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  #91 (permalink)  
Old Tue May 31, 2005, 06:32pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by cbfoulds
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley

...given the Evans response that should settle this interesting and lively debate, one would hope the authors of those statements would have the integrity to at least post a final note to the thread acknowledging their newfound enlightenment.
Thought I'd already done that; but in case I was not clear/ contrite enough:

WOW! That's news to me; Jim Evans certainly is "recognised or General Authority": and inasmuch as I said earlier that I would accept such, I now formally confess error.
I don't understand it, but I can easily accept it.

And if my poor attempts at humor and a light tone with my posts was read by you [Dave] as condescending [or arrogant, although I tend to see that as less of a sin, myself]; well, that's not what I intended at all. [/B]
By Kalix's count, there were 13 different participants arguing the "no balk" side. At this point, you and Garth are the only two to have acknowledged the Evans ruling.

It's a pity you don't understand Evans' rationale. Kalix and I have (independently of each other) spent quite a bit of time explaining and defending that rationale, in terms that I thought were pretty understandable.

I don't remember anything from you I would consider arrogant. I did consider your suggestion that I actually read the rule I was citing to be condescending and unnecessary. I generally don't enter a debate on a baseball rule unless I've read it, as well as everything else in the supporting authoritative literature I own related to it, and have a reasonable level of confidence that I know what I'm talking about.

I give you and Garth credit for stepping up and acknowledging that a legitimate authority took a position contrary to yours on the play in question. A wise man once told me there is no dishonor in embracing three simple little words, when the occasion calls for it - "I stand corrected."
  #92 (permalink)  
Old Tue May 31, 2005, 07:20pm
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Well, Dave, being wrong is something I am familiar with. The point is not to stay wrong. Which is, I think, your point.
As for "I don't understand": what I can't figgure out is where you draw the line: as someone [me?] wrote earlier - if 6" up before back is OK, why is 12, 18, or 24 NOT OK; and on what rule language do we base that distinction?
I think I can apply Evans' interp. on the field, and as I've said, I have no trouble accepting it.
It may be a part of my problem that the move under discussion is, for me, purely theoretical: I've never seen anything like it. Maybe if I saw it done, I'd understand why that deceptive move is a balk, and others are not. Or maybe, like the OP [who saw it again], seeing it with this discussion in mind would only confirm my failure to "see" this balk.
  #93 (permalink)  
Old Tue May 31, 2005, 07:30pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley
By Kalix's count, there were 13 different participants arguing the "no balk" side. At this point, you and Garth are the only two to have acknowledged the Evans ruling.

It's a pity you don't understand Evans' rationale. Kalix and I have (independently of each other) spent quite a bit of time explaining and defending that rationale, in terms that I thought were pretty understandable.
I hereby solemnly acknowledge that the quotation posted in this thread and attributed to Jim Evans seems to conflict with a post I made.

Yes, that's hedged and not much of a mea culpa, and for two main reasons:

1. Somebody (maybe CB) pointed out that there's a fine line involved in this play. The pitcher must pick up his foot to step off, and Evans seems to be supporting the view that if he picks it up "too high," then that's a balk. OK, fine, I'll take instruction: but what's too high? It seems: the step is too high when it becomes "deceptive." A number of us have argued that it's NOT deceptive, but, like Evans, let's ignore that argument and move on to...

2. Moreover, the Evans quotation still doesn't answer an important question about this issue: deception is illegal when it confers an unfair advantage. Nobody (including Evans) has explained what unfair advantage accrues to the defense from this dumb move. In deciding unfair advantage, one cannot assume that the opponent is stupid or ignorant of the rules (those are fair advantages).

Umpiring is a sphere of authority, not one of logic. Therefore, if authority instructs me that this is an instance of illegal deception, then I will call it that way. I still do not see the rationale, but I suppose that my view will matter only if I start my own umpire academy...

Oh, and for the record, Dave shares Evans's reasoning (illegal deception), but Kallix's was different: he said that lifting the pivot foot up high was not a step backwards. Sorry, that's not the call.

Edited because I had "offense" where I meant "defense" under #2.

[Edited by mbyron on May 31st, 2005 at 08:59 PM]
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  #94 (permalink)  
Old Tue May 31, 2005, 09:07pm
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after reading

Quote:
Originally posted by mbyron
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley
By Kalix's count, there were 13 different participants arguing the "no balk" side. At this point, you and Garth are the only two to have acknowledged the Evans ruling.

It's a pity you don't understand Evans' rationale. Kalix and I have (independently of each other) spent quite a bit of time explaining and defending that rationale, in terms that I thought were pretty understandable.
I hereby solemnly acknowledge that the quotation posted in this thread and attributed to Jim Evans seems to conflict with a post I made.

Yes, that's hedged and not much of a mea culpa, and for two main reasons:

1. Somebody (maybe CB) pointed out that there's a fine line involved in this play. The pitcher must pick up his foot to step off, and Evans seems to be supporting the view that if he picks it up "too high," then that's a balk. OK, fine, I'll take instruction: but what's too high? It seems: the step is too high when it becomes "deceptive." A number of us have argued that it's NOT deceptive, but, like Evans, let's ignore that argument and move on to...

2. Moreover, the Evans quotation still doesn't answer an important question about this issue: deception is illegal when it confers an unfair advantage. Nobody (including Evans) has explained what unfair advantage accrues to the defense from this dumb move. In deciding unfair advantage, one cannot assume that the opponent is stupid or ignorant of the rules (those are fair advantages).

Umpiring is a sphere of authority, not one of logic. Therefore, if authority instructs me that this is an instance of illegal deception, then I will call it that way. I still do not see the rationale, but I suppose that my view will matter only if I start my own umpire academy...

Oh, and for the record, Dave shares Evans's reasoning (illegal deception), but Kallix's was different: he said that lifting the pivot foot up high was not a step backwards. Sorry, that's not the call.

Edited because I had "offense" where I meant "defense" under #2.

[Edited by mbyron on May 31st, 2005 at 08:59 PM]
I agree with your post. Evans is indeed an authority on the rules and i understand his post, but i also understand that he is never going to see this play.

So as mbyron stated above he's basing his opinion on the fact that he is deceiving the runner and that as we know is umpires interpretation.

So I agree with Evans that if I were to see this move I would call it a balk, but I would have to be convinced that the runner was deceived before calling it.

In my post before I did not see this as being deceiving but after reading his thoughts, it makes me realize I missed this one.

This is basically a strange play that I have never seen and probably will never see, but it is nice to see that a guy like Evans would at least give it some thought even though he's never going to see the play in person.

Thanks
David
  #95 (permalink)  
Old Tue May 31, 2005, 10:30pm
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I accept Evans interp and eagerly await to see it in the new JEA that was mentioned last year as a possibility. Dave apparently decided to go get some bait.
  #96 (permalink)  
Old Tue May 31, 2005, 11:44pm
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While I'll accept Evans' ruling, I'm truly amazed by it.

I'd compare the situation to one where a pitcher in OBR stands behind the rubber pretending to be positioning the ball in his glove while, indeed, F3 has the ball waiting to put the tag on R1 if he's willing to step off the base.

While no pitching rule has been broken, it's unmistakeable that the pitcher's actions are clearly meant to deceive the runner.
So......USING THE EVANS LOGIC, should a balk be called on this pitcher for clearly trying to deceive the runner despite the fact that he has broken no rule of pitching????..........lol


Just my opinion,

Freix

  #97 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 01, 2005, 07:54am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bfair
While I'll accept Evans' ruling, I'm truly amazed by it.

I'd compare the situation to one where a pitcher in OBR stands behind the rubber pretending to be positioning the ball in his glove while, indeed, F3 has the ball waiting to put the tag on R1 if he's willing to step off the base.

While no pitching rule has been broken, it's unmistakeable that the pitcher's actions are clearly meant to deceive the runner.
So......USING THE EVANS LOGIC, should a balk be called on this pitcher for clearly trying to deceive the runner despite the fact that he has broken no rule of pitching????..........lol


Just my opinion,

Freix

Apparently some umpires have difficulty understanding what is and what is not a mechanically legal act of deception.
  #98 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 01, 2005, 08:34am
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Quote:
Originally posted by cbfoulds
As for "I don't understand": what I can't figgure out is where you draw the line:
It's been quoted a couple of times, but I'll quote it again, straight from the 8.05 Penalty case notes:

Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire's mind, the “intent” of the pitcher should govern.

It's judgment, pure and simple. But when you see a pitcher employing nonstandard mechanics to simulate a motion that is obviously associated with the pitching motion, and your experience and judgment tell you that he is doing that with clear intent to incite the runner into believing he has begun a motion to pitch, then rather than just tell yourself "gee, that's ugly, but ugly ain't a balk," you now know that the spirit and intent of the balk rule is to balk that move and nip that **** in the bud, pronto.

You'll be surprised how un-Calvinball-like the game will be when you enforce this.
  #99 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 01, 2005, 08:36am
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Re: after reading

[QUOTE]Originally posted by David B
Quote:
So I agree with Evans that if I were to see this move I would call it a balk, but I would have to be convinced that the runner was deceived before calling it.
You should not wait to judge whether or not the runner was deceived by the pitcher's motion. The effectiveness of the move is not the salient point; rather, the intent of the move is what you must judge. If you judge the pitcher's move to be made with the intent to deceive the runner, balk it. Don't wait to see whether the runner bit or not.
  #100 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 01, 2005, 08:55am
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Before I start, let me say that the following is not intended in any way to be condesceding or belittling. I just want to explain this.

If you read Mr. Evan's explanation, he says a couple of things which tell you exactly what you need to know. In the first sentence, he says the pitcher is required to step backward off the rubber, with the word backward highlighted. In the next sentence, he implies that the step in question was not mechanically legal. Two sentences later, he states, "This is one in which you explain that the pitcher failed to legally disengage. Instead of stepping backward off the rubber, as required..."

So if everyone here read the same explanation I have, why is there any doubt that to legally disengage the rubber, the pitcher must step backward, not up? (and yes you have to move upward to clear the rubber)

Mr. Evan's underlined and emphasized backward and states that the pitcher is required to step backward off.

The move in question, lifting the leg up as high as it can go, is a balk because it is an illegal disengagement from the rubber and is intented to deceive the runner.



Quote:
Originally posted by mbyron
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley
By Kalix's count, there were 13 different participants arguing the "no balk" side. At this point, you and Garth are the only two to have acknowledged the Evans ruling.

It's a pity you don't understand Evans' rationale. Kalix and I have (independently of each other) spent quite a bit of time explaining and defending that rationale, in terms that I thought were pretty understandable.
I hereby solemnly acknowledge that the quotation posted in this thread and attributed to Jim Evans seems to conflict with a post I made.

Yes, that's hedged and not much of a mea culpa, and for two main reasons:

1. Somebody (maybe CB) pointed out that there's a fine line involved in this play. The pitcher must pick up his foot to step off, and Evans seems to be supporting the view that if he picks it up "too high," then that's a balk. OK, fine, I'll take instruction: but what's too high? It seems: the step is too high when it becomes "deceptive." A number of us have argued that it's NOT deceptive, but, like Evans, let's ignore that argument and move on to...

2. Moreover, the Evans quotation still doesn't answer an important question about this issue: deception is illegal when it confers an unfair advantage. Nobody (including Evans) has explained what unfair advantage accrues to the defense from this dumb move. In deciding unfair advantage, one cannot assume that the opponent is stupid or ignorant of the rules (those are fair advantages).

Umpiring is a sphere of authority, not one of logic. Therefore, if authority instructs me that this is an instance of illegal deception, then I will call it that way. I still do not see the rationale, but I suppose that my view will matter only if I start my own umpire academy...

Oh, and for the record, Dave shares Evans's reasoning (illegal deception), but Kallix's was different: he said that lifting the pivot foot up high was not a step backwards. Sorry, that's not the call.

Edited because I had "offense" where I meant "defense" under #2.

[Edited by mbyron on May 31st, 2005 at 08:59 PM]
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  #101 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 01, 2005, 08:58am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley

Apparently some umpires have difficulty understanding what is and what is not a mechanically legal act of deception.

[/B]

Frankly, Dave, most of the senior umpires that I know and respect from my past times at the boards who commented on this seemed to agree that they thought it would not be a balk including Bob, Garth, JJ, and David. (Let's face it....how often have you seen a ruling go against Bob?....lol).

I've always respected your knowledge and thoughts and still do, but your position (which agreed with Evans) surprised me on this. Congratulations on getting this one right.

Still, I think my example shown of a pitcher doing something totally within the pitching directives and where he has obvious intent to deceive is highly analagous to the situation we've been discussing here.

In my analogy, the runner is expected to know the rule that the pitcher need be on or astride the rubber without the ball. In the discussed situation, the runner should also know that once the pivot foot rises from the set position a legal pitch cannot occur. So, when the pitcher is not on or astride the rubber, AND when the pitcher's pivot rises from the set position----THERE IS NO DECEPTION OUTSIDE OF THE RULES---even if there is intent to try to deceive.

So, let's add one for Evans to rule on.............
After a foul ball F3 keeps the ball while F1 takes the rubber and U1 declares play. As R1 steps off the 1B he is tagged by F3............
Is this a balk, or is this nothing since the ball was never legally put in play? Certainly there is INTENT to deceive the runner.........

Are we now driven in our decisions merely by a pitcher's INTENT to deceive without providing respect to the rules? I'd bet a dollar to a doughnut that most umpires I'd question on this would agree the once the pivot foot rises from the set position the pitcher cannot pitch---and with that in mind, that no deception exists. It's merely a crappy move.

Where do we start expecting the players and coaches to know the rules.......
Suppose, in OBR, you call a balk but the pitch is delivered and batted for a hit to left center. The defense stops playing because they heard you call balk, but the offense continues to score. Do we "undo" the defense's error because they don't know the rules........
Of course not, they are expected to know the rules of the game.

IMO, every runner should know that once the pivot foot in the set postion (something easy to determine) starts rising to whatever height, the pitcher can no longer deliver a pitch. I don't see deception---despite a pitcher's desire to try to deceive.

Still, Dave.......I'll accept Evans' ruling.
I'll chalk it up along Rick Roder's one time statement that he'd give credit to a runner for touching a missed base after that runner was retired............
Remember that one ?????????????

Even the authorities make poor decisions at times........


Just my opinion,

Freix





  #102 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 01, 2005, 09:08am
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Re: Re: after reading

I still don't see how this move deceives the runner - anytime that pivot foot moves, it's back to the base. Heck, it's more deceptive to have the pitcher, while coming set, stepping and then snapping a throw towards first than that slow and exaggerated disengagement of the rubber.

That being said, I can accept this rule interpretation. I really wish Evans would have given some guidelines with this interp. For the sake of enforcement, if the pivot foot comes up to the other leg's knee, I'll call it (taking into consideration unusual mound conditions).
  #103 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 01, 2005, 09:11am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaliix


If you read Mr. Evan's explanation, he says a couple of things which tell you exactly what you need to know. In the first sentence, he says the pitcher is required to step backward off the rubber, with the word backward highlighted. In the next sentence, he implies that the step in question was not mechanically legal. Two sentences later, he states, "This is one in which you explain that the pitcher failed to legally disengage. Instead of stepping backward off the rubber, as required..."

So if everyone here read the same explanation I have, why is there any doubt that to legally disengage the rubber, the pitcher must step backward, not up? (and yes you have to move upward to clear the rubber)

Hmmmmm................I wonder how consistent Jim Evans is in his separation of "up" from "back"........

A pitcher from the rubber in the set position needs to step directly to the base he is throwing or feinting to. So, if a LHF1 raises his leg up, and then steps and throws to 1B should we expect Evans to balk the move? I'd think not. Yet his elimination of upward within a stepping motion would justify it is not a step directly to the base.

IMO, there should be consistency here, and Evans' ruling is not one that maintains consistency in what is and what is not a "step" by a pitcher. IMO (which means nothing), if we allow a pitcher to raise his leg high in a step forward, we should also allow it in a step backward.


Just my opinion,

Freix

  #104 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 01, 2005, 09:20am
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Originally posted by 3appleshigh

This is probably a HTBT, but here is what i have.

R1 - Right handed pitcher.

Pitcher in stretch comes to the set position. Looks toward the base runner, (head turn only). Lifts his Pivot foot, straight up in the air as High as he can, (like a lefty pitcher would do with his free foot before deciding home or first base) then steps off and quickly spins to see what runner is doing.

Now I balked this, I said and still believe this particular fact, the pitcher did this action for the sole purpose of decieving the runner. I also believed at the split second, but am waivering now that the move is {"mimicing"} a motion naturally associated with a pitch.

Has anyone else ever seen this, is it a balk? What are your thoughts??


First off this thread will be probably be in the top 5 for number of "hits" and responses. I still think Peter Osborne's thread holds the record but am incertain.

Ok to the thread itself.

There's no need to add any further rule interp as Dave has posted Mr. Evan's response.

I will add this to the discussion. The OBR as it exists today has many errors, but they should be given credit for the commentary at the end of 8.05. The rules committee probably realized that it was virtually impossible to put in writing ALL aspects of what constitutes a balk.

As umpires we are asked to judge intent in just about every game we do. Some infractions involve No intent (the easy ones) such as a batter falling or walking right in front of F2.

Some involve the use of intent.

Example:
If, in the judgment of the umpire, a base runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball with the obvious intent to break up a double play

Ok I know this thread talks about a balk, but the point I am making is that as umpires we use good sound judgement when making certain calls. We need to know what's going on and use certain indicators in judging intent.

Another balk NOT specifically mentioned in the rule-book is the infamous F1 "hanging" his leg out to purposely freeze the runner. You will not find the word "hanging" in the rule-book.

Now just because certain moves do look wierd is not cause for a balk, but in the situation given it is a balk yesterday, today and tomorrow.

When I first read the thread I thought it would probably get approx 8-10 responses as IMO it is a No Brainer of a call. There are many more complicated rulings that could bring out a plethora of responses but I thought this thread would not. I was amazed that this thread escallated to where it did.

Pete Booth

[Edited by PeteBooth on Jun 1st, 2005 at 10:23 AM]
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  #105 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jun 01, 2005, 09:20am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hensley


It's judgment, pure and simple. But when you see a pitcher employing nonstandard mechanics to simulate a motion that is obviously associated with the pitching motion, and your experience and judgment tell you that he is doing that with clear intent to incite the runner into believing he has begun a motion to pitch, then rather than just tell yourself "gee, that's ugly, but ugly ain't a balk," you now know that the spirit and intent of the balk rule is to balk that move and nip that **** in the bud, pronto.

You'll be surprised how un-Calvinball-like the game will be when you enforce this.
Dave:
We are now officially comitting agravated assault upon a deceased equine.

"...judgment ... intent ... balk that ....": yep- I said I'd be able to apply this on the field. You seemed concerned that I didn't understand WHY. I still don't understand, but it makes no difference. I'll enforce it [in the unlikely event I ever have it happen - 14 years and "not yet"]

Now: to, perhaps, move the discussion forward [or at least out of the circular path it is currently taking] -

Some time back, I'm BU; RHP uses a very unremarkable stretch/step/pitch kinda motion for 3 innings. 4th inning, R2: same F1 makes a VERY different move; hard to describe, but he brings his left knee up sharply, across his body toward 2d turning his torso as well, although his left foot does NOT cross behind the rubber [not that it matters, in this case]. R2 and the base coaches conclude that F1 is going to 2d, but they are very wrong, as he continues his motion and delivers to the plate "without hesitation or interruption", while R2 is picking himself out of the dirt.

Let us be clear: there was nothing about the "new" motion that in any way violated any of the published pitching rules- it was, by itself, mechanically a perfectly legal delivery. It was, however, clearly "intended to deceive" the runner [and maybe the batter]; and it suceeded spectacularly in doing so.

Some people on the field [including one of the officials] though this was a balk, because F1 "intentionally deceived" the runner.

WOULD YOU [and maybe Jim E.] AGREE? Or would you agree with the other half of the observers, who saw no balk.
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