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Guest Denny

Returning to base after caught fly ball

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Guest Denny

Situation: No outs. A base runner starting from first base gets excited and runs on a fly ball, sure that he is about to score the winning run. He rounds second heading for third. The base runner starting from second, also too excited to remember good base running principles, is rounding third. The outfielder makes a great catch at the wall and throws the ball to second before either runner can return to touch second base. The second baseman catches the throw and steps on second. Since the runner who started from first has to retouch second base on his way back to first, is he  out by force out by this action? In other words, does touching second base with the ball put out both runners at the same time? A similar situation: One out. The runner on first takes off on a hit-and-run, getting a great start. The batter hits a sharp line drive that the runner assumes can't be caught and so continues to round second and head for third. The second baseman, already dashing to second base, makes a leaping catch and steps on second to force out the runner (rather than throwing the ball to first base to double him off there). Then he rolls the ball toward the mound and heads for the dug-out. Is the runner from first base out by force out since he must retouch second before he can return to first? In both cases, the infielder could wait to tag the runner who's trying to return to first. But would that be necessary?

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46 minutes ago, Guest Denny said:

Situation: No outs. A base runner starting from first base gets excited and runs on a fly ball, sure that he is about to score the winning run. He rounds second heading for third. The base runner starting from second, also too excited to remember good base running principles, is rounding third. The outfielder makes a great catch at the wall and throws the ball to second before either runner can return to touch second base. The second baseman catches the throw and steps on second. Since the runner who started from first has to retouch second base on his way back to first, is he  out by force out by this action?In other words, does touching second base with the ball put out both runners at the same time? 

No, the runner from 1B is not out yet. An appeal on him not retouching 1B (yes he also needs to retouch 2B) has not happened yet. Either tag R1 or 1B before that runner legally retouches 1B to get him out.

46 minutes ago, Guest Denny said:

A similar situation: One out. The runner on first takes off on a hit-and-run, getting a great start. The batter hits a sharp line drive that the runner assumes can't be caught and so continues to round second and head for third. The second baseman, already dashing to second base, makes a leaping catch and steps on second to force out the runner (rather than throwing the ball to first base to double him off there). Then he rolls the ball toward the mound and heads for the dug-out. Is the runner from first base out by force out since he must retouch second before he can return to first? In both cases, the infielder could wait to tag the runner who's trying to return to first. But would that be necessary?

No, again, the runner was on 1B at the time of the pitch. He needs to be appealed at 1B (or tagged before retouching 1B).

If after F4 rolled the ball to the mound, R1, legally retouched 2B and 1B, then the inning is not over. That runner (R1) if he was VERY smart (or well coached) could retouched 2B, then 1B, then touches 2B, 3B, and HP,  and score on that play. 

 

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Keep in mind these are appeal plays for runners leaving their base early..This is NOT a Force out. And by THEIR base, that means the base they occupied at the time of the pitch. That is the base they left early, and that is where the appeal must take place. (or tagging the runner before he returns to said base.  

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2 hours ago, Richvee said:

Keep in mind these are appeal plays for runners leaving their base early..This is NOT a Force out. And by THEIR base, that means the base they occupied at the time of the pitch. That is the base they left early, and that is where the appeal must take place. (or tagging the runner before he returns to said base.  

To supplement Rich's answer:

A retouch appeal is made by tagging the runner's original base (the one he must retouch), or the runner.

If R1 had missed 2B on his way to 1B, the defense could initiate a missed base appeal, which is made by tagging the missed base or the runner.

We don't want to conflate the two appeal procedures.

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To our guest, Denny, which rule set are you asking about? In the NCAA, when more than one runner might have committed the violation it doesn’t seem to be as cut and dried. Check out the following NCAA rule--

2017-18 NCAA rule 8-6b-6--If there possibly is more than one runner involved in an appeal at a base, the defensive team must declare on which runner the appeal is being made. If the defensive team fails to identify such runner, the umpire should give no signal. If the appeal is made on the improper runner, the umpire shall give the safe sign and no further appeal shall be allowed at that base.

Note: If, before making the first appeal, the defense announces that it intends to appeal multiple infractions, a throwing error shall cancel only the first appeal if the ball remains in play, or base runners do not advance.

And here is what the Jaksa/Roder manual says about it for OBR play: “If there is an appeal at a base that more than one runner has passed, the fielder should specify which runner is under appeal. If the fielder does not specify, the umpire can ask which runner’s action is being appealed.”

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9 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

To our guest, Denny, which rule set are you asking about? In the NCAA, when more than one runner might have committed the violation it doesn’t seem to be as cut and dried. Check out the following NCAA rule--

2017-18 NCAA rule 8-6b-6--If there possibly is more than one runner involved in an appeal at a base, the defensive team must declare on which runner the appeal is being made. If the defensive team fails to identify such runner, the umpire should give no signal. If the appeal is made on the improper runner, the umpire shall give the safe sign and no further appeal shall be allowed at that base.

Note: If, before making the first appeal, the defense announces that it intends to appeal multiple infractions, a throwing error shall cancel only the first appeal if the ball remains in play, or base runners do not advance.

And here is what the Jaksa/Roder manual says about it for OBR play: “If there is an appeal at a base that more than one runner has passed, the fielder should specify which runner is under appeal. If the fielder does not specify, the umpire can ask which runner’s action is being appealed.”

I think an umpire could get the crew in trouble if he discarded common sense and went looking for trouble using this rule. Yes, the fielder has to appeal on the proper runner, but common sense should tell an umpire which runner that (unmistakably) is. If the appeal on R2 (at 2B) was to be the third out, do we really need F4/F6 specifying R2 or R1? I wouldn't...the inning is over. I don't need to try to convince everyone in the park that I'm the smartest person on the field. 

If it wasn't the third out, I'd still see an unmistakable appeal of R2 when F4 stepping on 2B (after caught batted ball). If it really is an appeal on both, then I'd rule on the appeal that was unmistakable (R2) and not rule on a erroneous/not unmistakable appeal on R1. 

If you need to follow this NCAA rule to the letter, don't let the defense screw up this appeal on some technicality. Save the crew. 

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Guest Guest Denny

The rule book I have is from the Ohio High School Athletic Association. I coached in Ohio. There, the answer doesn't seem definitive. But Richvee's explanation that the call is an appeal rather than a force out makes sense. (I loose a pecan pie bet.)

Thanks for the answer.

Denny

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We all agree that the plays you asked about are appeal plays and not force outs. Where we differ is when two runners are returning to the same base whether a step on the base is an obvious appeal. Here’s the relevant portion of FED rule 8-2-5—“When a play by its very nature is imminent and is obvious to the offense, defense, and umpire(s), no verbal appeal is necessary, e.g., runner attempting to retouch a base that was missed, or a failure to tag up and a throw has been made to that base or plate while a play is in progress.”

High school rules really have no provision covering your first scenario. According to the 2016 Baseball Rule Differences by Carl Childress, when neither rules language nor official interpretation exists each umpire must decide for himself the proper ruling. “Officials encountering unexplored territory generally use as their guide any rule or precedent available from other levels…”

Official Interpretation:  Wendelstedt:  If two runners could be appealed, or the defense is not clear about whom they are appealing, the umpire should not make any decision and should ask the defense which runner they are appealing.

Official Interpretation:  Lepperd:  If the defense does not follow correct appeal procedure, that does not preclude a second or third appeal on the same runner at the same base.

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On 10/5/2018 at 4:15 PM, Senor Azul said:

Official Interpretation:  Wendelstedt:  If two runners could be appealed, or the defense is not clear about whom they are appealing, the umpire should not make any decision and should ask the defense which runner they are appealing.

Which is, in practice, dumb.   I'll give you a real world example I experienced.  R1, batter hits in the park home run.   I'm F2, and I see R1 miss second base.  The ball comes to me, too late to get B/R at home - I throw to F4.

"runner missed the base"...

"which one?" 

"the first one"

"Safe"

"OK, the second one"

"Out"

Why wouldn't the defense always just answer "all of them"?

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22 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Which is, in practice, dumb.   I'll give you a real world example I experienced.  R1, batter hits in the park home run.   I'm F2, and I see R1 miss second base.  The ball comes to me, too late to get B/R at home - I throw to F4.

"runner missed the base"...

"which one?" 

"the first one"

"Safe"

"OK, the second one"

"Out"

Why wouldn't the defense always just answer "all of them"?

Because you have to identify which runner.  

 

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1 hour ago, Rich Ives said:

Because you have to identify which runner.  

 

And if all I have to do is roll through the runners it renders the process moot, pointless and redundant.  You're just adding bureaucracy to baseball.

Choice One:

"Runner missed home"

"Which One"

"Actually, all four of them missed it"

"Ok, safe, safe, R1 out, safe"

Choice Two:

"R3"

"Safe"

"R2"

"Safe"

"R1"

"Out"

"Batter"

"Safe"


Sure, coach could be a jerk about it, but if one of those runners missed the base, the umpire has a decision about going down the rabbit hole of a "proper" appeal, or calling a runner out who did miss his base.

As far as plausibility - scenarios I have actually seen, as a player or coach - softball and baseball, boys and girls (some get caught, some don't):

  • Two runners miss the same base on the same hit
  • One runner miss all four bases on a short-lived inside the park home run (unfortunately, on my own team - I blame the coach)
  • Two runners leave early on the same fly ball
  • Two runners each miss a different base on the same hit
  • One runner miss first and second, and then home on the next play - only reason she touched third was she stopped there for a pitch (got away with all three misses)
  • One runner miss home plate three times in the same game, and get away with it
  • And my favorite - hit the ball a mile, missed first, got all the way around third, and then turned and ran (properly) all the way back and got thrown out sliding into first

 

 

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2 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

I enjoyed thinking about the last one you listed.

Also... how the hell do you miss ALL FOUR bases?

It was fun to see too.

Yeah, missing all four bases was a head scratcher.  U12.  Opposing coach appealed and said "she didn't touch any of them" - ump just said "out".   Kid didn't even know it - honestly said to me "Really?" and I said "Yup", and she tried to insist she touched them all.   Too bad - her best hit of the year.   By the time she rounded second I figured it was pointless - and I kind of hoped maybe nobody noticed - so I sent her home...and then she hopped right over third and right over home.

  • Haha 1

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18 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

And if all I have to do is roll through the runners it renders the process moot, pointless and redundant.  You're just adding bureaucracy to baseball.

Choice One:

"Runner missed home"

"Which One"

"Actually, all four of them missed it"

"Ok, safe, safe, R1 out, safe"

Choice Two:

"R3"

"Safe"

"R2"

"Safe"

"R1"

"Out"

"Batter"

"Safe"


Sure, coach could be a jerk about it, but if one of those runners missed the base, the umpire has a decision about going down the rabbit hole of a "proper" appeal, or calling a runner out who did miss his base.

As far as plausibility - scenarios I have actually seen, as a player or coach - softball and baseball, boys and girls (some get caught, some don't):

  • Two runners miss the same base on the same hit
  • One runner miss all four bases on a short-lived inside the park home run (unfortunately, on my own team - I blame the coach)
  • Two runners leave early on the same fly ball
  • Two runners each miss a different base on the same hit
  • One runner miss first and second, and then home on the next play - only reason she touched third was she stopped there for a pitch (got away with all three misses)
  • One runner miss home plate three times in the same game, and get away with it
  • And my favorite - hit the ball a mile, missed first, got all the way around third, and then turned and ran (properly) all the way back and got thrown out sliding into first

 

 

As Coach Ives indicated you have to identify which runner. 

Because the way that the rule is written, You cannot have multiple appeals on the SAME runner at the SAME base.

That said, you CAN appeal A runner at multiple bases...........or Multiple runners at A base.

taking us back to coaches' explanation.........you have to identify which runner.

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2 minutes ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

As Coach Ives indicated you have to identify which runner. 

Because the way that the rule is written, You cannot have multiple appeals on the SAME runner at the SAME base.

That said, you CAN appeal A runner at multiple bases...........or Multiple runners at A base.

taking us back to coaches' explanation.........you have to identify which runner.

Yup - I get it.  That doesn't undo or debunk anything I said.  It's a bureaucratic and unnecessary step easily circumvented, that in the end is just a waste of time and moot.

If more than one runner passed a base, and I believe one of them missed it, I'm simply going to appeal all of them, either at once, or one at a time, for two reasons:

1. I'm appealing anyway - maybe I missed one

2. More likely - either I, or the  ump, through the course of the play knows one missed, but has now mixed them up

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I'm not arguing the bureaucracy of it, as an umpire, I'm following the rules as written. 

 

We can all devise 3rd world, "what if" scenarios.  Shoot, some of us have even SEEN them.  As umpires, we then apply the rule.

Have a nice day! :GL:

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4 hours ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

I'm not arguing the bureaucracy of it, as an umpire, I'm following the rules as written. 

 

We can all devise 3rd world, "what if" scenarios.  Shoot, some of us have even SEEN them.  As umpires, we then apply the rule.

Have a nice day! :GL:

And I'm following the rules too - I'm identifying everybody.  I'll leave it up to you determine if you think my appeal is unreasonable (MSU rulebook), improper (debatable), or if you want to apply a FYC and rule everyone safe no matter who missed the base because you think I'm  being a jerk, or want to be the bigger person and call out who should be out.

I'm simply saying I disagree with Wendelstedt's interpretation and application of the scenario as unnecessary, not to mention easily circumvented.  Appeal the  base, let the umpire call the appropriate runner out - simple.  The only "risk" is if both runners missed the base and the coach only noticed one of them.   In reality, if you saw an infraction, the very high likelihood is if the defense is appealing, they saw the same infraction.  Unless you regularly see cases where coach appeals a miss at first when you in fact saw the runner touch first, but miss second.

This started by me making a simple statement, expressing an opinion - needing to identify which runner, in practice, is dumb (looks good on paper).  You and Rich rebuked my position by telling me that I need to identify the runner.  I told you I identified all the runners...either all at once, or one at at time - whatever way you want me to do it.  You responded by telling me I need to identify the runner.

Oh well.   Rules are rules and I guess there's no room for discussion.   Sorry to waste your time.

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