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Howard

Can an infielder deliberately drop a line drive?

Question

There are no outs and a runner on first. 

The batter hits a catchable line drive to the shortstop who deliberately drops the ball. 

The shortstop then throws to 2nd for one out and the second baseman throws to 1st for the double play. 

Is this legal?  Can the shortstop deliberately drop a catchable line drive?

Thank you,

Howard

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No, it is not legal.

All codes (OBR, NCAA, and FED) agree that in any force situation the infielder cannot drop a fly ball or line drive intentionally. Here are the applicable pro rule and high school rule--

2018 OBR rule 5.09 Making an Out

(a) Retiring the Batter

A batter is out when:

(12) An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third base occupied before two are out. The ball is dead and runner or runners shall return to their original base or bases;

APPROVED RULING: In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder permits the ball to drop untouched to the ground, except when the Infield Fly rule applies.

2018 NFHS rule 8 SECTION 4 RUNNER IS OUT

ART. 1 . . . The batter-runner is out when:

c. his fair fly, fair line drive or fair bunt in flight is intentionally dropped by an infielder with at least first base occupied and before there are two outs. The ball is dead and the runner or runners shall return to their respective base(s).

1. In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder permits the fair fly, fair line drive or fair bunt in flight to drop untouched to the ground, except when the infield fly rule (2-19) applies (5-1-1j).

 

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a smart infielder might let the ball fall without being touched, this would be legal, or make an attempt that would make it look not like a deliberate drop, this would be umpire judgment as to the legality. 

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Intentionally dropped line drive?????

Funny part of this. They talk about the possibility of ever using instant replay, and still today, this play would not be reviewable.  

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Mr. stkjock, in a game played between the Tigers and Astros on April 17, 2016, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler did exactly what you suggested. He had the game awareness to realize that the runner on first base was a much better base runner than the batter-runner. So he allowed a pop fly to drop untouched and then forced out the faster runner at second base. And as it turned out the next batter singled with the slower runner from first stopping at second base. A very smart move by Kinsler wound up saving a run. Here’s a link to video--

https://www.mlb.com/cut4/ian-kinsler-fakes-out-colby-rasmus/c-172899766

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4 hours ago, Richvee said:

Intentionally dropped line drive?????

Funny part of this. They talk about the possibility of ever using instant replay, and still today, this play would not be reviewable.  

You betcha it was.

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21 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. stkjock, in a game played between the Tigers and Astros on April 17, 2016, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler did exactly what you suggested. He had the game awareness to realize that the runner on first base was a much better base runner than the batter-runner. So he allowed a pop fly to drop untouched and then forced out the faster runner at second base. And as it turned out the next batter singled with the slower runner from first stopping at second base. A very smart move by Kinsler wound up saving a run. Here’s a link to video--

https://www.mlb.com/cut4/ian-kinsler-fakes-out-colby-rasmus/c-172899766

Senor Azul - I recall it well

 

happens more often then many realize

 

https://www.bardown.com/jose-altuve-let-a-pop-up-drop-on-purpose-to-get-a-double-play-1.1162808

 

 

 

 

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People confuse intentionally letting a batted ball fall to the ground and intentionally dropping an airborne batted ball all of the time.

Think of it this way:

If your favorite coffee mug falls out of the cupboard, onto the kitchen floor and breaks did you drop it?

Now you're holding your least favorite coffee mug and you intentionally drop it to make room for your new Umpire-Empire coffee mug. 

One is an intentional drop that under certain circumstances is prohibited by rule, the other is legal under all rule codes.

Also remember that an Infield Fly supersedes an intentional drop. 

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1 hour ago, johnnyg08 said:

If your favorite coffee mug falls out of the cupboard, onto the kitchen floor and breaks did you drop it?

That depends on whether or not you ask me wife.

"It fell"

"You dropped it"

However, the distinction only exists in baseball.

If my wife hands me her favorite wine glass, whether I drop it, or stand back and let it fall without touching it, either way I'm sleeping on the couch.

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2 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

That depends on whether or not you ask me wife.

"It fell"

"You dropped it"

However, the distinction only exists in baseball.

If my wife hands me her favorite wine glass, whether I drop it, or stand back and let it fall without touching it, either way I'm sleeping on the couch.

Shoot..........Blame it on the wine!

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