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Balk: Falling vs stepping


Velho

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I'll say I wish they would change the wording from 

If a left-handed or right-handed pitcher swings his free foot past the back edge of the pitcher’s rubber, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick-off play.

to

If a left-handed or right-handed pitcher swings his free foot past the FRONT edge of the pitcher’s PIVOT FOOT, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick-off play.

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Ignoring the coach-speak in the tweet, the video seems to present a step and throw to 3B. Legal.

What might look odd is F1 falling toward HP as he throws to 3B. However, we should bear in mind that the rules in this case require a step and throw toward 3B. The front foot pretty clearly gains distance and direction to 3B, and F5 is there to make a play. F1 has thus complied with the rule, despite subsequently losing his balance.

Note that the rules do NOT say F1 is prohibited from (ever) moving toward HP. It's a balk if his FIRST motion is toward HP and he then throws or feints a throw to a base. But the reason for that is that we're interpreting the requirement that F1 step and throw/feint DIRECTLY to a base—and starting toward HP will violate that requirement.

Falling subsequent to a legally executed pickoff is nothing. 

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On 12/30/2023 at 3:26 PM, The Man in Blue said:

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I'll still argue 43 - 45 degrees is NOT DIRECT.  :shrug:

Would the body going towards home plate not be a "movement associated with his natural pitching motion?"

I get what you're seeing, but I interpret that same motion as associated with stepping to 3B. Tough to say from one perspective on a video--I imagine it was more definitive live and in person.

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On 12/27/2023 at 5:45 PM, The Man in Blue said:

I'll say I wish they would change the wording from 

If a left-handed or right-handed pitcher swings his free foot past the back edge of the pitcher’s rubber, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick-off play.

to

If a left-handed or right-handed pitcher swings his free foot past the FRONT edge of the pitcher’s PIVOT FOOT, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick-off play.

I second this. I rarely see a pitcher get the foot past the back edge.

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I'll just say that I think anybody here would be "not happy" if a surgeon was to use a cut directly from the sternum to the belly button and chose to veer off at a 45-degree angle with his or her cut.  I don't think too many people here would argue that the cut was "directly" where it needed to go.

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