Balk theory


#1

A balk or not…?

  1. RHP, pitching from the strech, lifts his left knee until he reaches a balance point. No movement towards home. In other words, a hasitation.
  2. Runner attempts to steal 2nd base.
  3. The pitcher, while still having his left knee up, hops with his right leg back and off the rubber, turns, and throws to 2nd for the out.

Legal?


#2

I’ve heard of this before and that it was legal. I think that it would be a balk. I don’t know for sure though.


#3

I would say balk. If in some world this is legal and I haven’t been aware of it for the 13 years of baseball I’m gonna be pissed:P but even if it is legal I’d say 99% of umpires will call it a balk.


#4

You both echoed pertty much I have heard.

The point here is that if the pitcher doesn’t move towards home plate he basically doesn’t commit himself to a pitch, so as long as there is no obvious movement towards home he can “step” off the rubber. The step here is a hop, but yet again, lefties can lift their leading foot and still make a throw to 1st base if they haven’t made a motion towards home. So why can’t a righty do the same?

What does the left foot in this case change? I don’t recall myself a rule that says righties have to have their both feet on the ground when stepping off the rubber. That’s why I haven’t been able to prove it is a balk.

So if you can hop off the rubber with two feet, why not with one? What difference does it make that it turns this into a balk?
I’m really confused about this one…


#5

[quote=". a n t o n i o . ."]You both echoed pertty much I have heard.

The point here is that if the pitcher doesn’t move towards home plate he basically doesn’t commit himself to a pitch, so as long as there is no obvious movement towards home he can “step” off the rubber. The step here is a hop, but yet again, lefties can lift their leading foot and still make a throw to 1st base if they haven’t made a motion towards home. So why can’t a righty do the same?

What does the left foot in this case change? I don’t recall myself a rule that says righties have to have their both feet on the ground when stepping off the rubber. That’s why I haven’t been able to prove it is a balk.

So if you can hop off the rubber with two feet, why not with one? What difference does it make that it turns this into a balk?
I’m really confused about this one…[/quote]
if it’s legal, what is the point of the slide step… why have you never seen any righty in the majors, college, or any right handed pitcher that isn’t mental use this move to throw out someone trying steal second… that is a balk 100%


#6

[quote=“the_K_king#2”][quote=". a n t o n i o . ."]You both echoed pertty much I have heard.

The point here is that if the pitcher doesn’t move towards home plate he basically doesn’t commit himself to a pitch, so as long as there is no obvious movement towards home he can “step” off the rubber. The step here is a hop, but yet again, lefties can lift their leading foot and still make a throw to 1st base if they haven’t made a motion towards home. So why can’t a righty do the same?

What does the left foot in this case change? I don’t recall myself a rule that says righties have to have their both feet on the ground when stepping off the rubber. That’s why I haven’t been able to prove it is a balk.

So if you can hop off the rubber with two feet, why not with one? What difference does it make that it turns this into a balk?
I’m really confused about this one…[/quote]
if it’s legal, what is the point of the slide step… why have you never seen any righty in the majors, college, or any right handed pitcher that isn’t mental use this move to throw out someone trying steal second… that is a balk 100%[/quote]

Agreed. Also if this move was legal imagine how late of a jump you’d get off RHP. This pick is just 1 ugly looking if you actually try it, as well completely unfair to any base runner. Also imagine a LHP doing this to third, it’s a balk.


#7

This one is interesting. While most people would simply say that it is a balk because it “looks so wrong,” we need to see where the rules disallow such a movement. The high school rules are more specific, but I do not have a rule book on me, so I will try to say this is a balk using the MLB rules:
Rule 8.01 (b) (partial): "The Set Position shall be indicated by the pitcher when he stands facing the batter with his pivot foot in contact with, and his other foot in front of, the pitcher’s plate, holding the ball in both hands in front of his body and coming to a complete stop. From such Set Position he may deliver the ball to the batter, throw to a base or step backward off the pitcher’s plate with his pivot foot."
So, we know that the pitcher can do three things from the set position: pitch, throw to a base, or step backward off the rubber. I would say that the key word in the third option is “step,” not “hop.” So, that the hop should not be allowed under the third thing a pitcher can do which is step backward off the rubber. Now, what about the second thing a pitcher can do? Throw to a base. Can the hop be considered throwing to a base? Here is where I see a problem using MLB rules.

Rule 8.01 ©: “At any time during the pitcher’s preliminary movements and until his natural pitching motion commits him to the pitch, he may throw to any base provided he steps directly toward such base before making the throw.” So, I would say that the hop is sandwiched between being in the set position and throwing to a base, which cannot happen because from the set position, one can only do three things, one of which is not “hop off the rubber before throwing to a base.” I am not happy with this explanation, though because it would seem to disallow the obviously legal “jab step” to first.
The high school rules are more specific–discussing which foot can be moved first and what the pitcher can do when moving that foot. For example, in the “jab step” the foot that is moved first is the right foot (for a righty) and the high school rules allow stepping backward off the rubber or “moving it in a jump step to throw to first,” (the jab step). The movements allowed with the left foot (for a righty) are to pitch or to step and throw directly to a base. Since the move discussed above involves moving the left foot first, the hop is illegal because the pitcher neither stepped directly toward a base with the left foot before the hop nor did he pitch. So, I would say definitely a balk by high school rules and less certain (but still a balk in my opinion) using MLB rules.


#8

[quote=“Odin”]This one is interesting. While most people would simply say that it is a balk because it “looks so wrong,” we need to see where the rules disallow such a movement. The high school rules are more specific, but I do not have a rule book on me, so I will try to say this is a balk using the MLB rules:
Rule 8.01 (b) (partial): "The Set Position shall be indicated by the pitcher when he stands facing the batter with his pivot foot in contact with, and his other foot in front of, the pitcher’s plate, holding the ball in both hands in front of his body and coming to a complete stop. From such Set Position he may deliver the ball to the batter, throw to a base or step backward off the pitcher’s plate with his pivot foot."
So, we know that the pitcher can do three things from the set position: pitch, throw to a base, or step backward off the rubber. I would say that the key word in the third option is “step,” not “hop.” So, that the hop should not be allowed under the third thing a pitcher can do which is step backward off the rubber. Now, what about the second thing a pitcher can do? Throw to a base. Can the hop be considered throwing to a base? Here is where I see a problem using MLB rules.

Rule 8.01 ©: “At any time during the pitcher’s preliminary movements and until his natural pitching motion commits him to the pitch, he may throw to any base provided he steps directly toward such base before making the throw.” So, I would say that the hop is sandwiched between being in the set position and throwing to a base, which cannot happen because from the set position, one can only do three things, one of which is not “hop off the rubber before throwing to a base.” I am not happy with this explanation, though because it would seem to disallow the obviously legal “jab step” to first.
The high school rules are more specific–discussing which foot can be moved first and what the pitcher can do when moving that foot. For example, in the “jab step” the foot that is moved first is the right foot (for a righty) and the high school rules allow stepping backward off the rubber or “moving it in a jump step to throw to first,” (the jab step). The movements allowed with the left foot (for a righty) are to pitch or to step and throw directly to a base. Since the move discussed above involves moving the left foot first, the hop is illegal because the pitcher neither stepped directly toward a base with the left foot before the hop nor did he pitch. So, I would say definitely a balk by high school rules and less certain (but still a balk in my opinion) using MLB rules.[/quote]
the rule book means absolutely nothing if no umpire calls in a game. if it’s always called, then it’s a balk despite what the rule book says or doesn’t say.


#9

Then we need to make sure that our umpires are educated, not just say “whatever the ump says goes.” If an umpire suddenly decided that throwing the ball at a runner and hitting him makes him out, is this okay? What about kicking a pitched ball and getting a double? If the umpire says its okay, then we need to just go with it, right? Wrong.

What you’re trying to say is “just go out and play the game, let the umpire handle the rules.” This is a cop-out to avoid learning about the game. Educate yourself, don’t give excuses to avoid it.


#10

Perception is reality …


#11

definetly a balk. Which is why im glad im a lefty=)


#12

That’s a balk, no questions asked.


#13

And you hit it on the head… the player did not step directly toward the base… by the hesitation involved. Now, what WOULD be legal is if you lifted your foot, and BEFORE hopping off, kept turning your body so that you could make a spin toward 2nd. That is perfectly legal, because you are making a play on a runner.