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Official baseball rules in play: Runner on first. Right-handed pitcher in set position. Pitcher lifts front leg and does spin pick off move to second base. R1 breaks to steal second on pitcher's move and is tagged out at second.

seems legal to me based on 8.05 (d) and 8.05 comment (b)

Also, if R1 is not stealing, is it still legal based on 8.05 comment (b)?

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In the first instance...absolutely legal..............and remember this is not throwing to an unoccupied base....I have wanted this rule should rewritten for clarity as many coaches and umpires only read the intial part of the rule....."you may not throw to an unoccupied base" part without reading the rest of the line that says with the exception of making a play.....

had they started the rule with the statement I feel there would be less confusion....

"With the exception of making a play, you may not throw to an unoccupied base....."

He is making a no unoccupied base applies... And in HS, it doesn't even have to be a play. A throw or fake throw to drive back a runner is legal, even if the runner heads back .

In pro rules however, in the second instance, there has to be a real attempt.....
Last edited by piaa_ump
Thanks. I remain confused by the 8.05 comment below: There is no mention of R1 stealing.

Rule 8.05 Comment: Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire’s mind, the "intent" of the pitcher should govern. However, certain specifics should be borne in mind:
(b) With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.

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