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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jun 03, 2007, 05:20pm
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Pickoff to 2nd - Balk?

LHP with a runner on 2nd. Raises his non-pivot foot and then brings it back downward. Before the foot hits the dirt, he spins to throw to 2nd. Odd looking but effective. Legal?

Does the downward movement of the leg commit him to pitch to the plate?
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Old Sun Jun 03, 2007, 05:40pm
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I am having trouble visualizing what he is doing. How can he spin just before his foot hits the ground? Does his non pivot foot step toward the plate? If he throws to second base, he must step toward second. This sounds like a balk to me.
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Old Sun Jun 03, 2007, 06:24pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncump7
I am having trouble visualizing what he is doing. How can he spin just before his foot hits the ground? Does his non pivot foot step toward the plate? If he throws to second base, he must step toward second. This sounds like a balk to me.
Picture the class move of raising the non-pivot leg straight up then spinning to second to throw. He did the first part (raising the leg straight up) but instead of spinning as you typically see, he first brought his leg straight back down. Just prior to the foot hitting the ground, he paused , spun, and then threw.

Does the bringing of the leg back down obligate him to go home?
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Old Sun Jun 03, 2007, 07:51pm
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I think it is physically impossible to bring the leg down and just before it hits the ground make a spin. When he opens up with the hip and swings his leg forward, he is commited to pitch to the plate. Balk!!
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 07:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncump7
I think it is physically impossible to bring the leg down and just before it hits the ground make a spin. When he opens up with the hip and swings his leg forward, he is commited to pitch to the plate. Balk!!
OK. Lets simplify it then. Is it a balk with a runner on 2nd base when the pitcher raises his non-pivot leg, then lowers it (normal movement for going to the plate) but does not go to the plate? Or is it a legal pickoff move upto the point of his leg starting towards the plate?
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 08:07am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cshs81
OK. Lets simplify it then. Is it a balk with a runner on 2nd base when the pitcher raises his non-pivot leg, then lowers it (normal movement for going to the plate) but does not go to the plate? Or is it a legal pickoff move upto the point of his leg starting towards the plate?
I don't see how a pitcher could do this without falling off the mound, but from what I visualize, once he starts toward the plate he's committed to the pitch.

So its a balk for failing to complete the pitch once he starts his movement to the plate.

Thanks
David
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 08:07am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cshs81
OK. Lets simplify it then. Is it a balk with a runner on 2nd base when the pitcher raises his non-pivot leg, then lowers it (normal movement for going to the plate) but does not go to the plate? Or is it a legal pickoff move upto the point of his leg starting towards the plate?
It's not a "legal pickoff move" until he steps toward 2d [in this case].
If he steps toward the plate & does not pitch, of course it's a balk.

All that said, I'm with the other responder(s?): I doubt that it is physically possible to make the move you initially described - without putting the non-pivot foot back on the ground, that is. So: what is this post, really?: a "just suppose..."/ "stump-the-umpire" TWP, or an actual game-situation conundrum?
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 08:24am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbfoulds
It's not a "legal pickoff move" until he steps toward 2d [in this case].
If he steps toward the plate & does not pitch, of course it's a balk.

All that said, I'm with the other responder(s?): I doubt that it is physically possible to make the move you initially described - without putting the non-pivot foot back on the ground, that is. So: what is this post, really?: a "just suppose..."/ "stump-the-umpire" TWP, or an actual game-situation conundrum?
Real world : Fuentes of the Rockies did it yesterday against the Reds. Tough to explain - not the usual "raise the leg and then spin" to 2nd move.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 09:14am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cshs81
Real world : Fuentes of the Rockies did it yesterday against the Reds. Tough to explain - not the usual "raise the leg and then spin" to 2nd move.
"Sometimes you just have to umpire."

The balk rules don't specify every twitch that a pitcher might make. If the umpire judges that F1 mad a move to the plate, then it's a balk. If he didn't, then it's a legal move.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 09:27am
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Perhaps we ought to think of it this way...

When a pitcher wishes to throw to a base from the rubber, he must step toward that base. If the pitcher in the OP's situation here threw to second for a pickoff attempt but did not step toward second, it's a balk. BTW, even though the rules specify that a pitcher must step "ahead of the throw," it's generally accepted to let pitchers step and throw simultaneously.

I believe that if we approach the original situation here using the throw requires a step line of thinking, it might be easier to understand.
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Old Tue Jun 05, 2007, 09:09am
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Other than dropping the ball while on the rubber in attempting a pick off at second I've never seen nor heard of a balk being called at second. Not saying it can't happen it's hard to envsion it happening.
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Old Tue Jun 05, 2007, 09:16am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon30307
Other than dropping the ball while on the rubber in attempting a pick off at second I've never seen nor heard of a balk being called at second. Not saying it can't happen it's hard to envsion it happening.
This would not be a balk to second. This would be a balk for committing to pitch and not making the delivery.
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Old Tue Jun 05, 2007, 09:31am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarthB
This would not be a balk to second. This would be a balk for committing to pitch and not making the delivery.
What I had in mind was spinning toward second, faking a throw etc and the ball being dropped. Point is it's hard to envision a pitcher balking when making a pick off move to second.
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Old Tue Jun 05, 2007, 09:44am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon30307
What I had in mind was spinning toward second, faking a throw etc and the ball being dropped. Point is it's hard to envision a pitcher balking when making a pick off move to second.
That, also, would not be a balk to second. That would be a balk for dropping the ball while in contact with the rubber.


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Old Tue Jun 05, 2007, 10:25am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarthB
That, also, would not be a balk to second. That would be a balk for dropping the ball while in contact with the rubber.


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Whatever. Point is it's hard to balk when trying to pick off a runner at second.
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