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Fell Victim to the Chinese Change Up

Jun 7, 2016
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IMO, it looks like a good changeup. Why be unsportsmanlike by being intentionally deceptive? Throw your good change up without the (illegal) deception .
 
Aug 1, 2019
130
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IMO, it looks like a good changeup. Why be unsportsmanlike by being intentionally deceptive? Throw your good change up without the (illegal) deception .
But isn't a normal change up intentionally deceptive? Not considered unsportsmanlike at all.
Should this pitch just be labelled uncommon?
 
May 29, 2015
1,927
113
I've head it called a California change before. Had a pitcher throw one to a hitter of mine several years back. It was a beauty and she was legal with no arm circle continuation after the release. The umpire called an illegal pitch. He used the word "Deception." when he made the call. I knew the pitch was legal. The coach of the other team did not know how to argue the call correctly. She kept saying the pitcher has never been called illegal when throwing it before. She didn't know the pitching rules well enough to ask the umpire exactly what part of the delivery was illegal. I kept quiet marking the free run in the scorebook instead of the 3rd out of the inning.
That part in red doesn't matter, but I always love that argument. :p

To me, they aren't saying it isn't illegal ... just that I'm the stick-in-the-mud who is finally going to call them out on it.
 
May 29, 2015
1,927
113
IMO, it looks like a good changeup. Why be unsportsmanlike by being intentionally deceptive? Throw your good change up without the (illegal) deception .
But isn't a normal change up intentionally deceptive? Not considered unsportsmanlike at all.
Should this pitch just be labelled uncommon?
An interesting debate that I have had before and was staying away from ... but since you bring it up ...

There is nothing in the rule book that prevents a pitcher from altering her delivery. However, some people see a random slingshot as a radical enough departure from a consistent windmill that it they consider it unsporting. The argument is that it is not any different than a quick pitch designed to give the pitcher an unfair advantage.
 
Sep 29, 2014
2,384
83
I feel sorry for the umpires. I watched it 10 times on replay before I could see what was going on. They have one chance, in real time, to see the play and make the call. That pitch is filthy.
Yeah watched it a couple times quickly and even slowed it down a couple times and was still kinda confused, especially without the rules clarification.

would this be a situation where you might consult with the base umpire since it might actually be easier to see the empty hand going around? I would think as the home plate umpire once you see the ball coming you are not really focused on the pitcher any more and are concentrating on the ball....as others have said you might notice something looks off but can't really put your finger on it if you have never seen it before and its always drilled into our heads only call what you see, I could see how it would be missed
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,632
113
Florida
For all my talk of why and how umpires missed it along with coaches, etc, etc, if you are taking umpiring seriously and are umpiring 18U PGF there really is ZERO real excuses for not knowing this. There is a case study. It is discussed regularly enough amongst umpires and online. Even if you miss it the first time, it is unusual enough that you SHOULD be discussing it with other umpires or the UIC.

But isn't a normal change up intentionally deceptive? Not considered unsportsmanlike at all.
Should this pitch just be labelled uncommon?
First - the pitch is illegal because the rules specifically say that it is. It was made illegal years and years ago I suspect because it deceives by trying to pretend the ball hasn't even been released yet.

A normal change up is legal because the rules say it is. It deceives by being a different speed or spin or movement of the ball in flight and how you affect how the ball travels to the batter. But you are not pretending you still have the ball and are still in a pitching motion. In terms of how someone might put it - it is within the spirit of the game and how a pitch is a pitch.

These are really just good guesses on my part since the rules itself was put in place way before my time.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,632
113
Florida
Yeah watched it a couple times quickly and even slowed it down a couple times and was still kinda confused, especially without the rules clarification.
I've only ever seen it attempted in a game once. Honestly, it was one of the easiest illegal pitch calls I ever made because:

1) I knew the rule
2) It was the only way that the ball was where it was.

Was I fooled and picked up the ball late. Yep. But it was REALLY obvious this was the only way the ball could have been released. And because the pitcher didn't have a ball in her hand at her normal release point.
 
Sep 29, 2014
2,384
83
For all my talk of why and how umpires missed it along with coaches, etc, etc, if you are taking umpiring seriously and are umpiring 18U PGF there really is ZERO real excuses for not knowing this. There is a case study. It is discussed regularly. Even if you miss it the first time, it is unusual enough that you SHOULD be discussing it with other umpires or the UIC.



First - the pitch is illegal because the rules specifically say that it is. It was made illegal years and years ago I suspect because it deceives by trying to pretend the ball hasn't even been released yet.

A normal change up is legal because the rules say it is. It deceives by being a different speed or spin or movement of the ball in flight and how you affect how the ball travels to the batter. But you are not pretending you still have the ball and are still in a pitching motion. In terms of how someone might put it - it is within the spirit of the game and how a pitch is a pitch.

These are really just good guesses on my part since the rules itself was put in place way before my time.
but to another posters point I would really have a hard time accepting a ruling that said it was deceptive if she pitched a legitimate slingshot pitch but the umpire called it deceiving that would be simply wrong, umpires don't get to dictate a pitchers deliver as long as it is legal it is legal, Not sure exactly how you would apply that to a quick pitch since that seems subjective too.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,632
113
Florida
but to another posters point I would really have a hard time accepting a ruling that said it was deceptive if she pitched a legitimate slingshot pitch but the umpire called it deceiving that would be simply wrong, umpires don't get to dictate a pitchers deliver as long as it is legal it is legal, Not sure exactly how you would apply that to a quick pitch since that seems subjective too.
The rules say nothing about deception - it says what constitutes a legal pitch. This makes some attempts at deception illegal because they do not meet the criteria of a legal pitch. An umpire doesn't judge deception; you are just judging whether the pitch is legal or not.

So what we call quick pitches - pitching without pause, or when the batter is not set or however you want to define it - they don't meet the current legal pitch criteria. So yes, it is really easy to call it because it is DEFINED in the rule.
 
May 29, 2015
1,927
113
but to another posters point I would really have a hard time accepting a ruling that said it was deceptive if she pitched a legitimate slingshot pitch but the umpire called it deceiving that would be simply wrong, umpires don't get to dictate a pitchers deliver as long as it is legal it is legal, Not sure exactly how you would apply that to a quick pitch since that seems subjective too.
For the record, I didn't say I agreed with that argument. 😇
 
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