By S. vanTootblan
Just a weird hypothetical based on a play in an MLB game the other day: Close play at the plate on a Sac Fly, runner is sliding headfirst, catcher swipes the tag and gets the runner on the helmet just before he touches the plate. But it's a one-flap helmet, and is coming off his head as the tag is applied. Question: how "off" does the helmet have to be for it to be for the runner to be safe?
So we all (I assume) get the idea of the base umpire getting his calls, including tag plays.
Yesterday this situation presented itself. I'm at the plate, partner is in "B", R3. Apparently, BU had chosen B to stay to the weak side of the right handed batter. (Full disclosure: I would not and do not do this, but apparently he decided to go there).
Batter hits a sharp one-hopper to F1, who looks R3 back and then throws B/R out at first easily. As F1 releases the throw to F3, R3 then moves quickly down the line toward home several steps and stops, and begins a slow retreat to 3B. F3 fires it back to F5 and a tag is applied, which is an easy call given my angle from my position. R3 is clearly out by a step or two (R3 was not sliding), but as I give a glance to BU, he doesn't immediately signal and instead is looking at me; it was readily apparent that he was straight-lined on the tag; that's understandable, and I recalled later that he would likely have been straight-lined even if he'd been in "C" due to the positions of R3 and F5. I immediately call R3 out.
How would my fellow umpires have handled this?
A few things ..........
Understood the call on the field ........
Can't understand how you miss a tag like that ..........
I HATE the finger pointing and histrionics when a player signals to the bench that there should be a review......
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By Guest Ed
A ball was hit on the ground to short who then dove and tagged a runner going to third. While hitting the ground the ball popped out. The umpire ruled it an out. Was he correct?