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Old Mon Aug 12, 2019, 11:57am
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Illegal Pitch

Running on 1 and 3. Bunt situation. F3 is holding the runner on, and on the pitch sprints towards home plate, however he runs on the foul-side of the 1st base line with BOTH feet. I call an illegal pitch (which was ball 4, loading bases).

Coach is p'd (yadda yadda yadda).

My confirmation question is: The rule book states "at the time of the pitch". What exactly does that mean? when the ball is released? the entire windup to catcher catching the pitch? For my situation, the windup started, and F3 took off at that point, so when the pitcher released the ball, F3 was in foul territory.
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Old Mon Aug 12, 2019, 12:27pm
LRZ LRZ is offline
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I don't have authority at hand, but I think "time of the pitch" is considered to be when the pitcher first makes a motion associated with his delivery.

Several other thoughts, however.

A fielder in foul territory does not result in an illegal pitch (or, with runners on, a balk). It is, instead, a "don't do that," as we say. Under OBR 5.02, there is no specified penalty for not being on fair territory; the balk penalty[indented, under (a)] applies only to the catcher.

Nothing in the pitching infraction rule (6.02) talks about fielders' positioning. Likewise, the definition of "illegal pitch" does not include a fielder's position.

An illegal pitch with runners on base is a balk.

Lastly, don't be OOO.
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Old Mon Aug 12, 2019, 12:36pm
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Thanks @LRZ... illegal pitch with runners on is a balk,,, duh, i think i was just trying to think too much...
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Old Sat Aug 17, 2019, 07:28pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRZ View Post
A fielder in foul territory does not result in an illegal pitch (or, with runners on, a balk). It is, instead, a "don't do that," as we say.
So then, time out and no pitch?
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Old Sat Aug 17, 2019, 10:32pm
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What rule book? But using any rulebook you messed up.
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Old Sun Aug 18, 2019, 03:04am
LRZ LRZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
So then, time out and no pitch?
No, just some preventive officiating before the pitch or between pitches.

Last edited by LRZ; Sun Aug 18, 2019 at 08:47am.
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Old Sun Aug 18, 2019, 02:42pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRZ View Post
No, just some preventive officiating before the pitch or between pitches.
In the scenario originally posted, when was there opportunity to do that?

But what I'd really like to know is, what advantage is to be gained by fielding a bunt from a position slightly in foul territory? I imagine the requirement for fielders to be in fair ground is to prevent the defense's hiding players.
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Old Sun Aug 18, 2019, 03:23pm
LRZ LRZ is offline
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If there is no prescribed penalty, does it matter when you take preventive measures? After the first time, "Stay on the field, son." As the BU in the OP, after the pitch in question, I'd tell the kid to stay in fair territory.

If the player continues, I guess you could eject him for refusing to obey your ruling, but I doubt it would get that far.

Remember the maxim "Use the rules to solve problems, not create them."

Last edited by LRZ; Sun Aug 18, 2019 at 03:29pm.
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Old Mon Aug 19, 2019, 07:42am
CT1 CT1 is offline
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Quote:
“the windup started, and F3 took off at that point,
There’s nothing wrong with that — the time of the pitch (TOP) is when the pitcher makes any motion that commits him to deliver.
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Old Mon Aug 19, 2019, 08:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
In the scenario originally posted, when was there opportunity to do that?

But what I'd really like to know is, what advantage is to be gained by fielding a bunt from a position slightly in foul territory? I imagine the requirement for fielders to be in fair ground is to prevent the defense's hiding players.
Here's the OBR interp (from JEA):

4.03 When the ball is put in play at the start of, or during a game, all fielders other than the catcher shall
be on fair territory.
(c)Except the pitcher and the catcher, any fielder may station himself anywhere in fair territory.

Cross references: 4.03.(a, b)

Historical Notes: The earliest rules of the 1800's specified that all fielders must be in fair territory except the
catcher. In addition, any fielder could position himself anywhere except for the pitcher (who must pitch from his
legal position) and the catcher (who must station himself directly back of home plate).
Customs and Usage: First basemen often position one foot in foul territory while holding a runner on first base.
On the Major League level, this is acceptable and not considered a violation of the rule. The National Association
Leagues' umpires are instructed to permit this unless a complaint is raised. If so, they are told to enforce the rule
as written for both teams (similar to the "coach being out of the box" type situation).
Defensive players are not allowed to be in foul territory to back-up appeal plays or pitches. No penalty is
provided. The umpire simply does not allow play while this condition exists. If a player refuses to comply, he should
be ejected.

Situations: The center fielder comes in and plays directly behind the second baseman on the dirt. Is this allowed?
RULING: Yes, any fielder except the pitcher and catcher may station himself anywhere in fair territory.

The batter lashes a line drive to the gap in right center. En route to 2nd for an apparent double, he misses 1st base.
He calls "time" and retrieves his helmet. The defensive team wishes to make an appeal. In order to prevent the
runner from advancing to 3rd on an overthrow at 1st, they position their 2nd baseman behind the 1st baseman
several feet. The ball is properly put back into play. As the umpire, what should you do?
RULING: As soon as you see the player go into foul territory, you should inform him that play cannot resume until
he returns to a legal position. Failure to comply may result in ejection. Under no circumstances is a balk to be
declared.

With the winning run on 3rd base in the bottom of the 9th, the defensive team wants to guard against losing the
game on a wild pitch. The right fielder is brought in and stationed several feet behind the catcher and umpire. Is this
legal?
RULING: This defensive positioning is in violation of 4.03(c). The umpire shall immediately call “Time” and order
the right fielder back into fair territory. He, of course, does not have to return to right field, but he must be in fair
territory.

FED is different, and the OP may have had it right -- but, if it's noticed before the pitch, then the umpire should fix it; if it's not noticed before the pitch, then how does the umpire know it was being violated?

1-1-4 ART. 4 . . . At the time of the pitch, all fielders shall be on fair ground except the catcher who shall be in the catcher's box. A fielder is in fair ground when at least one foot is touching fair ground. PENALTY: Illegal pitch. (2-18-1)

2-18-1 An illegal pitch is an illegal act committed by the pitcher with no runner on base, which results in a ball being awarded the batter. When an illegal pitch occurs with a runner, or runners, on base, it is ruled a balk.

Last edited by bob jenkins; Mon Aug 19, 2019 at 08:30am.
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Old Mon Aug 19, 2019, 08:52am
LRZ LRZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT1 View Post
There’s nothing wrong with that — the time of the pitch (TOP) is when the pitcher makes any motion that commits him to deliver.
Thanks for the reminder, CT1. Even though I mentioned it, I missed the implication of that on my earlier reading of the OP.
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Old Mon Aug 19, 2019, 09:48pm
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MLBUM: A player may go into foul territory to back up an appeal AFTER the ball is put in play.
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