Balk: A rule in baseball that even the most die-hard of fans have trouble comprehending.
Explain it how you want; I just don't understand it. So what if this admission deems me as one who lacks the full knowledge of the game? I just don't get the rule. I can be watching the game and then wala, the runners advance on a play that I must have missed. No, wait... there was a balk.
I do know that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately befuddling the base runner (or occasionally the batter). Most basically, a pitcher is restricted to a certain set of motions and one of two basic pitching positions prior to and during a pitch; if these are violated, a balk is called.
More than this I cannot tell you. I can read the rule through and through and still, you're bound to get more out of a mime on the topic.
...But if you want to discuss Major League Balk Records then we can definitely do lunch together. Eli's Sports Bureau strives in the number crunching area:
- Did you know the Major League record for career balks is held by Steve Carlton with 90?
- Did you know that the record in a single season is held by Dave Stewart, who had 16 balks in 1988 while pitching for the Oakland Athletics?
- Did you know that on May 17th, 2009, Mike " Little Talkin' Big Balkin' " Pelfrey balked 3 times in the span of 78 pitches? Not your typical balk in the park.
- Did you know that on August 7th, 1984, Joe Hesketh, was called-up by the Montreal Expos and before he ever threw a single Major League pitch, umpires called a balk on him?
So any of you out there who care to explain it to me, go ahead, try. Cut and paste the rules from a Wiki and convince yourself you've done your share. You haven't. You can't. The day I learn exactly what the balk is will be the very same day I stop following the game of baseball.
Balk on that!