misguided way 🙂🙂 No offense is intended, so I hope none is taken.

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6 minutes ago, Recontra said:

I respect your opinion, and I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I got a balk on a "live" ball, not a "dead" ball. I put the ball in play when I thought all the conditions existed. It's got nothing to do with ethics, punishment. I got a live ball, and you've got a dead ball. That's essentially the difference in the way we umpired the play.

But, since I see where this thread is going (sounds like the same place the 2-3 previous threads went), I'm willing to just drop it and go on my misguided way 🙂🙂 No offense is intended, so I hope none is taken.

It's not live. It never met the requirements for being live. And to answer your questions, if I realize that I had somehow made the ball live when it should not have been, I do call time and make it retroactive.

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This is from Jim Evans:

This rule mandates the three conditions which must be met for a ball to be put back into play alter a dead ball situation: (1) the pitcher takes his
place on the rubber: (2) the pitcher has the ball in his possession: and (3) the umpire calls "Play."
Professional Interpretation: This writer contends that it is also essential that the batter be in the batter's box and
reasonably set before the call of "Play" is signaled. (Identical to the procedure for starting the game...4.02).
In addition, failure to have the batter in his set position could conceivably subject the pitcher to a penalty for
an illegal pitch (2.00 Illegal Pitch).

Note that (according to JEA) we need ALL THREE conditions -- not just the third as some seem to think.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Recontra said:

I respect your opinion, and I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. I got a balk on a "live" ball, not a "dead" ball. I put the ball in play when I thought all the conditions existed. It's got nothing to do with ethics, punishment. I got a live ball, and you've got a dead ball. That's essentially the difference in the way we umpired the play.

But, since I see where this thread is going (sounds like the same place the 2-3 previous threads went), I'm willing to just drop it and go on my misguided way 🙂🙂 No offense is intended, so I hope none is taken.

Doesn't matter what you thought.   If there was R1/R3 but you thought it was R1/R2 does calling IFF make it so?

The conditions were not met - doesn't matter if you were tricked, mistaken or just imagining things.   You can't have a live ball, and the fact that you incorrectly made it live doesn't change that.   You can't have an infield fly if all the conditions aren't met, you can't have a force play if all the conditions aren't met, and a hundred other things just like them...mistakenly calling something that can't by rule happen doesn't make it so.   You correct your mistake, and, where possible, reset.

There is no agree to disagree here.   We're not debating the merit of supply side economics.  We're discussing whether or not the sun is bigger than a breadbox.  There is no debate.   There is no opinion.

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3 hours ago, Recontra said:

I got a live ball, and you've got a dead ball.

@Recontra… which ball is Live? Where’d it come from? By rule, only one ball can be Live, and by (the same) rule, only one ball can be made Live, and it must – not “could” or “might” or “may” – be in the possession of the pitcher. 

By definition, an omelette is made with eggs. No eggs = no omelette. 

If a/the ball could be made Live anywhere other than the pitcher’s possession, then why, with the ball being Dead, for a Live ball appeal, must the process start with the pitcher? Why couldn’t the F3 (first baseman) merely take the ball over to 1B, look at either umpire, who then says “Play!” and then judges missed base? It’d be simpler, wouldn’t it? Somebody would have done it in the 150+ years of baseball!

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The issue that keeps popping up is “he deceived ME” so he should be punished , which is not supported by rule.

Recontra (and others of same belief)…if you only strive to do 16u rec ball and below, then do what you want I guess…if you want to work varsity, college, etc, then I suggest you check your “beliefs” at the door and learn the rules and focus on those, bc that’s all we are there to judge (and game management).

it is perfectly fine to make a mistake, not so much to make it, hear it was one, and double down with “well I believe that it should be …”

I once had a team pull off a SUCCESSFUL hidden ball trick after a double.  Offensive coach came down and argued that “it’s bush league”.  I told him straight up, “coach, my job isn’t to enforce what is and isn’t bush league, it’s to enforce the rules.  What they did is legal”

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17 hours ago, Recontra said:

 

While I might be convinced to rule the same way in the OP, I see it a bit differently, and I just bet an umpire could call and justify the call either way. Here, the pitcher intentionally deceived me and the runners by engaging the plate and I put the ball in play. We have a live ball. He balks by being engaged with the plate on a live ball without the ball. "Oh, but you made the mistake, Mr. Umpire, because I tricked you into putting the ball back in play, so you should now signal Time and retroactively declare that the ball was really dead." I'm not convinced.

 

YES YOU SHOULD!!!!!!!!  Tough SH*#! BE CONVINCED! THIS BALL IS NOT LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PERIOD!  STOP IT NOW!  

CORRECT IT like you've been told many times on this site from VERY knowledgeable umpires!   And to the rest of you who may feel that @Recontra is correct, ... RE-READ this thread and understand the facts of this situation.  NO EGGS...NO OMELETTE !

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We live in a social media world where everyone gets an "opinion" (Like!), no matter how wrong, unhinged, unhealthy, ill-informed, seditious, or evil. This thread is not the first time that the so-called post-truth era has reared its head on this forum. Unfortunately, nobody has to accept "you're incorrect" any longer: they can simply say, "that's not my reality."

For umpiring, we still rely on the "system" to weed out this nonsense, and we promise promotions and threaten lack thereof to those who decline to accept the "realities" of the game. Go back to kiddie ball.

But I wonder how long that can last. Yesterday's truth and objective standards are today's bias and prejudice. Cancel the umpire. 

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The best of my students will sometimes disagree with me when we engage in discussions about US History. 

Sometimes those debates offer the class a great chance to see academic excellence because there is passion and knowledge on display. In some cases, a student may have read something or been told something or made connections that are historically inaccurate. In those situations, the best of my students listen to many voices that offer advice that the information being cited is not factual.

Sometimes my students become quite animated in the defense of their position. The really insightful ones listen to the voice of the many and consider that the initial position may be worthy of reconsidering. When they do listen to other voices they often see that their passion, while well intended, is being used to argue a moot point because their information is simply wrong.

There is great satisfaction in seeing a very bright kid recognize an error, accept advice from others, and shift their position. The humility is refreshing.

 

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The reason people “let it go” is because no disadvantage has occurred.

I say play and pitcher had his foot off the Mound and just puts it on and everything else that follows is normal, there is nothing to correct.

what IS in the rule book is the right and duty of an umpire to correct advantages and disadvantages caused by their error. If pitcher has foot off rubber and I say play, and a balk or out occurs, damn right I’m killing it bc my error led to that.

you can’t use a situation where I said play before pitcher engages the rubber and nothing happens as comparison to a hidden ball trick or balk.

Ball was put in play by error, no advantage or disadvantage can occur.  An out on runner or a balk is an advantage to one team that should never have happened.

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On 11/3/2021 at 2:54 PM, Recontra said:

By my reasoning, I'd have a balk then, and send R-2 to 3rd (pitcher was engaged with the pitcher's plate without the ball when the ball was declared live).  And you may all be right, and I may be totally 100% wrong.

But seriously, if pitcher hadn't engaged the plate yet when you mistakenly put the ball in play, but then you see him move his pivot foot onto the plate, and you don't signal the ball is dead or put the ball back into play a second time, and then he feints a throw to 1st, are you going to declare there was no balk, because you mistakenly put the ball in play before the pitcher actually engaged the plate?

Homerun? Negated for same reason? The Rule says we shouldn't or maybe even can't put the ball back into play until ALL of those conditions are met. But nowhere as far as I can see does the Rule or any official interpretation of the Rule state what happens if we put the ball in play, before the pitcher has engaged the plate, or is that Rule overlooked?

Sorry, I'm not convinced. But I'll drop it.

There is no MAY to it!

And you may have proven it with your questions!?
 

YES you call the balk! And YES the HR counts!  Why? 

An IFF is still an IFF whether you signal it or not. Why? Because all the conditions were met prior to the pitch. Just because you failed to technically signal  the ball in play, all other conditions were met to create a live ball. Do you verbalize and signal on every foul ball?  Just because you erroneously put the ball back in play doesn’t change the fact that it is not. Even your declaring the ball live when it wasn’t, what would you declare if the pitcher picked off R1? 
But, once he engages and all other requirements are met, the ball becomes live whether you declare it or not. 
I once called a whole game without technically putting the ball back in play.  Hmm maybe I should inform my association the game is invalid? 

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