Baseball Umpire and Rules Discussions

Dropped 3rd Strike August 07 2018, 0 Comments

drop 3rd strike and what to do  and when to do it

Two People on the Base at the Same Time August 12 2017, 0 Comments

I was coaching in a youth game in the day and this came up and while it's been talked about many times is still a problem  that comes up so I thought I'd go over a couple of situations that you're going to see especially with the younger ballplayers, and if you happen to be in umpire hopefully you'll be able to handle it correctly.. It's confusing enough that there is a famous case in the World Series where it was called wrong.

Situation = two runners on the same base there are couple of things to consider but the first and foremost is who has the right to that base. The other player is the same as being off the base and can be tagged out on matter where he standing.

First situation = runner on first and second base ball hit to the shortstop who bobbles it but picks it up in time  to get in front of the runner at second going to third that runner turned around  and goes back to second. Who's out?  The runner that was on second originally because of the bases behind him being occupied the ball was hit he had to run, he was forced, so therefore he had no right to second base and when he was touched regardless of priesthood he's out in the runner coming from first base was safe at second because he had the right to that base. Now a little twist on that that you see every once in a while the runner from first turns and starts back and is the first one gets touched, he's out but now the runner that was originally on second no longer has to run  and therefore he's safe.. So defense the player really should  tag the runner that is advancing to the next base then many times in the runner will panic and leave  and you can get a double play.

second situation = runner at third and second nobody on first. The ball is hit to the third baseman and the runner on third does not run but the runner on second does run and comes over and touches third base. Now the third baseman goes to third base and touches both runners. Now the question is who is out-- the runner coming from second base, he didn't have to run therefore he had no right to third base  so the original runner on third base is safe.

The defense the players need to be aware of in what order to tag a runner(s) when there are two on base  at the same time..

Thoughts  from umpire Arnald Swift

 

 


Catcher Throw Hits the Bat January 11 2017, 0 Comments

COPY CREDIT TO SITE STUMP THE UMP.

Dave from Clearwater, FL asks:

In game 5 of the Toronto and Texas 2015 ALDS, when Shin-Shoo Choo was in the box but his hand was left on the line of the box, Russel Martin went to throw back to his pitcher and the ball hit off of the batter's bat.  How is this not interference since Choo's bat was on the line or almost in the field of play (close call) on Choo as Martin inadvertently hit Choo's bat on the throw back to the mound?   Thus Rougned Odor scored from 3rd.  Furthermore, umpires made a different call (which had the ball being dead and returning Odor to third) before reversing it to allow Odor to score. Why were they allowed to reverse it?  Very confused as the rules in baseball are so complex compared to other sports.  Thank you!

This play has caused a lot of confusion but this scenario is covered in the Major League Baseball Umpire's Manual. Ruling 29 of this book, which refers to MLB Rule 6.06(c), covers exactly how to handle throws back to the pitcher where the batter potentially interferes. This interpretation states that, as long as the batter does not intentionally interfere with the throw, then, if the batter is standing in the batter’s box and he or the bat is struck, then there is no infraction and the ball is still alive and in play. Even though Choo's bat was potentially out of the box at the moment when the ball hit it, since Choo himself was still in the box and he did not attempt to interfere with the ball, the ball should have remained live allowing the runner to have the chance to score.

The second part of your question is a part that I came across a lot tonight while reading comments on game recaps; why were the umpires allowed to reverse the call after already calling the play dead? It is always the first and main priority of the umpires to get the call right, even if that means reversing a call or making an unpopular decision. Being as this is a very unusual play and one that is not even covered in the general MLB rulebook but instead in their secondary Umpires Manual, it is hard to blame Dale Scott for freezing for a few seconds before calling this play dead. However, as the umpires are expected to do, they paused the game, got together to discuss the play, and then reversed it to ensure they got what very potentially could have been a game deciding call correct by deciding what would have happened if the play hadn't been stopped.

Answered by: Jonathan Bravo
Keywords: MLB Rule 6.06(c), MLB Umpire Manual, Choo, Odor, Martin, Toronto Blue Jays, Texas Rangers


Force at 2nd Base Yes or N0 November 20 2015, 0 Comments

Situation: Runner on first less than 2 outs. Hard grounder to the first baseman and he touches first throws to second. Can the runner choose to go back to first and try to make it back safely or must he go to second?

As soon as first base was tagged, the force is taken off the runner going to second. This means that there is no force at second base and he can return to first if he wants. This also means that the fielders will have to tag him out instead of just stepping on a base.


Ball Hits the Runner October 21 2015, 0 Comments

A ball is hit to the second baseman, he bobbles it, and the runner from first is running to second base and kicks the ball, what is the call?

There are two potential rulings on this play. The first one is that, assuming that the kicked ball was unintentional, the umpire will not call the runner out and play shall continue. However, if, in the umpire's mind, the kick was intentional, the ball is dead and the runner is out for interference.

There are several other scenarios also to consider, hits the runner before it get to the fielder. Ruling runner is out, ball is dead, and all runners return to the base they were on, batter is awarded 1st base.

Ball pass a fielder, other than the pitcher, how had a chance to field the ball and hits the runner. -- Ruling--  The ball hitting the runner is ignored and ball is live and played on as any batted ball would be.


Foul balls Advances & Put Outs September 07 2015, 0 Comments

I was watching major league baseball the other night in a situation occurred that I thought we discussed a little bit so that umpires wouldn't forget, and more important coaches could learn from it and use it to their advantage.

A foul ball is treated like any fly ball whether it's fair file with runners on base. Coaches tend to forget that they can tag up in advance on a catch from a foul ball.   Every flyball whether fair or foul can be advanced on if the runner is tag up and touching the base when the player that's catching the ball touches the ball, side note here it does not have to catch only be touched, and then advances to the next base.

With that said runners and coaches shouldn't forget that when a foul balls caught a need to get back to their base, or the defense can touch the base first and the runner will be declared out on the appeal. I know nobody says anything in the everybody just does it and automatically the umpire calls out the runner if he's left the base to early is trying to return. But that really is an appeal play.

Remember you can advance on a foul ball that's caught or you can be put out a foul ball that caught just something to keep in mind.


Bases on Overthrow August 09 2015, 0 Comments

Just saw this on TV this past weekend in a professional game, on the MLB channel. And thought it was worth a quick discussion to try and clarify again.

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

When is it Running Lane and Interference July 25 2015, 0 Comments

Running Lane and Interference

The batter is out if, in running to first base, the batter-runner is hit by a throw while running outside of the 3 foot running lane, or interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base. He could be called out even if he is not hit by the throw, if the umpire judges that by being outside the lane he interfered with the fielder’s attempt to field the throw. There must be a throw before interference can be called and the throw must be a quality throw. Rule 6.05(k).

A runner is not free from interference while in the lane, nor automatically guilty when out of the lane. If he is out of the lane he is in serious jeopardy of being called for interference, but it is not automatic, unless he is hit by the throw, or commits an intentional act of interference. The rule states that he is out when out of the lane AND causes interference with the fielder taking the throw. If he is out of the lane and is hit by the throw, that is always interference. If he is in the lane he could still cause interference, but it would have to be something obviously intentional (like grabbing the fielder's arm or glove, or deliberately touching a thrown ball). If the catcher does not make a throw because the runner is outside the lane, this is not interference. Interference with a thrown ball must be intentional. Such as, deliberately making contact with it. Or in this case if the runner is hit by the throw while outside the lane. The lines marking the lane are part of that "lane," but the runner must have both feet within the lane or on the lines marking the lane, to be judged as "in" the lane. Rule 7.09(k) casebook, N.A.P.B.L 4.14.

If the runner is hit by the throw or a collision occurs on his last step before touching the base; generally interference is not called. The runner has to step into fair territory to touch the base that is in fair territory.

10 rules That are Called Wrong July 14 2015, 0 Comments

  1. You must tag the base with your foot on a force out or appeal.

You may tag the base with any part of the body or glove as long as you have firm and secure possession of the baseball in your hand or glove/mitt.

  1. The ball is always immediately dead on a balk.

You are correct in high school baseball but in NCAA and professional rules, the ball is dead sometimes immediately but when the balk is followed immediately by a pitch, the ball is delayed dead and we wait until the end of the play and then either enforce the balk or allow the play to stand.  If all base runners, including the batter-runner advance one base or more after the balk, the play stands.  The coach or manager does not have an option on this rule.

  1. If a player's feet are in fair territory when the ball is touched, it is a fair ball.

It is the location of the baseball when it is touched or touches the ground that determines it being fair or foul and not the position of the fielder’s feet.

  1. The ball must always be returned to the pitcher before an appeal can be made.

If the ball is live, you may go directly to the missed base or the runner and tag him for missing the base or leaving it too soon on a fly ball that is caught.

  1. With no runners on base, it is a ball if the pitcher starts his windup and then stops.

For a balk to be awarded, there needs to be runners because the penalty is 1 base awarded.

  1. The pitcher must come to a set position before a pick-off throw. 

The pitcher need only come to a complete and discernible stop prior to pitching the ball and not for a pick off attempt.

  1. The pitcher must step off the rubber before a pick-off throw.

In fact, if he does step off first and the ball is thrown away into dead-ball territory, the award is 2 bases.  From the rubber, it is only a 1 base award.

  1. If a fielder catches a fly ball and then falls over the fence it is a home run.

If the catch occurs before leaving the field of play it is a catch and not a home run.

  1. The ball is dead anytime an umpire is hit by the ball.

This is only true on a batted ball that the ball is dead.  On a thrown or pitched ball, it is unfortunate but the ball remains live.

  1. The home plate umpire can overrule the other umps at anytime.

The home plate umpire has no more right to overrule his partner(s) than they have to overrule him.  In certain situations the UIC may have to change a call because of more correct information but no umpire has the right to overrule another. 


Can a firstbaseman have one foot in foul territory March 17 2015, 0 Comments

Is it legal for the first baseman to have his feet, one or both, in foul territory while holding a runner at first base? Kevin

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Rule you must have eight players in fair territory- catcher is only one that can start in foul territory. The rule is really designed to keep a coach from placing a player behind the catcher during an intentional walk, or some other defensive scheme before a live pitch.

To answer your question directly if you have 1 foot in foul territory and be considered okay, but he may not have both feet in foul territory which by the way is very difficult to do but that would be illegal.

I can tell you right now it's an extraordinarily rare call on first baseman while he is holding a runner on base.  As the proper position for a first baseman right or left-handed is to place his heel on the front inside corner so as to be able to receive the ball, swipe tag, and not have the runner interfere with his receiving the ball by getting in between him and the ball. If your first base with his standing in foul territory he's cheating himself.

Umpire Arnald Swift