Baseball Umpire and Rules Discussions

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

 

 


Umpires call on Balk to third base June 12 2017, 0 Comments

This season has started out really very well with not a lot of controversy, you always have some question about balls and strikes, safe and out,, Fair  or foul but those are things every umpire is faced with every game.

The interesting question has come up  recently  about throwing to an unoccupied base,, I've seen it several times now in the real young baseball were when a guy gets on base  they're going to steal and the cancers aren't able to stop them.  This can certainly come up  at any level but it's more prevalent here. Here's the situation   And how I read the rule book and how I call it is an umpire. Runner is at first base, no one has at second has the right handed picture comes set and even lift his leg but makes no move to home, and that's important makes no move to home he sees the runner break so he continues to pivot to second base and throw the runner out. Almost the same thing runner at second base and no one on third as the pitcher comes set and raises his leg again making no move toward home plate  the runner breaks  he simply steps the third and throws the ball in the runners tagged out.

Now what most coaches want to call is a balk, because they  through to an unoccupied base,, what they don't know is the rule that follows that first statement where it says except to put out or drive back and advancing  runner.   That's all that pitcher did. He never made moved home plate  in the throw to second it was just the inside out move, spend move, that every pitcher does going back to second base, when he went to third base it's the same exact move every left-hander  does going to first base  only this time he went to third two put out or drive back and advancing runner.

 Just to finalize this  I looked up in the major-league rule book the following:  The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;


Rule 6.02 (a)(4) Comment (Rule 8.05(d ) Comment): When determining whether the pitcher throws or feints a throw to an unoccupied base for the purpose of making a play, the umpire should consider whether a runner on the previous base demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression of his intent to advance to such unoccupied base.

=============================
((d)    The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;


Rule 8.05(d) Comment: When determining whether the pitcher throws or feints a throw to an unoccupied base for the purpose of making a play, the umpire should consider whether a runner on the previous base demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression of his intent to advance to such unoccupied base.

So next time the pitcher throws to a base that somebody advancing to it's not a balk.

Umpire for 40+ Arnald Swift


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.


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. 


10 More Rules that are False July 07 2015, 0 Comments

These are all false but players, coaches, parents and fans think they are always true

  • 21. The runner is always safe when hit by a batted ball while touching a base.
  • 22. A runner may not steal on a foul-tip.
  • 23. It is a force out when a runner is called out for not tagging up on a fly ball.
  • 24. An appeal on a runner who missed a base cannot be a force out.
  • 25. A runner is out if he runs out of the baseline to avoid a fielder who is fielding a batted ball.
  • 26. Runners may not advance when an infield fly is called.
  • 27. No run can score when a runner is called out for the third out for not tagging up.
  • 28. A pitch that bounces to the plate cannot be hit.
  • 29. The batter does not get first base if hit by a pitch after it bounces.
  • 30. If a fielder holds a fly ball for 2 seconds it's a catch.


Reasons and Rule


21. The bases are in fair territory. A runner is out when hit by a fair batted ball, except an infield-fly.
Rules: 5.09(f), 7.08(f) Official Baseball Rules
22. There is nothing foul about a foul-tip. If the ball nicks the bat and goes to the catcher's glove and is caught, this is a foul-tip by definition. A foul-tip is a strike and the ball is alive. It is the same as a swing-and-miss. If the ball is not caught, it is a foul ball.
Rules: 2.00 FOUL-TIP, STRIKE Official Baseball Rules
23. A force play is when a runner is forced to advance because the batter became a runner. When the batter is out on a caught fly, all forces are removed. An out on an a failure to tag-up, is NOT a force out. Any runs that cross the plate before this out will count.
Rules: 2.00 FORCE PLAY, 4.09 Official Baseball Rules
24. A runner must touch all the bases. If the runner misses a base to which he was forced because the batter became a runner and is put out before touching that base, the out is still a force play. If this is the third out, no runs may score. The base can be touched or the runner can be touched, either way it's a force out.
Rules: 2.00 FORCE PLAY, TAG, 7.08(e), 7.10(b) Official Baseball Rules
25. The runner MUST avoid a fielder attempting to field a BATTED ball. A runner is out for running out of the baseline, only when attempting to avoid a tag.
Rules: 7.08(a), 7.09(L) Official Baseball Rules
26. An Infield-fly is no different than any other fly ball in regard to the runners. The only difference is that they are never forced to advance because the batter is out whether the ball is caught or not.
Rules: 2.00 INFIELD-FLY, 6.05(e), 7.10(a) Official Baseball Rules
27. Yes it can. This is not a force play. A force play is when a runner is forced to advance because the batter became a runner. When the batter is out on a caught fly, all forces are removed. An out on an a failure to tag-up, is NOT a force out. Any runs that cross the plate before this out will count.
Rules: 2.00 FORCE PLAY, 4.09, 7.10(a) Official Baseball Rules
28. A pitch is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher. It doesn't matter how it gets to the batter. The batter may hit any pitch that is thrown.
Rule: 2.00 PITCH. (If the ball does not cross the foul line, it is not a pitch.)
29. A pitch is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher. It doesn't matter how it gets to the batter. If the batter is hit by a pitch while attempting to avoid it, he is awarded first base.
Rules: 2.00 PITCH, 6.08(b).
30. A catch is legal when the umpire judges that the fielder has COMPLETE control of the ball. The release of the ball must be voluntary and intentional


Throws That Leave the Field of Play June 22 2015, 0 Comments

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.

Umpire-Player-Coach Relationship on the Field June 11 2015, 0 Comments

Umpiring and Coaching

I would like to write an article about the relationship between a coach and an umpire.  Having been a coach for 34 years and umpire for 21 years I feel like I have some expertise in this area.

The first and foremost thing is to realize that both of you are out there to do a job.  This truly should not be an adversarial relationship though sometimes it reduces itself to that.  I'm always kept in mind when I coached younger kids that the umpires themselves were just starting out and probably do not have the experience nor the expertise to handle every situation that comes up in a ballgame.  They certainly don't have the maturity to handle a coach that is on them from the first pitch and about every call, nothing really good as going to come of this kind of interaction.  The umpires going to become very defensive about his calls and in fact the less experience they have with coaches and situations they are very likely to eject a coach or a player over something that was really just part of the ballgame.  The other possibility is the umpire will take any amount of the static from both from the coaches, players, and fans and therefore loses control of the game besides ruining it for everybody.

It is always been my opinion and experience that coaches and umpires realize why they're both out there on the field.  It's not the umpire's job to make everybody happy every call this the least bit close is going to disappoint 50% of the people. H should look at the play, make a decision, then be firm in announcing it and go on with the game.  You've never seen a umpire change a ball- strike or out -safe call that is just the way it is and should be.  Coaches have every right to an explanation of a rule and the application of the rule; in fact that was always my rule of thumb. When I would talk to umpire as a coach the rule was I wanted the rule and application of that rule explained and wanted the application changed.  The application of rules is what can be changed not the call itself.  As umpire I always appreciated and gave the utmost consideration to a coach that knew what he was talking about and only complained or questioned the rule.  I’ll guarantee you that you'll get more done going out there and say I need you to explain to me or why did you call it that way.  If you go out there and are argumentative that's what you get an argument.  I will say right now that the umpire that is worth his or her being out there will win each and every argument, that is the way it has to be that's why they're working the game.

When you are arguing with an umpire there are words that you should never use and they are not always the obvious ones such as cussing, depending on the level of the game a coach can be more vocal.  But no umpire in the world likes to hear the word "you", or “cheater" in front of any statement that you may make.  When I was working college or high school we discussed things very adamantly at times but the minute coach put "you" in front of his words he stood a good chance of getting tossed.

Remember the umpires are there in the game just as you and your players.  To try an manipulate him is the same is trying to manipulate your players.  I will agree if an umpire makes the wrong call by applying the rule incorrectly then you have every right to try to get it changed but you are creating a situation that you really don't want when you just complained about balls - strikes, safe -out.

10 More Simple Rules That Are Misinterpreted June 01 2015, 0 Comments

If the batter does not pull the bat out of the strike zone while in the bunting position, it's an automatic strike.           
The batter must actually make an attempt to bunt the pitch in your judgment for it to be ruled a strike.  Just leaving it in the strike zone is not enough to consider it an attempt.
---------
. The batter is out if a bunted ball hits the ground and bounces back up and hits the bat while the batter is holding the    bat.           

If the batter is in the batter’s box when this occurs, it is simply a foul ball.  If he is out of the batter’s box at this time, he is ruled out for interference.
---------
 The batter is out if his foot touches the plate.           

This is true if the entire foot is out of the batter’s box when it touches the plate.  Having the foot touch the plate and the batter’s box is not considered out of the batter’s box.
---------
The batter-runner is always out if he runs outside the running lane after a bunted ball.           

The batter-runner is only out if he is outside the running lane when he causes the fielder at 1st base to have trouble receiving the throw or he is hit with the throw while he is outside of the running lane.
---------
 A runner is out if he slaps hands or high-fives other players, after a homerun is hit over the fence.
           
In high school and professional baseball this is not true.  In NCAA baseball, the 1st time this occurs, it would become a team warning and the next time it occurs it would be an ejection but it is never an out.
---------
Tie goes to the runner.           

 In baseball, there are no ties.  The rule does state that if the ball beats the runner, the runner is out.  If the runner beats the ball, he is safe.  So, if it is a tie, it really goes to the defense and not the offense.
--------------------
 The runner gets the base he's going to, plus one on a ball thrown out-of-play.           

The runner gets 2 bases usually from the time of the pitch and other times he would get 2 bases from the time of the throw.  There are no one plus one awards.  There are only 1, 2, 3 & 4 base awards.
---------
Anytime a coach touches a runner, the runner is out.           

The coach cannot touch a runner to help him advance or return to a base during a live ball.  However, on a home run out of the park, the coach may touch the runner.
---------
Runners may never run the bases in reverse order.           

Runners may not run bases in reverse order to make a travesty of the game.  There are many times when the runner has to run in reverse order if the fly ball is caught or sometimes they run the bases in reverse order because they are confused to what took place.
---------
The runner must always slide when the play is close.             

There is never a time a runner must slide but there are times if he does not slide, he will be called out for interference.  He also has the option of giving himself up, trying to avoid the tag by going around it, reversing directions, etc.

Basic rules misunderstood 10 May 20 2015, 0 Comments


 BASEBALL RULES MYTHS

 1. The hands are considered part of the bat.

No baby was ever born with a bat in his hands.  Therefore, as an umpire you must judge if the ball hit the bat or the batter first.- Unless batter swings then it is a strike
-------
2. The batter-runner must turn to his right after over-running first base.           

The batter-runner must make an attempt to advance toward 2nd base in order for him to be liable to be tagged out.
-------
3. If the batter breaks his wrists when swinging, it's a strike.           

This could be one of the criterion in which you judge if he swung or not.  The best statement you can make when asked about a check swing is that he attempted or did not attempt to swing at the pitch.  Other criterion might be that the barrel of the bat goes past the middle of the batter’s body or not.  One other criterion might be that the bat crossed the middle of the plate.
-------
4. If a batted ball hits the plate first it's a foul ball.           

To rule it foul it must have come to rest in foul territory or be touched in foul territory.
-------
5. The batter cannot be called out for interference if he is in the batter's box.           

The batter’s actions are what causes interference and not necessarily where he is.  In the batter’s box, if he does nothing out of the ordinary, it is more difficult to commit batter interference but it is possible.
-------
6. The ball is dead on a foul-tip.           

The ball is always live on a foul tip.  Therefore runners may be put out or advance at their own risk on a foul tip.
-------
7. The batter may not switch batter's boxes after two strikes.           

The batter may switch batter’s boxes at any time while the ball is dead.
-------
8. The batter who batted out of order is the person declared out.           

The batter that is supposed to bat is the one that is declared out.
-------
9. The batter may not overrun first base when he gets a base-on-balls.           

This is true in National Federation Rules but it is not true in NCAA or professional rules.
-------
10. The batter is out if he starts for the dugout before going to first after a dropped third strike.           

The batter is out if he leaves the dirt circle around the plate area after a dropped 3rd strike unless he is making an attempt to reach 1st base.