Pick off move?


#1

ok say theres arunner on first.

I left my leg and the runner does his secondary leap. am i allowed to twist around and pick him off.

The reason im asking is because i did this and the ump called it a balk.

The game was tied in the 6th and that runner came in on a double when i got pulled for that balk and we lost:(


#2

[quote=“Power Pitcher11”]ok say theres arunner on first.

I left my leg and the runner does his secondary leap. am i allowed to twist around and pick him off.

The reason im asking is because i did this and the ump called it a balk.

The game was tied in the 6th and that runner came in on a double when i got pulled for that balk and we lost:([/quote]

Absolutely not. As soon as your leg lifts you must commit to home. I don’t even know how you lifted your leg and twisted around to throw to first. How old are you btw?


#3

LHPs get a better break on the interpretation of “to the plate” vs “to 1B” than RHPs…a LHP with a good move can step toward 1B and fire over there when it may look as though he’s going into his delivery.

Being handicapped as a righty from birth, I’ve never liked that too much…


#4

Exactly. Have you ever seen Andy Pettitte’s move to first? You’ll notice that he quickly steps off the rubber before he fires to first, and that is as it should be. A righthanded pitcher is indeed at a disadvantage, because he has to step off the rubber and turn around to throw to first in a pickoff attempt, whereas a southpaw is already facing in the desired direction as he comes to the set position.
Rule 8.05 makes it perfectly clear: the pitcher’s foot must not be in contact with the rubber.


#5

[quote=“laflippin”]LHPs get a better break on the interpretation of “to the plate” vs “to 1B” than RHPs…a LHP with a good move can step toward 1B and fire over there when it may look as though he’s going into his delivery.

Being handicapped as a righty from birth, I’ve never liked that too much…[/quote]

Oh jeeze, I definately just assumed you were a righty. My bad! If you are right handed and you lift your leg, you must commit to home. If you are a lefty it would be hard to say if you balked or not, but if you lifted you leg and stepped towards first no farther than 45 degrees then it wouldn’t be balk. Again if you’re a lefty it would be hard to be certain without seeing said pickoff.


#6

My coach said it was ok to do so i went ahead and tried to do it.

So the only way to pick off the runner on first(if your a righty) is to stop off the rubber and throw?


#7

[quote=“Power Pitcher11”]My coach said it was ok to do so i went ahead and tried to do it.

So the only way to pick off the runner on first(if your a righty) is to stop off the rubber and throw?[/quote]

You can either step back off the rubber then turn, or lift your back foot first and then turn and throw to first. The second pickoff move I just explained you MUST throw the ball. If you don’t, it’s a balk.


#8

Here’s another tip: when you want to look at runners, imagine that there is a bird on your shoulders. If you turn when a bird is on your shoulders, he will fly away, whereas if you turn your torso while on the rubber, you will be called for a balk.


#9

what if you make the runner think your stepping on the rubber and suddenly you spin and throw to first base?


#10

Go to the section on this web site at … and follow up on this topic with a question that I have related to this experience of yours.
The question that I’ll ask is … “No Where in the Rule Book.”

I think you’ll find it very interesting

Coach B.


#11

A pitcher DOES NOT have to deliver to the plate unless his free foot crosses the BACK EDGE of the pitcher’s plate. Therefore, when a RHP lifts his leg, it does not necessarily commit him to 1B. However, if he does not continue around in a spin move, and instead just reverses the path of his leg, then he has not made a continue motion and as such has committed a balk.

So, from what it sounds like, you made a discontinuous move and that is what the umpire called you on. It would be as awkard as can be, but it is possible for you to spin as a RHP, keep contact with the pitcher’s plate, and make a legal pickoff move to 1B.


#12

None of these pick-off/hold’em close moves to 1B were called balks:

LHP:

RHP:


#13

The Matt Capps one he clearly moves his front foot first…

Although if you slow everything down in baseball we could see allllll the little tricks those guys use.


#14

#2 and #3 (LHP) are perfectly legal. From set position, they stepped directly toward 1st base and threw. The first pitcher seems to have stepped closer to home than first base, but since we don’t have a directly overhead view or a view from 1st base, we can’t tell. If he did in fact step more toward home than 1st, it is a balk.

As far as the RHP’s, they both balked. If their first step is toward third base, and in this case, they both stepped toward third base, then they are not stepping directly toward 1st before throwing there. Assuming that in neither case there was a man on third base, then they are both, by rule, balks, and I would, and have, called pitchers for doing those same things. Just because players in the MLB get away with breaking rules doesn’t mean some kid on a HS team will when I’m on the field as an ump.


#15

Leecedar,

Bear in mind that each of those videos was taken at 300 fps, about 10x more frames per second than the human eye can resolve, and then played back in slow-motion.

So, I think you can probably resolve a lot more nuances in retrospect with slo-mo than you might be able to do with your eyes in real time on the field.

I’m not trying to tell you what to call a balk, or not call a balk, at any particular level of baseball–I was just trying to give people some slo-mo views of RHP and LHP pick-off attempts that were not called balks by experienced MLB umpires, working as part of 4-man ump crews.

If you’re interested to look at some more pick-off moves in slo-mo, visit my YouTube channel: (laflippin) and search “pick-off” among my uploads. You’ll probably find 10 or 15 more examples there. My original purpose was to give pitchers video to study for development of their own pick-off mechanics; however, any legitimate use of the information is fair game.


#16

I don’t know Lee, both of those guys were smooth and deliberate, my experience in FHSAA is that a HS kid without too much herky jerky will likely get away with it. Not doubting that you call/ed it, just that the majority of games I’ve called and seen called would mostly (I know a general statement but still…) let those moves slide. What I’ve seen more of is loss of concentration and quick pitches.
I know UNF teaches 5 different moves and the 5th is an absolute balk (Break the knee in contact with the rubber)…my son used it/ uses it and never has been called on it.


#17

I have heard this from MANY people… and guess what? There is NOTHING in any rule book saying that if you bend the knee of the pivot foot, it’s a balk. That’s the same kind of myth as “the hands are part of the bat” and “tie goes to the runner.”


#18

Rule 6-2-4(d) NFHS Once a pitcher has started ANY movement of ANY part of his body such as he habitually uses in his delivery, he MUST complete the pitch. Not myth.