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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wed Apr 20, 2005, 01:32pm
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Here is a response to a scenario that I had in a game two weeks ago.

A RHP in the set position stepped directly towards first with his foot on the rubber. He was called for a balk. I was told that the only pickoff move that a righthander can make from the set position is to do a jump spin move. For the life of me, I couldn't find that in the rule book and neither could the umpire. This is the response the umpire got back from the coordinating umpire of the association. I'm baffled about this explanation.

Once the RH pitcher lifts the non-pivot foot even a milimeter [whatever the hell that is], he must deliver the pitch. The only way a right-handed pitcher can attempt a pick-off @ 1b without disengaging his pivot foot, is to move his non-pivot foot directly toward first base. Try it, it's almost an impossibility.

Good baserunners are correctly instructed to watch the non-pivot foot of the RH pitcher before attempting to steal or get further off their bag, and if the foot is lifted up, it is part of the beginning of the pitching motion and the pitcher cannot legally attempt a pick off.

Any enlightenment that anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated. Especially since, I have viewed the "See a balk, Call a balk" video numerous times and have had my pitchers work with Major league and minor league pitchers on their delivery, holding on runners and pick-off moves and everyone seems to tell me that as long as the pitcher steps in the direction of the base it is a legal move as the rule states.
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Old Wed Apr 20, 2005, 01:48pm
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rulebook says that pitcher must:
1. turn on his pivot foot
2. lift pivot--jump move (which you described)
3. lift pivot by stepping backward off rubber

all of these must be accompanied with a non-pivot in the direction of the base.

Since in your example the pivot never moved and maintained complete contact with rubber, we have a balk. JMHO
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Old Wed Apr 20, 2005, 04:14pm
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What rulebook is that, and where does it say it?
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Old Wed Apr 20, 2005, 04:24pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by scyguy
rulebook says that pitcher must:
1. turn on his pivot foot
2. lift pivot--jump move (which you described)
3. lift pivot by stepping backward off rubber

all of these must be accompanied with a non-pivot in the direction of the base.

Since in your example the pivot never moved and maintained complete contact with rubber, we have a balk. JMHO
What page is that on?
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Old Wed Apr 20, 2005, 05:06pm
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bzydadof2,

The move you describe is perfectly legal if done correctly. While it is certainly possible for a RHP to "balk" in attempting this move, it is not terribly difficult to do it properly.

The reason you can not find a rule prohibiting it is that there isn't one! While a "jump spin" move (as well as a "jab step") are considered legal moves and "from the rubber", there is no requirement that a RHP use either one in making a legal pick-off throw to 1B "from the rubber".

I agree with the assertion that "The only way a right-handed pitcher can attempt a pick-off @ 1b without disengaging his pivot foot, is to move his non-pivot foot directly toward first base." But the assertion that this is "almost an impossibility" or even moderately difficult for that matter, is utter nonsense.

What do the rules say? (from OBR)

"8.01 ...(b) The Set Position. Set Position shall be indicated by the pitcher when he stands facing the batter with his entire pivot foot on, or in front of, and in contact with, and not off the end of the pitcher's plate, and his other foot in front of the pitcher's plate, holding the ball in both hands in front of his body and coming to a complete stop. From such Set Position he may deliver the ball to the batter, throw to a base or step backward off the pitcher's plate with his pivot foot.

and

"8.01...(c) At any time during the pitcher's preliminary movements and until his natural pitching motion commits him to the pitch, he may throw to any base provided he steps directly toward such base before making the throw. The pitcher shall step "ahead of the throw." A snap throw followed by the step directly toward the base is a balk."

If this were illegal (which it's not), there would be a proscription defined in Rule 8.05. No such proscription is defined in Rule 8.05.

The assertion that:

"Once the RH pitcher lifts the non-pivot foot even a milimeter [whatever the hell that is], he must deliver the pitch."

is patently absurd. If it were true, no pitcher would ever be able to throw a pick-off to any base without first legally disengaging. This is clearly not the case.

JM
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Old Wed Apr 20, 2005, 07:46pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by CoachJM
The assertion that:

"Once the RH pitcher lifts the non-pivot foot even a milimeter [whatever the hell that is], he must deliver the pitch."

is patently absurd. If it were true, no pitcher would ever be able to throw a pick-off to any base without first legally disengaging. This is clearly not the case.

JM [/B]

JM's got it right. Think about what you said bzydadof2... if the free foot moves at all, he has to pitch. What about the RHP pickoff to third? Pivot foot doesn't move, but the free foot does. This is legal, is it not?
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Old Wed Apr 20, 2005, 08:40pm
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largeone,

Unless I'm misreading his post, I believe that statement was made by the "coordinating umpire of the association", not bzydadof2 (with the exception of the [whatever the hell that is] "editorial comment").

Quite understandably, bzydadof2 is baffled by the "explanation" provided by said "coordinating umpire" - who is apparently referencing the Offical CalvinBall Rules, 2004 Edition as a primary source for his explanation.

JM
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Old Wed Apr 20, 2005, 11:12pm
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RHO Pickoff at first

You have emphasized my point. I spent 20 minutes during the first discussion and spent another half an hour after the game trying to get the umpire to show me what pickoff could be done with out lifting the non-pivot foot. I was then told that because a RHP's toes are always pointing towards third, that when he pitches his toes will go towards home so when he tries a pickoff move to first without stepping his toe will pass the plane to home plate and is therefore a pitch delivery motion.

My reply was that the ump was trying to rationalize with a very poor excuse and had a poor interpretation of the pitching rules.

I have received of statements from other umps agreeing with that statement. It is perplexing, because I have been trained differently but now the umpire in charge of the association is mandating that this is a balk. It's my players that suffer because I teach them the correct way of keeping runners close and they get called for balks.

Any other information that someone could provide would be useful.

Thanks
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Old Wed Apr 20, 2005, 11:17pm
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bzydadof2,

If you will send me an e-mail (click on the "email icon" at the bottom of one of my posts), I will be happy to provide you with additional information that might prove helpful.

JM
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Old Thu Apr 21, 2005, 12:22am
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Re: RHO Pickoff at first

Quote:
Originally posted by bzydadof2
I was then told that because a RHP's toes are always pointing towards third, that when he pitches his toes will go towards home so when he tries a pickoff move to first without stepping his toe will pass the plane to home plate and is therefore a pitch delivery motion.
That's pretty funny. Pure fiction. It sure isn't anywhere in rule 8.

Where do people get this stuff?
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Old Thu Apr 21, 2005, 07:10am
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Re: RHO Pickoff at first

Quote:
Originally posted by bzydadof2
You have emphasized my point. I spent 20 minutes during the first discussion and spent another half an hour after the game trying to get the umpire to show me what pickoff could be done with out lifting the non-pivot foot. I was then told that because a RHP's toes are always pointing towards third, that when he pitches his toes will go towards home so when he tries a pickoff move to first without stepping his toe will pass the plane to home plate and is therefore a pitch delivery motion.

Thanks
By chance did you happen to ask this official where he got the stuff he has been smoking. It has to be good.

The game I did last night had 1 balk called, which I corrected my partner on after the game. However, had we used this gentlemens criteria for a balk , we would have had at 8 balks. I probably would have had to toss both coaches also. This is absurd.
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Old Thu Apr 21, 2005, 08:11am
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Hahahaha,

bzydadof2:

Do me a big favor.

Have the umpire that made and defended the call e-mail me directly.

Let's ask him to explain it to me personally. (Right, as you all know I would post his e-mail here for cannon fodder).

Bet the guy wouldn't have the guts to send the defense (i.e. put his thoughts down on paper were they can be disected) to any quality umpire group.
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Old Thu Apr 21, 2005, 08:39am
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I'm with scyguy if we are discussing high school ball. In the NFHS rule book, page 40 & 41, Rule 6, Sec.1,Art.3 is what he is refering to.
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Old Thu Apr 21, 2005, 08:43am
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"I'm with scyguy if we are discussing high school ball. In the NFHS rule book, page 40 & 41, Rule 6, Sec.1,Art.3 is what he is refering to."

And that makes two of you wrong IF the preponderence of the posters on this thread have read the play and accurately interpreted what was meant by the original post.

Of course I don't know that much about FED as I have only worked it for 35 years.
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Old Thu Apr 21, 2005, 08:44am
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FED 6-1-3
.....the pitcher may TURN on his pivot foot or LIFT it in a jump turn to step with the non-pivot foot toward a base while throwing or feinting .... or he may LIFT his pivot foot in a step backward.

Now, I have NEVER seen a pitcher who stepped with his non-pivot to first keep his ENTIRE pivot foot in contact with the rubber. This would be such an awkward move, I don't anticipate ever seeing it. If I am visualizing this move correctly, the only way it could be interpreted a balk is if it violated not turning his pivot.
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