I believe that a base runner is allowed to make their own base line when running the bases. I don't believe that there is anything in the rules that prevents a base runner from running all the way out in to the outfield when going from first to second base (as long as they are not trying to evade a tag). I believe that runners are only called for "running out of the base line" when they are trying to evade a tag. And that the "base line" is the line that the runner creates when he runs from one base to another. So for example - I don't believe that it is against the rules for a runner to start at first base then run out in to right field and then run to second base. As soon as a fielder is making an attept to tag the runner that runner is now required to run in a direct line either back to first or continue on to second base. And that is when they are not allowed to deviate more than 3 feet in either direction.
So with all of that said - I had a thought today. When a baserunner is leading off of first base could that runner move off of the base in a direct line with the pitcher? I know it would be sort of a disadvantage in terms of getting a lead towards second since the runner would be moving out towards the pitcher in to the infield grass. But it would make picking the runner off virtually impossible. Any throw from the pitcher back to first base would almost certainly hit the runner. And the runner could always go back to first standing up which would almost always get in the way of the throw back to first.
I know it would be odd to see a runner leading off of first and standing in the infield grass about 3 strides off of the bag. But it would seem like you could almost guarantee that you wouldn't get picked off. And any attempt by the pitcher to throw over to first would be very risky and probably end up with a throw that hits off of the runner.
Thoughts? Is this legal?