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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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1 hour ago, grayhawk said:

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.

Had to been there, right?

I think this is what happened:

1. Batter/runner is excited to hit his first ever home run
2. BR sees excited teammates at dugout opening
3. BR takes a wide swing over and starts high-fiving
4. Force of habit kicks in -- BR has been conditioned that high fives at dugout entrance are followed by entering dugout. BR forgets about touching home and begins to attempt entry to dugout. At this point I think the ump could have judged abandonment.
5. Dugout entry denied by teammates, screaming coach frees BR from trance and he touches home.

Further details, if you want them:
   I was the guy screaming, the coach of the offensive team. This is my third year coaching this team, the last game of the season, and this is the first over-the-fence home run I've seen by us or against us in those three years.
    The other team is not IMO a classy team. Hothead coaches and a lack of sportsmanship.
    We ended up winning the game.
    At the time, I believed the UIC had made the rulebook-correct call and explained so to our fans and assistant coaches (one was the dad of the BR).
   My oldest son umpires in this league (different age groups, though) and my relationship with the UIC is cordial.
   Our league's official rules say they follow modified NFHS. In the past, they said modified OBR. When I asked them about this at the beginning of the year, the UIC said they are OBR but with a few things from NFHS, such as dead ball on a balk. (I don't understand the ambiguity; seems like shaky ground on which to make the tricky calls.)

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6 hours 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.

The WUM says the following:

"Any runner is out while the ball is in play, when:

A member of the offensive team, other than another runner running the bases, physically assists a runner in advancing or returning to a base [7.09 (h)].  The umpire will immediately call out the offending runner, though the ball is left in play and other runners are in jeopardy of being put out."

Here's the rub.  The text of 7.09 (h) [old numbering] is as follows:

"In the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving third base or first base;"

NOTHING about other members of the offensive team.  To my knowledge, there is no official interpretation in MLBUM or MiLBUM.  The BRD says it's a "Point not covered" for OBR but references the WUM cite quoted above.

 

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What "ball in play," grayhawk? There is no ball in play, right? Again, I'm not trying to be a SA here. I'm just saying that the only ball in play is the one yet to come out of the HPU's ball bag.

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9 hours ago, grayhawk said:

The WUM says the following:

"Any runner is out while the ball is in play, when:

A member of the offensive team, other than another runner running the bases, physically assists a runner in advancing or returning to a base [7.09 (h)].  The umpire will immediately call out the offending runner, though the ball is left in play and other runners are in jeopardy of being put out."

Here's the rub.  The text of 7.09 (h) [old numbering] is as follows:

"In the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving third base or first base;"

NOTHING about other members of the offensive team.  To my knowledge, there is no official interpretation in MLBUM or MiLBUM.  The BRD says it's a "Point not covered" for OBR but references the WUM cite quoted above.

 

Thank you, @grayhawk. Hernandez and Wendelstedt must be aware of an internal interp. PBUC et. al. don't address coach int. in any manner. The BRD also cites an MLB opinion that the Int. can be at any base, not just 1B or 3B as referenced in the rule. 

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20 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

Thank you, @grayhawk. Hernandez and Wendelstedt must be aware of an internal interp. PBUC et. al. don't address coach int. in any manner. The BRD also cites an MLB opinion that the Int. can be at any base, not just 1B or 3B as referenced in the rule. 

I think it's a case of legislating from the bench.

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Thanks, @Jimurray. I don't specifically recall this point being covered in the rules classes. I can look at my notes and other material when I get home. I'm in the beautiful state of Oklahoma visiting grand-kids, won't be home for another week.

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47 minutes ago, JonnyCat said:

Thanks, @Jimurray. I don't specifically recall this point being covered in the rules classes. I can look at my notes and other material when I get home. I'm in the beautiful state of Oklahoma visiting grand-kids, won't be home for another week.

The Morgan play generated a lot of confusion in this thread: https://forum.officiating.com/baseball/58950-different-take.html

But in the thread Paronto (NCAA) and McKneely (FED) are quoted as agreeing with Hernandez call of assist by a non runner. It appears only FED has followed up with the "viable" runner interp. Leaving @MidAmUmp, @grayhawk and others with the literal application of the rule and others with the unofficial, other than FED, interp of the rule.

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56 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

The Morgan play generated a lot of confusion in this thread: https://forum.officiating.com/baseball/58950-different-take.html

But in the thread Paronto (NCAA) and McKneely (FED) are quoted as agreeing with Hernandez call of assist by a non runner. It appears only FED has followed up with the "viable" runner interp. Leaving @MidAmUmp, @grayhawk and others with the literal application of the rule and others with the unofficial, other than FED, interp of the rule.

I'm gonna fall back to common sense on this.  I'm suspecting the rule writers never imagined anyone but the coaches possibly helping a runner, especially in a live play, so only framed the rule to the situation they had in mind (ie. guy rounds base, slips, and coach is right there to help).  Despite what isn't specifically written in the rules, I can't see a world where anyone envisioned allowing the bat boy, or the pitching coach, or the mascot, to run off the bench and physically assist a base runner - live or dead ball.

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Common sense to me is if an 11 yo hits a ball over the fence for the first time, it's a home run....

IMO, if you're going to take that away via the rulebook, you need to be on pretty solid footing....

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2 hours ago, Guest bbrages said:

Common sense to me is if an 11 yo hits a ball over the fence for the first time, it's a home run....

IMO, if you're going to take that away via the rulebook, you need to be on pretty solid footing....

Best. Answer. Yet.

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5 hours ago, Guest bbrages said:

Common sense to me is if an 11 yo hits a ball over the fence for the first time, it's a home run....

IMO, if you're going to take that away via the rulebook, you need to be on pretty solid footing....

Your UIC was on pretty solid footing, whether FED/OBR or OBR/FED. Many of us would not allow teammate assist after the Morgan episode played out. And I don't think the sit was relayed to the UIC to include first HR by an 11 yo which should not make a difference in the ruling anyway. Who isn't on solid footing is the opposing coach who persisted in the protest given the sit.

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The ball is dead once it goes into an out of play area (HR over fence). All runners on base are entitled to subsequent bases including home but must touch bases legally. IMO the kid who hit the HR is out for abandoning his goal of touching home base legally. I don't think he has to enter the dugout for him to be called out. It's a judgment call by umpire in charge after the kid touches 3rd. For kids who strike out some leagues have guidelines for abandonment (leaving dirt circle around home). In this case this kid's intent was to celebrate with his friends rather than scoring. Teaching moment

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9 minutes ago, Guest Mass Ump said:

The ball is dead once it goes into an out of play area (HR over fence). All runners on base are entitled to subsequent bases including home but must touch bases legally. IMO the kid who hit the HR is out for abandoning his goal of touching home base legally. I don't think he has to enter the dugout for him to be called out. It's a judgment call by umpire in charge after the kid touches 3rd. For kids who strike out some leagues have guidelines for abandonment (leaving dirt circle around home). In this case this kid's intent was to celebrate with his friends rather than scoring. Teaching moment

Cite the rule you would use when determining the player's intent. You're on a very slippery slope since he may have intended other things, like taking a wide base path or some other such reasoning you're not privy to in the head of an 11 year old boy. Teaching moments should be reserved for learning good sportsmanship, fair play and the like. In this case, he wasn't showing anyone up, he wasn't cheating, he wasn't arguing, he wasn't being hot-headed or neglectful or any of the other things that would constitute good teaching moments.

If letting the kid have his fun and celebrating should be used against him as a teaching moment, I'm in the wrong gig. This is kid baseball. It should be fun.

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24 minutes ago, ElkOil said:

If letting the kid have his fun and celebrating should be used against him as a teaching moment, I'm in the wrong gig. This is kid baseball. It should be fun.

Agreed 100%

 

it was a local rec league game, don't take a kids memory of his first OTF HR away and turn a possible life time, it's 11u, in the big scheme calling him out for celebrating is not in the best interest of the game IMHO

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1 hour ago, stkjock said:

Take this HR away and you're heartless. 

 

 

There's a lot about this that makes me happy and jealous... chiefly that as someone who played ball all through my childhood with two good arms and hands, I never hit a home run. And this kid literally does it with one hand.

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1 hour ago, ElkOil said:

There's a lot about this that makes me happy and jealous... chiefly that as someone who played ball all through my childhood with two good arms and hands, I never hit a home run. And this kid literally does it with one hand.

I'm glad you and @stkjockare having a feel good moment about this. Others are happy that you took this train off it's tracks so they do not have to address whether Wendelstedt and Hernandez and Paronto and McKneely, and TUS, if they would comment, might have interps that should be used regarding assistance by somebody other than a viable runner.

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38 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

I'm glad you and @stkjockare having a feel good moment about this. Others are happy that you took this train off it's tracks so they do not have to address whether Wendelstedt and Hernandez and Paronto and McKneely, and TUS, if they would comment, might have interps that should be used regarding assistance by somebody other than a viable runner.

Luckily for the fate of the free world and all who inhabit it, nothing we've said here will prevent anyone else from having that conversation.

giphy.gif

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@@Jimurray respectfully, I see this type of call, in this type of situation as a OOO, parallel to not calling ticky-tack balks at the 12u- 13u level for instance when the kids are just learning the 60/90 filed and "real baseball".  It's a game and should be fun at that level, isn't part of being a good official knowing the situation and applying the rules accordingly.   Is calling the BR out in this instance by the letter of the rule corrrect, very well maybe, IMO it's the wrong call.   

So to derail the thread if that's how my posts have been seen, I was just putting what I thought was some perspective. 

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3 hours ago, stkjock said:

@@Jimurray respectfully, I see this type of call, in this type of situation as a OOO, parallel to not calling ticky-tack balks at the 12u- 13u level for instance when the kids are just learning the 60/90 filed and "real baseball".  It's a game and should be fun at that level, isn't part of being a good official knowing the situation and applying the rules accordingly.   Is calling the BR out in this instance by the letter of the rule corrrect, very well maybe, IMO it's the wrong call.   

So to derail the thread if that's how my posts have been seen, I was just putting what I thought was some perspective. 

Are you supposed to know who hasn't hit a HR yet? So let's put you on that field. What type of call would you make:

If the opposing team successfully appealed the 11 yo missed 1B. 

 

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granted, there may not be anyway of knowing, however, the teams reaction could be a tip off.  

 

on your appeal question, since I'm not a umpire, easy for me to say, "sorry coach, I didn't see it"

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2 hours ago, stkjock said:

granted, there may not be anyway of knowing, however, the teams reaction could be a tip off.  

 

on your appeal question, since I'm not a umpire, easy for me to say, "sorry coach, I didn't see it"

So what are you and @ElkOil gonna do about the crying 11 yo who just proudly and properly executed his first appeal and was denied, knowing that the umpire and everyone else actually did see the missed base.

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ok, slippery slope, I get it, however, based on my personal experience over the last 5 years, 200 ish games,  as a 10u-13u coach, your scenario of the "crying 11 yo" just ain't happening on an appeal play.  Cursing, disappointed, pouting, yeah maybe, crying.... sorry don't believe it.  Furthermore, "everyone knowing" it was missed is a stretch as well, when the ball is hit that well, where are everyone's eyes going?  following the ball over the fence, most of the time a kid who's not used to hitting OTF balls, is running hard out of the box, he's likely past first before anyone's eyes look back at him.

 

I respect your view and knowledge Jim - I just disagree with it on this topic 

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1 hour ago, stkjock said:

ok, slippery slope, I get it, however, based on my personal experience over the last 5 years, 200 ish games,  as a 10u-13u coach, your scenario of the "crying 11 yo" just ain't happening on an appeal play.  Cursing, disappointed, pouting, yeah maybe, crying.... sorry don't believe it.  Furthermore, "everyone knowing" it was missed is a stretch as well, when the ball is hit that well, where are everyone's eyes going?  following the ball over the fence, most of the time a kid who's not used to hitting OTF balls, is running hard out of the box, he's likely past first before anyone's eyes look back at him.

 

I respect your view and knowledge Jim - I just disagree with it on this topic 

 

In a community level game where I was a volunteer umpire for a bunch of 11 year olds, on an out of park home run the kid stepped right over home plate.  F2 saw it, asked the coach what to do, appealed, and I called the kid out.

Every parent on that team yelled at me, and their coach called me a cheater.  Kid didn't touch the plate - what do you want me to do?

To me this IS the perfect learning moment - better to learn now in a community league game than in the gold medal game of a tournament or some Championship.   There are rules, and consequences to breaking them.   You can follow the rules and still have fun.

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