Runner on 1st, batter in box, pitcher is set. Pitcher steps off and drops his hands faking a throw to 1st, runner on 1st dives back in. Batter steps out on the pick off attempt. Pitcher quickly steps back on the rubber, comes set and delivers a pitch home with the batter still out of the box because the runner on first has just got to his feet, and it is called a strike.
One answer I get is that the batter did not ask for time therefore it is a live ball and it is a strike. I follow up with, if you were the plate umpire and the batter asked for time after every pick off would you grant it. Overwhelmingly they tell me no that they would not grant time.
Another answer I get is that there is a balk because the pitcher is quick pitching the batter not allowing him to get set. I then ask didn't the batter have time to get set and elected to step out when the pitcher stepped off?
Another answer that I get is that if the plate umpire sees what is going on, he will call time because he feels it is unfair.
I have posed this question to many umpires from youth baseball to division 1 college umpires and have had mixed answers. I have seen this done by a lot of different teams from youth to high school. I figure eventually things like this will work itself out of the game as they get older but I would like to know if there is an answer.