Rule 8.01 in OBR states that when a pitcher disengages the pitcher's plate that he/she must drop the hands to the side. If they forget to do that, or they don't know to do that it's your responsibility (if you're the umpire) to tell them not to do that.
It's not a balk. It's a "Don't do that." The actions that cause a balk to be called are listed under Rule 8.05. It's worth your time to read the list so you know exactly what constitutes a balk.
Rule 8.01 in OBR states that when a pitcher disengages the pitcher's plate that he/she must drop the hands to the side.
Yes, it does. Now, where is the time limit on when he must do so? HINT: There isn't one.
The ONLY requirement is that he drop his hands before returning to the rubber. He can't step onto the rubber with his hands still together.
If he wants to disengage and walk to 2B with his hands together to make an appeal, perfectly legal as long as he drops them sometime before getting back on the rubber.
The actions that cause a balk to be called are listed under Rule 8.05. It's worth your time to read the list so you know exactly what constitutes a balk.
The only problem is that 8.05 is not all-inclusive. There are other situations that constitute balks which are not listed in 8.05.
For example, 8.01(a) tells us it's a balk when a pitcher goes from the windup position straight to the set position without properly disengaging first. And 7.07 says it's a balk when the catcher interferes with the batter while a runner is stealing home.
You also need to get a copy of the MLBUM or other authoritative document to find other balk situations not mentioned in the rule book. For example, nowhere in the rules does it say a pitcher balks when he throws the ball to the first baseman while the first baseman is in no position to make a play on R1. That's mentioned in the MLBUM.
I don't have a copy, but I understand Jim Evans' balk video is pretty thorough on covering all balk situations.
Your clarifications are great, Manny. It's important to be specific when we post stuff here, because some newer umpires don't have all the knowledge guys like you and AB have.
When I posted that rule 8.05 would define what constitutes a balk - it wasn't inclusive of the additional information you've given. Thanks.
The Evans video is really good. I'm not as impressed with the one called "See A Balk, Call A Balk." It's not as well laid out or systematic in showing examples of the various kinds of balks. Others might disagree, but I like the Evans video way better.
Others might disagree, but I like the Evans video way better.
You and every knowledgeable umpire out there!
"See a Balk, Call a Balk" isn't even accurate. The Evans video (which I used to have on VHS, but is now MIA) is far superior.