The Ole Ball Game

What is meant when an announcer says the batter is "cheating on the pitch"?

by John
(California, USA)

On The Pitch

On The Pitch

John asked: What does an announcer mean when they say a batter is cheating on the pitch, and why is that legal if its "cheating"?

Rick answered: John, thank you for your question.

There are a couple of uses for the term cheating, when it is used in context with the batter.

The first is where they reference the fact that the batter is sneaking a look back at the catcher, as the catcher gives his signal for what pitch he wants the pitcher to throw, or that he takes a quick peek as the pitcher starts his motion, to see where the catcher moves to, for the pitch location.

Considered highly unethical in the game, one of baseball's unwritten rules, quite often will get a batter thrown at by the pitcher, with the full intent to hit him, or another player on that team, generally one of that team's stars.

The second reference is where a hitter makes up his mind to set on a certain pitch, in a certain location, if he gets that pitch he is swinging. If he doesn't get that pitch, he takes it.

Only cheating in the sense that he is looking for a certain pitch, and only that pitch, in that location. Cheating in this sense only means he is betting the pitcher will throw that pitch, in this particular situation.

Yours in baseball,


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