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Is It a Balk?


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#1 JM Lugo

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Posted 25 April 2019 - 05:24 PM

Intermediate Game:

 

1. Pitcher pitching from Set Position.

 

2. As he reads signs from catcher, bent at the waist, he has the ball in his glove, pitching hand by his side.

 

3. Once finished reading signs, still bent at the waist, he grabs the ball with pitching hand and keeps pitching hand in his glove.

 

4. Then, he moves to the Set Position by moving his free foot back in order to stand up straight. In the same motion, he removes the pitching hand (with ball in hand) from glove and then brings the pitching hand back to the glove. He comes set and pauses.

 

5. He then throws pitch.

 

Had an umpire call a Balk on the pitcher due to #4.

Argued that once the pitcher brought his pitching hand to the ball (while bent at the waist), that it was the pitcher's set position and once he initially moved his hand with the ball away from the glove, he started his motion home.

 

Is this a Balk or Nothing?



#2 richives

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 05:03 AM

Once set the pitcher cannot remove a hand (bare or gloved) from the ball without pitching or throwing to a base so in that sense it's a balk.

 

So the question is - had the pitcher reached set position.  If his hands were together and in front of his body AND he had stopped moving - yes he had.

 

So the only question becomes - had he stopped moving? As described it sounds as if he had.

 

Why separate the hands? I don't remember ever seeing a pitcher do what you described. Serves no purpose. Don't do that.


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#3 rsnyder6

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 01:43 AM

"Why separate the hands? I don't remember ever seeing a pitcher do what you described. Serves no purpose. Don't do that."

Yea, the sooner he loses that move, the better. Even if not every umpire calls it. As Rich describes, I think they should. 


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#4 Ron

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 08:20 PM

It seems like the player referenced in the first post didn't understand some basics.

 

I've coached and managed since my boys were tiny from T-Ball through Juniors. Players started pitching at 8 but I started practicing for pitching when their parents were okay, and the players showed some interest (usually 7). I can say the biggest problem for pitchers was the lack of good basic fundamentals.  Most of the time it was because the coaches didn't know the fundamentals.  The other times the coaches could not teach the fundamentals they knew.  Having been a pitcher myself I worked with all of my players to teach them.  I never assumed they knew what they were doing. 

 

Early in every season from age 7 to Juniors I had practice where they ALL pitched in windup and set positions.  I didn't have to do anything with most kids because they mirrored MLB players. If it appeared they were comfortable, the movements would not result in a balk, and were functional in a game, I left them alone.  Later we would refine their movements.  Those players that didn't know what they were doing, were taught.

 

I had several players come up against us as pitchers in later years.  It was very rewarding seeing that they never lost those fundamentals.  They looked so relaxed on the mound.  (I have about 7 years to hopefully see my players being eligible for the MLB.)



#5 JM Lugo

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 02:58 PM

I spoke to the manager and the pitcher's dad. They both agreed on working with the lad to not seperate the hands as this will involke a Balk from the majority of the umpires who know what to look for in a balk.
Thanks to all.
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