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Senor Azul

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Everything posted by Senor Azul

  1. Senor Azul

    Ball Stuck in Glove...Lodged?

    The new case play, 2.9.1 D, conflicts with two rules and two case plays. The rules are 5-1-1f-5 and 8-3-3f. Besides the case play already mentioned by Mr. NorthTexasUmp, the very next one in the book, 5.1.1 Situation R, would also have to be deleted or rewritten. And 5.1.1 Situation S will probably need to be deleted as well. This is an egregious oversight on the part of the NFHS rules interpreters. Also, please note that the new case play is placed in the Catch section. So wouldn't the definition of catch have to be amended as well?
  2. Senor Azul

    NFHS Catcher Blocking Plate

    2018 NFHS Case Book Play 2.22.1 Situation C: A runner is advancing to score when F7 throws home. F2 completely blocks home plate with his lower leg/knee while (a) in possession of the ball or (b) while juggling and attempting to secure the ball or (c) before the ball has reached F2. RULING: Legal in (a); obstruction in (b) and (c) if the catcher denied access to home plate prior to possessing the ball. 2018 NFHS Case Book Play 8.3.2 Situation C: F2 is in the path between third base and home plate while waiting to receive a thrown ball. R3 advances from third and runs into the catcher, after which R3 is tagged out. RULING: Obstruction. F2 cannot be in the base path without the ball in his possession, nor can he be in the base path waiting for a ball to arrive without giving the runner some access to home plate.
  3. Senor Azul

    Can an infielder deliberately drop a line drive?

    Mr. stkjock, in a game played between the Tigers and Astros on April 17, 2016, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler did exactly what you suggested. He had the game awareness to realize that the runner on first base was a much better base runner than the batter-runner. So he allowed a pop fly to drop untouched and then forced out the faster runner at second base. And as it turned out the next batter singled with the slower runner from first stopping at second base. A very smart move by Kinsler wound up saving a run. Here’s a link to video-- https://www.mlb.com/cut4/ian-kinsler-fakes-out-colby-rasmus/c-172899766
  4. Senor Azul

    Can an infielder deliberately drop a line drive?

    No, it is not legal. All codes (OBR, NCAA, and FED) agree that in any force situation the infielder cannot drop a fly ball or line drive intentionally. Here are the applicable pro rule and high school rule-- 2018 OBR rule 5.09 Making an Out (a) Retiring the Batter A batter is out when: (12) An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third base occupied before two are out. The ball is dead and runner or runners shall return to their original base or bases; APPROVED RULING: In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder permits the ball to drop untouched to the ground, except when the Infield Fly rule applies. 2018 NFHS rule 8 SECTION 4 RUNNER IS OUT ART. 1 . . . The batter-runner is out when: c. his fair fly, fair line drive or fair bunt in flight is intentionally dropped by an infielder with at least first base occupied and before there are two outs. The ball is dead and the runner or runners shall return to their respective base(s). 1. In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder permits the fair fly, fair line drive or fair bunt in flight to drop untouched to the ground, except when the infield fly rule (2-19) applies (5-1-1j).
  5. Senor Azul


    2018 NFHS rule 6 SECTION 2 INFRACTIONS BY PITCHER ART. 2 . . . Delay of the game includes: a. throwing to any player other than the catcher, when the batter is in the batter’s box, unless it is an attempt to retire a runner; PENALTY: The pitcher shall be ejected from the game after a warning. NCAA: If the pitcher unnecessarily delays (9-3c), the umpire shall call a balk. OBR: Same as NCAA. (6.02a-8) 2018 OBR rule 6.02 Pitcher Illegal Action (a) Balks If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when: (8) The pitcher unnecessarily delays the game; Rule 6.02(a)(8) Comment: Rule 6.02(a)(8) shall not apply when a warning is given pursuant to Rule 6.02(c)(8) (which prohibits intentional delay of a game by throwing to fielders not in an attempt to put a runner out). If a pitcher is ejected pursuant to Rule 6.02(c)(8) for continuing to delay the game, the penalty in Rule 6.02(a)(8) shall also apply. Rule 5.07(c) (which sets a time limit for a pitcher to deliver the ball when the bases are unoccupied) applies only when there are no runners on base. 6.02(c)(8) The pitcher shall not: (8) Intentionally delay the game by throwing the ball to players other than the catcher, when the batter is in position, except in an attempt to retire a runner. PENALTY: If, after warning by the umpire, such delaying action is repeated, the pitcher shall be removed from the game.
  6. Senor Azul

    Coach interference?

    There is surprisingly little written about base coach interference. I did find an analysis by Gil Imber of Close Call Sports titled Defining Base Coach Interference—It Had to be St Louis-- https://www.closecallsports.com/2016/05/defining-base-coach-interference-it-had.html For OBR rulings the takeaway from his article is this—“If the interference is intentional, it is to be called. If unintentional AND the coach did all he could to avoid it, it is not a violation.” As I stated before, I cannot find anything other than the applicable rule in FED (3-2-3). After a long search it dawned on me that the BRD did not have an entry that shows (and according to Mr. maven I have mad skills using the BRD) that FED differs from the OBR rule and case play given at the end of OBR rule 6.01(d) Comment. Does that mean that FED agrees with the OBR interpretation of base coach interference? No, not necessarily, but it has me thinking that it does even though there is nothing else to support that. I realize that it is not dispositive. I now think that FED looks at this question the same way as OBR.
  7. Senor Azul

    Coach interference?

    Mr. jjskitours, the reason I revived this thread is that I thought it needed more discussion. The OP did not specify which rule set was used in his game and so most of the replies were about OBR. In fact, a ruling for FED was not mentioned until Mr. maven’s second response dated May 29. And now you are asking about FED ruling. I think FED differs from OBR/NCAA but I cannot find any case plays similar to the OP or interpretations. That’s because OBR/NCAA requires coaches to be on the field and the rule (3-2-1) in FED is a coach MAY be stationed in each box. Mr. maven may very well be right that the rule 3-2-3 is definitive and under FED the coach’s interference would cause an out to be called. But it is different in OBR—here’s what the Jaksa/Roder manual says about coach’s interference-- From the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual concerning interference by a base coach (a person not only authorized to be on the field but required to be on the field by rule in OBR and NCAA): “It is interference if a base coach… Blatantly and avoidably hinders a fielder’s try to field a fair or catchable batted ball or thrown ball. A coach must try to avoid a fielder trying to field. If he tries to avoid, but contacts a fielder, it is not interference. In most cases, a coach who does not try to avoid contact with a fielder will have interfered.
  8. Senor Azul

    On deck batter

    “A coach wants to know if on deck batter can use a tee if he does so behind the dugout.” That is the question posed in the OP. I posted the applicable rules to answer the question on April 2. MadMax posted his response 4 days later. Now I would like to ask him (and the two members who liked his post) if they read my post and just chose to ignore the actual rules that cover this scenario. By rule (2018 NFHS rule 1-2-3), the on-deck batter has to use his team’s on-deck circle if he chooses to warm up. By rule (2018 NFHS rule 1-3-4), when he warms up he cannot use a batting tee—only bats and items designed to remain part of the bat. Additionally, isn’t there a legal aspect to this scenario? If we as umpires allowed players to take bats off the playing field to practice aren’t we liable if, for example, a spectator was hurt by that bat? One last question and this is for the original poster, Mr. jjskitours, what did you tell your coach after reading all the replies to your post?
  9. Senor Azul

    Verbal OBS (FED) - Was I right or being OOO?

    From the 2016 BRD (section 375, pp. 250-51): Verbal obstruction is treated the same as physical obstruction. PENALTY: The obstructed runner is awarded one base in advance of his position on base. (2-22-1; 2.22.1a) Official Interpretation: Hopkins: If a defensive player tries to confuse an opponent by yelling “Go!” to a runner tagging, the umpire declares verbal obstruction if the affected runner reacts to the opponent’s attempt to confuse. PENALTY: The affected runner is awarded one base. The umpire warns the player committing the act. (Website 2004 #12) SITUATION 12: With R3 on third, B2 hits a fly ball to the outfield. As the runner on third tags, the defensive coach (in the third-base dugout) yells, “Go, go, go,” to the runner tagging. R3, as a consequence, leaves the base before the catch and must return to tag the base. RULING: This is verbal obstruction. At the end of playing action, U1 will award R3 home due to the obstruction. U1 will also warn the coach that his actions are not in accordance with fair play. (2-22-1, 3-3-1g-4, 8-3-2) “Verbal obstruction must affect the play before the umpire may penalize it.” Official Interpretation: Hopkins: Any verbal decoy, such as “I’ve got it,” is obstruction. (Website 2001 #14) SITUATION 14: With runners on first and second and one out, the batter hits a ground ball to the shortstop. The second baseman calls "I got it" and acts as if it is a pop-up. The runners stay at their respective bases and a double play is made, second to first. RULING: This is verbal obstruction. Runners will be awarded third and second. There are two outs since the out on the batter-runner will stand. (2-22-1; 8-3-2) Play 239-375: R1, R3, 0 outs. F1 pauses in the set position. From the defensive first-base dugout, someone yells, “Back!” R1 reacts by diving toward first. As R1 scrambles for the bag, the pitcher throws wildly toward third with the ball ricocheting off the fence and heading for the bullpen, with F7 in hot pursuit. R3 scores. R1 gets up and tries for second but is thrown out. Ruling: In FED, R1 was verbally obstructed. He is awarded second. R3’s run counts: On the obstruction, the ball was delayed dead: 0 outs, one run in, runner on second. In NCAA/OBR, there is no verbal obstruction. The play stands: one out, one run in.
  10. Senor Azul

    Losing contact with the rubber during the windup?

    Here’s the rule that Mr. Jimurray alluded to and a bit of text from the Jaksa/Roder manual explaining the rule-- 2018 OBR 5.07(a)(1) The Windup Position The pitcher shall stand facing the batter, his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate and the other foot free. From this position any natural movement associated with his delivery of the ball to the batter commits him to the pitch without interruption or alteration. He shall not raise either foot from the ground, except that in his actual delivery of the ball to the batter, he may take one step backward and one step forward with his free foot... From the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (p. 137): (Windup Position) In the motion to pitch, the pitcher’s…pivot foot may make only one step to become better situated for the pitch (optional) and may not then be reset.
  11. Senor Azul

    Stoping motion with no runners on.

    From the 2013 Wendelstedt Rules and Interpretations Manual (section 6.1.3, p. 95): “After assuming either the Wind-Up or Set Position, any motion naturally and discernibly associated with his delivery commits him to deliver his pitch. If the pitcher stops his pitching motion in either position with no runners on base, there is no penalty. The pitcher and batter will start over from scratch.” Case Play P567 (p. 272 WRIM): No one on, one out, 1-2 count. The pitcher, from the Wind-Up Position, starts his motion, but stops halfway through. He then re-engages the rubber and begins to take signs again. Ruling: With no runners on base, there is no violation.
  12. Senor Azul

    Oldies but Goodies Part 1

    Things seem to be at a standstill right now so I thought this might be a good time to try something a little different. I went back through old posts to find interesting topics that have only been discussed once (at least I could not find another instance). The first oldie but goodie comes from a post in the Ask the Umpire forum back in May of 2017—here’s the question posed then: Bases loaded two out...suicide squeeze. Hitter bunts ball fair yet it rolls back toward the plate as stealing R3 slides safely. The ball rolls into R3 who is already lying across the plate, just having slid, preventing the catcher from fielding it cleanly and potentially throwing to another base for the force out. Run count? How about with just one out? Other implications? Do you call interference or not? Does the run count? Is there a difference in ruling from rule set to rule set?
  13. Senor Azul

    Oldies but Goodies Part 1

    Here are official interpretations from the 2016 BRD (section 514, pp. 329-330) that answer whether the run would count or not-- FED: A runner who has scored on a force play but is guilty of interference with a fielder nullifies his run. (2.32.2C; 8.4.2w) Official Interpretation: Rumble: A runner who has scored but is guilty of interference with a batted ball keeps his run but causes a teammate to be out. OBR: Deary: The umpire will cancel a legally scored run if the runner who has scored is guilty of interference with a fair batted ball after crossing the plate. Barney Deary was a director of PBUC, in other words, supervisor of minor league umpires. I mention that because in the original thread this interpretation was sneered at as something less than credible. This interpretation was listed in the 2014 BRD as being from a letter by Mr. Deary to the editor of Referee magazine in 1987. The objection was that the interpretation was too old and it was misconstrued as being from Referee magazine not from the director of minor league umpires.
  14. Senor Azul


    I was going to stay out of this one but there is a possibility that we are being trolled. The question posed in the OP matches the actual rule (How a Team Scores)-- 2018 OBR rule 5.08 Comment APPROVED RULING: One out, Jones on third, Smith on first, and Brown flies out to right field. Two outs. Jones tags up and scores after the catch. Smith attempted to return to first but the right fielder’s throw beat him to the base. Three outs. But Jones scored before the throw to catch Smith reached first base, hence Jones’ run counts. It was not a force play.
  15. Senor Azul

    Obs, interference or no call

    Frankly, neither I nor my umpire associations ever had that problem so I do not share your concern. What I am concerned about, however, is whether or not you still believe that an umpire should consider where the runner’s feet are on a throw from anywhere else but from the plate area and invoke RLI. Actually, Carl Childress anticipated your objection, Mr. beerguy55. He stated the following in his 2016 BRD-- “Briefly: The catcher does not have to throw for the umpire to call BATTER interference. The play takes place quickly. The catcher is stationary. Remember, too, the runner had a lead. So, even subtle movements by the batter can easily sabotage the catcher’s response. On the other hand, to get an interference call the catcher must throw when the batter-runner is not in the running lane. The time constraint for the play is much more relaxed. The batter-runner, for example, doesn’t have a lead: He starts from scratch. Therefore, the catcher has time to find a good place from which to throw. He is not anchored to a spot. Recall from your games the catcher’s commands to the first baseman: ‘Inside!” or ‘Outside!’”
  16. Senor Azul

    Oldies but Goodies Part 1

    Let’s see how many interferences the runner in the OP committed— The runner who just scored is hit by a fair batted ball The runner who just scored prevents the fielder from making a play The runner who just scored prevents a batted ball from going foul (The status of the batted ball in this scenario had not been established yet. It was rolling back toward the plate and the defense could have chosen to let the ball roll foul but that choice was taken away by the offense.) The original thread currently can be found on page 37 of the Ask the Umpire forum. The consensus then—several members asserted—since the runner had scored his status has changed from runner to something else and these interference rules no longer applied to him. Do you agree? Would you ignore all those infractions?
  17. Senor Azul

    Oldies but Goodies Part 2

    Another oldie but goodie—can a runner lead off in the wrong direction? This question originally appeared in the Rules forum in July of 2014-- He said that during one of his teams games (U10), his runner successfully stole second, but at the next pitch he took a lead off of second towards first. He said that he knew the pitcher and was trying to mess him up. I said that I can't think of an exact rule, and I later checked, saying that he couldn't do it, but he would have to make sure he touched second to go to third, and that he is not on a base so he is eligible to be put out. I also said that, had I been the BU, that I would just tell him to get back on the base because to me, that's unsportsmanlike conduct.
  18. Senor Azul

    Oldies but Goodies Part 2

    Getting a running start on a pitch is spelled out in the NCAA rules as being illegal— 2017-18 NCAA rule 8 When Runners Are Out on Appeals SECTION 6. a. A runner shall be called out on specific appeals that occur as a result of a base running error when: 2) The runner starts from a position behind the base in order to get a running start, whether on a pitch or tagging up for a fly ball; or It is also illegal in FED. The following text is from the 2016 BRD: “A runner may not get a running start from behind the base either before or at TOP. PENALTY: The runner is called out immediately, and the ball remains alive. (8-4-2o)” 2018 NFHS rule 8-4 ART. 2 . . . Any runner is out when he: o. positions himself behind a base to get a running start; or
  19. Senor Azul

    Oldies but Goodies Part 1

    2018 NFHS Rule 2 SECTION 30 RUN, RUNNERS, RETIRED RUNNERS ART. 3 . . . A retired runner is a player of the team at bat who has been put out, or who has scored and is still in live-ball area. The following text is from the 2016 BRD (section 462, p. 307): “The definition is of practical value…when a runner who has scored interferes with or maliciously crashes into a defensive player. The point: Interference by a runner who has scored is, by definition in FED, interference by a RETIRED RUNNER.” 2010 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 14: With R3 on third base and no outs, B2 hits a pop fly in fair territory in front of home plate. The catcher misses the ball completely, never touching it, and the backspin on the ball causes it to move back toward home where it strikes R3 in fair territory. The ball continues to move into foul ground, where it comes to rest. The offensive head coach claims R3 is not out since the batted ball “passed” an infielder. RULING: The ball is dead immediately and R3 is declared out for being contacted by a fair batted ball. B2 is awarded first base. The action of the ball in this situation is not considered to be “passing” an infielder. Had the ball contacted R3 in foul ground, the ball would be dead immediately, R3 would be returned to third and B2 would remain at bat. (8-4-2k, 5-1-1f-1)
  20. Senor Azul

    Coach interference?

    It turns out that your rule citation was a valid one, Mr. scrounge. The 2018 MiLBUM agrees with you that the applicable rule to this question is OBR 6.01(d). Its section 6.12 on page 90 (titled Interference by Person Authorized to Be on Playing Field) includes the following play and text: Play 2: A thrown ball to the plate from the fight fielder accidentally strikes the first base coach. Ruling 2: Interference by person authorized to be on the playing field unless in the umpire’s judgment coach hindered the fielder’s attempt to field the thrown ball, in which case the ball is dead and the runner, in the umpire’s judgment, on whom the play was being made shall be declared out and all other runners shall return to the last legally occupied base at the time of interference. “When judging interference by a member of the team at bat who is not in the game but who is authorized to be on the field (e.g., players in the bullpen, on the field, base coaches, etc.), the fielder would have to be, in the judgment of the umpire, in position to field the batted ball or thrown ball when the member of the offensive team interferes.” By the way, the same text can be found in the 2014 PBUC manual but it was all underlined which means, I think, that it was new material then.
  21. Senor Azul

    Obs, interference or no call

    I agree with you, Mr. Mudder, and so do Carl Childress and George Demetriou. Carl Childress wrote the following (in his 2016 BRD)—“Let’s get this point clear: What I’m about to say is not in any rule book, but it’s a ‘rule provision’ nonetheless because it has been codified via the decisions of thousands of umpires in tens of thousands of games played all over the world. The running lane should enter an umpire’s decision-making process only when the ball is being fielded from behind the runner. For example, when the third baseman throws off line to first and the first baseman goes for the ball, if contact occurs, don’t look down to see where the BR’s feet are. If you do, you’re on your way to blowing the call. The intent of the rule is to keep BR from screening the fielder behind him from the first baseman in front. Keep it that way in your games and you’ll never get into trouble.” The following text was written by George Demetriou and taken from his blog at Baseball Rules Academy website—he also writes a rules column for another umpire website (which shall remain nameless here ever more) and is the author of the study guide for college baseball rules-- “The purpose of the three-foot wide lane (aka 45’ lane) along the last half of the distance between home and first base in foul territory is widely misunderstood. It only applies when the ball is being thrown to first base from the area of the plate (roughly from behind the runner), and none of the three major baseball codes directly state that…”
  22. Senor Azul

    Obs, interference or no call

    2016 BRD FED Official Interpretation: Hopkins: B1 lays down a bunt that is fielded by F2 in fair territory a few feet in front of home plate. As BR is 60 feet away from home base, he is running outside the running lane with one foot completely in fair ground and not touching the lines of the running lane. Ruling: BR is required to be in the running lane the last 45 feet to first when the ball is fielded and thrown FROM AN AREA BEHIND HIM. (Website 2010 #7) 2010 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 7: B1 lays down a bunt that is fielded by F2 in fair territory a few feet in front of home plate. As B1 is 60 feet from home base, he is running outside the running lane with one foot completely in fair ground and not touching the lines of the running lane. F2 fields the ball and (a) attempts to throw to first but throws high into right field as he tries not to hit B1, or (b) does not attempt a throw. RULING: B1 is required to be in the running lane the last 45 feet to first base when the ball is fielded and thrown from an area behind him. In (a), this is interference and B1 is out and the ball is declared dead. In (b), since there was no throw, there is no interference. F2 is not required to hit B1 to demonstrate that B1 is out of the running lane, but a throw must be made for the interference to be declared. (8-4-1g)
  23. Senor Azul

    Balk or no? - Lefty edition

    Here’s the professional definition of a step by the pitcher that complies with the rules: To step toward a base the pitcher must lift his non-pivot foot and put it down in a new location (some distance) toward the base. So, a pitcher MUST step ahead of the throw by rule; i.e., a snap throw followed by a step is a balk. We umpires sum it up as a step must have distance and direction to the base. If your son threw the ball without first stepping toward the base then he balked—the umpires in your game missed the call.
  24. Senor Azul

    Balk or no? - Lefty edition

    2018 OBR rule 5.07(d) Throwing to the Bases At any time during the pitcher’s preliminary movements and until his natural pitching motion commits him to the pitch, he may throw to any base provided he steps directly toward such base before making the throw. Rule 5.07(d) Comment: The pitcher shall step “ahead of the throw.” A snap throw followed by the step directly toward the base is a balk. 2018 OBR rule 6.02 Pitcher Illegal Action (a) Balks If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when: (3) The pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base; Rule 6.02(a )(3) Comment: Requires the pitcher, while touching his plate, to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his free foot without actually stepping or if he turns his body and throws before stepping, it is a balk A pitcher is to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base and is required to throw (except to second base) because he steps…
  25. Senor Azul

    Pitcher goes to his mouth and into the glove

    Which rule set, Mr. Double Up? Each code handles this issue differently. Here are a couple of case book plays to illustrate the FED rule 6-2-1e: 2018 6.2.1 Situation A: With no runners on base, F1 places his pitching hand on his mouth and distinctly wipes off his pitching hand prior to touching the ball. (a) while not touching the pitcher’s plate, (b) while touching the pitcher’s plate. Ruling: (a) Legal; (b) Illegal, and a ball shall be awarded to the batter’s count. 2018 6.2.1 Situation B: With R1, F1 places his pitching hand on his mouth and distinctly wipes off his pitching hand prior to touching the ball (a) while not touching the pitcher’s plate or (b) while touching the pitcher’s plate in the set position. Ruling: Legal in (a). In (b), the pitcher has balked and R1 is awarded second base. (6-1-3)