Thursday, July 14, 2011


A BALK is an illegal act by the pitcher with a runner or runners on base, entitling all runners to advance one base.

MLB Rule 2.00

The pitcher, following his stretch, must (a) hold the ball in both hands in front of his body and (b) come to a complete stop.  This must be enforced.  Umpires should watch this closely.  Pitchers are constantly attempting to “beat the rule” in their efforts to hold runners on bases and in cases where the pitcher fails to make a complete “stop” called for in the rules, the umpire should immediately call a BALK. 

MLB Rule 8.01(b)

If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when— 
(a) The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery; 
(b) The pitcher, while touching his plate, feints a throw to first base and fails to complete the throw; 
(c) The pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base; 

(d) The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play; 
(e) The pitcher makes an illegal pitch; 
(f) The pitcher delivers the ball to the batter while he is not facing the batter; 
(g) The pitcher makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch while he is not touching the pitcher’s plate; 
(h) The pitcher unnecessarily delays the game; 

(i) The pitcher, without having the ball, stands on or astride the pitcher’s plate or while off the plate, he feints a pitch; 
(j) The pitcher, after coming to a legal pitching position, removes one hand from the ball other than in an actual pitch, or in throwing to a base; 
(k) The pitcher, while touching his plate, accidentally or intentionally drops the ball; 
(l) The pitcher, while giving an intentional base on balls, pitches when the catcher is not in the catcher’s box; 
(m) The pitcher delivers the pitch from Set Position without coming to a stop. 
PENALTY:  The ball is dead, and each runner shall advance one base without liability to be put out, unless the batter reaches first on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter, or otherwise, and all other runners advance at least one base, in which case the play proceeds without reference to the balk. 
MLB Rule 8.05


The prosecution in the Roger Clemens trial got caught throwing an illegal pitch on Thursday and the umpire judge granted Mr. Clemens' request for a mistrial.

The prosecutor played a videotape of Mr. Clemens' 2008 testimony before Congress - the only problem being that someone forgot (?) to redact the portion of the video where Rep. Elijah Cummings referred to a conversation between Andy Pettitte and his wife after being instructed by Judge Reggie Walton not to mention  it.

After speaking to a friend of mine I'm a bit curious as to whether it was just (to paraphrase the NASCAR boys) "one of them trial thangs" or if it was a deliberate attempt to get a mistrial because the prosecutors thought the jury might be a little bit too friendly to the Rocket.

Either way this farce represents a huge waste of taxpayer dollars - made even worse by the budget and financial crisis the country finds itself in. So what if Mr. Clemens lied to Congress. Our representatives up in Washington were on a little fishing expedition in the first place. We're talking about a bunch of athletes accused of using performance enhancing drugs -- we're not talking "serious" issues affecting the welfare of the nation.

No one cares if the latest Hollywood starlet has silicon in her chest and botox in her lips. No one cares if her leading man is injecting steroids to look more ripped. No one cares who's smoking and snorting what. It's all entertainment.

And who is Congress to act pious because they don't think Roger Clemens told the truth in that hearing room? Each and every member of that institution will look you and me straight in the eye and lie like a cheap rug. What's worse: a ballplayer lying about taking steroids or a Congressman lying about what he's going to do with your tax dollars?

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