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Old Sun Jan 27, 2002, 11:18pm
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Question? The language surrounding 'time of pitch' (from the set postion) indicates "time of pitch occurs the instant the pitcher, after coming to a complete and discernible stop, starts any movement with arm(s) and/or leg(s) the commits him to pitch." Is it not true that after coming to a complete and discernible stop, the pitcher is still allowed to attempt or fient a pick-off unless any part of his body, torso, arms, legs, etc begins a motion towards the batter? In other words, he's allowed to start arm and leg motion but, unless and until, that motions starts towards to plate/batter(forward motion), he still may attempt a pick-off move or fient towards 2nd or 3rd.

I believe that I saw that on a Thurston NCAA video regarding legal and illegal pitching moves where "commits him to pitch" is clearly difined.

Can anyone confirm this or refute it?

[Edited by etbaseball on Jan 27th, 2002 at 11:43 PM]
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Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 12:20am
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Quote:
Originally posted by etbaseball
Question? The language surrounding 'time of pitch' (from the set postion) indicates "time of pitch occurs the instant the pitcher, after coming to a complete and discernible stop, starts any movement with arm(s) and/or leg(s) the commits him to pitch. Is it not true that after coming to a complete and discernible stop, the pitcher is still allowed to attempt or fient a pick-off unless any part of his body, torso, arms, legs, etc begins a motion towards the batter? In other words, he's allowed to start arm and leg motion but, unless and until, that motions starts towards to plate/batter(forward motion), he still may attempt a pick-off move or fient towards 2nd or 3rd.

I believe that I saw that on a Thurston NCAA video regarding legal and illegal pitching moves where "commits him to pitch" is clearly difined.

Can anyone confirm this or refute it?
I can not confirm nor refute that you (a) believe you saw, (b) actually saw, (c) remember what you saw.

I can help with the wording of the FED rule, though.

THere are some motions (separating hands, moving front leg not in an immediate direction toward the base for a pick-off) that commit the pitcher to pitch, even though the motion is not "towards the plate/batter(forward motion)."
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Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 12:36am
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Perhaps I should attempt further clarification. We've all seen the lefty, who, after coming to a set position, raises the forward leg (non pivot foot) straight up in the air and his arms are in motion upward. I believe that what constitutes commited to pitch, is if any motion towards the plate/batter is present, then, presumably, if he then attempts a pick-off he has committed a balk. The question is what defines the point in his motion when he can no longer throw to or fient at a base without balking?
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Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 11:29am
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Originally posted by etbaseball

Perhaps I should attempt further clarification. We've all seen the lefty, who, after coming to a set position, raises the forward leg (non pivot foot) straight up in the air and his arms are in motion upward. I believe that what constitutes commited to pitch, is if any motion towards the plate/batter is present, then, presumably, if he then attempts a pick-off he has committed a balk. The question is what defines the point in his motion when he can no longer throw to or fient at a base without balking?

In answer to your question - It's umpire judgement.

FED rule 6-2-4(b)

Failing to step with the non-pivot foot directly toward a base (occupied or unoccupied) when throwing or feinting there in an attempt to put out, or drive back a runner;

What you are referring to is better known as the Lefty Balk move. One of the best pickoffs if not the best in the game today is Andy Petitte of the Yanks.

Side Note: Whenever a coach starts to complain about a Lefty who is picking off his / her runners is: "hey Coach get yourself a Lefty"

Pete Booth

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Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 12:21pm
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The rule states F1 must step directly to the base.
While a pitcher is allowed to lift his leg back (not beyond the rubber) and then step to the base he is facing is not necessarily within the parameters of that statement, it has been allowed for years and will continued to be allowed. Don't fight it, it is custom and practice based on accepted standards. Certainly a long argument could be had discussing that point, but that argument won't change anything.

If a pitcher throwing to a base he is facing starts OTHER movement associated with his pitch before stepping to that base, you can balk him. If ever in doubt, let the factor of deception be your deciding factor.

I had a LH pitcher last year in adult ball who would always come set at his waist in the middle of his body. His first motion in his pitch was a significant and obvious move of his glove (with his pitching hand still in the glove) moving to his left hip. He would then raise his leg and deliver the pitch.

When he made the same move and delivered to 1B, I balked him. He had caught R1 breaking to 2B on the move. Now, I'll be very honest that had I seen the move and he had not been successful in catching R1 stealing, I probably would have warned him; telling him his arms were starting his pitch before his foot went to 1B. I would consider that preventative umpiring---get him right so I don't have to award a base. In this case, I didn't have that option as he had picked off R1, and I felt forced to call the balk. It's quite possible R1 saw the pitch start just as I had, and the defense wasn't getting the benefit of that doubt.

From that point on, F1 attempted the necessary adjustment, but I could tell he wasn't accustomed to delivering the pitch without his initial move to his left side with his hands. He finally gave up on it during that game. When I saw him later in the year, he had corrected that niche in his motion.

This is a situation that some may consider nitpickin, and I would have rather handled it with a warning. Most items that fall into that category I attempt to handle with a warning vs. a balk---it's preventative umpiring. It's letting the pitcher know what YOU think as he may not have had OTHER officials see it the same way.

Just my opinion,

Freix



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Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 12:55pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by etbaseball
I believe that what constitutes commited to pitch, is if any motion towards the plate/batter is present,
Your assumption above is false. THere are motions other than those "towards" the plate that commit the pitcher to pitch.
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Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 02:31pm
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To: Bob Jenkins ....
Bob would you care to elaborate on "other motions" ... I'm still looking for the NCAA tape from '97 ??? where Thurston did about 10 minutes on various legal and illegal moves by the pitcher where he provided specific language directed at the issue of 'what determines committed to pitch" ... I also looked up this item in the BDR (Seventeenth Edition) and section #362 indicates (from the set position) "when the pitcher separates his hands before delivering to the plate" as the time of the pitch, but I know that this is not the only element of determination. Comment et vous? ...

ED
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Old Mon Jan 28, 2002, 02:45pm
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Originally posted by etbaseball


To: Bob Jenkins ....
Bob would you care to elaborate on "other motions" ... I'm still looking for the NCAA tape from '97 ??? where Thurston did about 10 minutes on various legal and illegal moves by the pitcher where he provided specific language directed at the issue of 'what determines committed to pitch" ... I also looked up this item in the BDR (Seventeenth Edition) and section #362 indicates (from the set position) "when the pitcher separates his hands before delivering to the plate" as the time of the pitch, but I know that this is not the only element of determination. Comment et vous?


Ed, the FED has a good video on balks. I saw the video at one of our association meetings last year. I believe you can get a copy of it or at the very least borrow it.

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Old Tue Jan 29, 2002, 01:46pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by etbaseball
To: Bob Jenkins ....
Bob would you care to elaborate on "other motions" ... I'm still looking for the NCAA tape from '97 ??? where Thurston did about 10 minutes on various legal and illegal moves by the pitcher where he provided specific language directed at the issue of 'what determines committed to pitch" ... I also looked up this item in the BDR (Seventeenth Edition) and section #362 indicates (from the set position) "when the pitcher separates his hands before delivering to the plate" as the time of the pitch, but I know that this is not the only element of determination. Comment et vous? ...

ED
Rather than discuss what "commits a pitcher to pitch," let me talk about what doesn't.

Stepping and throwing or feinting (to second or third) in an immediate, direct, smooth, etc. motion is not a commitment to pitch.

(Almost) Anything else is. I think the rule book usese the words "habitually used in his delivery."
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