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

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.

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((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


What Makes the Ball Fair or Foul March 17 2017, 0 Comments

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


What is you Opinion September 20 2016, 0 Comments

This is a big deal now at the major-league level so what your opinion:

it really is a simple question do you like instant replay are not you think it helps the game or hurts it. I would like to get a discussion started.

As an umpire we all have to make immediate and instantaneous decisions without the help of replay. But as technology and the ability for instant replay progresses I think it's a good deal but at what point does it stop. Why do we need umpires at all we can just put in sensors, cameras, and tracking devices are not call safe and out, balls and strikes.  And have a single umpire there to rule on situations that come up for placement of runners or enforcement of the rule. As we watch a game at every level the decisions outside of safe out or ball strike are actually rare. That one umpire could handle that.

What do you think?

Umpire Arnald Swift 


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