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3953 Views 22 Replies Latest reply: Oct 17, 2011 4:58 PM by Michael_Taylor Go to original post 1 2 Previous Next
  • Manny_A Legend 841 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    16. Oct 17, 2011 6:38 AM (in response to gnagel60)
    Balk?

    FWIW, I agree with you, Glenn.

     

    Frankly, in my 17+ years of umpiring, I've never seen a RHP try to execute a pick-off of R1 after he lifts his free foot up as he goes to his balance, even in the pros where pitchers are always trying to beat the system.  There's probably a good reason for that.  The move does not constitute a DIRECT step towards first, as required by 8.05(c). 

     

    Until I see an actual rule change or an authoritative interpretation that says the step doesn't have to be direct, I'm saying this is a balk.  Rich mentions, "What you're missing is that virtually nobody does a direct step from the rubber anymore."  I'm not sure what he means by that, because every move I've seen that doesn't get balked is done using a direct step (using the 45-degree criterion that JEA mentions).

  • Rich_Ives Legend 1,283 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    17. Oct 17, 2011 9:44 AM (in response to Manny_A)
    Balk?

    They haven't done a "plain old just step" in decades.  They do the jump turn or jab step because it's quicker. That's why you haven't seet the plain old just step move where the pivot foot stays anchored as the step is executed..

     

    So why is a LHP leg lift OK but a RHP leg lift isn't?  What's different?

  • Manny_A Legend 841 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    18. Oct 17, 2011 11:55 AM (in response to Rich_Ives)
    Balk?

    The jump turn and jab step are still direct steps to first base by a RHP because the free foot moves directly towards first base in the process.

     

    It's not the leg lift that's an issue, Rich.  It's what happens with that leg after it is lifted.  When a RHP does a "plain old just step" to first base, his free foot is lifted slightly while his left hip is immediately turning to make the step to first.  No problems there.  But when he lifts his leg straight up, keeping his hip closed, and then he turns to make a step and throw to first base, he inevitably makes an initial motion towards home.  Any motion towards home without actually delivering the pitch is a balk.  The same would be the case for a LHP making a similar move to throw (or feint) to third.

     

    J/R says it's a balk when, after a pitcher comes set, "he shows movement toward home plate. Such movement includes leaning his body toward home plate, and beginning and rotating his free leg toward home plate."  The free leg goes toward home when he makes the move in question, IMHO.

  • Rich_Ives Legend 1,283 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    19. Oct 17, 2011 1:35 PM (in response to Manny_A)
    Balk?

    I was (am am still) trying to say that a plain old step with NO movement of the pivot foot is legal, though it hasn't been done for years. Thus people think it's illegal.

     

    WAY too many people say just the act of a RHP picking up his foot is in and of itself a balk if they don't go home.  That's why gnagels schools are teacing bad techniques.  Not true.

     

    I know you are a long time J/R devotee, but he's at the bottom of my list.  (String theory, bounced pitch foul tip anyone?)

     

    So if I as a RHP pick up my free foot, make no motion to HP, and step heel first toward 1B is that a balk?  (Don't forget thwat PBUC said a heel first step is legal.)

  • Michael_Taylor Community Moderator 318 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    22. Oct 17, 2011 4:58 PM (in response to gnagel60)
    Balk?

    OK, to help clear up the disagreement. Rich is correct, you can throw to first without moving your right foot in any type of jump or jab move or disengagement. The difference Manny and Rich have is the height of the left leg. Both are correct in their beliefs. There is no limit on the height except that the higher you lift the harder it is to move to first legally. If you come all the way up and straight pivot. The way to combat this is to lean back as you come around and then land in the direction of first. The less you raise, the easier it is to do.





    Michael S. Taylor

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