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Frater Perdurabo
05-24-2008, 07:16 AM
I'm a teacher, and I tell students that there are no dumb questions.

But some of you baseball lifers probably think this is a dumb question, and have a simple answer to it. You'll have to forgive me, because there are things about baseball I just don't know because I only played organized Little League ball for two years at ages 9 and 10, played RF/LF exclusively (except for that disastrous one inning at second base), and have one career extra-base hit, and it should have been ruled an error!
:redface:


I understand that when a runner is on base, a pitcher often will pitch out of the stretch to reduce the amount of time he takes to get rid of the ball.

However, some pitchers, like Gavin Floyd last night, lose a lot of their control out of the stretch.

So here's my question: If you are dominant out of the windup, but lack control out of the stretch, why not simply deal with the increased risk of a stolen base and continue to throw out of the windup when runners are on base?

Thanks for your answers!

If anyone else has a "dumb question about baseball," post it here. Chances are I don't know the answer, either, but someone else should.

ondafarm
05-24-2008, 08:26 AM
Once you enter your windup, if you break off to throw over, or anything else, then it is a balk. Most runners could steal bases virtually at will against a pitcher using their windup. Even guys like PK would probably be able to stretch a single into a triple on two pitches.

TornLabrum
05-24-2008, 08:27 AM
I think your question is answered in the last part of this answer. http://www.thebaseballpage.com/forum/threads.php?id=294_0_2_200_C

Frater Perdurabo
05-24-2008, 12:02 PM
Well, if it goes back to the balk rule, which is such an arbitrary judgment call and too greatly empowers the umpires, then IMHO it's a dumb rule.

Thank you for your answers, though.

sullythered
05-24-2008, 12:29 PM
Well, if it goes back to the balk rule, which is such an arbitrary judgment call and too greatly empowers the umpires, then IMHO it's a dumb rule.

Thank you for your answers, though.
I agree that it is an arbitrary judgment call when it comes to calling the balk from the stretch. A balk from a windup, though, would be much more clear-cut. So much so, that a balk would be called every single time a pitcher started from the windup, and proceeded to do anything except deliver the ball to the catcher. The ramifications of this fact seem to have been covered in the thread.

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 01:17 PM
I'm a teacher, and I tell students that there are no dumb questions.

But some of you baseball lifers probably think this is a dumb question, and have a simple answer to it. You'll have to forgive me, because there are things about baseball I just don't know because I only played organized Little League ball for two years at ages 9 and 10, played RF/LF exclusively (except for that disastrous one inning at second base), and have one career extra-base hit, and it should have been ruled an error!
:redface:


I understand that when a runner is on base, a pitcher often will pitch out of the stretch to reduce the amount of time he takes to get rid of the ball.

However, some pitchers, like Gavin Floyd last night, lose a lot of their control out of the stretch.

So here's my question: If you are dominant out of the windup, but lack control out of the stretch, why not simply deal with the increased risk of a stolen base and continue to throw out of the windup when runners are on base?

Thanks for your answers!

If anyone else has a "dumb question about baseball," post it here. Chances are I don't know the answer, either, but someone else should.

Pitching from the windup with runners on base would pretty much guarantee the runner could steal bases at will

fquaye149
05-24-2008, 01:19 PM
Well, if it goes back to the balk rule, which is such an arbitrary judgment call and too greatly empowers the umpires, then IMHO it's a dumb rule.

Thank you for your answers, though.


The balk isn't particularly arbitrary. The rules are very well outlined.

45 degrees to first for a lefty

Right foot up first for a righty

have to come to a definite set position

Nothing particularly arbitrary there. Now, enforcement can be arbitrary, but so can balls and strikes

FarWestChicago
05-24-2008, 01:35 PM
Once you enter your windup, if you break off to throw over, or anything else, then it is a balk. Most runners could steal bases virtually at will against a pitcher using their windup. Even guys like PK would probably be able to stretch a single into a triple on two pitches.:walnuts

Let's not get carried away, Farm.

Nellie_Fox
05-25-2008, 12:44 AM
The balk isn't particularly arbitrary. The rules are very well outlined.

45 degrees to first for a leftyWhere do you get that? I know that's what the umpires let the lefties get away with, but it's not what the rule says. The rule says you must step directly toward the base you are throwing to. No 45° allowance. Both Buehrle and Danks balk on their "A" move. It's just never called.

FarWestChicago
05-25-2008, 07:17 AM
Both Buehrle and Danks balk on their "A" move. It's just never called.Now Nellie, nobody likes a rat. :D:

itsnotrequired
05-25-2008, 08:54 AM
When the infield is periodically dragged between innings, how come the areas around short and second are left undragged? I've heard it is player preference. What gives?

fquaye149
05-25-2008, 11:01 AM
Where do you get that? I know that's what the umpires let the lefties get away with, but it's not what the rule says. The rule says you must step directly toward the base you are throwing to. No 45° allowance. Both Buehrle and Danks balk on their "A" move. It's just never called.

My understanding is that the rule is 45 degrees. That's what I've been taught at every level of baseball where stealing bases are allowed. If that's not what the rulebook says, I guess I am misinformed

If the rulebook says you must step "directly" toward the base, my guess is 45 degrees is the point past which you are no longer stepping toward the base.

Nellie_Fox
05-26-2008, 01:22 AM
My understanding is that the rule is 45 degrees. That's what I've been taught at every level of baseball where stealing bases are allowed. If that's not what the rulebook says, I guess I am misinformed

If the rulebook says you must step "directly" toward the base, my guess is 45 degrees is the point past which you are no longer stepping toward the base.I think the rule is clear. "Directly" means just that. Directly.

From the MLB rulebook:

8.05
If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when --

(c) The pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base;
Rule 8.05(c) Comment: Requires the pitcher, while touching his plate, to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his free foot without actually stepping or if he turns his body and throws before stepping, it is a balk.

... Comment: Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire’s mind, the “intent” of the pitcher should govern.

Do you not think that stepping 45° is a deliberate attempt to deceive? All the runner can see is that your foot is starting toward home; he has no way of knowing where you will stop.

fquaye149
05-26-2008, 10:07 AM
I think the rule is clear. "Directly" means just that. Directly.

From the MLB rulebook:

8.05
If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when --

(c) The pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base;
Rule 8.05(c) Comment: Requires the pitcher, while touching his plate, to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his free foot without actually stepping or if he turns his body and throws before stepping, it is a balk.

... Comment: Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire’s mind, the “intent” of the pitcher should govern.

Do you not think that stepping 45° is a deliberate attempt to deceive? All the runner can see is that your foot is starting toward home; he has no way of knowing where you will stop.\

I don't agree. 45 degrees is the point past which if you step there you are throwing home. 44 degress is the point beyond which you can't possibly step and be stepping to first.

Since that's pretty much the way the rule is enforced, it seems to me that umpires agree. But looking at the rule, I can see the confusion and how it's not worded particularly clearly in regards to the way the rule is enforced

jabrch
05-26-2008, 12:07 PM
There are two issues with the balk rule that lead to the perception of a lack of clarity. The first is that many fans don't know the rule. I personally don't know the details of it myself. The second problem is that unless you are watching from the base side, you don't have the right view. 75% or so of the fans in the stadium don't have a view clear enough, or are sitting too far away to be right or wrong.

Umpires are in the perfect spot to make the call, and they are pretty good about being right when they do call it. Sometimes they miss it and don't call it when they should - but that's a different issue.