Insider Report(view all)

Balk Call Reversed

The balk is a serious call yet often disputed. What about when there is a disputed balk, and no replay is available to determine whether the pitcher stepped off the rubber? Let’s analyze a balk call reversal that happened in 2016.

On Friday night, June 3, 2016, the Red Sox had Dustin Pedroia at bat with an 0-2 count and Blake Swihart on first base in the bottom of the ninth with two outs trailing 5-2 when Jays’ closer Roberto Osuna, in his set position, stepped toward first without throwing the ball. It appeared to be an obvious balk violation. Plate ump Chris Conroy yelled, “That’s a balk!” and Swihart was waved to second base. At…

On Friday night, June 3, 2016, the Red Sox had Dustin Pedroia at bat with an 0-2 count and Blake Swihart on first base in the bottom of the ninth with two outs trailing 5-2 when Jays’ closer Roberto Osuna, in his set position, stepped toward first without throwing the ball. It appeared to be an obvious balk violation. Plate ump Chris Conroy yelled, “That’s a balk!” and Swihart was waved to second base. At…

The rest of this Insider Report is unavailable and locked for non-members.

...feinting a throw to first or third. The balk is a serious call because at the very least it puts a runner into scoring position.

Coming soon: We're working to bring you related content across this site.

1 reply
  1. andersjim
    andersjim says:

    While I agree a balk is serious, I think it is a mistake to make it reviewable and stop the game for a delay on such plays. Rather, the call should only be made if clearly seen. In this case, I don’t know what the 2nd base umpire was thinking. So many balks are actually judgment calls (whether the pitcher started toward the base on plate when it is close or if the pitcher made a discernable stop) rather than clearly physically obvious that it could become ridiculous to spend a lot of time evaluating every frame of a pitchers move in slow motion.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply