As we get into the middle the summer many of us are umpiring tournaments in the final season games before we move into our high school seasons.
Had this unusual situation occur on the field just the other day and wanted to know how you think it should have been called by the umpire.
a runner was rounding third base looking back inside to see where the ball was and he ran into the third baseman that had moved all the way to file territory almost in the coaches box. This runner ran into the third baseman did not have the ball fell down ( was asked the injured a little) but after he had fallen to the ground the third baseman receive the ball and take him out. The coach wanted obstruction and to even allow him to score-- the other coach said it was the runners responsibility to know the was going and ran into the third baseman on purpose hoping that there would be a bad throw. What would you rule go to the chatline and give me your answer.
The umpire ruled as I believe to be correct that it was not obstruction the runner was so far how the baseline running into a player that was clearly away from the bag that it became neither interference nor obstruction just to play that got the runner tagged out. It's unfortunate that he got slightly injured but the third baseman was not in the wrong place he was trying to avoid the runner so no obstruction and the runner did not create interference because there is no interference to involved as a result throw. So no obstruction and no interference we have just the play of the runner getting tagged out at third.
Umpire Arnald Swift
Let's revisit drop third strike. Once again I watched ballgames have umpire ballgames that this gets to be an issue. First a drop third strike is any third strike that's called or swung at that strikes the ground before goes into the catchers glove or falls out of the catchers glove and goes to the ground, not being held securely from the pitch or from the swing.
Now that we've defined that when can you run you can run on third strike meets the definition above any time for spaces open. But here's where the confusion comes if first space is occupied with less than two outs (0 or 1) then the batters out automatically even if he attempts to run deficient not play he cannot advance in the runners can only advance at their own risk. Now here's where the confusion comes in with two outs in the same exact play occurring the batter can run even with first base occupied. Now normally the catcher would just simply throw to the first baseman and the batter would be declared out but we need to keep in mind that all the force rules are still in play. The one that we see most of the time is bases-loaded missed/dropped third strike catchers picks it up and touches home plate which is legal and the runner coming from third base is the one that's declared out.
We got into this discussion just the other day when one of the parents said they couldn't run with the runner at first base because the play before with less than two outs the umpire declared the batter out then sure enough with two outs the batter struck out again with the catcher dropping the ball and they allowed him to run to first with no throw because coaches didn't know the rule and everybody was safe. In the course the coaches one complain that he was out a minute ago and now you changed your ruling and now I safe of course that's not true the difference is one time was with less than two outs. The other time was with two outs.
We need to add to this a little bit, if a catcher does not touch the batter and the batter leaves the batters box and no play is made the runner could be told to run and go directly from where he stands to first base. This is a very valid rule in high school, college, Pro now when you what's major-league ball on TV you see this occur you see the catcher facing the batter in the batter is walking away that's considered a play in the runner has given up and become out but the catcher must acknowledge the runner and the runner must either start to first base or if he gives up he declared out. There's no such thing as leaving a box and being automatically out or leaving the baseline and being automatically out.
Umpire Arnald Swift
Lets look at this play from 2 directions.
1. Rule it is a foul tip if the ball goes directly from the bat to the catchers glove or hand.
Now what if it misses the glove/hand and comes off his chest protector or mask. It is not a catch only a strike and is ruled a foul ball.
What if it hits his glove then to chest protector/mask and back to his glove it is a catch and shall be ruled a foul tip.
Here is the rule out of the book:
(2) A third strike is legally caught by the catcher;
Rule 5.09(a)(2) Comment (Rule 6.05(b) Comment): “Legally caught” means in the catcher’s glove before the ball touches the ground. It is not legal if the ball lodges in his clothing or paraphernalia; or if it touches the umpire and is caught by the catcher on the rebound.
If a foul tip first strikes the catcher’s glove and then goes on through and is caught by both hands against his body or protector, before the ball touches the ground, it is a strike, and if third strike, batter is out. If smothered against his body or protector, it is a catch provided the ball struck the catcher’s glove or hand first.
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
as we get started with the baseball and softball seasons were going to have this question come up again I was at a game the other day for my grandson, but it doesn't make any difference whether it's peewee baseball or major-league the rules are exactly the same. There are three or four cases that come up every year that coaches, parents, and players don't know what makes a ball fair, what makes a ball foul.
So I'm going to break them down in the simplest of terms:
1. the first and foremost decision to be made on whether a ball is fair or foul is where is the ball located when it is touched by a player. with a player touches it it is where the ball is located that makes it fair or foul, where the player is located makes no difference at all. The most common is that a player at third or first is still it fair territory reaches across the foul line to field the ball and touches the ball while it's over foul territory that makes it foul.
2. A ball that hits off of home plate is neither fair nor file until somebody touches it.
3. the one that seems a little contrary is the one that where the ball hits in fair territory and then lands in foul territory and the umpire calls it fair. Here's the reason why a ball that hits in front of first or third in fair territory then passes over first or third or inside first or third then lands in foul territory is a fair ball because it passed over first or third after it hit the ground in front of those two bases. If it lands for the first time passed first or third in where it lands is determined fair fell.
4. The line is considered in fair territory, if it just touches any part of the line that is a fair ball.
5. One extremely rare situation, I've only seen it twice in 50 years of umpiring but it's there so I say it if a ball hits the pitching rubber and then rebounds into foul territory before it is touched by a player then it is a foul ball, because it never passed first or third.
One last case for you to think about that you seen all the time it really illustrates what I've said above that a player is underneath a pop-up, to the infield, they miss it completely and it lands on the ground and you hear the coaches say let it go foul, let it go foul because they want the ball to land and be touched in foul territory.. Or the reverse of it a ball is rolling down the line from a queue shot and the coaches tell the players touch it touch it in foul territory so that is ruled a foul ball.
Where the ball is been touched that's what makes it fair or foul in front of the bases,, behind first or third it's where it lands.
Arnald Swift umpire 50 years plus (at all levels) coaching 40 years plus
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
What happens if the base ump fails to call a batter out on 3rd strike when 1st base is occupied? The runner ran for 1st, the catcher overthrew 1st base and the runner that was on 1st advanced to home. After the fact, the batter was called out, but the runner was not made to return to 1st. Is this legal or can it be heard by a protest committee if the team continues to play under protest?
This is legal because, according to the comment on rule 7.09(e),"if the batter or a runner continues to advance after he has been put out, he shall not, by that act alone be considered as confusing, hindering or impeding the fielders." By this clause in the rule, the offensive team should not be penalized just because the batter continued to run the bases. Since this was the right call, any protest would not be upheld by a committee, but it is protestable because it is a rule interpretation.
Even though the offensive team should not be penalized for this, there are some things that should have been done to prevent this scenario from happening. First and foremost, the defensive team should know the situation and, since first base was occupied with less then two outs
, any batter who has a dropped third strike when he is at bat is still out. Also, what I was trained to do in that situation is, when the plate umpire sees the batter start to run up the line towards first, he should follow the batter up the line saying "he's out, he's out, he's still out," while giving the out signal. By doing this, there would be no confusion and everyone would know that the batter is out, even though it was a dropped third strike.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Here is a situation that really happened .
Runner on 1st base and a runner on 2nd base, 2 outs, batter has a 3-2 count on him. The pay off pitch is a half swing that I ruled a ball (no swing) the catcher argues with me and says it was a strike, I say no. Then he notices the batter/runner trotting to 1st base and tries to throw the ball to the 1st baseman but instead of getting the 1st baseman the ball hits the runner in the back of the head and the ball goes over the fence near the dugout out of play. Now the question: what do you do with the runners and why do you make that ruling.
(Think of your answer before you read below)
Ruling. It really is just like a throw from the field, which leave the field of play our goes out of play- which is 2 bases from the base the runner last possessed at the time of the throw. So the Runner on 1st and 2nd are awarded 2 bases. and the batter runner awarded 2 bases from home plate. Therefore the runner at 2nd scores, the runner at 1st to 3rd and the batter runner goes to 2nd. Granted it was confusing to the fans and the coach was not happy but they agreed that the ruling was correct and we played on.