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Old Wed Oct 24, 2012, 09:44pm
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Pitcher balk ?- throw to 1st

My understanding is while on the rubber a pitcher must step to 1st when throwing on a pick-off. If the pitcher just lifts his pivot foot and throws without a step to first.. or even just jumps up and throws while airborn- is he no longer considered on the mound ?. I am not sure if the rule calls for him to replant the pivot foot on the ground in order for him to be considered OFF the rubber.

Last edited by DUNDALKCHOPPER; Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 03:17am.
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Old Wed Oct 24, 2012, 10:46pm
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Are you meaning, 'off the rubber'?
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 06:52am
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After coming set, F1 may legally do just 3 things:

1. Pitch to the batter
2. Legally disengage
3. Step and throw to a base (or feint if allowed)

To disengage legally (step off), his first move must involve the pivot foot. It must move directly backward and behind the rubber. The pivot foot must plant before the hands separate, though if the move is clearly a step off many umpires will allow the hands to separate as the foot is coming down.

Once disengaged, the pitcher is an infielder and may throw or feint to any base as he wishes.
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 07:52am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUNDALKCHOPPER View Post
My understanding is while on the rubber a pitcher must step to 1st when throwing on a pick-off. If the pitcher just lifts his pivot foot and throws without a step to first.. or even just jumps up and throws while airborn- is he no longer considered on the mound ?. I am not sure if the rule calls for him to replant the pivot foot on the ground in order for him to be considered OFF the rubber.
He just lifts the pivot foot and throws? I've not seen that one, but it would be a balk.

The jump step is considered a move from the rubber, but the pitcher must land (so your example where he throws while airborne is a balk) and the non-pivot foot must gain distance and direction to first before the throw.
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maven View Post

To disengage legally (step off), his first move must involve the pivot foot. It must move directly backward and behind the rubber. The pivot foot must plant before the hands separate, though if the move is clearly [emphasis added] a step off many umpires will allow the hands to separate as the foot is coming down.
You see Dundal, it all depends on how fast the pitcher steps back. That threshold, when once exceeded and the pitcher is doing a “move from the rubber” and not actually disengaging legally, is your judgment. But not to worry, it’s very clear, in fact, it’s “textbook." See this for example: NLCS blown base award
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 12:10pm
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Originally Posted by Lapopez View Post
You see Dundal, it all depends on how fast the pitcher steps back. That threshold, when once exceeded and the pitcher is doing a “move from the rubber” and not actually disengaging legally, is your judgment. But not to worry, it’s very clear, in fact, it’s “textbook." See this for example: NLCS blown base award
It does not depend on how fast the move is. That is utterly incorrect and potentially misleading for a poster who seems to be asking a sincere question.

If a move is not clearly legal disengagement, then the move must comply with the "step and throw" provisions or risk being called a balk.

This principle explains why all umpires in the play referenced ruled the move a throw "from the rubber" — a jump step — and thus a 1-base award when the ball went out of play. If you are eager to debate that ruling further, I would encourage you to post it in the other thread.
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 12:20pm
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Originally Posted by maven View Post

If a move is not clearly legal disengagement, then the move must comply with the "step and throw" provisions or risk being called a balk.
That's twice now that you've mentioned "clearly/not clearly," yet you have put forth nothing to help Dundal judge whether stepping BACK (!) is a move "from the rubber." If speed isn't your criteria, what is?
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 12:32pm
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Originally Posted by Lapopez View Post
If speed isn't your criteria, what is?
The speed of the event does not change the rule. It may make it more difficult for an umpire to discern what happened (ie make it more likely to get away with an infraction), but the rule is consistant regardless of the speed at which it happens.
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 12:36pm
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Originally Posted by rbmartin View Post
The speed of the event does not change the rule. It may make it more difficult for an umpire to discern what happened (ie make it more likely to get away with an infraction), but the rule is consistant regardless of the speed at which it happens.
To be "clear," I know it doesn't. What matters is where the pivot foot lands.
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 01:45pm
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Originally Posted by Lapopez View Post
That's twice now that you've mentioned "clearly/not clearly," yet you have put forth nothing to help Dundal judge whether stepping BACK (!) is a move "from the rubber." If speed isn't your criteria, what is?
I provided criteria of legal disengagement. The remark you were quoting concerns umpire judgment and how strictly we enforce the restriction on separating the hands.

There are no independent criteria of "clarity." The term refers to umpire judgment, not the move.
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 01:51pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maven View Post
I provided criteria of legal disengagement. The remark you were quoting concerns umpire judgment and how strictly we enforce the restriction on separating the hands.

There are no independent criteria of "clarity." The term refers to umpire judgment, not the move.
There you have it Dundal, I hope it's clear for you. If not, try Bob P.'s quote in the other thread. Maven doesn't disagree with that one.
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 02:13pm
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Thanks everyone.. Saw Verlander twice yesterday throw to 1st while simply spinning on the non-pivot foot while simply lifting the pivot foot.
.
My other Balk beef is when a pitcher brings the non-pivot foot over top of the rubber then throws to 1st. I was also under the impression that once that happens the pitcher must pitch or spin around to make a play at 2nd.- I know its another topic :-)
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 02:36pm
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I'm actually feeling bad with respect to you, Dundal. I did "muddy" up your thread. The things Maven posted prior to my involvement are good info. We just disagree on one thing. No one has posted the rule itself. This is the applicable rule with regards to our disagreement. To me, it's clear: No mention of dropping one's hands here.

OBR 8.01(e)
If the pitcher removes his pivot foot from contact with the pitcher’s plate by stepping backward with that foot, he thereby becomes an infielder and if he makes a wild throw from that position, it shall be considered the same as a wild throw by any other infielder.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DUNDALKCHOPPER View Post
My other Balk beef is when a pitcher brings the non-pivot foot over top of the rubber then throws to 1st. I was also under the impression that once that happens the pitcher must pitch or spin around to make a play at 2nd.- I know its another topic :-)
The answer to your question here is in the comment to 8.05(a):

Rule 8.05(a) Comment: If a lefthanded or righthanded pitcher swings his free foot past the back edge [my emphasis added] of the pitcher’s rubber, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick-off play.

If you saw the free foot pass behind the back edge and the pitcher threw to first, you're right, it's a balk.
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 02:58pm
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Back Edge makes a BIG difference. thanks
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Old Thu Oct 25, 2012, 03:05pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lapopez View Post
I'm actually feeling bad with respect to you, Dundal. I did "muddy" up your thread. The things Maven posted prior to my involvement are good info. We just disagree on one thing. No one has posted the rule itself. This is the applicable rule with regards to our disagreement. To me, it's clear: No mention of dropping one's hands here.

OBR 8.01(e)
If the pitcher removes his pivot foot from contact with the pitcher’s plate by stepping backward with that foot, he thereby becomes an infielder and if he makes a wild throw from that position, it shall be considered the same as a wild throw by any other infielder.
You didn't print the part of the rule that doesn't say, "unless MLB umpires deem it to be defined as they feel that day or within the confines of what they deem to be or not to be a jump step or turn etc., and award one base instead of two".
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