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Old Tue Jun 25, 2002, 12:52pm
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Question

I am a manager of an amature men's (adult) baseball league. We play by Major League Rules (American League). I was coaching 3rd base, and a runner on 1st. The left handed pitcher was going from the stretch. When coming to the set position, the pitcher didn't pause. I asked the umpire he was balking, and for him to keep an eye on it. The pitcher did it 2 more times and I mentioned it. He said nothing was wrong. I then asked him "Does the pitcher have to pause?" He said no. The plate umpire then yelled down that it was a judgement call. Now, since the base umpire said that the pitcher does not need to pause, is that protestable since the umpire is getting the rule wrong. I know a pause is a judgement call, but if the pitcher doesn't pause and gets away with it because the umpire uses the rule wrong, doesn't that mean the umpire got the rule wrong?

Coach&Blue
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2002, 01:16pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Coach&Blue
I am a manager of an amature men's (adult) baseball league. We play by Major League Rules (American League). I was coaching 3rd base, and a runner on 1st. The left handed pitcher was going from the stretch. When coming to the set position, the pitcher didn't pause. I asked the umpire he was balking, and for him to keep an eye on it. The pitcher did it 2 more times and I mentioned it. He said nothing was wrong. I then asked him "Does the pitcher have to pause?" He said no. The plate umpire then yelled down that it was a judgement call. Now, since the base umpire said that the pitcher does not need to pause, is that protestable since the umpire is getting the rule wrong. I know a pause is a judgement call, but if the pitcher doesn't pause and gets away with it because the umpire uses the rule wrong, doesn't that mean the umpire got the rule wrong?

Coach&Blue
Coach&Blue,
Sometimes, in their haste to throw the next pitch, a player will not pause.
If I am conveniently in B, or C, I'll step toward him and ask him to "give me a little more pause, please."
I have never had an opposing manager ask me to "balk" before I asked the pitcher to, "Help me out here".
mick
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2002, 01:31pm
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Well, the pitcher never paused, on any of his pitches. I asked the ump to watch out for the pause, and the ump said he didn't need to. Isn't that a rule question rather than a judgement call? Therefore isn't it protestable?
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2002, 01:50pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Coach&Blue
Well, the pitcher never paused, on any of his pitches. I asked the ump to watch out for the pause, and the ump said he didn't need to. Isn't that a rule question rather than a judgement call? Therefore isn't it protestable?
Rule 8.01 (b) "The pitcher, following his stretch, must (a)hold the ball in both hands in front of his body and (b) come to a complete stop. ...in cases where the pitcher fails to make a complete "stop" called for in the rules, the umpire should immediately call a "Balk"."

Can you protest? Yes.
Will it be permitted? No.
As you said it is the umpires judgment.
The best you can expect is that some attention will be given to that pitcher's stretch delivery and that it will be fixed.
I assume your pitchers took the same tack in order to "beat the rule". ...Can't beat 'em,....
mick
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2002, 02:25pm
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Question

So you saying I can not protest a rule? The umpire knows the guy is not stopping, and thinks it is ok. He doesn't know the rule. I am not questioning the judgement, because the umpire knows the pitchers is not pausing. I am questioning his knowledge of the rule.
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2002, 02:46pm
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It would be no different if an umpire was calling strikes at the armpits, and admitting that's where he thought the zone was by rule. Because there's so much judgment involved in the call, even though his call was seemingly wrong based on his misunderstanding of the rule, the protest will be denied. Your only hope is that the umpires have a better understanding of the rule after you voice your concerns.
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2002, 02:47pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Coach&Blue
So you saying I can not protest a rule? The umpire knows the guy is not stopping, and thinks it is ok. He doesn't know the rule. I am not questioning the judgement, because the umpire knows the pitchers is not pausing. I am questioning his knowledge of the rule.
Coach&Blue,
No, I am not saying that exactly.
Because the pitcher is changing direction, there is obviously a small stop.

The argument will probably become, not "Did he stop?", but rather, "Did he stop long enough."
The smart umpire will say, "In my judgment, he stopped long enough." -----> No, protestable situation.

Of course, if the umpire says "He doesn't have to stop." -----> Yes, protestable situation.

I cannot imagine any umpire getting put in that pickle.
Sounds like a real aggravation for you.

mick




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Old Fri Jun 28, 2002, 07:44am
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Smile

Thanks for the help guys.
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Old Tue Jul 16, 2002, 08:16am
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It is a balk. Pitcher must come to a discernable stop.
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Old Tue Jul 16, 2002, 08:39am
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The only thing I could think of would be for you to instruct YOUR pitcher to pitch in the same manner (no stop). Then the OTHER coach would be calling for the balk. If umps are going to allow it, then at least both teams have the same advantage. Maybe that would straighten everyone out?? The commissioner /assignor needs to be aware that these umps need a balk clinic.
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Old Tue Jul 16, 2002, 09:11am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marty Rogers
The only thing I could think of would be for you to instruct YOUR pitcher to pitch in the same manner (no stop). Then the OTHER coach would be calling for the balk. If umps are going to allow it, then at least both teams have the same advantage. Maybe that would straighten everyone out?? The commissioner /assignor needs to be aware that these umps need a balk clinic.
Coach, 2 wrongs don't make a right...........
Don't instruct your pitcher to purposely not stop because you don't like the enforcement on the other pitcher.

In all likelihood, you were yelling this from the coach's box instead of discussing it one on one with an official. I'd speculate that from your statement that "The plate umpire then yelled down that it was a judgement call." Why did he yell? What was he responding to if you were together having a discussion?

The plate umpire is correct. If the umpires judged that the pitcher was repeatedly not stopping, they'd have called it. They didn't judge what you did. They didn't want to continue with your comments and were blowing you off. If you can't live with that, then become an umpire where your judgment means something. Until then, realize it's their judgment that counts and adjust to it---no different than you should adjust to a plate umpire with a low or high strike zone.

You brought it to their attention. They responded. Continual complaints will draw warning(s) from me, and continuation thereafter will have you gone. I'm not going to put up with badgering about my judgment during a game---especially a coach loudly complaining about a balk from the 3B box. That's likely what you were doing because you didn't like the fact that they didn't agree with your judgment.


Just my opinion,

Freix

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Old Tue Jul 16, 2002, 09:30am
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Freix,

I am indeed an umpire. I umpire High School ball, as well as part time during my summer season.

Couple points......First, I would never "yell" at an umpire. Me being an umpire, I find it very disrectful to be yelled at while umpiring, so I would never yell at a umpire. That being said, I do however disagree at times. If an umpire is messing up a rule.......any rule, isn't it protestable. If a runner doesn't tag up on a fly ball, and they throw back to the bag the runner started on, and the umpire calls him safe because the umpire says "The runner doesn't have to tag up." Isn't that protestable? So if the umpire tells me that the pitcher "doesn't need to pause," isn't that then protestable as well. Most of the heckling came from the crowd in this situation and then I approached the umpire about the rule. Then I brought it up again and that is when I get yelled ay by the PU. Rules are rules. I don't understand why this is not protestable.
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Old Tue Jul 16, 2002, 10:11am
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So, when the crowd heckled the PU, did he yell down to you that it was a judgment call? Or did you have a discussion quietly with the PU, the PU let you go back to the coach's box, and then from nowhere he yelled to you that it's a judgment call?

My suspicions is that you yelled something from the box.
Yelling is yelling, whether in disgust or not. That's what likely prompted the PU's yell back to you. As a blue, you should know better and should handle this in discussion, not yelled complaints. IMO, with repitition, that becomes no different than yelling comments regarding a strike zone.

Some umpires don't verbally call balls; they only verbalize strikes. If you were to repeatedly yell, "That's a strike" on a pitch not called a strike, I wouldn't accept it too long. If you repeatedly yell, "that's balk, Blue" on a motion that a balk is not called on, I'm going to address that action also.

Are you saying you did no yelling to umpires here advising them you thought it was a balk?
If not, why did the PU "yell" to you in the 3B box? What prompted that action?

You are correct in that the umpire shouldn't state that F1 isn't required to stop----unless the motion went to the base. F1 is NOT required to stop on a motion going to a base. The difficulty I have with your posting is that in 9 years of assigning adult baseball, I've never run across an official reaching that level of officiating that doesn't know that a pitcher is required to stop before throwing a pitch. It's a pitching basic. My experience with umpires detracts from the credibility of your statement---especially combined with the PU's need to yell to you in the coach's box. Still, you may have found the exception.

I'll accept what you say, but I also suspect that the umpire involoved, who is not here to refute you, might have seen the situation differently.


Just my opinion,

Freix
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Old Tue Jul 16, 2002, 11:08am
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For the record . . . any rule interpretation is protestable, unless specified otherwise in the rules. (e.g. an illegal playing field.)

In this "balk" scenario . . . imagine, Coach, the difficulty with what you propose. The protest would have to be filed before the next pitch or play, the rule would have to be stated and every aspect of the game at the time of the protest would have to be recorded. The PU would then have to announce it to the crowd. There's a problem with what you're suggesting . . . the PU (who DID know the rule) did not call a "balk". So . . . even though one official may not know the rule, the other one did . . . and was judging the action to be acceptable.

By yelling, shouting or whispering "balk" each time the pitcher was getting ready to pitch, it's you who might possibly be violating the rules.

Are you going to file several protests througout the game, by the way? Each time you think he fails to stop?

Stop and think for a moment . . . how much of a chance do you have to win that protest at all? Zilch. And you may just wind up having a ton of balks called against your pitcher for not making that "discernable" stop.

Jerry
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Old Tue Jul 16, 2002, 12:18pm
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I understand that umpires at this lever should know the basic rules of pitching. I guess I found one who didn't. I guess I am wrong for wanting to play by the rules of baseball.
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