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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 10:46pm
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What's the history and/or rationale for:

8.05 If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when_
d) The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;


Followed by the AR

b) With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.


This is confusing, especially when coupled with the MLBUM 7.7 Example 2.

7.7 THROWING TO AN UNOCCUPIED BASE
Official Baseball Rule 8.05(d) provides that the pitcher be charged with a balk if, while in contact with the pitcher's plate, he throws to an unoccupied base except for the purpose of making a play.

EXAMPLES:

(1) Runners on first and second, pitcher in set position. Runner breaks for third base and pitcher throws to third base. Ruling: Legal play.

(2) Runners on first and second, pitcher in set position. Runner bluffs going to third base and pitcher throws to third base. However, runner did not go. Ruling: Balk, pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 8.05(d).


And the fact that the MLBUM doesn't mention the AR



[Edited by Rich Ives on Jun 29th, 2005 at 11:51 PM]
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Old Wed Jun 29, 2005, 10:56pm
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I don't know the history, but how is this confusing?
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Old Thu Jun 30, 2005, 04:47am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Ives
What's the history and/or rationale for:

8.05 If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when_
d) The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;


Followed by the AR

b) With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.


This is confusing, especially when coupled with the MLBUM 7.7 Example 2.

7.7 THROWING TO AN UNOCCUPIED BASE
Official Baseball Rule 8.05(d) provides that the pitcher be charged with a balk if, while in contact with the pitcher's plate, he throws to an unoccupied base except for the purpose of making a play.

EXAMPLES:

(1) Runners on first and second, pitcher in set position. Runner breaks for third base and pitcher throws to third base. Ruling: Legal play.

(2) Runners on first and second, pitcher in set position. Runner bluffs going to third base and pitcher throws to third base. However, runner did not go. Ruling: Balk, pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 8.05(d).


And the fact that the MLBUM doesn't mention the AR



[Edited by Rich Ives on Jun 29th, 2005 at 11:51 PM]
This difference is that on the play where he bluffed going to 3rd there is no play there since the runner inactuality was not going there. To me it depends on the bluff if I am going to call it or not. It the runner "bluffs" only a couple steps then I would be more apt to call the balk as to where I would not if the runner went half way and then went back to second. It would boil down to what was a bluff and what was an actual attempt by the runner to advance only to have the defense stop him.
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Old Thu Jun 30, 2005, 06:35am
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Quote:
Originally posted by LDUB
I don't know the history, but how is this confusing?
b) With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.

vs.

(2) Runners on first and second, pitcher in set position. Runner bluffs going to third base and pitcher throws to third base. However, runner did not go. Ruling: Balk, pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 8.05(d).


In the first statement, it appears that you have a runner on a base and are allowed to throw to a succeeding base without the runner going there. In the second statement, it appears that you have runner on a base and are NOT allowed to throw to a succeeding base without the runner going there. The ONLY difference, it appears, is the base involved - second vs. third ?!?!


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Old Thu Jun 30, 2005, 07:40am
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Maybe the confusion lies in how the interpretation is worded.

b) With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.

This statement may be the confusing one. It says nothing about R1 bluffing towards 2B. Maybe its just an accidental ommission in the MLBUM.

[Edited by aevans410 on Jun 30th, 2005 at 08:42 AM]
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Old Thu Jun 30, 2005, 08:19am
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Quote:
Originally posted by aevans410
Maybe the confusion lies in how the interpretation is worded.

b) With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.

This statement may be the confusing one. It says nothing about R1 bluffing towards 2B. Maybe its just an accidental ommission in the MLBUM.

[Edited by aevans410 on Jun 30th, 2005 at 08:42 AM]
What the statement should say is:

b) With a runner on first base attempting to steal second base, the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.

Without the phrase I've added, the statement implies that a throw to unoccupied 2B would be legal if the pitcher makes a complete turn without hesitating toward first, and throws to second.
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Old Thu Jun 30, 2005, 11:25am
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Dave: Your detailed description is certainly more clear and better worded. However, since throwing to an unoccupied base in it's own right is a balk, then it has to be applied at all times. Anyone who has umpired for more than a day should KNOW that R2 must be stealing for F1 to legally throw to 2B (in attempting a play). Umpires must understand the WHOLE rule and study it in its entirety. Picking out one sentence to base a ruling on is inappropriate since it does not take into consideration all the parts of the rule. That's why we umpire; we have studied the rules and understand them completely (or should strive to).

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Old Thu Jun 30, 2005, 11:34am
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The problem you will run into with a coach is that the rule book very clearly says it is NOT to be interpreted as a throw to an unoccupied base.

It's these "secret" rules that are not in the book that can really cause problems. You can tell the coach to read the rule book all you want, but the "secrets" aren't there.
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Old Thu Jun 30, 2005, 12:00pm
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I checked the BRD which basically says a balk call is expected here, IF R1 is not moving to 2B. J/R states in general terms a runner must be moving for F1 to legally throw to the following base.

I don't think this is a "secret" rule, just a poorly worded AR. I guess the bottom line is that if I am the umpire I will call a balk if R1 is not stealing. When the coach becomes an umpire, he can allow it in his games. Some things, you just know.
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Old Thu Jun 30, 2005, 12:07pm
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Cool

Rich I.,

Best I can find is the following from JEA:

Quote:

Historical Notes: Umpires in the 1940's were authorized by Rule 31, Section 2 to call a balk anytime the pitcher
(1) failed to step directly before throwing to an occupied base or (2) feinted or actually threw to an unoccupied
base. The 1950 rule allowed a pitcher to throw to an unoccupied base if he were doing so for the purpose of making
a play (Same interpretation that is used today.) A casebook note was added in 1976. It clarified the issue of a pitcher
making a complete turn (without hesitating toward first base) and throwing to second when the umpire believed the
runner was attempting to advance...see 8.05 End Notes (b).

Customs and Usage: If the umpire is convinced that a runner is making a bona fide effort to advance to an
unoccupied base, then the pitcher is not guilty of throwing to an unoccupied base. See 8.05 End Notes Approved
Ruling (b).
JM
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Old Thu Jun 30, 2005, 01:01pm
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Originally posted by Rich Ives

What's the history and/or rationale for:

8.05 If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when_
d) The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;



With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.

Rich in the aforementioned, F1 does not have the luxory of feinting a throw to first base, therefore, as long as he does not hesitate as the rule states, he is allowed to throw to second base.

EXAMPLES:

(1) Runners on first and second, pitcher in set position. Runner breaks for third base and pitcher throws to third base. Ruling: Legal play.

(2) Runners on first and second, pitcher in set position. Runner bluffs going to third base and pitcher throws to third base. However, runner did not go. Ruling: Balk, pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 8.05(d).

In the aforementioned examples F1 DOES have the Luxory of feinting towards second or third base, therefore, if R2 does bluff to third base, F1 does not need to make a complete throw, He can feint the runner back to the base.

I do not know if that was the rationale of the rule-makers but it makes since. In one instance F1 cannot feint to first base, so the rule-makers added "without hesitating toward first, and throw to second".

In examples 2/3 F1 can Feint to either second or third base.

Actuality: Pitcher's are taught or should be taught to disengage the pitcher's plate legally when they are set and see the runners going or his teamates tell him the runners are running. By doing that F1 can pretty much do whatever he wants.

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Old Fri Jul 01, 2005, 08:52pm
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I know what it means. But it doesn't mean what it says.

A LOT of comments are made about coaches not reading the rule book. So what happens when one does then you tell him the rule doesn't mean what it says?
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Old Fri Jul 01, 2005, 11:53pm
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As I'm sure you figured out by now Rich, just reading the rule book gives a coach just enough knowledge to be dangerous and really screw up.

Congratulations, you found one of the 439.274 errors in the OBR. As Paul Nauert was quoted in Alan Roper's article, "Learn the intent of the rule vs. the written rule...."

It took me two years to figure that out and to buy J/R and the BRD to help me figure out these damn OBR. The rule book is only the very beginning.

That's why you coaches need umpires...


Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Ives
I know what it means. But it doesn't mean what it says.

A LOT of comments are made about coaches not reading the rule book. So what happens when one does then you tell him the rule doesn't mean what it says?
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Old Sat Jul 02, 2005, 05:19pm
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I love how, in this case, we are suppose to take the "intent" of the rule. However, when considering a balk call in the case of a pitcher throwing delibrately to an outfielder with a runner on 2nd from the rubber (ie not making a play on R2), we don't call a balk since it's not prohibitted in "writting".

I serious doubt that the guys who created the (balk) rules intended for the pitcher to throw to an outfielder for the express purpose of deceiving the runner. If you look at the pitching rules, you are generally given three options:

(1) deliver the ball to the batter
(2) step and throw to a base in an attempt to pick off a runner
(3) disengage the rubber

Any ba$tardization of the rules (or interpretation thereof) is not in the spirit, nor intent of the rules, of baseball - IMHO!
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Old Sat Jul 02, 2005, 09:32pm
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"It took me two years to figure that out . . ."


EXACTLY!



So how's a coach supposed to know those things? He has the rule book, but not the "other stuff" and there are no indicators in the rule book that the "other stuff" even exists.

And coaches that want to learn have a hard time finding out the "real" answers because some of the responders on the various forums/boards just brush them off with a "go read the book" - the one that doesn't have the answers.
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