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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 01:38pm
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Quick Pitch?

Fall ball game yesterday under OBR. Runner on second. Pitcher in stretch throws pitch before batter is close to being ready but batter has both feet in the box. I called a balk for an illegal pitch. Is this a correct call or should it be a no pitch? Does the pitcher have to wait for the batter to be ready? The only example I could find was of a pitcher getting the ball back from the catcher and throwing the next pitch without even taking a sign.
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 01:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David M
Fall ball game yesterday under OBR. Runner on second. Pitcher in stretch throws pitch before batter is close to being ready but batter has both feet in the box. I called a balk for an illegal pitch. Is this a correct call or should it be a no pitch? Does the pitcher have to wait for the batter to be ready? The only example I could find was of a pitcher getting the ball back from the catcher and throwing the next pitch without even taking a sign.
8.05
If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when --
[...]
(e) The pitcher makes an illegal pitch;
Rule 8.05(e) Comment: A quick pitch is an illegal pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted.
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 01:55pm
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Batter enters the box with both feet at his own risk. So long as pitcher didn't quick-pitch (return throw from catcher OR failing to stop in the set) batter needs a stern talking-to by his coach.
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 01:58pm
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I cut myself off.
Remember, this is a player safety rule. If the batter has stepped in, and is looking at the pitcher, the pitcher doesn't have to wait for him to do his whole Jim Thome pointing thing. Once he's in and looking there is no longer a safety issue and we play ball.
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 02:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeErieUmp
I cut myself off.
Remember, this is a player safety rule. If the batter has stepped in, and is looking at the pitcher, the pitcher doesn't have to wait for him to do his whole Jim Thome pointing thing. Once he's in and looking there is no longer a safety issue and we play ball.
I disagree, let the batter get set. Just because he has both feet in the box doesn't mean he is ready.

Now, if he is delaying setting up, it's now your job to get him ready. If he refuses, tell him to step out and tell the pitcher to pitch. this is now a directed strike, even if it goes obver the backstop.
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 02:53pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sargee7
I disagree, let the batter get set. Just because he has both feet in the box doesn't mean he is ready.

Now, if he is delaying setting up, it's now your job to get him ready. If he refuses, tell him to step out and tell the pitcher to pitch. this is now a directed strike, even if it goes obver the backstop.
Bordering on increasing our list from 3 to 4.
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 02:58pm
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Sheesh. Some questionable advice upstream.

The batter does not enter the box with both feet "at his own risk." The umpire should not let a pitcher begin a pitching motion until the batter is in the box and ready, which as I interpret it means he is in the box, has assumed a stance and is looking at the pitcher.

In youth and sub-varsity scholastic levels, you will encounter pitchers with itchy triggers, as well as coaches who belief myths such as "if he's in the box he's fair game." Do not allow a dangerous quick pitch to be thrown. If the pitcher starts, call time loudly to stop the pitcher's motion, and then tell him "don't start your pitch until the batter is in the box and looking at you."

I have rarely had to say that more than once in a game.
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 03:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrowder
Bordering on increasing our list from 3 to 4.
Meaning???
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 03:27pm
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Dave - that is just what I said in the second part of my post "If the batter has stepped in, and is looking at the pitcher".

Standing in, looking at the pitcher, batter's got to get himself ready otherwise there's no distinction between in the box and not in the box.

By "own risk" I didn't mean physical risk, I meant if he's in the box and looking at the pitcher that's not the time to reach for a chaw. No different than if the batter's in the box, wants time, AND DOESN'T GET IT a pitch can be called a strike.

I might have used a better term than "own risk".
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 04:27pm
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Since this is a HS game, safety is the first issue to address. Although batter has both feet in the box, it does not mean he is ready. At higher levels of ball, you usually don't have this problem as the pitchers are more relaxed and not overanxious. You must use your judgement and game management skills here to prevent these kind of problems. The first time he starts to deliver before everybody is ready, call time. Now tell the catcher and the pitcher to look for your hand signal to either hold up, or pitch. Take control of these situations before they turn into real problems.
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 05:05pm
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Well,

In games played by high school aged players and above most successful umpires will interface with the catchers and clearly define to them that it is their responsibility to keep a pitcher from pitching too quickly.

Now that does not mean that as the PU you do nothing but better quality umpires handle it this way:

PU: "Hey Jmmy, let's make sure the batter is in place before you give signals to your guy on the mound, OK?"

Jimmy: "Yeah, I know he just wants to go in a hurry."

PU: "Well we just want to make sure we're all on the same page and if I get involved it makes it a whole lot more important than it needs to be, OK?"

I am the plate guy that when a batter holds his hand up asking for "time" to dig in that the first time I give it the BIG: "Time, time" and walk away from the plate!

As the batter gets into the box, quietly I say: "Hey, don't raise you hand unless you want to call time . . . we'll make sure he won't pitch until all three of us are ready, OK?" I then generally ignore the "raised hand for I want to dig in sign" from the batter.

Remember as the Plate Umpire you "own" the pitcher, the catcher and the batter . . . nothing should begin until are ready.

I am always one of a few plate guys that games generally come in well under 1:50 minutes. I run my games and make sure that everyone is treated equally and are safe.

Regards,
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 07:35pm
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I will always call time and not let the pitcher pitch until the batter is ready. I will also tell the catcher "Let him (the batter) get set before you give the sign". If the catcher says anything I'll say "You'll get the same courtesy". I've never had a problem with a catcher after that exchange.

JJ
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 08:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sargee7
Meaning???
Meaning that you are bordering upon joining the ranks of those who have no clue concerining the art of umpiring.
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Old Mon Oct 09, 2006, 11:31pm
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Smile Balk, Legal Pitch, or Time

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M
Fall ball game yesterday under OBR. Runner on second. Pitcher in stretch throws pitch before batter is close to being ready but batter has both feet in the box. I called a balk for an illegal pitch. Is this a correct call or should it be a no pitch? Does the pitcher have to wait for the batter to be ready? The only example I could find was of a pitcher getting the ball back from the catcher and throwing the next pitch without even taking a sign.
I am more lenient towards the batter before the first pitch. The pitcher gets the nod afterward, unless the batter has to bail and reset.

A) Call time, as others have suggested, give instructions to prevent situation and avoid the drama from both benches. Warn both parties.

B) Balk because it was an illegal quick pitch or call time if you feel the batter was placed at an unfair advantage. Remember pitcher must allow reasonable time and then come to a complete STOP.

C) The batter can't doodle there for more than reasonable time. Call ball or strike because it appears the pitch was legal and batter had other things on his mind. NO, the pitcher does not have to wait for this batter. I assume both feet are in the batter's box, the batter is looking at the pitcher and the pitcher properly sets before making his delivery.
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Old Tue Oct 10, 2006, 07:57am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim C
In games played by high school aged players and above most successful umpires will interface with the catchers and clearly define to them that it is their responsibility to keep a pitcher from pitching too quickly.
I was reading this thread, and getting frustrated...then I saw Tee's post and again he gets it, IMHO.

Simply put, use your catchers!!

In my high school games and above, I simply say to the catcher, "hey, protect the batter for me, o.k.?"

I have NEVER had a single catcher turn around and ask "what do you mean, blue?" , much less even argue. It takes care of the problem every time. Unless he just started catching that day, the catcher knows exactly what you mean...and the problem takes care of itself without anyone (i.e. coaches) even knowing you did anything about it.
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