Bases on Overthrow August 09 2015, 0 Comments
Situation was a runner at first base with one out. A line drive was hit to the second baseman who caught it for the second out. He then tried to throw to the first baseman to double off the runner but he hit the runner in the head which caused the baseball to bounce into the dugout. The umpires awarded the runner third-base, then you could see on TV the manager holding up two fingers and talking to his coach and saying is that right.
The answer is it was correct the rule states runners shall be awarded two bases from the base they last possessed at the time of the throw-- key issue here at the time of the throw not when it left the field--. This runner possessed first base, it makes no difference that he was going back to first, when the throw was made and then went out of play so he was awarded third. I would also interject here that if a pitcher throws the ball while touching the rubber, almost always during a pickoff attempt, then there is an exception it is only one base if a pitcher throws it out of play. However keep in mind if the pitcher steps back off the rubber he now becomes an infielder not a pitcher and you would award a runner two bases if the ball would go out of play.
I just thought it worth noting that even at the highest level of play coaches and players are not aware of the rules, I think one of the best things a coach can do is know the rules. You can argue all you want about balls and strikes, safe and out and you'll never get anything done but if you know the rules then you have a chance to make your point and get something accomplished positive to your ballclub.
Umpire Arnald Swift