I think one of the obvious points you missed is that after every pitch the catcher would hold the ball for a couple extra seconds. Because if the batter steps out if the box that would have to count as an attempted steal and he could easily be tagged out.
If that has the effect of keeping the batter in the box so they’re not stepping out after every pitch, is that really a bad thing? I’d be more than happy not seeing a batter stepping out of the box after every pitch to adjust gloves, helmet, sleeves, chew, cup, etc… It really wouldn’t be hard to institute, because you can specifically define the few scenarios where stepping out of the box would be permitted – avoiding an errant pitch, “walking off the pain” from a ball that hits the batter but is otherwise not a HBP (i.e. foul off the foot), changing broken equipment (broken bat, helmet, belt, shoelace, whatever), or when granted time by the home plate ump.
The great Germany Schaefer once stole first while he was on second base to distract the opposition and allow his teammate to steal home from third. I don’t believe it was expressly illegal at the time.
Germany Schaefer stole 1st base! There were runners on 1st and 3rd with less than 2 outs. Schaefer on 1st wanted to bait a throw to allow the runner on 3rd to score so he attempted to steal second. However, he got such a good jump that the catcher made no attempt. Disappointed by his failure to get a run in, on the next pitch he ran back to first, again attempting to bait a throw. This time, everyone was so astonished that they all stood speechless. Since there was nothing banning this in the rulebook at the time, the umpire let it stand. Schaefer made a third attempt, and that time it finally worked.
I like the idea — what if the batter could only steal 1st if the pitcher has received the ball from the catcher and time has not been called. This would still create the situation of a 1st base steal on a errant pick-off throw.
I would also like to see the fake to 3rd — then look back at 1st… be called a baulk.
rule 7.08i states that a player is out if “After he has acquired legal possession of a base, he runs the bases in reverse order for the purpose of confusing the defense or making a travesty of the game. The umpire shall immediately call “Time” and declare the runner out.”
Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — November 15, 2012 @ 10:58 am
There was some discussion of that. I don’t know the outcome.