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BigUmp56
12-14-2008, 03:22 PM
Lets see how some of our new to umpiring members would call this.


RHP straddles the rubber, with R3. F1 now leans toward the plate looking in to the catcher with his glove on his knee and the ball at his side. R3 takes a nice lead, and F1 stands straight up and picks him off.


Tim.

ohio-ump74
12-14-2008, 04:02 PM
Are his hands coming together as he stands up and or does he stop...? Need more information...

Richard_Siegel
12-14-2008, 05:56 PM
Are his hands coming together as he stands up and or does he stop...? Need more information...

Don't read anymore into the question.

RHP straddles the rubber, with R3. F1 now leans toward the plate looking in to the catcher with his glove on his knee and the ball at his side. R3 takes a nice lead, and F1 stands straight up and picks him off.

You can assume that F1 did nothing more than keep his glove hand at his side coming off the knee to his theigh, and he makes no stop - just throws. His feet stay where they were.

newblue4co
12-14-2008, 06:01 PM
Well I will give it a shot.

I have an out. The pitcher was not engaging the rubber.

Richard_Siegel
12-14-2008, 06:12 PM
Well I will give it a shot.

I have an out. The pitcher was not engaging the rubber.

The objective was to see if you think this is a balk or not.

Rich_Ives
12-14-2008, 06:19 PM
Lets see how some of our new to umpiring members would call this.


RHP straddles the rubber, with R3. F1 now leans toward the plate looking in to the catcher with his glove on his knee and the ball at his side. R3 takes a nice lead, and F1 stands straight up and picks him off.


Tim.

As he leans in: "Time! Hey pitch, you have to be engaged when taking your signs."

newblue
12-14-2008, 07:16 PM
I'm a newer umpire and I'll give it a shot. It' not a balk but I agree with Rich and call "time". If I'm wrong, I'd rather be wrong now and get corrected than be wrong on the field.

BigUmp56
12-14-2008, 09:42 PM
As he leans in: "Time! Hey pitch, you have to be engaged when taking your signs."

That's great, Rich. I'm glad you finally decided to start umpiring some games. Any ideas on what you'll buy for gear this Winter?


Tim.

Ozzy
12-14-2008, 10:10 PM
Well I will give it a shot.

I have an out. The pitcher was not engaging the rubber.
Why would you have an out?

mstaylor
12-15-2008, 12:58 AM
He has an out because there was no balk so the pick-off is good. Rich, Please don't start the on the rubber/off the rubber argument here. It's 300+ posts on another board.

BT_Blue
12-15-2008, 01:37 AM
He has an out because there was no balk so the pick-off is good. Rich, Please don't start the on the rubber/off the rubber argument here. It's 300+ posts on another board.

Michael,

I dont understand where the argument could come from? From what I have always been told, the pitcher should be in contact with the pitchers plate when taking his signs. However I have not heard an explanation of how to rectify the situation at the time of the problem.

Rich_Ives
12-15-2008, 03:22 AM
He has an out because there was no balk so the pick-off is good. Rich, Please don't start the on the rubber/off the rubber argument here. It's 300+ posts on another board.

Don't get the situation confused.

It's not about where or when he gets the signs.

It's about where he has to be when he appears to be taking signs from the catcher, which is the situation in the OP.

According to the BRD: It's a "Don't Do That" in OBR. In NCAA it's a ball (unless the batter and all runners advance safely), and FED it's a balk or a ball.

Roder in "100 Problems" suggests that for the first offense call time and direct the pitcher to correct his actions.

NO ONE says to let the pitcher get away with it.

mstaylor
12-15-2008, 04:10 AM
Don't get the situation confused.

It's not about where or when he gets the signs.

It's about where he has to be when he appears to be taking signs from the catcher, which is the situation in the OP.

According to the BRD: It's a "Don't Do That" in OBR. In NCAA it's a ball (unless the batter and all runners advance safely), and FED it's a balk or a ball.

Roder in "100 Problems" suggests that for the first offense call time and direct the pitcher to correct his actions.

NO ONE says to let the pitcher get away with it.

Not by rule but certainly by practice. The purpose of the rule is to prevent a quick pitch by the pitcher. As long as the pitcher isn't acting like a pitcher off the rubber(coming set) or stepping on and pitching(quick pitch) then just use your catcher to correct it or use the BU.
The NFHS site has a 300+ thread that should have been about six posts. http://www.nfhs.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=10;t=001547
Other than a don't do that you are grabbing an ugly end of a sztick.

Rich_Ives
12-15-2008, 05:18 AM
Not by rule but certainly by practice. The purpose of the rule is to prevent a quick pitch by the pitcher. As long as the pitcher isn't acting like a pitcher off the rubber(coming set) or stepping on and pitching(quick pitch) then just use your catcher to correct it or use the BU.
The NFHS site has a 300+ thread that should have been about six posts. http://www.nfhs.org/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=10;t=001547
Other than a don't do that you are grabbing an ugly end of a sztick.


FED and NCAA specify a penalty - OBR doesn't. I posted what Rodere says about it for OBR.

If you're gouing to debate - state a rules basis for your position.

BT_Blue
12-15-2008, 08:06 AM
so wait. in HS its a ball or a balk depending on if runners are on and in NCAA its a ball?

Interesting.

Ozzy
12-15-2008, 01:25 PM
He has an out because there was no balk so the pick-off is good. Rich, Please don't start the on the rubber/off the rubber argument here. It's 300+ posts on another board.
Mstaylor, I was hoping that newblue4co (http://www.umpire.org/vb/member.php?u=11129696) would have answered this. I wanted to know if he was calling the pick off an out or he was invoking another myth. But seeing as how you know what everyone is saying on every post, I withdraw my question. I shall sit and see what the "experts" have to say to this post.

Peace

mstaylor
12-15-2008, 02:19 PM
No, I was going to do the same thing until others stepped in. I like the idea of asking new guys to work threads without older guys correcting them until they make an obvious mistake. I thought he asnswered it correctly for the correct answer. When Rich brought in what I feel is a myth I tried to redirect the discussion. Try another newbe question and I will stand aside. I commend your efforts.

PeteBooth
12-15-2008, 03:29 PM
Lets see how some of our new to umpiring members would call this.


RHP straddles the rubber, with R3. F1 now leans toward the plate looking in to the catcher with his glove on his knee and the ball at his side. R3 takes a nice lead, and F1 stands straight up and picks him off.


Tim.

Ruling:

Balk

Rules to govern - 8.05(g) and 8.05 Comment

The INTENT on the part of F1 was to deceive R3 and he did it illegally.

F1 leaned in as to take his signs from F2 which is against the rules. Then he stood straight-up and picked off R3. This is similar to a quick pitch.

Balk under any of the 3 major rule-codes.

Pete Booth

bobjenkins
12-15-2008, 03:40 PM
Not by rule but certainly by practice. The purpose of the rule is to prevent a quick pitch by the pitcher.

Really? Or is it to prevent F1 from picking off a runner who took a lead in the belief that F1 was on the rubber.

Consider RH F1 who slings the ball to first without taking a step. If he's off the rubber, then he needn't step, yet he's gained an advantage (a faster move, no step required). Is this the type of advantage intended to be allowed by rule?

CoachJM
12-15-2008, 03:46 PM
I would concur with PeteBooth and his analysis.

It's not that the pitcher is taking signs while not engaged - in the general case, I agree with others who suggest "that's nothing". In this specific case, it's that he is pretending to be engaged with the intent of (illegally) deceiving the runner.

JM

newblue4co
12-15-2008, 04:41 PM
Sorry guys,

I was duck hunting after I posted up and didn't check back on yesterday at all. I gave a quick answer without an explaination. I have r3 out on the pickoff. I didn't address a balk because I didn't think there was one. I have only been studying OBR until my FED rule book gets here.

Balks are another reason that I wanted to start at a lower level of baseball. I feel weak in my knowledge of them.

newblue4co
12-15-2008, 04:51 PM
okay maybe I am wrong, the OP does not say he was taking signs. I says that he was leaning toward the catcher. Agreed that as an umpire, you could make the assumption that he was taking signs, based on which position you are umpiring. What if the pitcher bent over to fake tying his shoe and threw out the runner? I think some deception is allowed in baseball. I know when I played my coach would of had me running laps at the next practice for not paying attention to the position of the F1's feet and got myself picked off.

robbyrudd45
12-16-2008, 05:03 AM
Really? Or is it to prevent F1 from picking off a runner who took a lead in the belief that F1 was on the rubber.

Consider RH F1 who slings the ball to first without taking a step. If he's off the rubber, then he needn't step, yet he's gained an advantage (a faster move, no step required). Is this the type of advantage intended to be allowed by rule?

Pretty much all runners are coached to not take their lead until F1 engages the rubber for this exact reason.

mstaylor
12-16-2008, 05:54 AM
I would say the runner needs to be aware whether the pitcher is engaged or not. You don't generally see this at better levels. At the lower levels the BU should say something to him. I'm not making a big deal out of it unless he is doing it consistantly.

GoodCallBlue
12-16-2008, 02:39 PM
I'm in agreement with Mr. Booth. I have a balk for deceiving the runner.

BigUmp56
12-16-2008, 03:25 PM
I'm in agreement with Mr. Booth. I have a balk for deceiving the runner.

And which part of 8.05 will you use?


Tim.

catoblue
12-16-2008, 03:42 PM
I'm going to go with R3 is out, no balk.

There is nothing in Rule 8.05 that states the action is illegal.
- The pitcher is not in contact with the plate
- The pitcher has not come to set position
- The pitcher HAS the ball while astride the plate

Also see Rule 8.01e

Rich_Ives
12-16-2008, 05:41 PM
I'm going to go with R3 is out, no balk.

There is nothing in Rule 8.05 that states the action is illegal.
- The pitcher is not in contact with the plate
- The pitcher has not come to set position
- The pitcher HAS the ball while astride the plate

Also see Rule 8.01e

Try just plain 8.01 - pitcher must take signs from catcher while in contact.

The pitcher simulated taking signs by leaning in with his hand on his kneee. VIOLATION! No penalty sopecified.

Deliberate attempt to make the runner think he was in contact. Don't let him get away with it.

BrianC14
12-16-2008, 05:54 PM
Try just plain 8.01 - pitcher must take signs from catcher while in contact.

The pitcher simulated taking signs by leaning in with his hand on his kneee. VIOLATION! No penalty sopecified.

Deliberate attempt to make the runner think he was in contact. Don't let him get away with it.


Rich, what about the other rule sets?

Under FED Rule 6, Art. 5, I'd call a balk.

PeteBooth
12-16-2008, 05:58 PM
[QUOTE=catoblue;78084]I'm going to go with R3 is out, no balk.

There is nothing in Rule 8.05 that states the action is illegal.

Read the Comment section under rule 8.05

Why was F1 leaning in looking at F2?

Answer: To give the appearance he was taking his signs and IN CONTACT with the rubber so that he could pick-off R3.

F1 was NOT doing what he was supposed to be doing.

Some will counter that R3 was not doing what he was supposed to either meaning make certain F1 was in contact, however, sometimes it's difficult to tell depending upon the actions of F1.

In this case F1 gave the appearance he was taking his signs from F2 - The problem in order to do this F1 must be in contact with the pitcher's plate.

In FED it's a no brainer - BALK

In OBR it's not as "crystal clear" but using the Comment at the end of 8.05 IMO gives the umpire basis for calling a balk on this play or at the very least Call TIME, negate the out call and tell F1 "do not do that"

Next time it's see ya have a nice day.

Pete Booth

catoblue
12-16-2008, 06:02 PM
Try just plain 8.01 - pitcher must take signs from catcher while in contact.

The pitcher simulated taking signs by leaning in with his hand on his kneee. VIOLATION! No penalty sopecified.

Deliberate attempt to make the runner think he was in contact. Don't let him get away with it.

OP doesn't say that F1 is taking signs it says "F1 now leans toward the plate looking in to the catcher with his glove on his knee and the ball at his side".

There could be any number of things of interest going on at home plate which would cause F1 to be looking there.

CoachJM
12-16-2008, 07:14 PM
cato,

What do you make of the following from the JEA discussion 8.05(g)?

Historical Notes: The rules of 1887specified that "any motion calculated to deceive a base runner..." should be deemed a balk. Prior to the introduction of the pitcher's plate (rubber), the pitcher delivered from a rectangular area known as the pitcher's box. The rules in the late 1800's specified that any motion associated with the pitcher's delivery that is made while the pitcher is outside his "box" shall be called a balk. After the "box" was replaced with the plate, the rule was rewritten to its present wording.

Customs and Usage: This prevents deception by the pitcher. Often, it is difficult for the runner to determine whether or not the pitcher is in actual contact with the rubber. If the pitcher tries to deceive the runner in this manner, it shall be called a balk.

This is, of course, a matter of umpire judgement.

As I pictured Tim's original sitch, the pitcher was "pretending" to be in contact in an effort to (illegally) deceive the runner, and then made a "snap throw" to pick-off the runner.

That's a balk per 8.05(g).

Of course, you'd have to actually see it to properly make that judgement. But the point is, it's illegal for a pitcher to "act like" he's engaged when he's not in order to deceive the runner, just as it's illegal for the pitcher to "act like" he has the ball on the rubber when he doesn't. I believe these are the (only) two situations that the Comment at the end of Rule 8.05 which mentions the pitcher's "intent to deceive" refers to.

Whether or not he is "taking signs" is not relevant. There is no proscription (in any rule set) that precludes the pitcher from taking signs while he is not engaged. It's just that once he does engage, he must take the time it would take to get signs from the catcher - this is to protect both the batter and any runners. But it is illegal (in all rule codes) for the pitcher to pretend that he is engaged for the purpose of deceiving the runner into thinking that he is engaged.

JM

Richard_Siegel
12-16-2008, 07:51 PM
I'm in agreement with Mr. Booth. I have a balk for deceiving the runner.

"Deceiving the runner" is legal.
"Deceiving the runner" should never be used as a reason to call a balk.
"Deceiving the runner" is the excuse for calling a balk used by umpires who do not understand the balk rules.

How is the world can a pitcher ever pick off a runner if he could not "deceive the runner?" Do we require the pitcher to shout over to the runner and warn him? "Hey runner, I'm going to throw over there, so look out!" Short of announcing that he is about to attempt a pick off, how could a pitcher pick off a runner if he doesn't deceive him!

The rationale of some balks is that the motion is unfairly deceptive. But "deceiving the runner" alone is not a balk.

If you call a balk be ready to state the specific rule out of 8.05 that you are enforcing. The word "deceive" only appears in one of the 14 rules. It is used to describe how not stepping directly at the base when throwing there is deceptive. Somehow, over time, coaches and broadcasters have come to believe that EVERYTHING a pitcher does that is decpetive must be a balk. That is not the case.

Rich_Ives
12-16-2008, 08:02 PM
OP doesn't say that F1 is taking signs it says "F1 now leans toward the plate looking in to the catcher with his glove on his knee and the ball at his side".

There could be any number of things of interest going on at home plate which would cause F1 to be looking there.


Gee, it sure sounds like what pitchers do to get signs. I'd bet a substantial amount that it looks like what pitcher's do to get signs.

I've got a pitcher getting (or pretending to get) signs.

mazzamouth
12-16-2008, 08:36 PM
NCAA Rule 9 section 2.
J. Take the signs from the catcher with the pivot foot not touching the pitcher's rubber..

Penatly A ball shall be called each time a pitcher violates this rule. If the pitcher pitches from this illegal position and the batter reaches 1st base and no other runner is put out before advancing at least one base, the play shall proceed without reference to the violations.

CoachJM
12-16-2008, 09:13 PM
mazza,

Thank you. I stand corrected. NCAA does, in fact, have such a proscription.

Interesting, though, that the penalty is not a balk, but a ball added to the count.

JM

BTW, the 2008 NCAA rule book has this as 9-1-F, not Section 2. Was your cite from the 2009 NCAA rules or an earlier edition. Just curious.

newblue4co
12-16-2008, 10:50 PM
So if I understand the balk theory correctly, you are calling balk due to the f1 making a deceptive motion. I am confused because isn't a pitcher considered an infielder until he engages the pitchers plate. I wish I had my book here at the office (grrrrrl). I guess I am not seeing the point. The rules are set up to not give either side an unfair advantage (ie. quick pitch). I was reading on the other site that mstaylor referenced and Atl Blue brought up an interesting point. The rules say that a pitcher has to take his sign from the catcher while on the rubber. The rule doesn't say that only one set of signs has to be given. He referenced that a coach could be in the dug out giving a set of signals and then he engage the rubber to take a set of signals from the catcher. This would make it a legal action.

BigUmp56
12-17-2008, 12:52 AM
New,

You don't balk him simply for deception. You balk him by judging that his motions are "simulating a motion to pitch" while not engaged. And the proscription that you've cited about a pitcher taking signs from a "catcher" while on the rubber is one of the more commonly misinterpreted rules. The rule actually has nothing to do with from whom the pitcher takes his signs. It was written to address where he has to take his signs in order to eliminate the quick pitch


Tim.

mazzamouth
12-17-2008, 05:45 AM
mazza,

Thank you. I stand corrected. NCAA does, in fact, have such a proscription.

Interesting, though, that the penalty is not a balk, but a ball added to the count.

JM

BTW, the 2008 NCAA rule book has this as 9-1-F, not Section 2. Was your cite from the 2009 NCAA rules or an earlier edition. Just curious.

Coach mine was from 2008.. pg 106..9-2-J...these are the violations from a pitcher.

I just wanted to post the violations.

your was 9-1-F which is the pitching positions.

BT_Blue
12-17-2008, 05:47 AM
NCAA Rule 9 section 2.
J. Take the signs from the catcher with the pivot foot not touching the pitcher's rubber..

Penatly A ball shall be called each time a pitcher violates this rule. If the pitcher pitches from this illegal position and the batter reaches 1st base and no other runner is put out before advancing at least one base, the play shall proceed without reference to the violations.

Mazz,

Thanks for the rule citation. I was just going to ask about it and you came right though. Ill have to take a look at the book since I havent had the chance to look through it before (the NCAA rule book has been hard for me to find until this year.)

mstaylor
12-17-2008, 05:50 AM
Many pitchers will straddle the rubber everytime they are ready to begin their pitching sequence. In the OP there was only a R3 but if there were more it allows them to look around at all the runners without balking. If the batter isn't in the box then they don't engage the rubber. Once he is in, they step on. None is this an attempt to deceive any runners or simulate a pitch. It is simply the begining of their routine.

Richard_Siegel
12-17-2008, 01:08 PM
So if I understand the balk theory correctly, you are calling balk due to the f1 making a deceptive motion. ......


As I said in my post above...NEVER give "deception" as the reason for calling a balk. You will nto be right.

Some things that pitchers do that are balks are deceptive, but...

Many things that pitchers do that are deceptive are NOT balks.

mazzamouth
12-17-2008, 02:54 PM
Mazz,

Thanks for the rule citation. I was just going to ask about it and you came right though. Ill have to take a look at the book since I havent had the chance to look through it before (the NCAA rule book has been hard for me to find until this year.)

No problem man remember the rule book is online at https://www.eofficials.com/pages/index.aspx.

Also here is the rule book.. the 2009 should be out very soon.
http://www.ncaapublications.com/Uploads/PDF/2008_baseball_rulesc450c72b-4bb4-422f-9485-e7318255488f.pdf

robbyrudd45
12-17-2008, 03:22 PM
I'm not balking this. If I happen to call anything, I would just nullify the play (OBR). If the pitcher is CLEARLY straddling the rubber, this isn't very deceitful at all, since runners know that the pitcher can "do anything" when he's off the rubber (in general) and should not be taking their lead. If runners get picked off because of this, it's their fault for being dumb... I'm not bailing them out.

KenGibes
12-17-2008, 04:35 PM
What a coincidence. I saw this exact sitch this past Sunday at a 13U tournament.

The pitcher (who is known to stretch the pitching rules and even clown around on the mound once in awhile) straddled the pitcher's plate and looked back at the runner on 2B. He then moved his pivot foot forward (towards home plate a little) but it was still behind the pitcher' plate. He then bent over and started to stare in at his catcher as if he were taking the sign.

R2 smelled a rat and started to retreat back to 2nd base just as the BU called a balk.

Richard_Siegel
12-17-2008, 05:14 PM
What a coincidence. I saw this exact sitch this past Sunday at a 13U tournament.

The pitcher (who is known to stretch the pitching rules and even clown around on the mound once in awhile) straddled the pitcher's plate and looked back at the runner on 2B. He then moved his pivot foot forward (towards home plate a little) but it was still behind the pitcher' plate. He then bent over and started to stare in at his catcher as if he were taking the sign.

R2 smelled a rat and started to retreat back to 2nd base just as the BU called a balk.

What was the BU's basis for calling a balk?

PeteBooth
12-17-2008, 05:14 PM
I'm not balking this. If I happen to call anything, I would just nullify the play (OBR). If the pitcher is CLEARLY straddling the rubber, this isn't very deceitful at all, since runners know that the pitcher can "do anything" when he's off the rubber (in general) and should not be taking their lead. If runners get picked off because of this, it's their fault for being dumb... I'm not bailing them out.

IMO, you are missing the point

Yes F1 can straddle the rubber - No problem BUT

F1 not only straddled the rubber but in addition leaned in giving the appearance that he was getting his signs and simulating the pitching regs.

F1 IMO clearly violated rule 8.05(g) and one can also use the Comment at the end of 8.05 as well.

If you allow this, you have just given the defense an out in which they did not deserve because they violated a rule.

I echo Richard's post in this regard, there are LEGAL ways in which F1 can deceive the runner. The Jump turn and Jab step that the recently retired Gregg Maddox performed to perfection are among the most common.

F1 is not supposed to do what he did. I know R3 should be watching where F1's feet are but let's get real, sometimes the rubber is covered with mud etc. and it's hard to tell if in fact F1 is engaged or not as the Comment section at the end 8.05 infers.

However, when F1 leans in as to take signs from F1 he is simulating the pitching motion which is against the rules and therefore, call the Balk or at the very least if you as the BU notice this call TIME and tell F1 do not do that.

As I mentioned in FED this is a no brainer - BALK and since someone posted the NCAA rule in NCAA it is a ball Plain and simple.

OBR is not as specific as either FED/NCAA but again using 8.05g an umpire has just cause for calling a balk concerning this OP

Pete Booth

Richard_Siegel
12-17-2008, 05:39 PM
Leaning in to take signs from the catcher when the pivot is not on the rubber is not simulating any pitching motion. The pitcher is not even required to take signs when he pitches.

If leaning in to take signs from the catcher when the pivot is not on the rubber was considered simulating a pitching motion by the rules then why would the rule book be redundant and specify in one place:

1) Leaning in to take signs from the catcher when the pivot is not on the rubber is illegal.

and then in another place ...

2) Simulating a pitching motion when the pivot is not on the rubber is illegal and is a balk.

if #1 were covered by #2, then we wouldn't need #1 in the book at all, but it is.

In FED only, #1 is a balk.

In all other codes, #1 is a "don't do that" warning. It is not a "ball" or a "balk." We call time and ask the pitcher not to do that. If he persists and does it again after enough warnings we can remove him.

BrianC14
12-17-2008, 05:48 PM
Leaning in to take signs from the catcher when the pivot is not on the rubber is not simulating any pitching motion. The pitcher is not even required to take signs when he pitches.

If leaning in to take signs from the catcher when the pivot is not on the rubber was considered simulating a pitching motion by the rules then why would the rule book be redundant and specify in one place:

1) Leaning in to take signs from the catcher when the pivot is not on the rubber is illegal.

and then in another place ...

2) Simulating a pitching motion when the pivot is not on the rubber is illegal and is a balk.

if #1 were covered by #2, then we wouldn't need #1 in the book at all, but it is.

In FED only, #1 is a balk.

In all other codes, #1 is a "don't do that" warning. It is not a "ball" or a "balk." We call time and ask the pitcher not to do that. If he persists and does it again after enough warnings we can remove him.


Richard: For further edification, if (other than FED) a "Don't do that call" is made, but F1 had already thrown over to 3B for an "out", that play never happened.

Would that be your view as well?

Thanks,

PeteBooth
12-17-2008, 06:03 PM
Richard_Siegel;78160]Leaning in to take signs from the catcher when the pivot is not on the rubber is not simulating any pitching motion. The pitcher is not even required to take signs when he pitches.

If leaning in to take signs from the catcher when the pivot is not on the rubber was considered simulating a pitching motion by the rules then why would the rule book be redundant and specify in one place:
Richard IMO you need to combine both 8.05(g) and 8.05 Comment

8.05 Comment

Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent F1 from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire's mind the "INTENT" of F1 should govern.

From the OP There is NO DOUBT what F1's intent was.

I stand by my ruling even in an OBR based game.

In all other codes, #1 is a "don't do that" warning. It is not a "ball" or a "balk." We call time and ask the pitcher not to do that. If he persists and does it again after enough warnings we can remove him.[/QUOTE]

Richard in NCAA it is a ball. Someone already posted the rule code.

In Summary:

FED - BALK
NCAA - Ball
OBR - 3 choices (1) Call TIME, negate the out and tell F1 "do not do that"; (2) IMO, an umpire has basis for calling a balk using 8.05(g) and 8.05 Comment which as mentioned is what I would rule or to a lessor extent (3) Nothing and let the play stand

Pete Booth

catoblue
12-17-2008, 07:47 PM
Pete... Here's the OP.
Lets see how some of our new to umpiring members would call this.


RHP straddles the rubber, with R3. F1 now leans toward the plate looking in to the catcher with his glove on his knee and the ball at his side. R3 takes a nice lead, and F1 stands straight up and picks him off.


Tim.

Going strictly by what is described, without injecting any additional information, the out would stand (to me anyhow).

F1 is looking in to the catcher, but is he taking signs?
Is the batter in the box yet?
Is the catcher behind the plate?

The OP does not specify any of these things.

If the answer to any of the first three questions is no, we have R3 out for simply being stupid enough to lead when he did and getting himself picked off.

To rule differently would require more information than is in the OP - making it a HTBT scenario.

Rich_Ives
12-17-2008, 08:38 PM
Pete... Here's the OP.


Going strictly by what is described, without injecting any additional information, the out would stand (to me anyhow).

F1 is looking in to the catcher, but is he taking signs?
Is the batter in the box yet?
Is the catcher behind the plate?

The OP does not specify any of these things.

If the answer to any of the first three questions is no, we have R3 out for simply being stupid enough to lead when he did and getting himself picked off.

To rule differently would require more information than is in the OP - making it a HTBT scenario.


Whether F1 is actually taking signs is immaterial. He doesn't even have to take the real signs from the catcher. If it looks like he is, that's enough.

If 2 and 3 are false (not the impression I got from the OP), then the runner is really stupid for leading off before the pitcher is on. But that doesn't make the pitcher's action legal.

newblue4co
12-17-2008, 08:57 PM
I read Rule8.05 and the comment. I also see that there are two positions to pitch from and he was not in either since he had not engaged the rubber. He did not make any pitching motion.

Richard_Siegel
12-17-2008, 10:23 PM
8.05 Comment

Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent F1 from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire's mind the "INTENT" of F1 should govern.


The text of this rule is one of the unfortunate mistakes in the rule book. As I mentioned in an earlier post it would be impossible for a pitcher to ever pick off a runner if he was not "deliberately deceiving" the runner. How could a runner not be deceived and get picked off?

The rule should be rewritten to say "illegally deceiving" the runner. The balk rules point out those acts that are illegal that are considered too decieiving as to be unfair.

If I were doing a game and saw F1 lean in to look for signs with his pivot foot behind the rubber, I would call time and stop him. However, if he was able to throw to a base and pick off a runner before I had the chance to act (and I am fast) I would let the play stand.

Runners have to be alert.

mstaylor
12-17-2008, 11:12 PM
I agree with Richard here, allow the out.

Rich_Ives
12-18-2008, 01:52 AM
If I were doing a game and saw F1 lean in to look for signs with his pivot foot behind the rubber, I would call time and stop him. However, if he was able to throw to a base and pick off a runner before I had the chance to act (and I am fast) I would let the play stand.

Runners have to be alert.

So whether it's legal or not depends on how fast you are on the whistle? Really?

mstaylor
12-18-2008, 05:03 AM
Pretty much, the difference is I probably wouldn't call time, I would either send my catcher out to talk to him or let my BU handle it. If a runner gets picked off in the process then he learned to pay attention.
I was managing my son's Pony team and there was a pitcher that was taking his signs straddling the rubber. This I was OK with and never said a word. However, he would then bring his back foot forward onto the rubber and come set all in one motion then pitch. This I had a problem with and asked the PU about it. He tells the manager I have a point and he has to stop.

catoblue
12-18-2008, 04:07 PM
Whether F1 is actually taking signs is immaterial. He doesn't even have to take the real signs from the catcher. If it looks like he is, that's enough.

If 2 and 3 are false (not the impression I got from the OP), then the runner is really stupid for leading off before the pitcher is on. But that doesn't make the pitcher's action legal.

"F1 now leans toward the plate looking in to the catcher with his glove on his knee and the ball at his side."

Now if I were to inject more info than is there into that sentence, I could follow the word "catcher" with "checking out the MILF behind the backstop"

So he's checking out Mrs. Milf, and R3 takes a lead... and gets picked off = OUT! Nothing illegal. He has not engaged the rubber, nor has he made either of the pitching motions. No balk. Additionally, NO penalty is mentioned for taking signs while not in contact with the plate.

Again, strictly going on the information given in the OP, without making any assumptions, the out stands.

CoachJM
12-18-2008, 04:27 PM
cato,

At the risk of repeating myself....

What do you make of the following from the JEA discussion 8.05(g)?

Historical Notes: The rules of 1887 specified that "any motion calculated to deceive a base runner..." should be deemed a balk. Prior to the introduction of the pitcher's plate (rubber), the pitcher delivered from a rectangular area known as the pitcher's box. The rules in the late 1800's specified that any motion associated with the pitcher's delivery that is made while the pitcher is outside his "box" shall be called a balk. After the "box" was replaced with the plate, the rule was rewritten to its present wording.

Customs and Usage: This prevents deception by the pitcher. Often, it is difficult for the runner to determine whether or not the pitcher is in actual contact with the rubber. If the pitcher tries to deceive the runner in this manner, it shall be called a balk.

This is, of course, a matter of umpire judgement.

As I pictured Tim's original sitch, the pitcher was "pretending" to be in contact in an effort to (illegally) deceive the runner, and then made a "snap throw" to pick-off the runner.

That's a balk per 8.05(g).

Of course, you'd have to actually see it to properly make that judgement. But the point is, it's illegal for a pitcher to "act like" he's engaged when he's not in order to deceive the runner, just as it's illegal for the pitcher to "act like" he has the ball on the rubber when he doesn't. I believe these are the (only) two situations that the Comment at the end of Rule 8.05 which mentions the pitcher's "intent to deceive" refers to.

Whether or not he is "taking signs" is not relevant. There is no proscription in any rule set (edited to add, thanks to Mazza), other than NCAA, that precludes the pitcher from taking signs while he is not engaged. It's just that once he does engage, he must take the time it would take to get signs from the catcher - this is to protect both the batter and any runners. But it is illegal (in all rule codes) for the pitcher to pretend that he is engaged for the purpose of deceiving the runner into thinking that he is engaged.

JM

catoblue
12-18-2008, 05:53 PM
HTBT... I'm going strictly on the limited information in the OP... NOT making any assumptions - period.
-That F1 may have been "pretending" to be in contact, is an assumption.
-That there is a batter in the box, is an assumption.
-That the catcher is behind the plate is an assumption.
-That there was any attempt at deception, is an assumption.
-That F1 did not step toward 3B as part of "and picks him off", is an assumption.

Without any assumptions, R3 got caught with his pants down and is out.

PeteBooth
12-18-2008, 05:59 PM
If I were doing a game and saw F1 lean in to look for signs with his pivot foot behind the rubber, I would call time and stop him. However, if he was able to throw to a base and pick off a runner before I had the chance to act (and I am fast) I would let the play stand.

Runners have to be alert.

Richard I would rule a balk and IMO be justified in doing so. You would not. That's why for OBR I listed 3 possible outcomes.

1. Call TIME and tell F1 do not do that
2. Allow the play to stand (as you and Michael would)
3. Balk - which JM Rich and myself would rule.

In Summary: A "grey" area for OBR

There is no question about the rule in NCAA / FED

1. As previously posted by someone in NCAA we have a ball
2. FED - Balk

OBR is "up in the air"

While the Comment section at the end of 8.05 is vague IMO, it fits perfectly with this OP. IMO, by F1's actions (INTENT) he was illegally deceiving the runner. It's not always easy to tell if F1 is in contact with or not in contact with and that is the main point that 8.05 Comment refers to.

Richard at least we got some "action" going

Pete Booth

Rich_Ives
12-18-2008, 06:30 PM
HTBT... I'm going strictly on the limited information in the OP... NOT making any assumptions - period.
-That F1 may have been "pretending" to be in contact, is an assumption.
-That there is a batter in the box, is an assumption.
-That the catcher is behind the plate is an assumption.
-That there was any attempt at deception, is an assumption.
-That F1 did not step toward 3B as part of "and picks him off", is an assumption.

Without any assumptions, R3 got caught with his pants down and is out.

When you played were you a pitcher?

CoachJM
12-18-2008, 06:36 PM
cato,

While I agree with your essential point that you would HTBT, you are simply making a different set of assumptions - but you are, most definitely, making assumptions about the specifics of the play.

Since certain aspects of the play are not described, one has to make some assumptions to "complete the picture" of what happened and suggest a proper application of the rules.

fou_blue
12-19-2008, 01:15 AM
I will provide the answer.

The move described is not a balk.

8.05 g: It is a balk when the pitcher makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch while he is not touching the pitcher's plate.

The act of getting a signal and then standing upright is a preporatory motion, but is not part of his actual delivery. Leg kick or throwing motion yes, but the movements one makes before throwing a pitch do not count as part of the delivery.

PeteBooth
12-19-2008, 03:47 PM
[QUOTE=fou_blue;78248]I will provide the answer.

The move described is not a balk.

8.05 g: It is a balk when the pitcher makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch while he is not touching the pitcher's plate.

The act of getting a signal and then standing upright is a preporatory motion,

Agreed IF F1 was in contact with the rubber.

In the OP F1 was not on the rubber

PLEASE read JM's response on Evans interpretation.

As mentioned a "vague" issue for OBR BUT

in NCAA / FED there is an explcit rule for this. NCAA = ball FED = Balk

Pete Booth

BigUmp56
12-19-2008, 06:22 PM
I will provide the answer.

The move described is not a balk.

8.05 g: It is a balk when the pitcher makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch while he is not touching the pitcher's plate.

The act of getting a signal and then standing upright is a preporatory motion, but is not part of his actual delivery. Leg kick or throwing motion yes, but the movements one makes before throwing a pitch do not count as part of the delivery.


Rick Roder disagrees with you. That's enough for me.


Tim.

CoachJM
12-19-2008, 10:51 PM
Tim,

Whay on earth would faux blue be interested in what Evans or Roder has to say on the subject? After all, he has "the answer" (I presume through a process of divine relevation or something similar), and they were/are merely professional umpires and instructors at the sanctioned professional umpire schools, who authored the two most widely respected interpretations books ever written. What could they possibly have to offer that he doesn't already know. Rare to see such wisdom in one so young.

Of course his reply does shed some light on why his assignor only gives him games below the HS level. He is clearly a "Stage 2" umpire on the Pariseau and Jenkins scales and a "Stage 1" umpire on the Evans scale.

I look forward to his next post with 'bated breath.

JM

BigUmp56
12-20-2008, 01:01 AM
Tim,

Whay on earth would faux blue be interested in what Evans or Roder has to say on the subject? After all, he has "the answer" (I presume through a process of divine relevation or something similar), and they were/are merely professional umpires and instructors at the sanctioned professional umpire schools, who authored the two most widely respected interpretations books ever written. What could they possibly have to offer that he doesn't already know. Rare to see such wisdom in one so young.

Of course his reply does shed some light on why his assignor only gives him games below the HS level. He is clearly a "Stage 2" umpire on the Pariseau and Jenkins scales and a "Stage 1" umpire on the Evans scale.

I look forward to his next post with 'bated breath.

JM

I wrote to Rick and presented this scenario to him earlier today, John His response was that this was, and I quote, "absolutely a balk" for simulating a motion to pitch while not in contact.

Tim.

CoachJM
12-20-2008, 01:10 AM
Tim,

Well, that makes perfect sense to me.

But, I have to wonder, did he have a chance to consult with fou_blue before responding to your query.

JM

P.S. Merry Christmas. You get hammered by last night/this morning's storm like we did?

fou_blue
12-20-2008, 02:39 AM
Tim,

Whay on earth would faux blue be interested in what Evans or Roder has to say on the subject? After all, he has "the answer" (I presume through a process of divine relevation or something similar), and they were/are merely professional umpires and instructors at the sanctioned professional umpire schools, who authored the two most widely respected interpretations books ever written. What could they possibly have to offer that he doesn't already know. Rare to see such wisdom in one so young.

Of course his reply does shed some light on why his assignor only gives him games below the HS level. He is clearly a "Stage 2" umpire on the Pariseau and Jenkins scales and a "Stage 1" umpire on the Evans scale.

I look forward to his next post with 'bated breath.

JM

Coach,

Intent to decieve does not make a balk. I thought you would have discussed this topic with the numerous times it's been talked about on here.

BigUmp56
12-20-2008, 03:16 AM
Tim,



P.S. Merry Christmas. You get hammered by last night/this morning's storm like we did?

Merry Christmas to you and yours as well, John. I've been working not too far from you in Whiting Indiana for a number of Months, and the drive in this morning was terrible. Without actually measuring it, my guess is that I had a 1/2" sheet of solid ice on my truck by noon today.


Tim.

BigUmp56
12-20-2008, 03:20 AM
Coach,

Intent to decieve does not make a balk. I thought you would have discussed this topic with the numerous times it's been talked about on here.

Do you understand what a non sequitur statement involves?


Tim.

BT_Blue
12-20-2008, 04:02 AM
So just to make sure. Tim, Rick Roder said that this WAS a balk. Was I correct in reading that in your post?

(and yes, NCAA and FED have there own things but for the sake of this thread Im refering to OBR)

BigUmp56
12-20-2008, 05:01 PM
So just to make sure. Tim, Rick Roder said that this WAS a balk. Was I correct in reading that in your post?

(and yes, NCAA and FED have there own things but for the sake of this thread Im refering to OBR)

Yes, Rick said this was a balk.


Tim.

fou_blue
12-21-2008, 06:50 AM
Do you understand what a non sequitur statement involves?


Tim.

Yes. I am suprised that Roder and Evans both rule the play described as a balk. The fact that they interpret the play a certain way does not mean their interpretation is correct or incorrect. How one applies the rules to specific plays varies from umpire to umpire.

heyblue26
12-21-2008, 08:34 AM
Yes. I am suprised that Roder and Evans both rule the play described as a balk. The fact that they interpret the play a certain way does not mean their interpretation is correct or incorrect. How one applies the rules to specific plays varies from umpire to umpire.

I believe both Roder and Evans have a very good understanding of the rules and provide a interpretation that they believe is correct. I trust both. I also agree with you on that how one applies the rules to specific plays will vary from each umpire to umpire. Just IMO

Willy
12-21-2008, 09:23 AM
Yes. I am suprised that Roder and Evans both rule the play described as a balk. The fact that they interpret the play a certain way does not mean their interpretation is correct or incorrect. How one applies the rules to specific plays varies from umpire to umpire.

Oh, how you will learn, young one. You will never be able to interpret any rule differently from scholars such as Evans and Roder and be correct. Yes, I did say "never." Just because you have a different interpretation reading the letter of the rule does not make it so. It is times like this when keeping your ears and mind open, while keeping your lips still, will make you a far better umpire in the long run.

waltjp
12-21-2008, 03:25 PM
If I had the chance I'd like to ask Rick Roder to explain this further. I'd like to know if his comment about F1 "simulating a motion to pitch while not in contact" refers to "F1 stand(ing) straight up" and not his looking in for signs while not in contact.

I wrote to Rick and presented this scenario to him earlier today, John His response was that this was, and I quote, "absolutely a balk" for simulating a motion to pitch while not in contact.

Tim.

Lets see how some of our new to umpiring members would call this.


RHP straddles the rubber, with R3. F1 now leans toward the plate looking in to the catcher with his glove on his knee and the ball at his side. R3 takes a nice lead, and F1 stands straight up and picks him off.


Tim.

newblue
12-21-2008, 04:00 PM
I posted an "answer" earlier in the thread and was miles off base. Thanks guys for educating me.

catoblue
12-22-2008, 05:03 PM
When you played were you a pitcher?
Nope, I was a catcher.

catoblue
12-22-2008, 05:08 PM
cato,

While I agree with your essential point that you would HTBT, you are simply making a different set of assumptions - but you are, most definitely, making assumptions about the specifics of the play.

Since certain aspects of the play are not described, one has to make some assumptions to "complete the picture" of what happened and suggest a proper application of the rules.

HTBT for me, going on the description in the OP, without any additional info, I have an out at third. The situation on the field is completely missing from the OP.

We don't know that F1 is pretending to take signs or not. All we do know for fact is that R3 took a lead when the pitcher was not engaged and got picked off.

There is a good chance, that I would call a balk, provided the full situation, but not based on the OP.

BigUmp56
12-22-2008, 05:20 PM
HTBT for me, going on the description in the OP, without any additional info, I have an out at third. The situation on the field is completely missing from the OP.

We don't know that F1 is pretending to take signs or not. All we do know for fact is that R3 took a lead when the pitcher was not engaged and got picked off.

There is a good chance, that I would call a balk, provided the full situation, but not based on the OP.


I don't know how much better I could have presented it.


F1 now leans toward the plate looking in to the catcher


If it looks like a duck...................



Tim.

catoblue
12-23-2008, 05:00 PM
If it looks like a duck...................


..............It might be a goose.

Not criticizing you on the OP, especially with all the great discussion it generated. I think that the OP would not have gotten so many people giving it a lot of thought had there been more information, so the OP did a great job at getting everyone involved - so to me, it's a great post. I've learned a few things just by reading the different thoughts and about how the different rule sets would treat this differently. And learning, is why I participate in umpiring forums - so thank you for starting this thread.

I'm just trying to get across that as-is, there is not enough information to simply call a balk. For me, personally, to make ANY call other than R3 out, I would need more information. This is a HTBT sitch.

There are so many "what if's" that could be thrown into this situation that to simply say "it's a balk", to me, is incorrect.
Some What if's:

What if the catcher isn't even behind the plate yet?

What if F1 is simply standing in that position, astride the rubber, while waiting for a batter to get in the box?

What if TIME has been called?

And of course, there is the assumed: What if the pitcher is "pretending" to take signs?

Like the rest of baseball, there are so many combination's of possible circumstances that could change what might or might not be called.

All I'm saying is that there is too much about the situation that we don't know, to be able to arbitrarily call balk.
OR... Maybe I'm just over-analyzing.

Pete_Booth
12-23-2008, 05:15 PM
[QUOTE=catoblue;78435]..............It might be a goose.


I'm just trying to get across that as-is, there is not enough information to simply call a balk. For me, personally, to make ANY call other tan R3 out, I would need more information. This is a HTBT sitch.

Cat there is plenty of info that Tim gave. IMO, you are reading too much into it.

As an umpire we are asked to judge INTENT in just about every game we do.

In the OP F1 was trying to deceive the runner.

Can F1 deceive a runner?

Yes PROVIDED he does it legally.

Plain and Simple, F1 was "pretending" as though he was getting signs from F2 while NOT being in contact with the pitcher's plate as he is required to do. Also, sometimes it is difficult to tell if in fact F1 was in contact with or not in contact with as the Comment section at the end of OBR 8.05 eludes to.

It's a simple explanation to the DM when he comes out and questions the balk call. The DM KNOWS what F1 was doing and was trying to get away with something.

Tim already received the answer from Rick Roder who concludes that it is a balk call. At the VERY LEAST, the umpire should call TIME and negate the out.

As mentioned earlier Spelled out in both NCAA / FED

Pete Booth

Ozzy
12-23-2008, 05:22 PM
I don't really care when F1 takes his signs because I have no idea if he is or isn't! As long as he doesn't quick pitch (get on the rubber and go straight to a pitch), he hasn't done anything but generate a "Don't do that" if the opposing coach complains.

As far as picking off a runner goes, I agree with Tim "If it looks like a duck.....". There are no "What if this" or "What if that". F1 gets no sympathy from me if he is straddling the rubber and leaning in, then goes to pick off a runner. He has punched his own ticket and if his coach has a problem with it, he can mull it over in the parking lot.

catoblue
12-23-2008, 05:35 PM
OR... Maybe I'm just over-analyzing.

looks like I'm guilty!!!

mr umpire
12-25-2008, 07:12 AM
Simply looking at the catcher for signs is fine depending upon league rules. Although, he shouldn't b/c it lends too much for a quick pitch. Then, his next move better be to put his pivot foot on the rubber or stand up and turn his body away from the batter and head in the direction of second base or any other move illustrating he is NOT simulating his pitching motion at the same time, even for 1 step, I'll consider him not deceiving anyone. Everyone knows he is not in the act of pitching at that point.

But, if he stands straight up, even slightly moving his glove from his knee, he has just simulated pitching IMO. Nothing says he has to move his feet to come set. IMO, he is in the act of coming set when he decided to throw to third base. Therefore, I will call a balk. He had the intent to deceive the runner which is the first rule of a balk.

Richard_Siegel
12-25-2008, 07:34 PM
Simply looking at the catcher for signs is fine depending upon league rules. Although, he shouldn't b/c it lends too much for a quick pitch. Then, his next move better be to put his pivot foot on the rubber or stand up and turn his body away from the batter and head in the direction of second base or any other move illustrating he is NOT simulating his pitching motion at the same time, even for 1 step, I'll consider him not deceiving anyone. Everyone knows he is not in the act of pitching at that point.

But, if he stands straight up, even slightly moving his glove from his knee, he has just simulated pitching IMO. Nothing says he has to move his feet to come set. IMO, he is in the act of coming set when he decided to throw to third base. Therefore, I will call a balk. He had the intent to deceive the runner which is the first rule of a balk.

Quoted from above: "He had the intent to deceive the runner which is the first rule of a balk." That sentence is utterly and completely wrong. As long as an umpire thinks this way, he will forever make mistakes recognizing balks, much less try to explain them.

If a pitcher lifts is glove from his knee and is in the act of coming set and then interrupts this motion to step off and throw to a base, or stay in contact and step towards a base and throw it is not a balk because the pitcher has not yet reached the point where he is commited to pitch. In the set position the pitcher may not throw to a base or step-off once he has some to his "stop" in the set position and then made a motion that commits him to pitch.

You are confusing the the act of first coming to the "stop," i.e. bringing the hands together, as part of "simulated pitching." You are not understanding the rule correctly.

mr umpire
12-25-2008, 10:46 PM
Let me rephrase. If there is any doubt of whether this is a balk or not, then the ump shall go by the pitcher's intent. Here, his intent by simulating coming set while off the rubber is to deceive the runner and is a balk. It is the first rule of thumb an umpire goes by if there is any doubt in his mind as to whether the pitcher's actions are a balk or not. My first statement still holds true just poorly stated.

And, as the Roder interpretation stated, when he is in the motion of coming set while not on the rubber, he is in the act of pitching while not on the rubber(straddling it) which is 8.05(g). I understand the rule and the comment.

If he interrupts his coming set motion to throw to third while on the rubber, then it is no balk as long as he does it legally. B/c, he has not simulated any pitching motion while off the rubber. That is the entire thing. It is not about being committed to pitch. It is about being in the "act of pitching". He simulates pitching while off the rubber. Taking his signs off the rubber does not simulate pitching. Coming set or in the act of coming set simulates the act of pitching. He can't pitch the ball to the plate until he comes set in the stretch position with runners on. Which is why coming set is considered in the act by Roder.

This only applies if you missed taking the signs off the rubber as in 8.01. First thing, though, is to catch that and prevent this whole mess. Tell him to take his signs on the rubber. After that, some umpires may have him ejected next time. I will only go with the ejection if he keeps doing and I finally get tired of telling him, which may vary how many times from game to game.