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Old Fri Sep 02, 2016, 02:38pm
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Pitcher throwing to unoccupied base

F1, a RHP, is in the set position. 2B unoccupied. R1 breaks for 2B just as F1 lifts free foot (the left foot in this case). F1 sees this but since free foot is off ground, is unable to disengage pivot foot from plate. So, without hesitating or making a move towards 1B, F1 spins clockwise, and steps and throws to 2B. Is this a balk? It is not a balk if F1 steps and throws to an unoccupied base for the purpose of making a play. OTOH, if F1's entire free foot goes behind the plate, he must deliver home - except when making a pickoff play at 2B. I cannot find how a pickoff play is defined, therefore I do not know if F1 committed a balk in this situation. Or, if some other rule governs this situation. Thanks in advance for insight.
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Old Fri Sep 02, 2016, 05:00pm
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Originally Posted by DuffysCliff View Post
F1, a RHP, is in the set position. 2B unoccupied. R1 breaks for 2B just as F1 lifts free foot (the left foot in this case). F1 sees this but since free foot is off ground, is unable to disengage pivot foot from plate. So, without hesitating or making a move towards 1B, F1 spins clockwise, and steps and throws to 2B. Is this a balk? It is not a balk if F1 steps and throws to an unoccupied base for the purpose of making a play. OTOH, if F1's entire free foot goes behind the plate, he must deliver home - except when making a pickoff play at 2B. I cannot find how a pickoff play is defined, therefore I do not know if F1 committed a balk in this situation. Or, if some other rule governs this situation. Thanks in advance for insight.
So you have a legal spin by F1 with no start of motion home and your semantic concern is that this was not a "pickoff" play at 2B as allowed by PBUC/MLBUM interps. Given that NCAA and FED both allow "throws" to put out a runner in their rules I would not have that semantic concern in OBR and since there is no definition of pickoff I would allow the throw and not call a balk.
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Old Mon Sep 05, 2016, 02:40pm
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The issue here is...

2nd base is unoccupied. I'm pretty sure you have a balk here because he didn't step off.
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Old Mon Sep 05, 2016, 03:41pm
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Originally Posted by w_sohl View Post
2nd base is unoccupied. I'm pretty sure you have a balk here because he didn't step off.
Why do you think that? He's making a play on an advancing runner.
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Old Mon Sep 05, 2016, 04:35pm
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Originally Posted by w_sohl View Post
2nd base is unoccupied.
So what? A pitcher can't throw to an unoccupied base except for the purposes of making a play
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Old Mon Sep 05, 2016, 08:58pm
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I stand corrected. So answer me this, why does the pitcher throw to first in a first to second situation in every play like this I've ever seen? Is it just easier and less likely to commit an error?
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Old Mon Sep 05, 2016, 09:05pm
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Easier. No balk possibility.
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Old Tue Sep 06, 2016, 12:05pm
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I agree with Rich Ives in that it is extremely difficult (almost impossible) to balk to 2nd base. R1 breaking toward 2nd.... no balk here.
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Old Sat Apr 29, 2017, 08:38pm
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Spin move

So if R1 breaks for second early after the pitcher comes set, these threads are saying that the legal spin-move for a RHP that would happen for a normal pickoff attempt at 2nd, is legal, because he is making a play on an advancing runner, even though there is no runner. The pitcher is *not* required to stepoff before throwing to second because of the "making a play on an advancing runer".

I wonder why RHP pitchers dont use a coach in the dugout to show a runner stealing while the pitcher makes a slower leg-lift to throw home, just to see a visual sign from dugout that the runner is stealing so the RHP would initiate his spinmove for a pickoff.
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Old Sun Apr 30, 2017, 07:16am
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Originally Posted by BSBAL18 View Post
So if R1 breaks for second early after the pitcher comes set, these threads are saying that the legal spin-move for a RHP that would happen for a normal pickoff attempt at 2nd, is legal, because he is making a play on an advancing runner, even though there is no runner. The pitcher is *not* required to stepoff before throwing to second because of the "making a play on an advancing runer".

I wonder why RHP pitchers dont use a coach in the dugout to show a runner stealing while the pitcher makes a slower leg-lift to throw home, just to see a visual sign from dugout that the runner is stealing so the RHP would initiate his spinmove for a pickoff.
Because in practice it wouldn't work very well. You might pick off a runner or two, but the pitching mechanics would be so messed up that you'd give up more than that over time.
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Old Sun Apr 30, 2017, 07:46am
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There used to be a FED interp that ruled a balk if R1 bluffed toward second and F1 threw there, but R1 returned to first. That never made any sense.
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Old Sun Apr 30, 2017, 08:49am
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Originally Posted by CT1 View Post
There used to be a FED interp that ruled a balk if R1 bluffed toward second and F1 threw there, but R1 returned to first. That never made any sense.
I think you have this backwards. That (bluff and no advance) was an OBR interp, not a FED interp.
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Old Tue May 02, 2017, 06:49am
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Originally Posted by bob jenkins View Post
I think you have this backwards. That (bluff and no advance) was an OBR interp, not a FED interp.
Okay. I thought that was one of Brad Rumble's um, "curious", interps.
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Old Tue May 09, 2017, 09:50am
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Lefty to 1B doesnt throw when runner goes...

Starting to see this a lot in the youth stuff, especially with all the travel ball where kids are playing with leads, picks, etc at younger ages. Have seen a lot of guys going "early" stealing from 2B to 3B, maybe on looks, timing, etc and the P just picking directly to 3B, even though its unoccupied, never went to home and the first time I saw it, I was 100% sure it was a balk because of the unoccupied base provision, but then the follow up is making a play on a runner and if that runner is going to 3B, that is what they are doing.

The one I saw last week I think was a balk, but maybe help me out because I think its a balk. Lefty P, Runner breaks 1st move lefty when he lifts his leg to pick, he lands the foot towards first but then doesnt throw, holds it and throws to 2B where he gets the out. Never stepped off and had almost ideal one at 3B with a righty. Where he stepped to pick, runner broke and he didnt throw (didnt disengage the rubber) I thought these were balks, but could be wrong.
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Old Tue May 09, 2017, 11:13am
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Originally Posted by parrothead View Post
The one I saw last week I think was a balk, but maybe help me out because I think its a balk. Lefty P, Runner breaks 1st move lefty when he lifts his leg to pick, he lands the foot towards first but then doesnt throw, holds it and throws to 2B where he gets the out. Never stepped off and had almost ideal one at 3B with a righty. Where he stepped to pick, runner broke and he didnt throw (didnt disengage the rubber) I thought these were balks, but could be wrong.
So, he stepped to first and didn't throw? That's a feint to first and a balk.

For the RH pitcher toward third, it depends on the rules code (whether feints to third are allowed) -- it's a balk under OBR, legal under FED and NCAA
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