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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 06:14am
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12U game recently, FED rules. R1 on 2nd base. R1 had a big lead and kept faking a break to 3rd. RHF1 in set position at one point throws to third because he thinks R1 is going, but R1 didn't actually go. BU calls a balk saying you "can't throw to an unoccupied base".

I don't see that. It seems to me F1 was attempting to "put out or drive back a runner" 6-2.4b
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 06:45am
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Difficult to say without seeing the actual polay. Here's the way it goes. If the runner is actually in the process of stealing, the throw to the "unoccupied" base is legal. If the runner starts the steal then changes his mind and goes back F1 is still okay throwing to an unoccupied base. However if the runner has a big lead and is jumping around, faking and stopping, F1 has to restrain himself from throwing to the unoccupied base as this would be a balk. The best thing that F1 could do is step off the rubber then he can fake or throw to his heart's content.
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 07:24am
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Quote:
Originally posted by fguyton
12U game recently, FED rules. R1 on 2nd base. R1 had a big lead and kept faking a break to 3rd. RHF1 in set position at one point throws to third because he thinks R1 is going, but R1 didn't actually go. BU calls a balk saying you "can't throw to an unoccupied base".

I don't see that. It seems to me F1 was attempting to "put out or drive back a runner" 6-2.4b
Legal under FED, a balk under OBR.

In FED, you can throw to the unoccupied base if the runner is stealing or feints an advance. 6.2.4A

In OBR, you can only throw if the runner is advancing (NAPL something)
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 12:19pm
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Ozzy,
A pitcher cannot throw willy-nilly to anyone he wants. He has 20 seconds from the time he receives the ball to make a pitch or legitimate play. He does not have the luxury of playing catch with anyone he wants.

A pitcher must also recognize a "fake" from a "play".

To indiscriminately throw to bases, or to a teammate, must be dealt with according to the rules and interpretations.

I've got a balk in the situation cited. He was neither making a play nor "running the runner" back.

Jerry
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 12:58pm
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Tim,
FED or not . . . once the runner is returning to 2nd base, there's no longer a "fake". I still contend the throw needs to be made in an attempt to catch the runner. A throw to 3rd, while the runner is retreating to 2nd is no longer a "play" on the runner. That's the reason why it's perfectly legal to feint to 3rd without throwing. In the situation cited, F1 is simply being lazy . . . and should be penalized for it. His throw should have gone to 2nd base.

By the way, how's your season going?

Jerry

P.S. Mines getting rained out!
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 01:05pm
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The play happened so fast that F1 could not have determined if R1 was retreating or going, he simply reacted by throwing to 3rd. As it happened R1 retreated... but maybe R1 retreated because the throw went to 3rd. Hard to say since the play was stopped with the balk call.
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 01:11pm
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Fred,
Thanks for the clarification. Since a balk was called, the ump(s) must have already determined that the "fake" (by the runner) was completed and the throw was in fact to an unoccupied base. I still contend that F1 needs to determine whether R2 is running, faking or returning . . . before making a throw or a feint anywhere. In this case, he was too quick on the draw and was penalized accordingly.

Jerry
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 01:17pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry


FED or not . . . once the runner is returning to 2nd base, there's no longer a "fake". I still contend the throw needs to be made in an attempt to catch the runner. A throw to 3rd, while the runner is retreating to 2nd is no longer a "play" on the runner. That's the reason why it's perfectly legal to feint to 3rd without throwing. In the situation cited, F1 is simply being lazy . . . and should be penalized for it. His throw should have gone to 2nd base.

Jerry, I like your criteria for judging.
Still, if F1 initiates his commitment to 3B before runner stops movement toward 3B, then F1 is making a play there---regardless of whether R2 has decided to stop his advancement while F1's motion continues.

If in doubt, I'm siding with the pitcher and what he thought was occurring.
Odds are good that I, too, thought R2 was advancing.
F1 gains no advantage here by throwing to an unoccupied base, and my preference is to allow players to advance players---not umpires advance players. For me to call this action a balk I'm going to have to be damn certain that F1 had ample opportunity to know R2 was not advancing---whether F1 chose to use that opportunity or not.


Just my opinion,

Freix

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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 01:26pm
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Jerry,

Isn't the real purpose of the rule citing throwing to unoccupied bases to prevent unneccessary delays in the game? It really doesn't matter if F1 throws to 3rd or 2nd, the time required will be the same.
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 01:28pm
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Hi, Steve:
This is probably one of those "you had to be there" situations. My logic deals with the number of options F1 has at his disposal. R2 only has two; either advance or retreat. F1 can feint, make a play or even disengage the rubber and run at R2 until F1's satisfied what the heck R2 is doing. A toss to 3rd is the lazy man's way out. Under FED rules, F1 had the additional option of throwing to the Shortstop to make a play! He didn't choose to do that one either.

The BRD has an excellent discussion on this topic. (At least the previous issues did.) In my opinion only (which probably doesn't mean squat), I believe F1 had ample opportunity to do something different, but threw to 3rd, probably in haste. Hopefully he learned from his mistake and will be more attentive the next time the situation comes up; he'll certainly look more professional.

Jerry
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 01:38pm
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Fred,
Agreed. Except you're interpreting "throwing to an unoccupied base" the same as "making a play". If a time-delaying throw is going anywhere, it needs to be made to a base where a runner is going. In the situation you cited, R2 wasn't anywhere near 3rd base . . . nor was he actually going there. He was pretending to advance, but in fact retreated to 2nd. F1 needs to be vigilant enough to recognize the difference. In this case, he (F1) chose incorrectly as to what base he should throw, so as not to "delay the game". Any "Play" should have been at 2nd base; not 3rd.

Using your logic . . . F1 could have thrown a pitch-out to the catcher; in case R2 was heading to third and F1 had no confidence in F5 catching the ball. The next play would have been to Home.

Are we having fun yet?

Jerry
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 02:05pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry
A throw to 3rd, while the runner is retreating to 2nd is no longer a "play" on the runner. That's the reason why it's perfectly legal to feint to 3rd without throwing.
These two sentences make no sense (to me).

Are you claiming that in the play presented it was a balk to throw to third, but it would have been okay to feint to third?

The requirements for feinting and for throwing are exactly the same -- it has to be to an occupied base, or for the purpose of making a play or driving back a runner. Heck, even the motion needs to be the same -- both require a step.
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 02:23pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by fguyton
12U game recently, FED rules. R1 on 2nd base. R1 had a big lead and kept faking a break to 3rd. RHF1 in set position at one point throws to third because he thinks R1 is going, but R1 didn't actually go. BU calls a balk saying you "can't throw to an unoccupied base".

I don't see that. It seems to me F1 was attempting to "put out or drive back a runner" 6-2.4b

"RHF1 in set position at one point throws to third because he thinks R1 is going"

Enough said for me.

Obviously there was reason to believe runner may be going and pitcher was trying to make a play.

No Balk!

My question is, runner was obviously doing this prior, where is the Coach with a Time Out, and tell his pitcher to throw to second and give this runner somethin' to think about!

If pitcher threw to third again with no runner going, I may have Balked him just for GP.

Lesson to be learned...Throw to second!!!!!

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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 02:37pm
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This pitcher pitches for my son's team, so I've seen him pitch a lot. In all cases except this one he has thrown to 2nd (or where ever the runner is). I also know that this is his first season pitching with runners leading off. I'm pretty sure this was not a planned event but rather instinct... or maybe panic ;-)

One of the reasons I threw this question into play is because I can't believe that at some point someone hasn't or isn't going to do this as a planned move when runners are getting large leads. They could have F4 and F6 ignore R1 so as to temp R1 to take off... F1 simply steps and throws to F5 and R1 is hung up. Legal? Seems so under FED.
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 03:00pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by fguyton
This pitcher pitches for my son's team, so I've seen him pitch a lot. In all cases except this one he has thrown to 2nd (or where ever the runner is). I also know that this is his first season pitching with runners leading off. I'm pretty sure this was not a planned event but rather instinct... or maybe panic ;-)

One of the reasons I threw this question into play is because I can't believe that at some point someone hasn't or isn't going to do this as a planned move when runners are getting large leads. They could have F4 and F6 ignore R1 so as to temp R1 to take off... F1 simply steps and throws to F5 and R1 is hung up. Legal? Seems so under FED.

Is legal under FED! F1 is making a play on advancing runner.

I thought it was weird too when I started calling FED, but, the rule is the rule.

As far as: They could have F4 and F6 ignore R1 so as to temp R1 to take off... F1 simply steps and throws to F5 and R1 is hung up.

What is the difference if F1 lifts leg and turns and steps to 2nd without throwing, and catches runner leading off?

When I was playing, we had that play!

Catcher (my brother), with F4 and F6 not holding runner on 2nd with big lead, gives signal which I (pitcher) would then spin and throw to F4 who dashes to the base.

Runner thought twice b4 leading off that much again, especially when we picked him off!
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