Occam’s razor and balks

Occam’s razor is a problem solving principle that basically boils down to “the simplest explanation is almost always the right one”. As I have discussed before balks are very complex. A flinch here, a crooked step here, or an uncompleted throw can all be a balk.

The old time original definition of balk is ” to stop short and refuse to proceed”. Basically you are starting something and not finishing (or doing something else). This is the simplest way to think of a balk. Did the pitcher start to do one thing and do another.

Here is a Clayton Kershaw balk:

The announcers are having a fit with why this call called.

Did he break the plane? No

Did he fail to step to first base? No

Well, then how can this be a balk. Maybe it is because his entire body moves towards home plate and then he throws to first. Once you move towards the plate you gotta go there.

Sometimes the simplest explanation is the right one.

Balks and numerous other rules are covered in RuleGraphics. We are the first thing you see when searching for “baseball rules” on Amazon. Get more information about our book at our website.


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