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Guest Bruce

What's The Call?

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Guest Bruce

Had a once in a lifetime freak play last week in a high school game.

Two outs no one on. Very windy day. High popup on the 1B line, the 1Bman is trying to get under it like 12 feet foul. The batter-runner is at 1B already, standing on the base, as the ball is coming down. The wind blows the ball back fair at the last second, and the fair ball hits the batter-runner on the foot in fair territory as he is standing on the base. The 1Bman is like 8-10 feet away in foul territory having already missed his chance to catch the ball. No other fielder was near the batter-runner with any chance to make a play.

I did not call the batter-runner out because there was nobody near him with a chance to catch the ball, and there was no play for anybody to throw him out at first because he was already at first. But I know it may have been the wrong call. The batter-runner may have to be called out no matter what.

The interpreters here in NJ agreed with my call, including the state interpreter, Craig Yetman. The NCAA rulebook states that if a fair ball hits the batter-runner in fair territory before the ball touches a fielder that the batter-runner is out, so I assume he'd be out under those rules. Not sure about the pro ruling.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, SavoyBG said:

No, I'm still open as to whether or not the no out call was correct on the popup, but since EVERY Fed interpreter I spoke to here in NJ says it was, then for the purposes of that call in that game, I made what is considered the correct call here in NJ. On the play as to whether or not that run counts, only the state interpreter says no. The other 3 regional interpreters I spoke too (including my chapter guy)  say it does count unless they appeal. I think there's a good chance that if we got them all together that they could get the state interpreter to reverse his ruling after discussing the play. I don't see why it would not be treated the same as any other missed base.

 

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78 post on a "Ask the umpire" thread...make that 79. There had to be a train wreck in here somewhere...I had to look. 

I'm going with what I think would be easiest to sell, an out. Not out takes too much rules gymnastics (over-officating). 

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7 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

And that's fine - I'm asking if you have any of those interpretations for me to understand/see.  The definition you supplied above applies specifically to a fielder in possession of the ball.  The rule pertaining to runner interference on a batted ball occurs before possession.   There is a very clear differentiation in baseball between a play on the ball and a play on the runner - that has nothing to do with what is written, but is simply a practical and pragmatic application to how the game is played.

Playing a ball (ie. fielding a ball) entails not only trying to get a runner out, but also preventing runners from advancing.

As an axample - Probably 95% of singles hit to the outfield result in someone making a play on the ball, but zero attempt by anyone to put out a runner - LF fields ball, tosses to F4/F6, who tosses to F1 - oftentimes nobody even looks at B/R 'cause they know he's not going anywhere.  Likewise, on a slow roller in the infield, sometimes the fielder just picks up the ball to prevent anyone from going any further, and doesn't make any play on any runner - but he still had to play the ball to ensure R2 only got to third and not all the way home.

Are you saying that if a ground ball hits a runner, with the fielder behind that runner about to play the ball, that you are going to judge whether or not that fielder had a reasonable opportunity to get an out before calling the runner out?  That if, for example, R2 goes on a hit and run, slides into third base, with F5 behind him, is hit by a ground ball while he's touching the base (ie. no play on R2), that you might call nothing if B/R is a jackrabbit and would have beat the throw?   You're opening up a whole can of worms if you are.

Unless you have that interpretation handy, the standard is whether or not the fielder has a play on the ball, not whether or not he has a play on the runner.

 

He made a play on the ball - that's exactly what he did when he picked it up.  Whether or not he had a play on the runner is a separate discussion.

 

  So, your NJ state interpreter was clearly wrong here (and you rightly disagreed), but you're hanging your hat on the NJ state interpreter for the other call.  It's all fine and dandy when the interpreter gives you cover - that's ultimately what you want in a game/protest situation.  Doesn't mean it was actually right.

 

Meh - sensitivity isn't my issue.  Hecklers would be a vacation compared to what I deal with on a daily basis.  If you read my post I clearly say to dial it back, not to stop.  I'm good with the occasional well placed zinger, jab, retort, quip.  But when it's all the time, it's just noise.  "But this one goes to eleven"

What play is there to be made on a batted ball that is no longer in flight and all runners including the batter runner has reached base? In this case, first base. 

The airborne, batted ball hit the B/R who was standing on first base. I'm inclined to call an out on this play and there's significant rule support for an out. 

What they do in New Jersey is their business. Unless it involves "The Situation," "J-Wow," & "Snooki" 

Screen Shot 2019-04-12 at 6.11.47 PM.jpg

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57 minutes ago, johnnyg08 said:

What they do in New Jersey is their business.

Just let it be known that Junior  Soprano lives right behind my house on Watsessing Ave in Belleville.

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Here's where I am at now with the original play in this thread. It seems that in Federation the call would hinge on whether or not the ball had "passed" the 1Bman before it hit the batter-runner. This is because Federation does not distinguish between the batter-runner and a runner getting hit by a batted ball. If I had judged the ball to have passed the 1Bban, AND no other fielder had a play, then the batter-runner would not be out.

In the NCAA I see no way around their rule that specifically is for a better-runner being hit by a fair batted ball, and he'd have to be out.

So the question becomes, exactly what does "passed the fielder" mean.  Does it have to pass him going towards the outfield, or can it pass him in the air going laterally?

My friend Jon Levinson is the NCAA National Women's Basketball Interpreter, and he also proofreads for Referee Magazine. He's gonna see about getting a national ruling for me at various levels.

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On 4/11/2019 at 10:54 AM, SavoyBG said:

Well, according to the guys who matter in this case, the interpreters who I deal with here in NJ, I made the correct call. It's not like any of you will ever have this play!

These are the same guys who have brought us:

A balk when F1 steps towards second and throws to F6.

Test questions where R1 becomes R3 without the benefit of any advancement.

State finals with umpires who change their calls on force plays after asking their partner for help on a whacker. When their partner says "I have nothing for you" U1 changes his call and ultimately crowns a different state championship.

The ruling that a ball in flight hitting a misaligned screen on a foul pole should be ruled a double.

Running the bases in reverse for any reason is an out.

These are the guys who matter?

And BTW Bruce, no one but you and me on this board knows Watsessing Ave or the Belmont.

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50 minutes ago, Kevin_K said:

These are the same guys who have brought us:

A balk when F1 steps towards second and throws to F6.

Test questions where R1 becomes R3 without the benefit of any advancement.

State finals with umpires who change their calls on force plays after asking their partner for help on a whacker. When their partner says "I have nothing for you" U1 changes his call and ultimately crowns a different state championship.

The ruling that a ball in flight hitting a misaligned screen on a foul pole should be ruled a double.

Running the bases in reverse for any reason is an out.

These are the guys who matter?

And BTW Bruce, no one but you and me on this board knows Watsessing Ave or the Belmont.

You mean they don't make Chicken Savoy in Wyoming?

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Here's what Scott Tittrington at Referee Mag had to say:

I believe this falls under rule 8-4-2k. If a runner is contacted by a fair batted ball before it touches an infielder, or after it passes any infielder, except the pitcher, and the umpire is convinced that another fielder has a play, the runner is out.
 
So, in layman’s terms, it depends on where the first baseman actually was. If the ball was in front of him, the runner should be out. If the ball was behind him, and another infielder had a chance to make a play on it (maybe the second baseman in this case), the runner is out. If the ball was behind the first baseman and no one else in the umpire’s view had a play, the runner is safe.
 
Interference does not come into play as no play was being made on the ball at the moment it hit the runner.
 
This is what our other baseball guy in the office came up with along with my input.
 
Thanks,

Scott

 

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On 4/12/2019 at 5:12 PM, johnnyg08 said:

What play is there to be made on a batted ball that is no longer in flight and all runners including the batter runner has reached base? In this case, first base. 

The act to retrieve/field the ball and prevent those runners from proceeding further.   So, even if that batted ball is no longer in flight, and all runners have reached the next base, if the ball still hasn't passed the infielder he still has a play on the ball, even if he doesn't have a play on the runner.  If he muffs the play, the runners could advance.  If said ball hits the runner standing on third and deflects into foul territory, before F5 could play the ball, that allows runners to advance and score.  If F5 was in front of the bag, he had his shot, play on.  If he was behind the bag, the runner's got to be out - even if all runners have reached their base.

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1 minute ago, beerguy55 said:

The act to retrieve/field the ball and prevent those runners from proceeding further.

The act of retrieving may or may not be a play. 

An F2 running to the backstop to retrieve a wild pitch as R1 strolls into 2B is not a play. Do we agree? 

 

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46 minutes ago, johnnyg08 said:

The act of retrieving may or may not be a play. 

An F2 running to the backstop to retrieve a wild pitch as R1 strolls into 2B is not a play. Do we agree? 

 

Again - "play on the ball" vs "play on the runner".   Retrieving the ball is ALWAYS a play on the ball.  Once he gets the ball he may or may not make a play on the runner.   If the batter grabbed the back of F2's jersey to impede/delay him from retrieving the ball, do you care if R1 is sliding into second, is halfway to second, only runs after F2 is held up, or is standing oblivious on first base with no intent to run ?   You're calling someone out regardless, are you not?

 

You still haven't answered my other question about interpretation supporting your position - you gave me a definition that is clearly limited to when a fielder possesses the ball - who is then making a play on a runner.  If we followed that literally then we could never call a runner out for being hit by a batted ball.   So, again, where is the interpretation that says a play on a batted ball requires a reasonable opportunity to get a runner out, for the purposes of this rule.   

There are scenarios where you would judge whether there was an opportunity to get a runner out - eg. ball four bounces away from F2 (nobody on base) - B/R strolls to third, on deck batter picks up ball and tosses to F2...that's a "don't do that".  However, if B/R, or say R1, starts sprinting when they see the ball roll away and ODB picks up the ball as F2 runs over to get it, you're probably calling a runner out.  But, the rules give you that support.

This specific rule specifically talks about an infielder's ability to play the batted BALL.  So, we need the interpretation you talk about.  If it's there, I'm on board (even if I don't necessarily agree with it).  I still haven't seen anyone here post an interpretation or case play that supports your position.  I'm sure you believe it.  I'm sure whoever taught you that believes it.  It may even be somewhere in writing - I'm just asking to see it.

In the OP - if F4 is over by second base for some reason, I agree, he doesn't have a play on the ball and you could call B/R safe if the fly ball did indeed pass F3 (that would have to be really obvious though - I'd rule this ball didn't actually "pass" F3 - the description, as I noted in an earlier response, is more about lateral movement).  Regardless, if F4 is in his normal position, or closer to first base, as he should be on a play like this, even if he has no godly chance of catching the ball, still has an opportunity to play/field the ball that is still in front of him - even if it is to only prevent B/R from advancing to second.

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18 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

Again - "play on the ball" vs "play on the runner".   Retrieving the ball is ALWAYS a play on the ball.  Once he gets the ball he may or may not make a play on the runner.   If the batter grabbed the back of F2's jersey to impede/delay him from retrieving the ball, do you care if R1 is sliding into second, is halfway to second, only runs after F2 is held up, or is standing oblivious on first base with no intent to run ?   You're calling someone out regardless, are you not?

 

You still haven't answered my other question about interpretation supporting your position - you gave me a definition that is clearly limited to when a fielder possesses the ball - who is then making a play on a runner.  If we followed that literally then we could never call a runner out for being hit by a batted ball.   So, again, where is the interpretation that says a play on a batted ball requires a reasonable opportunity to get a runner out, for the purposes of this rule.   

There are scenarios where you would judge whether there was an opportunity to get a runner out - eg. ball four bounces away from F2 (nobody on base) - B/R strolls to third, on deck batter picks up ball and tosses to F2...that's a "don't do that".  However, if B/R, or say R1, starts sprinting when they see the ball roll away and ODB picks up the ball as F2 runs over to get it, you're probably calling a runner out.  But, the rules give you that support.

This specific rule specifically talks about an infielder's ability to play the batted BALL.  So, we need the interpretation you talk about.  If it's there, I'm on board (even if I don't necessarily agree with it).  I still haven't seen anyone here post an interpretation or case play that supports your position.

In the OP - if F4 is over by second base for some reason, I agree, he doesn't have a play on the ball and you could call B/R out if the fly ball did indeed pass F3 (that would have to be really obvious though - I'd rule this ball didn't actually "pass" F3 - the description, as I noted in an earlier response, is more about lateral movement).  Regardless, if F4 is in his normal position, or closer to first base, as he should be on a play like this, even if he has no godly chance of catching the ball, still has an opportunity to play/field the ball that is still in front of him - even if it is to only prevent B/R from advancing to second.

I think that's the wrong approach. In those cases, we would need to look at how "in the act of fielding" is defined and interpreted because that would fall under Interference. 

 

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1 minute ago, johnnyg08 said:

I think that's the wrong approach. In those cases, we would need to look at how "in the act of fielding" is defined and interpreted because that would fall under Interference. 

 

But getting hit by a batted ball (in front of an infielder) IS interference.   In OBR it's specifically under the rules of interference.  FED says it in a more roundabout way via 6-1-5.

6-1-5 When a pitcher is attempting to field a batted or thrown ball or is throwing to a base while his pivot foot is clearly off his plate, his status is that of an infielder except that if a batted ball passes but does not touch him and then strikes an umpire or a runner, the ball may become dead because of interference (8-4-2g, 8-4-2k).

Having said that, FED says it both ways:

8-4-2k (which 6-1-5 calls "interference") "(a runner is out when he) is contacted by a fair batted ball before it touches an infielder, or after it passes any infielder, except the pitcher, and the umpire is convinced that another infielder has a play (5-1-1f, 6-1-5).

AND

in defining a dead ball in 5-1-1f:

2.(a batted ball that) touches a runner after passing through or by an infielder and another infielder could have made a play on the ball,

 

Since a batted ball that hits a runner is only dead if you're calling the runner out, I'm interpreting that "on the ball" is unsaid, but implied, in the interference rule 8-4-2k.

In OBR, the interference rule specifically says "play on the ball".

That's why I'm looking for a case play to support the interpretation you support - because the rule about the batted ball hitting a runner literally references an infielder's opportunity to play the ball, not a runner.

 

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4 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

But getting hit by a batted ball (in front of an infielder) IS interference.   In OBR it's specifically under the rules of interference.  FED says it in a more roundabout way via 6-1-5.

6-1-5 When a pitcher is attempting to field a batted or thrown ball or is throwing to a base while his pivot foot is clearly off his plate, his status is that of an infielder except that if a batted ball passes but does not touch him and then strikes an umpire or a runner, the ball may become dead because of interference (8-4-2g, 8-4-2k).

Having said that, FED says it both ways:

8-4-2k (which 6-1-5 calls "interference") "(a runner is out when he) is contacted by a fair batted ball before it touches an infielder, or after it passes any infielder, except the pitcher, and the umpire is convinced that another infielder has a play (5-1-1f, 6-1-5).

AND

in defining a dead ball in 5-1-1f:

2.(a batted ball that) touches a runner after passing through or by an infielder and another infielder could have made a play on the ball,

 

Since a batted ball that hits a runner is only dead if you're calling the runner out, I'm interpreting that "on the ball" is unsaid, but implied, in the interference rule 8-4-2k.

In OBR, the interference rule specifically says "play on the ball".

That's why I'm looking for a case play to support the interpretation you support - because the rule about the batted ball hitting a runner literally references an infielder's opportunity to play the ball, not a runner.

 

Do we agree that we're both getting an out on this play? 

If we agree on an out, my work here is done. 

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15 minutes ago, johnnyg08 said:

Do we agree that we're both getting an out on this play? 

If we agree on an out, my work here is done. 

Haha - we are indeed having a bit of a heated agreement.

I've always maintained that in the OP the B/R should have been an out.

It's more about the implications of when you could/would rule this not an out, and the reasons behind it.   Remember, our side debate started when you and Savoy said the fielder needed an opportunity to get an out.

I do enjoy the discussion.

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7 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

Haha - we are indeed having a bit of a heated agreement.

I've always maintained that in the OP the B/R should have been an out.

It's more about the implications of when you could/would rule this not an out, and the reasons behind it.   Remember, our side debate started when you and Savoy said the fielder needed an opportunity to get an out.

I do enjoy the discussion.

In my opinion, F3 was still in the act of fielding the airborne batted ball. The OP states that F3 was 8-10 feet away when the ball hit the B/R who was standing on 1B. 

A fielder can run 8-10 feet in 2 or three steps. Since that airborne, batted ball is still in the air and F3 is still chasing it or in close proximity, I consider him to still be in the act of fielding.

OBR discusses one phrase and one term that are relevant to this play; "In the act of fielding" and a "Play" 

I don't think the call of safe is the right call. 

While the classic argument will be that "in my judgment F3 was no longer in the act of fielding" at 8-10 feet away, I would disagree with that judgment. When an umpire uses "in my judgment" that doesn't automatically mean that the umpire is right. 

The phrase: "Attempting to make a play" would be after the fielder has fielded the batted ball. "In the act of fielding" is what happens before or as you refer to it as a "play on the ball" 

Perhaps the federation interpretation is more broad than OBR? Perhaps the FED should use the phrase "in the act of fielding"? 

Another poster stated that it would take more "rules gymnastics" to call him safe than to call him out. 

Under the premise of "Using the rules to get you out of a problem, not into one" is how this play should be officiated. The proper call here as described in the OP is to point the ball fair, call "Time" point at the B/R and call him "Out" 

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I cite the words in my signature line when I say that any batter "unaware" to the degree that they could not avoid being struck by their own high pop-up deserves to be called out.  Fortunately, there is also rule support for not rewarding the dumb$#!+.

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2 hours ago, Matt said:

Being an ass doesn't get you anywhere. You have that problem over on the other site, too.

I am against there even being moderators. People should say whatever like want, like on Usenet, unless they are committing a crime.

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3 hours ago, johnnyg08 said:

Stay on topic please. 

Oh no!

 

You mean this is another one of those places where the moderators get all crazy over stupid SH*#?

 

 

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