Some of our most popular posts have updates.
This post discussed Joe West and his reluctance to get help on a check swing. As you remember, the umpire is not compelled to check if he rules a strike. However the rules do stipulate that if the pitch is called a ball and the defensive team wants an appeal, it should be granted.
Joe was behind the plate for the Cubs game last evening. He called a ball and the Cubs wanted an appeal. He took his sweet time but he did finally appeal. Afterwards, Cub manager Joe Maddon gave him a fake bow of thank you. Pretty funny scene.
Of course after taking so long and given the body language Joe used when appealing, there is no way the first base umpire was going to overturn the original call.
The other update is around this post discussing the unusual delivery by Carter Capps. Major League Baseball has sent a memo to teams outlining what is legal.
A pitcher is not permitted to jump or push forward off the pitcher’s plate with his pivot foot and then bring this foot to the ground and make a second push off prior to delivering the pitch. This delivery should be considered an “illegal pitch” and with runners on base shall be called a “balk”. With no runners on base it shall be called a “ball”. A pitcher should not be considered to be in violation if he pushes off the pitcher’s plate with his pivot foot and maintains consistent contact with the ground with his pivot foot without a second push off from the ground.
Softball umpires should be familiar with this as it is almost exactly the rule for an illegal pitch in that sport. Long story short – replant = bad, drag = good. In my opinion, Capps was leaving the ground on his delivery. In the future this should be deemed illegal.
At minimum, he can tell his grand kids he forced baseball to distribute a rules clarification.