It's been a while since I've been on these forums, but I got involved in a conversation about rules yesterday at my kids High School Winterball game.
I was talking with another dad (who played High School ball) and an interesting scenario was mentioned (IMO)
Bases loaded, tie game, in the bottom of the seventh. Winning run on third (obviously).
Batter takes his position in the box.
Pitcher begins his delivery.
Batter requests time.
Umpire says and does nothing.
Batter steps out.
Pitcher suddenly stops his delivery.
My ruling...It's a balk, run scores, and game is over.
That is how it was ruled in the game. However, the dad (the batter who was actually involved back in the day) claims this call was wrong. He feels he got away with something as the batter.
His feeling is that by rule he (as the batter) made an attempt to deceive the pitcher, and thus the result of the play should have been a no pitch.
I disagreed as I feel that it is always the umpires option as to grant time or not. Since time was not granted, then the result of the pitch/play stands (a balk).
Please sound off on the answer, and also quote any points of rule as a reference point.
I figure this is the place to get the right answer, and this crew has never disappointed me before (in terms of knowledge and resources ).
An umpire does not always give a batter time on request, especially if the pitcher has begun his motion to pitch. If time is not granted ... (b) but the pitcher balks (e.g., interrupts his motion or disenages improperly) due to the batter's request for time, the plate umpire should impose time and nullify the balk.
You are correct when you say the hitter can't call time. However, its not a balk. Most rule sets specifically outline this scenario and don't penalize the defense. For example, here's the FED ruling (Rule 6-2-4d1):
"If the pitcher, with a runner on base, stops or hesitates in his delivery because the batter steps out of the box (a) with one foot or (b) with both feet or (c)holds up his hand to request "Time," it shall not be a balk. In (a) and (c), there is no penalty on either the batter or the pitcher. The umpire shall call "Time" and begin play anew. In (b), a strike shall be called on the batter for violation of 7-3-1. In (a), (b) and (c), if the pitcher legally delivers the ball, it shall be called a strike and the ball remains live. Thus, two strikes are called on the batter in (b). If the umpire judges the batter's action to be a deliberate attempt to create a balk, he will penalize according to 3-3-1o."
It's a do-over - one of the few in baseball. If the batter steps out without time having been called, you cannot reasonably penalize the pitcher for not continuing with the pitch. However, the batter hasn't done anything that warrants a penalty such as a directed strike. So, it's a do-over.
It's not in the rules, it's in the authoritative interps. Someone posted the J/R text, and here's the JEA text:bq. Batters are not at liberty to step in and out of the batter's box at will. The umpire shall not allow a batter to
commit any physical act which causes the pitcher to commit a balk or deliver an illegal pitch. If such incident occurs,
"time" shall be called and play starts over from the time of the pitcher's action.
4.06a3 makes it unsportsmanlike conduct to do something to obviously try to make the pitcher balk. That doesn't really apply here either, unless you want to apply an ant hammer and toss the batter for UC.
Not a balk.
4.06 (a) No manager, player, substitute, coach, trainer or batboy shall at any time, whether from the bench, the coach?s box or on the playing field, or elsewhere?
(3) Call ?Time,? or employ any other word or phrase or commit any act while the
ball is alive and in play for the obvious purpose of trying to make the pitcher
commit a balk.
6.02 If after the pitcher starts his windup or comes to a ?set position? with a runner on, he does not go through with his pitch because the batter has stepped out of the box, it shall not be called a balk. Both the pitcher and batter have violated a rule and the umpire shall call time and both the batter and pitcher start over from ?scratch.?
Thanks guys. I do appreciate it.
While TG and I are correct in that the umpire does not have to grant time, in this instance there is no penalty to the pitcher (if the blue knows the darned rules).
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