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 Ump's Corner
 Kershaw Balk?????
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351 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2016 :  03:16:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hopefully some intelligent umpires can clarify this??

Went to see a kid (lefty) that I have been working with on his pitching. I taught him some advance Clayton Kershaw pitching strides that he was able to pull off pretty well. He did this move one pitch and the plate umpire called a balk.

This is not a balk since his lift foot never touches the ground and he never stops his motion IMO. The home plate umpire said he was deceiving the runner, but could not explain what the pitcher did to make them think it was a balk. 1st I have seen this called a balk before, and have been training pitchers at multiple levels for over 20 years. The only thing the umpire said was once the pitcher lifts his foot he has to go to 1st base. The field umpire standing right behind the pitcher never said a thing.

Obviously the home umpire never saw a kid his age able to pull that type of stretch move off on the mound or he was purely ignorant to what a balk really is. I have never seen Kershaw, Price, Jansen, Strasburgh or any pitcher called for a balk on this motion, so why is a 10yr old called for a balk for the same exact motion?

Hopefully some intelligent umpires can respond to this to clarify if the Kershaw stretch a balk???????


Reference link: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/?attachment_id=134457

Edited by - Punishers on 10/30/2016 04:55:26


91 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2016 :  16:30:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do not have a balk on the Kershaw pitch. It looks like a timing mechanism to me.
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351 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2017 :  07:53:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Actually according to High School and College rules it is a balk. The Pros may be able to get away with it, but you will never see a high school or college pitchers do this. So yes it is a balk, the pitchers motion must be smooth, continuous. The pause with the leg kick can been seen as a deceptive move to runners on base.
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