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HR; teammates physically prevent batter from entering dugout before touching home

Question

11u game at local rec league. Assume that rules are OBR.

Runner on third, one out. Batter hits an over-the-fence HR (extremely rare at this level).

Batter-runner's team is in the third-base dugout. After the batter-runner touches third, he swings over to the dugout. Teammates at the entrance to the dugout are high-fiving him. BR seems to have forgotten about touching home and is about to enter dugout. Base coach begins screaming, "HOME! HOME!" and some of the BR's teammates in the dugout push him away from the dugout's opening. BR comes to his senses, touches home, and enters dugout.

 

Does the HR stand?

 

The ruling:

Opposing coach claimed the BR entered dugout and should be called out. Umpire judged that he did not enter the dugout. UIC is called and rules that the BR is out for being physically assisted by the teammates in the dugout.

 

Bonus questions:

(1) if the BR had entered the dugout, then returned to field and touched home, would he have been out?

(2) if the 3B coach had grabbed the BR and pulled him away from the dugout, would he be out?

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32 minutes ago, bbrages said:

11u game at local rec league. Assume that rules are OBR.

Runner on third, one out. Batter hits an over-the-fence HR (extremely rare at this level).

Batter-runner's team is in the third-base dugout. After the batter-runner touches third, he swings over to the dugout. Teammates at the entrance to the dugout are high-fiving him. BR seems to have forgotten about touching home and is about to enter dugout. Base coach begins screaming, "HOME! HOME!" and some of the BR's teammates in the dugout push him away from the dugout's opening. BR comes to his senses, touches home, and enters dugout.

 

Does the HR stand?

 

The ruling:

Opposing coach claimed the BR entered dugout and should be called out. Umpire judged that he did not enter the dugout. UIC is called and rules that the BR is out for being physically assisted by the teammates in the dugout.

 

Bonus questions:

(1) if the BR had entered the dugout, then returned to field and touched home, would he have been out?

(2) if the 3B coach had grabbed the BR and pulled him away from the dugout, would he be out?

1) Runner cannot return after entering the dugout BUT it does require a missed base appeal by the defense to get him out. no appeal - no out.

2) Yes.

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9 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

1) Runner cannot return after entering the dugout BUT it does require a missed base appeal by the defense to get him out. no appeal - no out.

2) Yes.

I'm calling the runner out for abandonment in case 1.  No appeal needed (as I read this, the runner didn't come close to the plate -- there's no way for him to claim he "just missed it.")

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19 minutes ago, noumpere said:

I'm calling the runner out for abandonment in case 1.  No appeal needed (as I read this, the runner didn't come close to the plate -- there's no way for him to claim he "just missed it.")

The question was "is the runner out for entering the dugout" and the answer is no.  Might be another  reason but entering the dugout isn't a valid one.

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Sorry, I must have worded the question badly...

(1) and (2) were suggested as "bonus" questions, extra credit if you will, asking "what if" something had happened besides what actually happened.

The real question I had was, in the actual scenario where the BR was pushed away from the dugout, before entering it, by his teammates: Does the HR stand?

Was the ruling that was provided by the UIC correct? At the time of the game, I thought the ruling was correct, but looking at the rules later I am beginning to think that the umpire was INCORRECT to call the BR out for being physically assisted by his teammates.

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As I am understanding the rules, in OBR the coach is not allowed to physically assist the BR, but I am not so sure about the other players on the team.

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OK guys, I'm going to be a little contrary here in the interest of simply hearing comments.

I'm not calling an assist on this. In my mind, an assist would be in regards to a coach actually helping a runner in order to beat a play with the ball. I may not have said that very well but I think you know what I mean. Kid made a stupid move in the example but I've got nothing as long as he didn't enter the dugout because there was no assistance to beat a defensive play on the runner. He's not out of the baseline because again, no play on the runner. 

Run scores but a teachable moment for sure.

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51 minutes ago, WilsonFlyer said:

OK guys, I'm going to be a little contrary here in the interest of simply hearing comments.

I'm not calling an assist on this. In my mind, an assist would be in regards to a coach actually helping a runner in order to beat a play with the ball. I may not have said that very well but I think you know what I mean. Kid made a stupid move in the example but I've got nothing as long as he didn't enter the dugout because there was no assistance to beat a defensive play on the runner. He's not out of the baseline because again, no play on the runner. 

Run scores but a teachable moment for sure.

 

51 minutes ago, WilsonFlyer said:

Kid made a stupid move in the example but I've got nothing as long as he didn't enter the dugout

Exactly. Had his teamates not pushed him out of the entrance he would have been in the dugout without touching home. There's a difference between innocent hi fives, pats on the back rounding the bases, and being pushed towards HP because you 'forgot" to touch it. 

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So are you saying that I'm wrong, Rich? I'm not sure I'm clear. I've still got nothing and if I'm wrong, I'm trying to understand why.

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17 hours ago, Rich Ives said:

The question was "is the runner out for entering the dugout" and the answer is no.  Might be another  reason but entering the dugout isn't a valid one.

Splitting hairs - entering the dugout or DBT (as long as you're past first base) IS abandonment.

 

1 hour ago, WilsonFlyer said:

So are you saying that I'm wrong, Rich? I'm not sure I'm clear. I've still got nothing and if I'm wrong, I'm trying to understand why.

 

It is an assist.   The players assisted the runner by pushing him away from the dugout and towards home plate.   If they hadn't done that he would have entered the dugout and he would have been called out.  

 

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56 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

It is an assist.   The players assisted the runner by pushing him away from the dugout and towards home plate.   If they hadn't done that he would have entered the dugout and he would have been called out.  

 

Is there somewhere in OBR where teammates are not allowed to physically assist each other? It's very clear that coaches may not assist, but I can't find anything about teammates.

I think NFHS doesn't allow teammates to assist when the ball is live, not sure if that would apply on a home run anyway, though.

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No where in OBR does it say an offensive teammate cannot physically assist a runner. It specifically says the 1st & 3rd base coaches cannot physically assist. So if you were playing under OBR, the UIC was wrong.

As far as abandonment, it's a had to be there...

If he entered the dugout, I'd call him out. If he stayed on the field, what's the difference between high 5-ing players around home plate before he touches it vs. high 5-ing players by the dugout? It's a 4-base award and the runner establishes his own baseline. The rulebook doesn't say he has to run in a direct line between the bases.

Is it odd? Yes. Is it out of the ordinary? Yes. Do those two things automatically result in an out being called? No.

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46 minutes ago, bbrages said:

Is there somewhere in OBR where teammates are not allowed to physically assist each other? It's very clear that coaches may not assist, but I can't find anything about teammates.

I think NFHS doesn't allow teammates to assist when the ball is live, not sure if that would apply on a home run anyway, though.

I can't find it, but I thought there was a provision that a runner could assist another runner, which, if it is there, would tell me that no one else can.


Regardless, there has to be some common sense here.  If a runner rounds third and slips, the coach can't help him get up.  Do you think that a player could run off the bench and help him get up? Or the on deck batter?  Or someone in the stands?  Even if there isn't something explicit there that says that the batboy isn't allowed to assist a runner something tells me it's not allowed.

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It sounds like common sense, but really if you are applying the rule on coaches interference to players in the dugout, you are making up rules... unless you have some precedent or official interpretation to justify it, I suppose.

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OK. Again, I may sound contrary but I'm really trying to understand.

When it went over the fence and was signaled as a HR, that was an immediate dead ball situation, right? Had to be. There's no ball in play. If there's no ball in play and it's a dead ball situation, how can there be any assist? Sorry. I don't get it. Even then, it's not like the guy fell down and was helped up. It's really akin to "Get your butt to HP and tag, you fool." being hollered by his teammates. I got nuttin' and I'd stand my ground (albeit I may be wrong) until the cows come home until somebody can cite something telling me otherwise in the rule book.

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Making up a rule can be a bad thing or, when the rules don't address an unusual occurrence, it can be an application of common sense under 8.01(c).

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7 minutes ago, WilsonFlyer said:

OK. Again, I may sound contrary but I'm really trying to understand.

When it went over the fence and was signaled as a HR, that was an immediate dead ball situation, right? Had to be. There's no ball in play. If there's no ball in play and it's a dead ball situation, how can there be any assist? Sorry. I don't get it. Even then, it's not like the guy fell down and was helped up. It's really akin to "Get your butt to HP and tag, you fool." being hollered by his teammates. I got nuttin' and I'd stand my ground (albeit I may be wrong) until the cows come home until somebody can cite something telling me otherwise in the rule book.

The way I'm looking at it is they physically prevented him from entering the dugout and actually pushed him away from the dugout towards home plate - the physical contact is what's important here (to me) - and I'm not talking about the high fives.   If everything was verbal I'd have nothing.  Once there was contact made with the specific purpose of keeping the player from entering the dugout there was assistance.  Without the contact/assistance the player would have entered the dugout and been called out.

As stated earlier, there doesn't seem to be an explicit rule preventing a teammate from assisting a runner, but I just can't see a scenario where a player would be allowed to come off the bench and help a runner get up off the ground.

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1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

1) I can't find it, but I thought there was a provision that a runner could assist another runner, which, if it is there, would tell me that no one else can.


2) Regardless, there has to be some common sense here.  If a runner rounds third and slips, the coach can't help him get up.  Do you think that a player could run off the bench and help him get up? Or the on deck batter?  Or someone in the stands?  Even if there isn't something explicit there that says that the batboy isn't allowed to assist a runner something tells me it's not allowed.

1) Here's the provision from JEA:

Professional Interpretation: Being “even” with a preceding running shall not be construed as passing him.
A following runner may assist a preceding runner who has fallen as long as he does not pass him in the umpire’s
judgment.

 

2) A coach *can* sometimes help a runner up -- it depends on whether the ball is live (not allowed) or dead  (allowed -- but read on) AND whether the action is just helping him up (allowed) or is "pointing him back to a missed base" (not allowed).

Here's how JEA puts it:

Professional Interpretation: “Physically assisting” implies that the coach did something by touching the runner
which improved that runner's chance of accomplishing his goal as a runner. In other words, touching alone does
not constitute physically assisting. The umpire must be convinced that the runner is trying to get back to a base or
is trying to advance with a sense of urgency.

 

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OBR and NCAA agree that only coaches are prevented from physically assisting a runner.  So if the BR's teammates grabbed him and prevented him from entering the dugout, then he's not out for being assisted.

In Fed, only "viable" runners may assist another runner.  So retired runners, runners who have scored, on-deck batters, or other teammates cannot physically assist a a runner.  If this was a Fed game, then the umpire should call the runner out as soon as the physical assistance takes place.

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57 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

OBR and NCAA agree that only coaches are prevented from physically assisting a runner.  So if the BR's teammates grabbed him and prevented him from entering the dugout, then he's not out for being assisted.

You mean (in OBR) in a live ball scenario if a runner rounds third, and slips, that the on deck batter could come over (provided he doesn't interfere with a fielder) and help the runner back to his feet?  

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1 hour ago, grayhawk said:

OBR and NCAA agree that only coaches are prevented from physically assisting a runner.  So if the BR's teammates grabbed him and prevented him from entering the dugout, then he's not out for being assisted.

In Fed, only "viable" runners may assist another runner.  So retired runners, runners who have scored, on-deck batters, or other teammates cannot physically assist a a runner.  If this was a Fed game, then the umpire should call the runner out as soon as the physical assistance takes place.

 

19 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

You mean (in OBR) in a live ball scenario if a runner rounds third, and slips, that the on deck batter could come over (provided he doesn't interfere with a fielder) and help the runner back to his feet?  

Yes

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In another similar thread on this forum, this incident was mentioned:


http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/9780550/v11487843/must-c-curious-morgan-out-at-home-for-contact

Angel Hernandez called Nyjer Morgan out because the previous runner to cross home, Ivan Rodriguez, pushed him back to home plate. Seems somewhat similar to this situation. On the other hand.... Angel Hernandez, nuff said.

Also - I think there may be some distinction between "live ball" plays and a home run. But I could be wrong about that.

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Also... and I am probably over thinking this -- I think the umpire could have called the player out for abandonment without him actually entering the dugout. Correct?

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16 minutes ago, bbrages said:

Also... and I am probably over thinking this -- I think the umpire could have called the player out for abandonment without him actually entering the dugout. Correct?

Yes, but as MidAmUmp says above, with a runner advancing from 3rd to home, who says he can't take a wide path near the dugout?  A little different than a runner at second base heading back to the first base dugout. I think the language is something like "leaves the base line, obviously abandoning his effort to reach the base."  100% judgment.

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1 hour ago, JSam21 said:

 

Yes

At the time I thought Angel Hernandez had kicked the physical assist rule and only coaches, at 1B and 3B, could be called for the violation. I believe after that occurence some "official" guidance or such appeared and I was convinced that anyone other than an active runner could be called for coach assist in OBR. Guidance existed before that that confirmed that the assistance did not have to be at 1B or 3B and could be at HP for the violation to be called. It might have showed up in the WUM after thatI lost mine so @grayhawk will have to look it up.

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50 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

At the time I thought Angel Hernandez had kicked the physical assist rule and only coaches, at 1B and 3B, could be called for the violation. I believe after that occurence some "official" guidance or such appeared and I was convinced that anyone other than an active runner could be called for coach assist in OBR. Guidance existed before that that confirmed that the assistance did not have to be at 1B or 3B and could be at HP for the violation to be called. It might have showed up in the WUM after thatI lost mine so @grayhawk will have to look it up.

My WUM is several years old, but I'll take a look when I get home later. 

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