Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What to Know About Illegal Baseball Pitching?

The Major League Baseball Rule Book defines only two acts as an "illegal pitch." The first is a pitcher failing to have his pivot foot on the rubber while delivering a pitch. The second is for " a quick return pitch," better known as "quick-pitching" the batter. But many other rules define what pitchers can and cannot do on the mound. The consequences for these acts vary.
Illegal Pitches and Balk Calls
The two types of Illegal pitches are punishable by a balk call if runners are on base. The ball is ruled dead and the runners advance one base. If the umpire calls an illegal pitch with nobody on base, the pitch is called a ball unless the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a walk or being hit by the pitch.
Balls Slipping From Hand
If a pitcher loses control of the ball while attempting to pitch, it is ruled a ball if it crosses a foul line. Otherwise, it is a "no pitch." It is a balk with runners on base. The runners would advance one base.
Hand to Mouth on Mound
Major League Baseball rules prohibit pitchers from putting their pitching hand in contact with his mouth or lips within the 18-foot circle around the pitching rubber. In cold weather games, pitchers may blow on their hands if both managers and the umpiring crew agree. Violation of this rule results in a ball call, unless the batter otherwise reaches base on the pitch and no runners were put out before advancing one base. In National Collegiate Athletic Association baseball, the pitcher may put his hand to his mouth while on the dirt mound if he then wipes it off. The pitcher may not put his hand to his mouth while on the rubber.
Spitters and Other Disallowed Pitches
Pitchers are not allowed to spit on the ball, either hand or their glove. They cannot rub the ball against their glove, body or clothing. They cannot put a foreign substance of any kind on the ball or deface it any matter. The umpire may eject the pitcher for violating this rule. If the hitter reaches base on the pitch in question, and no runner is put out before advancing one base, the play stands. If the play has another outcome, the manager of the batting team may accept or decline it. If the manager declines the play, the umpire may call an automatic ball. If runners are on base, the umpire call a balk and allow the runners to advance one base.
Throwing at Hitters
If an umpire believes a pitcher deliberately throws a pitch at a hitter, he may eject the pitcher, the manager of the pitcher's team, or both.

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