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Old Fri Apr 09, 2004, 09:20pm
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I'm a high school baseball coach and have a rules question about the set position. My pitcher was taking the signal with the ball in his glove and his pitching hand at his side. As he was taking the signal his throwing arm moving in a slight swinging motion (like Pedro Astacio), the plate umpire called a balk, saying that his pitching arm had to remain perfectly still. We challenged the ruling and showed him in the rule book that the arm never had to be completely motionless, just down at the side or behind the back. The slight movement was never deceptive and was a consistent movement. I have never had this called in 25 years of baseball coaching and umpiring. What do you think? Thanks.
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Old Fri Apr 09, 2004, 09:57pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by ofishe8r
I'm a high school baseball coach and have a rules question about the set position. My pitcher was taking the signal with the ball in his glove and his pitching hand at his side. As he was taking the signal his throwing arm moving in a slight swinging motion (like Pedro Astacio), the plate umpire called a balk, saying that his pitching arm had to remain perfectly still. We challenged the ruling and showed him in the rule book that the arm never had to be completely motionless, just down at the side or behind the back. The slight movement was never deceptive and was a consistent movement. I have never had this called in 25 years of baseball coaching and umpiring. What do you think? Thanks.
I think the umpire was looking for something that didn't need to be looked at.

But rather than challenge such a thing on the field, I would suggest telling your pitcher to comply with the umpire's request since it isn't going to affect your pitcher. Then after the game place a call to the umpire assignor or your state office.

--Rich
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Old Fri Apr 09, 2004, 09:59pm
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I agree with Rich. No balk, but umpire looking for something.
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Old Sat Apr 10, 2004, 11:00am
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Thanks. That's exactly what I did. I just told my pitcher to conform to what the umpire wanted and get on with the game. No sense getting upset unneccessarily.
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Mike Imergoot
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Brentwood Brentwood High School

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Old Sat Apr 10, 2004, 06:57pm
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I agree with the other two posters, and I commend the coach for his ability to remain level headed during a very questionable call. Thats always good to see
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Old Sat Apr 10, 2004, 08:35pm
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Some of us call this picking Boogers.
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Old Sun Apr 11, 2004, 01:44am
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Quote:
Originally posted by ofishe8r
I'm a high school baseball coach and have a rules question about the set position. My pitcher was taking the signal with the ball in his glove and his pitching hand at his side. As he was taking the signal his throwing arm moving in a slight swinging motion (like Pedro Astacio), the plate umpire called a balk, saying that his pitching arm had to remain perfectly still. We challenged the ruling and showed him in the rule book that the arm never had to be completely motionless, just down at the side or behind the back. The slight movement was never deceptive and was a consistent movement. I have never had this called in 25 years of baseball coaching and umpiring. What do you think? Thanks.
The FED interpretation is: 6-1-3 "He shall go to the set position without interruption and in one continuous motion." The pitcher's movements are restricted as soon as he intentionally contacts the rubber. The swinging arm is a motion not associated with a pitch and is an interrupted motion before coming set. It is a balk with runners on base. See Casebook 6.1.2 D. Your umpire got it right, by rule and interpretation.

That having been said, I agree with Rich that it is something most umpires do not concern themselves with. You got one who does.
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Old Sun Apr 11, 2004, 10:03am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Thom Coste
Quote:
Originally posted by ofishe8r
I'm a high school baseball coach and have a rules question about the set position. My pitcher was taking the signal with the ball in his glove and his pitching hand at his side. As he was taking the signal his throwing arm moving in a slight swinging motion (like Pedro Astacio), the plate umpire called a balk, saying that his pitching arm had to remain perfectly still. We challenged the ruling and showed him in the rule book that the arm never had to be completely motionless, just down at the side or behind the back. The slight movement was never deceptive and was a consistent movement. I have never had this called in 25 years of baseball coaching and umpiring. What do you think? Thanks.
The FED interpretation is: 6-1-3 "He shall go to the set position without interruption and in one continuous motion." The pitcher's movements are restricted as soon as he intentionally contacts the rubber. The swinging arm is a motion not associated with a pitch and is an interrupted motion before coming set. It is a balk with runners on base. See Casebook 6.1.2 D. Your umpire got it right, by rule and interpretation.

That having been said, I agree with Rich that it is something most umpires do not concern themselves with. You got one who does.
I don't disagree with this at all, BTW. The pitcher is completely restricted once taking the pitcher's plate according to FED rules. He can't wipe sweat off his brow, go to the mouth, etc., according to rule.

If you do call the state office, be prepared to be told that this is actually a balk. However, most top umpires will not bother themselves with this.

Since you got one who does, the shortest path to happiness is to actually comply with the umpire. The kid doesn't NEED to swing his arm.
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