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Old Sun Mar 23, 2008, 11:46pm
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The Pickoff from the windup...revisited!

I ran into this situation last season.
Pickoffs from the windup?

I even got the ruling from our UIC prior to trying it. I waited about half the season to give it a try and I properly schooled some of our pitchers on the proper move required. The pitcher performed it flawlessly and had the runner on first out but the call was never made. The umpire quickly yelled balk and sent the runner to 2nd. I called time and asked why he balked him and he stated that he didn't disengage. I said he doesn't have to and he got a bit louder and said he does. After a bit of discussion I told him the UIC informed me it was legal. He said it's not. I asked again why he balked him and he said failure to disengage. I said, quietly, that I would like to protest and he said I couldn't because it's a judgment call and I stated, but you said he didn't disengage. He was starting to get louder so I walked off and protested anyway, noted by the Plate Umpire. Between innings we are talking and I showed him the email with the ruling from the UIC and he got pissed and yelled at me to get off the field. I was standing in front of our dugout and he came over to me. I went in the dugout and he came closer and yelled very loudly "how many umpire meetings have you been to?" I affectionately answered, "obviously more than you". The Plate Ump chuckled and said that's enough. I thought I was gone after that but I think the other ump saved me. I have never been tossed and I have never yelled at an ump. Anyway, the UIC (same one that approved it earlier) denied the protest because of failure to disengage and to my knowledge has never informed any of our umps that this is legal even though he knows it is. While most of our umps are younger the majority seem to have 5 years of experience or more. BTW we are LL Juniors. But not one person (that I know of) involved with this LL knows this move is legal. How in the world do you inform them it is? The rulebook doesn't say you have to disengage but they believe you do. Does the Evans Balk video cover this? I'd like to go to the Umpire meeting (again) and discuss this with some sort of visual evidence to support it. Any ideas?
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Old Mon Mar 24, 2008, 12:52am
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"...BTW we are LL Juniors...."

I believe LL Juniors (ages 13-14) follow OBR (not absolutely sure though), so a pick-off from the wind-up position is allowed, provided the free foot steps directly to the occuppied base. F1 does not have to disengage.

In FED (High School rules), it is illegal to attempt a pick-off directly from the wind-up position (it's a balk if F1 doesn't disengage). Maybe the umpires assumed you were playing under FED rules.

In travel baseball at this age level, some AA teams play FED rules, others play OBR. When we have a travel baseball teams game, we usually ask the coaches at the plate conference what rules are they playing by - High School (FED) or pro rules (OBR)?

BTW, the Jim Evans video does cover this...
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Old Mon Mar 24, 2008, 05:46am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookie
I believe LL Juniors (ages 13-14) follow OBR (not absolutely sure though), so a pick-off from the wind-up position is allowed, provided the free foot steps directly to the occuppied base. F1 does not have to disengage.
That is correct. LL follows OBR, not NFHS so a throw to a base from the wind-up is legal as long as the pitcher does not make a move normally associated with the wind-up (like raising his arms). How do you convince them? Good luck. Have them look at rule 8.01(a) Comment:
From the Windup Position, the pitcher may: ...(2) step and throw to a base in an attempt to pick-off a runner, or...

Nothing there about having to step off first.
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Old Mon Mar 24, 2008, 09:47am
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How about this, take the official rule, Copy it and make it the same size and shape as the Lineup card. Then do some preventative coaching, at the start of the game, or in between innuings head to the ump with the "Line-up" out, say here is what I'm looking to do, this is the rule and they way I think it is can you tell me what the call is? You are not in a position to show up the ump, havn't put him in a position where he would have to switch a call, and you haven't put your team in a spot where you advance an opposition runner. Now all that said, not all umps will respond, or respond in kind. But I think most will if you do this properly.
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Old Mon Mar 24, 2008, 11:02am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3appleshigh
How about this, take the official rule, Copy it and make it the same size and shape as the Lineup card. Then do some preventative coaching, at the start of the game, or in between innuings head to the ump with the "Line-up" out, say here is what I'm looking to do, this is the rule and they way I think it is can you tell me what the call is? You are not in a position to show up the ump, havn't put him in a position where he would have to switch a call, and you haven't put your team in a spot where you advance an opposition runner. Now all that said, not all umps will respond, or respond in kind. But I think most will if you do this properly.

This is kind of like football pregame questions from coaches in the locker room that i've seen done.

I like 3apple's idea.

On the other hand, I WOULD call the chapter rules interpreter, president or assignor and bring the situation up to them to discuss with the whole chapter.
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Old Mon Mar 24, 2008, 04:14pm
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Is this the citation you're using for the FED rule?

Page 41

With his feet in the wind-up position, the pitcher may only deliver a pitch or step backward off the pitcher's plate with his pivot foot first.
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Old Mon Mar 24, 2008, 08:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grogdog
Does the Evans Balk video cover this? I'd like to go to the Umpire meeting (again) and discuss this with some sort of visual evidence to support it. Any ideas?
Yes, but why you want to make such a big deal out of it, to show the umpires up, or to gain an advantage? Which is it?
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Old Mon Mar 24, 2008, 11:41pm
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Sorry, but I'm not trying to show anyone up. I've been to a meeting or two before as a coach so it's not a big deal for me to be there. The umpire asked me how many meetings I've been to so the least I can do is show up and discuss it if need be. This isn't the type of rule to keep secret since they'll keep calling it a balk unless they are informed it's not. I also don't plan on coaching this year due to work so no need to get an edge is there? Thanks to everyone for their input.

BTW, I have discussed it before a game too and the ump still said he'd balk the pitcher if he tried it. He even looked at the rulebook but it didn't matter. One ump said he'd balk him because he's trying to deceive the runner by pitching from the windup. So now pitching from the windup is illegal with runners on!!!?? We also did it with the UIC as our ump and he didn't call it. This was before the game where they balked it. We never did try it again but I wanted to, it's a great move but doesn't do any good if nobody knows it legal.

Last edited by grogdog; Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 11:47pm.
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Old Tue Mar 25, 2008, 01:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grogdog
Sorry, but I'm not trying to show anyone up. I've been to a meeting or two before as a coach so it's not a big deal for me to be there. The umpire asked me how many meetings I've been to so the least I can do is show up and discuss it if need be. This isn't the type of rule to keep secret since they'll keep calling it a balk unless they are informed it's not. I also don't plan on coaching this year due to work so no need to get an edge is there? Thanks to everyone for their input.

BTW, I have discussed it before a game too and the ump still said he'd balk the pitcher if he tried it. He even looked at the rulebook but it didn't matter. One ump said he'd balk him because he's trying to deceive the runner by pitching from the windup. So now pitching from the windup is illegal with runners on!!!?? We also did it with the UIC as our ump and he didn't call it. This was before the game where they balked it. We never did try it again but I wanted to, it's a great move but doesn't do any good if nobody knows it legal.
Keep doing it and keep protesting when the umpires get it wrong. Sooner or later the someone is going to wake up and either force Smitty to properly enforce the rules or get rid of him.

I have zero tolerance for umpires who refuse to learn the rules and even worse know it's wrong and keep making the same mistake on purpose. As an evaluator I have had to deal with a few like this over the years. They either get it together or get gone.
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Old Tue Mar 25, 2008, 05:14am
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Grogdog,

I suggest that you do not do this at a plate meeting. Instead, talk to the UIC of your league about it and show him the information. Keep the OBR book with you and if the situation happened in a game again, protest it. When you are told that it is judgment, politely respond that the umpires are using a FED rule (disengage) instead of the OBR rule therefore, it is a misapplication of the rules and not a judgment call.
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Old Tue Mar 25, 2008, 08:49am
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I have a couple of points on this one. First, as a former UIC of a LL association, if you bring to me information that my umpires are misinterpreting a rule I will make sure they know the correct interpretation. Following that, if they continue to purposely call it wrong, those umps will find a drastic reduction in their number of games. Second, I suggest that getting into a rule debate with umpires during a game is counter productive. Giving suggestions on rule interpretations with your line-up card, will only serve to anger the umpires. I don't think this is what you want to do, correct?

Now, you mentioned that your UIC has agreed that a pick-off move from the wind-up position is legal, yet he won't socialize it with the group? If this is the case, perhaps you should contact your District Umpire Consultant?
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Old Tue Mar 25, 2008, 01:25pm
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Thanks everyone, points well taken.
RP, Ozzi, in my past experiences of discussing rules prior to a game you are indeed correct that most umps don't like it unless you agree with their interpretation. My UIC suggested it and it didn't work to well. I don't try to force feed them my side because it makes matters worse. I can't figure why the UIC doesn't want to tell his umps the ruling but I won't give up getting it done. On the coaches side, i'd say 95 percent or more of them don't know this rule either. There was a few of them in the stands when I tried it and they all thought it's a balk. But they also know I wouldn't try it if I hadn't checked it out first. The District Ump might be there, he has been in the past so I'll be sure to bring it up. If he's not I'll still bring it up.

Thanks
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