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Old Wed Jun 11, 2008, 09:01pm
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Another Balk Question.........

LHP with R1 only. As he begins his motion from the set, R1 deeks hard moving a step or two toward second. F1 makes a perfectly legal turn toward second and throws to F4 who is covering, believing that R1 is making a legitimate attempt to advance. Are you going to balk the pitcher for throwing to an unoccupied base? I made this a non-call last weekend and simply explained to the manager that his runner had deceived me into thinking he was advancing, and rightly then had deceived the pitcher. I know it's not covered in the rules this way specifically, but I think CS & FP would suggest I did the right thing.

Tim.
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Old Wed Jun 11, 2008, 09:19pm
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Sounds like the runner successfully faked out the pitcher. No penalty.
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Old Wed Jun 11, 2008, 09:22pm
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I found this in the JEA, Walt. The key seems to be that the umpire needs to be deceived that the runner is making a legitimate attempt to advance. I was kind of concerned that I did the wrong thing.

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).



tim.
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Old Wed Jun 11, 2008, 10:11pm
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it's covered in both the PBUC and MLBUM. balk in both.
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Old Wed Jun 11, 2008, 10:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbybanaduck
it's covered in both the PBUC and MLBUM. balk in both.
You're right, Bobby. And I guess for professional games, were I to ever call one, I would give more consideration to the deek being just that rather than an aborted steal attempt. The MLBUM still gives us a certain amount of discretion to use in making that judgment. I've been taught that in upper level leagues the umpires use the half way point between the bases in making their determination.

From the MLBUM

The key to understanding the above two plays is for the umpire to use good judgment in deciding whether or not the runner was making an actual attempt to advance to third base or whether he was bluffing. These plays will most likely happen with a 3-2 count and two out.


Tim.
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Old Thu Jun 12, 2008, 06:16am
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Not being argumentative, just asking - if you're in B with R1, just how are you to determine if the fake was good enough to draw a throw?
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Old Thu Jun 12, 2008, 06:56am
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If the defense can't tag the runner out at 2B or get him in a run-down, then he wasn't going.

The issue isn't whether the fake was good enough to fool the umpire, it's whether he was actually going.

If you don't balk this, the defense gets a big advantage (for players who shave).
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Old Thu Jun 12, 2008, 08:21am
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In FED, even a feint is enough to allow a throw.

in OBR, I agree with mbryron -- but I might also allow the move if F4/6 thinks about a throw as R1 scrambles / dives back to first.
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Old Thu Jun 12, 2008, 02:59pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jenkins
In FED, even a feint is enough to allow a throw.
Bob, I don't think I knew this - is there a case play?
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Old Thu Jun 12, 2008, 03:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbyron
Bob, I don't think I knew this - is there a case play?
Yes.

I don't have my books handy, however.
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Old Thu Jun 12, 2008, 05:24pm
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NFHS 6.2
ART. 4 . . . Balk. If there is a runner or runners, any of the following acts by a pitcher while he is touching the pitcher’s plate is a balk:

b. ...... throwing or feinting to any unoccupied base when it is not an attempt to put out or drive back a runner;

And a caseplay:
6.2.4 SITUATION A: With R1 on third and R2 on first, F1 stretches and comes set. He then swings his entire nonpivot foot behind the back edge of the pitcher’s
plate, steps toward second and (a) throws the ball to second in an attempt to retire R2, who is advancing there or (b) feints throw to second to drive R2 back to first, who has neither attempted nor feinted an advance to second. RULING: In (a), this is legal. In (b), it is a balk.

Last edited by Dave Reed; Thu Jun 12, 2008 at 05:27pm.
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Old Thu Jun 12, 2008, 11:33pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Reed
NFHS 6.2
ART. 4 . . . Balk. If there is a runner or runners, any of the following acts by a pitcher while he is touching the pitcher’s plate is a balk:

b. ...... throwing or feinting to any unoccupied base when it is not an attempt to put out or drive back a runner;

And a caseplay:
6.2.4 SITUATION A: With R1 on third and R2 on first, F1 stretches and comes set. He then swings his entire nonpivot foot behind the back edge of the pitcher’s
plate, steps toward second and (a) throws the ball to second in an attempt to retire R2, who is advancing there or (b) feints throw to second to drive R2 back to first, who has neither attempted nor feinted an advance to second. RULING: In (a), this is legal. In (b), it is a balk.
The word feint in FED seems to paint with broad brush.........
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Old Fri Jun 13, 2008, 06:25am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Reed
NFHS 6.2
ART. 4 . . . Balk. If there is a runner or runners, any of the following acts by a pitcher while he is touching the pitcher’s plate is a balk:

b. ...... throwing or feinting to any unoccupied base when it is not an attempt to put out or drive back a runner;

And a caseplay:
6.2.4 SITUATION A: With R1 on third and R2 on first, F1 stretches and comes set. He then swings his entire nonpivot foot behind the back edge of the pitcher’s
plate, steps toward second and (a) throws the ball to second in an attempt to retire R2, who is advancing there or (b) feints throw to second to drive R2 back to first, who has neither attempted nor feinted an advance to second. RULING: In (a), this is legal. In (b), it is a balk.
Thanks, Dave.

Bob, I don't read this case play as supporting your contention that a feint by R1 is sufficient to legitimize a throw to 2B. The legal play in the case is one where R1 is advancing.

Although option (b) seems to leave open the possibility that a feinted throw to 2B might be legal if R1 had feinted an advance, the principle in the rule of "driving back the runner" makes sense only if he's advancing, not if he's feinting.

Absent a case (or authoritative interp) explicitly permitting a throw/feint to 2B after only a feinted advance by R1, I'm inclined to read this rule as consistent with OBR.

Have you actually called this in a game? Ordinarily I have no problem with FED being different from OBR, since I can usually figure out a FED-specific rationale for the rule. This one makes no sense to me.
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Old Fri Jun 13, 2008, 06:59am
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I disagree. The language in this section says advancing or feinting. Therefore, a feint by R1 can justify a throw to 2nd.
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Old Fri Jun 13, 2008, 07:58am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbyron
Have you actually called this in a game? Ordinarily I have no problem with FED being different from OBR, since I can usually figure out a FED-specific rationale for the rule. This one makes no sense to me.
I've not seen anything close to this play in any game under any rules code.

If I do see it (and, given the usual internet rules it will happen in my next game), I'll give the benefit of the doubt to the defense in a FED game.
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