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Blueclay

Batter runs to first on dropped second strike

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Here is the situation that happened last night during my sons little league game.

 

We were the visiting team

Home team was batting

Bases were loaded and one out

Batter then swings on what he thought was a dropped third strike, but it was only the second strike.  Batter then runs to first.  Catcher throws the ball to first as he himself was confused at this time.  First baseman catches ball and now has two men at first; the runner that was on first and the batter that ran to first on the second strike.  The other baserunners then ran home during the confusion.  The runs counted and then the umpire had the batter come back and finish his at bat.

Question #1:  Can you have two men on one base?

Question #2:  How was this not called a dead ball as the runner only had two strikes?

Statement #1:  If this is allowed, then why would I not teach my kids to do the same and just have then run on the first or second strike, confusing the defense, score a couple of runs and then have my kid go back home and finish his at bat?

 

Thanks,

Brett

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14 minutes ago, Blueclay said:

Here is the situation that happened last night during my sons little league game.

 

We were the visiting team

Home team was batting

Bases were loaded and one out

Batter then swings on what he thought was a dropped third strike, but it was only the second strike.  Batter then runs to first.  Catcher throws the ball to first as he himself was confused at this time.  First baseman catches ball and now has two men at first; the runner that was on first and the batter that ran to first on the second strike.  The other baserunners then ran home during the confusion.  The runs counted and then the umpire had the batter come back and finish his at bat.

Question #1:  Can you have two men on one base? Yes - and one of them will be out when tagged. But not in this case as the batter was not a runner

Question #2:  How was this not called a dead ball as the runner only had two strikes? Because it isn't. Nothing happened to make it dead.

Statement #1:  If this is allowed, then why would I not teach my kids to do the same and just have then run on the first or second strike, confusing the defense, score a couple of runs and then have my kid go back home and finish his at bat? Because the defense won't fall for it most of the time.  And you'll be called a cheater. And if it's an older group things will happen to make you wish you hadn't done that.

 

Thanks,

Brett

Interspaced. 

The defense needs to know the situation. 

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31 minutes ago, Blueclay said:

Statement #1:  If this is allowed, then why would I not teach my kids to do the same and just have then run on the first or second strike, confusing the defense, score a couple of runs and then have my kid go back home and finish his at bat?

Because it's bush league and cheating.  I'd hope you're neither and have no desire to teach such things to your players.  Why not teach your catcher to understand the TSNC (Third Strike Not Caught) rule and to know the situation and not throw the ball to first with two strikes.  Think how silly the opposing team looks as they are running down to 1B with with less than three strikes.

Am I to understand that a runner scored all the way from 2B while your F3 was holding the ball?  Why not teach them to lob it home and get easy outs?  Make it a play.

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So, your catcher didn't know the count or the number of outs or where the runners were!

Even if it was a strike three not caught, with one out and a runner on first (you said the bases were loaded) the batter running to first doesn't matter, he's out.

Catcher needs to be aware of the situation.

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On 10/18/2018 at 10:40 AM, Blueclay said:

 

Statement #1:  If this is allowed, then why would I not teach my kids to do the same and just have then run on the first or second strike, confusing the defense, score a couple of runs and then have my kid go back home and finish his at bat?

 

It is allowed without intent.  Honest confusion by the batter is allowed.   If the umpire determined that you were using this tactic on purpose, with the express intent of confusing the defense, it might be conceivably ruled as interference.  Though, ultimately the benefit of the doubt would go to the offense, and the expectation would be that the defense should know how to play baseball.

In the end, your catcher, your first baseman, and most especially your coach, should always know:

  1. there were only two strikes so no reason to throw to first,  
  2. with one out and first base occupied even if it was strike three the batter is out, and no need to throw to first,
  3. even if the batter was out and you did throw to first, that would only be the second out, so when you see base runners advancing towards home it might be a good idea to try to tag them,
  4. even if it was two out, and strike three, and the batter could run, with bases loaded the catcher need only touch home plate, and
  5. the only thing that makes a play dead is the umpire saying so.

There's no whistle in baseball but the "play to the whistle" mentality still applies.

You should teach your kids to play the game properly, and understand the rules of the game - not to look for childish loopholes to help them "win".

So, to answer your question about why not teach your kids to run on two strikes and try to confuse everyone?   Integrity.

 

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I agree the umpire handled the situation correctly.  

Next time the bases loaded and there's a dropped 3rd strike have the catcher to just step on home plate for the force out instead of throwing the ball to 1B.  Crisis avoided! 

 

 

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Under high school rules (yes, I know the OP stated his game was played under Little League rules), the following interpretation could conceivably be used to control this type of situation--if it was obviously a duplicitous, dastardly ploy used by the offense--

2018 NFHS Case Book Play 7.3.1 Situation F:  B1 has a count of three balls and one strike. In (a), F1 throws a pitch which B1 thinks is ball four and he starts running to first base prior to the umpire calling the pitch a strike or (b) B1 incorrectly thought the count was two balls and two strikes and heads to the dugout after the umpire called the pitch a strike. Ruling:  In both (a) and (b), as long as the umpire judges that B1 did not delay the game, he would be allowed to continue to bat with a count of three balls and two strikes. If the umpire felt that the game was delayed, he shall charge a strike to B1. Because of the additional strike which now has been called, the batter is declared out in both (a) and (b).

 

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On 10/18/2018 at 5:24 PM, Senor Azul said:

Under high school rules (yes, I know the OP stated his game was played under Little League rules), the following interpretation could conceivably be used to control this type of situation--if it was obviously a duplicitous, dastardly ploy used by the offense--

2018 NFHS Case Book Play 7.3.1 Situation F:  B1 has a count of three balls and one strike. In (a), F1 throws a pitch which B1 thinks is ball four and he starts running to first base prior to the umpire calling the pitch a strike or (b) B1 incorrectly thought the count was two balls and two strikes and heads to the dugout after the umpire called the pitch a strike. Ruling:  In both (a) and (b), as long as the umpire judges that B1 did not delay the game, he would be allowed to continue to bat with a count of three balls and two strikes. If the umpire felt that the game was delayed, he shall charge a strike to B1. Because of the additional strike which now has been called, the batter is declared out in both (a) and (b).

 

When this happens, please post the video.

I will enjoy watching the OHC come unglued, being ejected and the PU grabbing the stankiest end of any stick ever.

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On 10/18/2018 at 2:24 PM, Senor Azul said:

Under high school rules (yes, I know the OP stated his game was played under Little League rules), the following interpretation could conceivably be used to control this type of situation--if it was obviously a duplicitous, dastardly ploy used by the offense--

2018 NFHS Case Book Play 7.3.1 Situation F:  B1 has a count of three balls and one strike. In (a), F1 throws a pitch which B1 thinks is ball four and he starts running to first base prior to the umpire calling the pitch a strike or (b) B1 incorrectly thought the count was two balls and two strikes and heads to the dugout after the umpire called the pitch a strike. Ruling:  In both (a) and (b), as long as the umpire judges that B1 did not delay the game, he would be allowed to continue to bat with a count of three balls and two strikes. If the umpire felt that the game was delayed, he shall charge a strike to B1. Because of the additional strike which now has been called, the batter is declared out in both (a) and (b).

 

 

On 10/20/2018 at 3:09 AM, Kevin_K said:

When this happens, please post the video.

I will enjoy watching the OHC come unglued, being ejected and the PU grabbing the stankiest end of any stick ever.

I'm going to assume this rule is buried so deep in the book as to be nonexistent! Or at least that is how I'm going to hand it!

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The case play I posted certainly is not buried—and I did not make it up. It most certainly exists; it’s current (2018), and it can be found exactly at the place I cited (7.3.1F). It is based on the following rule that, again, is not buried or obscure:

2018 NFHS Rule 7

SECTION 3 BATTING INFRACTIONS — A BATTER SHALL NOT:

ART. 1 . . . Delay the game by failing to take his position promptly in the batter’s box within 20 seconds. The batter must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout the time at bat.

PENALTY: For failure of the batter to be ready within 20 seconds after the ball has been returned to the pitcher, the umpire shall call a strike. If the batter leaves the batter’s box, delays the game, and none of the above exceptions apply, the plate umpire shall charge a strike to the batter. The pitcher need not pitch, and the ball remains live.

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17 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

The case play I posted certainly is not buried—and I did not make it up. It most certainly exists; it’s current (2018), and it can be found exactly at the place I cited (7.3.1F). It is based on the following rule that, again, is not buried or obscure:

2018 NFHS Rule 7

SECTION 3 BATTING INFRACTIONS — A BATTER SHALL NOT:

ART. 1 . . . Delay the game by failing to take his position promptly in the batter’s box within 20 seconds. The batter must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout the time at bat.

PENALTY: For failure of the batter to be ready within 20 seconds after the ball has been returned to the pitcher, the umpire shall call a strike. If the batter leaves the batter’s box, delays the game, and none of the above exceptions apply, the plate umpire shall charge a strike to the batter. The pitcher need not pitch, and the ball remains live.

List the exceptions please.

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If any team tried to the tactic of running on every dropped strike as our OP suggested, I'd certainly use this rule/ case play to put an end to such nonsense. 

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5 hours ago, Richvee said:

If any team tried to the tactic of running on every dropped strike as our OP suggested, I'd certainly use this rule/ case play to put an end to such nonsense. 

I completely agree. Especially if it is obvious they are trying to gain an advantage. What worries me is if someone reads this rule and decides if it happens 2 or 3 times in an 8u ballgame with players that dont really know the game. They will try and enforce it.

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9 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

 Especially if it is obvious they are trying to gain an advantage. 

Like not telling the batter what pitch is coming?  Or not telling a runner if you are going to try a pickoff?  Or not telling the defense you are going to try a suicide squeeze? Or having a starter only pitch to one batter so the other team gets stuck with the wrong lineup?

Trying to gain an advantage is the whole point in a game.

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Delay of game/directed strike would not apply to the original post since the catcher did not throw the ball back to the pitcher he threw it to first.

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20 hours ago, Lou B said:

Delay of game/directed strike would not apply to the original post since the catcher did not throw the ball back to the pitcher he threw it to first.

Even if you believe that fits the "catcher attempts a play at any base" exception (I'd say it doesn't because he left the box before the catcher made any play) - that only allows the batter to leave the box.   He still only has 20 seconds to get back into the box - whether you want to argue that 20 seconds starts immediately or only after F3 throws to F1.

OBR's exception requires a play on a runner - and since a batter with less than three strikes isn't a runner, the catcher hasn't made a play.

 

On 10/21/2018 at 3:20 PM, Rich Ives said:

List the exceptions please.

EXCEPTION: A batter may leave the batter’s box when:

a.the batter swings at a pitch,

b.the batter is forced out of the box by the pitch,

c.the batter attempts a “drag bunt,”

d.the pitcher or catcher feints or attempts a play at any base,

e.the pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound or takes a position more than five feet from the pitcher’s plate after receiving the ball,

f.a member of either team requests and is granted “Time,”

g.the catcher leaves the catcher’s box to adjust his equipment or give defensive signals, or

h.the catcher does not catch the pitched ball

These only list the exceptions to when a batter may leave the box at all.  Even when allowed to leave the box in the above situations he has 20 seconds to get back in once the pitcher has the ball.  If he is not allowed to leave the box the ump doesn't need to wait 20 seconds to judge a delay and call a strike, and the pitcher likely doesn't even need to have the ball.

So, if he runs on a called strike two, I'd argue you could call strike three almost immediately, as he wasn't allowed to leave the box.  (but would only recommend doing so if it's obviously a habit and ploy)

If he runs on a swung strike two, you may have to wait 20 seconds before calling strike three, because he is allowed to leave the box.

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35 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

Even if you believe that fits the "catcher attempts a play at any base" exception (I'd say it doesn't because he left the box before the catcher made any play) - that only allows the batter to leave the box.   He still only has 20 seconds to get back into the box - whether you want to argue that 20 seconds starts immediately or only after F3 throws to F1.

OBR's exception requires a play on a runner - and since a batter with less than three strikes isn't a runner, the catcher hasn't made a play.

 

EXCEPTION: A batter may leave the batter’s box when:

a.the batter swings at a pitch,

b.the batter is forced out of the box by the pitch,

c.the batter attempts a “drag bunt,”

d.the pitcher or catcher feints or attempts a play at any base,

e.the pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound or takes a position more than five feet from the pitcher’s plate after receiving the ball,

f.a member of either team requests and is granted “Time,”

g.the catcher leaves the catcher’s box to adjust his equipment or give defensive signals, or

h.the catcher does not catch the pitched ball

These only list the exceptions to when a batter may leave the box at all.  Even when allowed to leave the box in the above situations he has 20 seconds to get back in once the pitcher has the ball.  If he is not allowed to leave the box the ump doesn't need to wait 20 seconds to judge a delay and call a strike, and the pitcher likely doesn't even need to have the ball.

So, if he runs on a called strike two, I'd argue you could call strike three almost immediately, as he wasn't allowed to leave the box.  (but would only recommend doing so if it's obviously a habit and ploy)

If he runs on a swung strike two, you may have to wait 20 seconds before calling strike three, because he is allowed to leave the box.

h. is the answer.

The pitch was uncaught.

Batter can leave the box.

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As stated, "h" fits ("a" probably does too) and once again the 20 seconds doesn't start until the pitcher has the ball and, as stated previously, the catcher threw the ball to first so the "clock" does not start until F3 throws the ball to F1.

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16 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

h. is the answer.

The pitch was uncaught.

Batter can leave the box.

Sure...and he has 20 seconds to get back in the box once the pitcher has the ball...

The OP had asked why wouldn't he just have his players run on one and two strikes - my assumption is this tactic doesn't necessarily require the pitch to be uncaught.  Even if that's not true, and his players only run when the first or second strike is uncaught, if it becomes a habit you can still put the kid on a 20 second timer once the pitcher has the ball...a long time for sure, but if you want to, without a clock, start arguing with an ump about whether or not 20 seconds actually passed, that's up to you.

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3 minutes ago, Lou B said:

As stated, h fits (a probably does too) and once again the 20 seconds doesn't start until the pitcher has the ball and, as stated previously, the catcher threw the ball to first so the "clock" does not start until F3 throws the ball to F1.

True. A and H probably both apply.   And I outright missed the uncaught strike two, I was so focused on it just being strike two.

Having said that, the discussion wasn't really about how to remedy the situation in the OP, which was clearly unintentional and "allowed", or at least "not disallowed".  The question/discussion was about how to remedy the situation if the OPer decided to employ a tactic of doing this intentionally, instructing his players to run either on any pitch, any strike, or any uncaught strike, for the express purpose of confusing the defense and allowing his runners to advance...I think it would also be reasonable to assume that the defense wouldn't throw to first every time.

There are easy remedies if the batter leaves the box illegally.   A little  harder if he leaves it legally (ie. as per above exceptions).

Although FED specifically applies it to multiple appeals and running the bases in reverse order, I think the "travesty of the game" standard could be applied here, either for outs, or ejections.  Dare the coach to protest.

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2018 NFHS Case Book Play 7.3.1 Situation J:  B1 does not swing at a pitch, which F2 catches then drops to the ground. There are less than two outs. RULING:  B1 may not leave the batter’s box and delay the game without penalty because F2 caught the pitch and then dropped it.

In addition to the two case plays I have already posted, the FED case book also has a few others dealing with the batting infraction of leaving the box—7.3.1A, B, C, D, E, G, H, and I. It would seem to be an important topic to the FED.

Please note that in the first case play I posted (7.3.1F) it says that, “If the umpire felt that the game was delayed, he shall charge a strike to B1.” There is no mention of having to wait for any prescribed length of time. I would also like to know when leaving the box became synonymous with running the bases. FED rule 8-1-1 covers when a batter becomes a runner and it does not include running on strike two or ball three or whatever count other than on a charged strike three.

 

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6 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

2018 NFHS Case Book Play 7.3.1 Situation J:  B1 does not swing at a pitch, which F2 catches then drops to the ground. There are less than two outs. RULING:  B1 may not leave the batter’s box and delay the game without penalty because F2 caught the pitch and then dropped it.

In addition to the two case plays I have already posted, the FED case book also has a few others dealing with the batting infraction of leaving the box—7.3.1A, B, C, D, E, G, H, and I. It would seem to be an important topic to the FED.

Please note that in the first case play I posted (7.3.1F) it says that, “If the umpire felt that the game was delayed, he shall charge a strike to B1.” There is no mention of having to wait for any prescribed length of time. I would also like to know when leaving the box became synonymous with running the bases. FED rule 8-1-1 covers when a batter becomes a runner and it does not include running on strike two or ball three or whatever count other than on a charged strike three.

 

Well, only runners can run the bases, and, like you said, he's not a runner.  However, the rule about leaving the box doesn't really declare what that means, beyond taking both feet out of the box - running to first base is "leaving the box"...so, if a batter runs to first on a second strike he has left the box - it really can't be anything else...he's not a runner so he can't be running the bases.   And if he was allowed to take both feet out of the box (eg. he swung, the catcher dropped the ball) then you have to decide if running to first base is an applicable way to "leave the box".

Having said that, your original case play certainly does seem to differentiate between simply leaving the box, and incorrectly acting like a runner (or retired batter), and in such doesn't care about the exceptions to the "one foot in box" rule in assessing a delay.

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In the 2017-18 NCAA rule book, it is spelled out in rule 7-1d-1 Exceptions: 

d. Batter’s-Box Rule. This rule is designed to speed up play by controlling the actions of the batter between pitches.

1) The batter must keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout the time at bat. Exceptions—A batter may leave the batter’s box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate when…:

In the 2016 BRD, Carl Childress writes, “A high school batter who legally leaves the box may go onto the grass. A college batter must stay on the dirt except in two instances:  a substitution occurs or time is granted for an offensive or defensive conference.”

So far, I cannot find a second corroborating play or rule for his statement about the high school batter being able to leave the box and go as far as the grass. But the whole point of the batter’s box rule in all three codes is pace of play. I do not think it was meant that a batter can run 90 feet or more from the box between pitches. How about you? Don’t you think a batter would slow the game down if he was allowed to run the bases whenever he felt like it?

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6 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

. I do not think it was meant that a batter can run 90 feet or more from the box between pitches. How about you? Don’t you think a batter would slow the game down if he was allowed to run the bases whenever he felt like it?

My whole position all along was this was common sense and it should be clear that a player would at the very least be given a strike, if not called out or ejected, for behaving in this manner - especially over and over again.  But if you magically made me an umpire today and dropped me on a field and I had that play occur (If I had never seen this message board), I would be making the call more on a common sense mindset concluding that there's nfw you can do that - and I would likely be accused of using the MSU rule set.  The issue, for me, was whether or not my position was supported by rule, case play or precedent.  You're preaching to the choir as far as I'm concerned.  I'm convinced.  And am quite happy about it.

And, at some point I fully support an umpire saying "that's not baseball...if you're not going to play baseball you get to leave".  I don't ever want to see a situation where an umpire finds himself (or believes he is) limited in preventing the game he is officiating from becoming a farce.

 

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As Carl Childress (BRD, section 392, 2015) said about pitcher delay, this is "a ruling that an umpire might make once in his career - if his name is Smitty."

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      Bases loaded, bottom of the 7th inning of a high school game (7 inning games), two outs.
       
      Batter either gets walked or is hit by a pitch.  
       
      Batter goes to first and touches the bag.
       
      Runner from third advances and touches home.
       
      Runner from first does not go to second to touch the base.
       
      Questions:
      1.  Does the runner on first and second have to touch the next base?  Or, is the game over?
      2.  If they must touch the next base, and there is an appeal, the runner out. If the runner is out (third out), do the runners go back to third and second, and we start the 8th inning?
       
      Thanks in advance for anyone who replies.  
       
      Wayne
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