Jump to content

Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member
beerguy55

Throwing the bat

Recommended Posts

So, I have run across a lot of umpires, especially at the younger levels, who will threaten to, and have, called a batter out for throwing their bat.

And, I have never run across any rule set, even at a  local league-level, organizationally-specific mandate, that dictates this penalty.   The penalty is always an ejection, and warning is usually discretionary.

Do we think that these umpires believe that batter out is the rule?

Or is it a non-sanctioned, unwritten compromise as an alternative to ejecting an eight, nine, ten year old kid?  Especially at the non-competitive levels?

Have you ever threatened a coach with calling a player out, even knowing it's an empty threat, in an attempt to get a player to stop throwing their bat, hoping you don't get to the last resort of ejection?

Just curious to the insights of experienced umps to why so many umps do it - I would say this is the one myth that I have experienced the most, as far as incorrect rules coming from the umpire.

This past summer I was helping a new coach - and one of his players was told by the umpire they'd be called out if they tossed the bat again.  I told the coach he can't do that, but that he would have an interesting choice...because the umpire CAN eject the player.  So, do you want to argue to get the out overturned at the risk of getting your player ejected?  Luckily he never had to make it.  Myself, I'd let my player be ejected...and, in fact, let them know that is exactly what can happen if they throw the bat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member

1) I think most of the lower-level umpires do think that's the rule.

2) It *is* codified in the rec league I assign for, and it's precisely for the reason you state - tossing a rec-league player (who is just learning the rules and mechanics of the game) doesn't seem to be fair. Just calling him or her out seems to get across the point ("you can't do that") without the OMG-factor of an ejection. Note that unsportsmanlike conduct, such as doing so on purpose, can still earn an ejection.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

1) I think most of the lower-level umpires do think that's the rule.

2) It *is* codified in the rec league I assign for, and it's precisely for the reason you state - tossing a rec-league player (who is just learning the rules and mechanics of the game) doesn't seem to be fair. Just calling him or her out seems to get across the point ("you can't do that") without the OMG-factor of an ejection. Note that unsportsmanlike conduct, such as doing so on purpose, can still earn an ejection.

Agreed @kylehutson. In my hometown, youth leagues also had a codified rule to just call an out and eliminate the shock value from ejecting a kid who likely just doesn't have a great handle on the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, grk17 said:

Agreed @kylehutson. In my hometown, youth leagues also had a codified rule to just call an out and eliminate the shock value from ejecting a kid who likely just doesn't have a great handle on the game.

hahaha...I get it..:rollinglaugh:

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/15/2018 at 4:15 PM, grk17 said:

Agreed @kylehutson. In my hometown, youth leagues also had a codified rule to just call an out and eliminate the shock value from ejecting a kid who likely just doesn't have a great handle on the game.

Or the bat. Lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Throwing the bat should not, in my opinion, he an out by making a local rule for it.

If a batter throws the bat then when the play is over warn the batter and also warn the manager that if the player throws the bat again then he/she will be ejected.

At that point it's the manager's call if he/she wants to remove the player and not risk the ejection.

Again, just My opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the same rec league I'm talking about, if they remove the player, that is effectively an ejection. Batting the entire lineup is mandatory.

There's a difference between a rec-level skills development league and competitive teams.

You have your opinion, I have mine. ...and I'm OK with them being different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Lou B said:

Throwing the bat should not, in my opinion, he an out by making a local rule for it.

If a batter throws the bat then when the play is over warn the batter and also warn the manager that if the player throws the bat again then he/she will be ejected.

At that point it's the manager's call if he/she wants to remove the player and not risk the ejection.

Again, just My opinion.

Eight year olds?  Tee ball?  Non-competitive ball?  One warning?

I don't necessarily disagree in principle, but there might be a middle ground in some cases.   There's the balance between safety of the kid on deck, the catcher/umpire, etc...and still letting these kids learn the game and have fun.  Keeping in mind that the incidence of injury is actually low.  I've personally seen dozens, if not hundreds of bats thrown by people aged 8 to 38, and not a one hit anyone - whereas I have seen injuries caused by bats legally dropped at the catcher's feet.  So, flinging the bat through the air is dangerous, but reacting to it needs some perspective.

Based on experience, most of these kids aren't "throwing" the bat - they're letting go of it in the follow through - "omg I hit the ball!  I gotta run!" - the first point of confusion is the kid doesn't understand because he's pretty sure he didn't throw the bat anywhere - he just let go and ran.

 

War story alert - when I played I held the bat very loosely, and my bottom hand only had two fingers on the bat.  My ring finger was on the knob.  And my pinky was off the bat entirely.  I was prone to losing the bat when fooled on low outside pitches, and it would happen 3-4 times a season.  One game it happened on consecutive pitches - both times the bat ended up in shallow right field.  On the second one, the ump said "What the Hell are you doing?!"...and I got the message - choked up and shortened my swing for the rest of the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

On the second one, the ump said "What the Hell are you doing?!"...and I got the message - choked up and shortened my swing for the rest of the day.

I can just picture your response being "I once saw Manny Machado do it in a ballgame and said 'hey, I can do that.' But I wanted to try and do it better than he did. He only got the bat to the third baseman."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For LL minors and under, our local rule is that the first throw is a light warning. The second time, if it doesn't hit anyone, they get another warning. The third time, or if they hit the catcher or umpire the coach is presented with the choice of sitting the player while batting or letting the player be ejected. 

Honestly, I've never gotten to that point, but if I had a coach choose the ejection, he'd be gone and the assistant would get to make the choice. 

Had a player let go of the bat on the backswing and somehow the knob of the bat went thru the fence and then was stopped by the barrel. Directly at the parents in the bleachers, a couple people almost soiled themselves. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LL minors game, the handle of a thrown bat went straight back horizontally and into the eye opening of the catchers mask. Freak occurence, but the catcher took a nasty hit to the bridge of the nose. A good bit of blood and he developed a pretty big knot. It looked bad and considering our recent focus on concussions, it was a bad outcome.

Ever since I've been pretty firm on "warn, then sit" any player that I deem dangerous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, kylehutson said:

In the same rec league I'm talking about, if they remove the player, that is effectively an ejection. Batting the entire lineup is mandatory.

 

So if a kid stars throwing up all over the place (nosebleed, the runs, whatever) and Mom takes him home that counts as an ejection?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

So if a kid stars throwing up all over the place (nosebleed, the runs, whatever) and Mom takes him home that counts as an ejection?  

Your case: the kid no longer *wants* to play (his choice)

My case: the kid *can no longer* play (not his choice).

 

But in either case, the kid isn't playing that game, and tomorrow is a new day - they're all the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

Your case: the kid no longer *wants* to play (his choice)

My case: the kid *can no longer* play (not his choice).

 

But in either case, the kid isn't playing that game, and tomorrow is a new day - they're all the same.

Nope - mine were he is no longer *able* to play.  Anyone counting that as an ejection deserves derision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My comment was obviously not for T-Ball or even non-competitive minors.  Those are instructional divisions and normally, at least around here, have the managers/coaches acting as umpires.  They should handle a thrown bat as a teaching opportunity.

Once you get to competitive minors and above (divisions that have assigned umpires) that's when my opinion on warnings/ejections apply (warn the player and the manager and at that point it's up to the manager to remove the player of risk ejection).  Again, just My opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/15/2018 at 3:31 PM, beerguy55 said:

 

And, I have never run across any rule set, even at a  local league-level, organizationally-specific mandate, that dictates this penalty. 

Top Gun Baseball's rule set for 8U's has this penalty.  

Now, you have run across such a rule set.  LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked our League's rule: the Umpire has the option to (1) warn (2) call him out or (3) eject. This allows him to judge the player, the infraction, or the frequency. So, if you can tell that the kid's working on it, or if he just not interested in trying, you can judge accordingly. Very seldom have we had to eject; they usually figure it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×