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Guest jroller

Q for Scorekeepers

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Guest jroller

Check out this clip: 

 

Two people sitting up in the pressbox (thus the camera angle), whose opinions I respect, argued for a hit. I ruled an error on the play

They argued what is not obvious in the footage in that the ball had a lot of topspin, hit and kicked to 2B's left making him miss the ball. 

I didn't see the fielder contact the ball from my angle at the fence behind home plate. Looked like it went below his glove but, not seeing the spin and kick, having looked down to tap "Ball in Play" it looked like a routine grounder that he overplayed. 

Thoughts?

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E4 - the spin on the ball is a moot point.  Balls that take bad bounces off rocks and footprints are also scored as errors.  Even on a perfectly smooth infield balls will take inconsistent hops, and they're almost always due to spin.  Error.

As a scorekeeper you have but one question to answer - Could he have made the play with ordinary effort?  Yes.

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Thanks, gentlemen.

Follow up: I have generally not scored a ball that bounces off a rock, for example, as an error if the player was in a position to make a play and the unexpected and last minute change of direction made the ball uncatchable. Doesn't that sort of play require an unordinary effort by definition? Am I wrong here?

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30 minutes ago, jroller said:

Thanks, gentlemen.

Follow up: I have generally not scored a ball that bounces off a rock, for example, as an error if the player was in a position to make a play and the unexpected and last minute change of direction made the ball uncatchable. Doesn't that sort of play require an unordinary effort by definition? Am I wrong here?

if it took some kind of weird monstrous bounce 90 degrees and 90 mph - maybe - but I hope a rock that could do that would not be in the field to begin with.  But yes, I've seen hops, especially off the lip of the infield, the go over a fielder's head - if it's truly uncatchable I'll give the hit.  But if the bad hop hits him in the breadbasket, he's probably getting an error.

I'm talking about your garden variety bad hops on otherwise routine ground balls - the vast majority of them are recorded as errors.   It's the balance between "punishing" a fielder for a bit of bad luck and rewarding a hitter for blind good luck.   I don't want to give a hit to someone who by all rights should not have reached base on the play, but for an opportune placement of a pebble or footprint.  I still have a higher expectation for the fielder to be able to adjust (to a reasonable degree) and make the play.  (especially at the level of the players in the video)

And, historically, I'm a hitter-friendly score keeper.

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I'd have scored it a hit.  Didn't look like ordinary effort to me but I don't think it's obviously either a H or E.  

You're the scorer so it is an error.

My thinking is that it wasn't ordinary effort because of how close he was to where it bounced and the odd bounce it took.  A bad bounce by itself isn't an error.  For it to be an error the bad bounce would have to be fieldable with ordinary effort.  Also, being too close to where the ball bounced is not an error in itself.  And, I don't know the level of play.  My scoring has all been LL (through Big League division).

Pull out the rulebook and go over what it says again with this play in mind.  (I didn't, just going by memory)  That's what I do when I have one on which I'm unsure.  

You can change your scoring decisions within 24 hours of the end of the game.

 

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MLB 2016 Rule 9.05 Base Hits

A base hit is a statistic credited to a batter when such batter reaches base safely, as set forth in this Rule 9.05 (Rule 10.05).

(a) The official scorer shall credit a batter with a base hit when:

(3) the batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball that takes an unnatural bounce so that a fielder cannot handle it with ordinary effort, or that touches the pitcher’s plate or any base (including home plate) before being touched by a fielder and bounces so that a fielder cannot handle the ball with ordinary effort;

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Guest Nick

I'm with Al on this one E4. Gotta have that one.  He even gets a glove on it.

To the poster  I can't see on the video but had the if the runner on 1b had already broken for 2b? To me F4 is moving like he has 2b coverage. It appears the play was to pitch the lefty away and try to get the 6-4-3 but batter is out front and pulls the ball into the four hole. 

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8 hours ago, Rich Ives said:

Amazing that y'all can render a verdict either way on a obstructed view and a bad angle.

 

SOP for most umpires, scorers, coaches and fans.

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10 hours ago, Rich Ives said:

Amazing that y'all can render a verdict either way on a obstructed view and a bad angle.

 

Whether you're an umpire or a score keeper sometimes you have no choice but to render such verdict under such conditions, and project confidence when you do it.

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