Jump to content

Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member
  • 0
Guest Jack Ford

Catcher’s interference vs stepping out of the batter’s box

Question

Guest Jack Ford

If a batter steps onto the plate and completely out of the batter’s box with 1 foot while swinging at a pitch, and misses the pitch, but hits the back of the catcher’s mitt, Is catcher’s interference called (awarding the batter first base), or is the batter out for stepping out of the batter’s box while swinging (even though he did not hit the ball)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

18 answers to this question

Recommended Posts


Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member
  • 0
32 minutes ago, Guest Jack Ford said:

If a batter steps onto the plate and completely out of the batter’s box with 1 foot while swinging at a pitch, and misses the pitch, but hits the back of the catcher’s mitt, Is catcher’s interference called (awarding the batter first base), or is the batter out for stepping out of the batter’s box while swinging (even though he did not hit the ball)?

In order for it to be an illegally batted ball, the bat must contact the ball.  This would be catcher's interference (OBR & NCAA).  NFHS calls this catcher's obstruction.  Call time and award the batter first base, and return all non-forced runners who were not stealing on the pitch.  Runners who were stealing are awarded the base they were stealing.

From a practical perspective, it is very difficult to see a batter's foot out of the box when is is making a full swing.  Our focus should be on tracking the pitch all the way to the catcher's mitt so seeing the batter's foot is unlikely.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

It may be hard to see it if the stride is up towards the pitcher (you may figure this out if he’s on the front line prior to striding, easy tell), but it’s really easy to see it if it’s towards the pitcher AND first base. He’s now really in my line of vision. I had a guy do this trying to hit outside pitches. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

A couple of questions—first for the OP, Jack Ford. When you say the batter’s swing hit the back of the catcher’s mitt, was the bat going forward when it contacted the mitt or did it hit the mitt during the follow-through (after the attempt to hit the pitch)?

And for Mr. grayhawk, is it still the catcher’s responsibility to avoid contact when it was the batter who was not in a legal batting position in the batter’s box? That is, it was the batter who moved and not the catcher and thus it was the batter’s fault there was contact. Do you still award him first base?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

This is a really interesting question and I'm not 100% sure what the answer is. I agree it's always difficult to see the batter's foot out of the box on a swing, but for the sake of argument,  let's say it's blatantly obvious the batter's foot is out of the batter's box when he swings. 

Scenario:   R1. Hit and run. Pitch way outside batter clearly steps across the plate to hit the pitch, and contacts the catcher's glove making no contact with the ball. Do we award 1b? 

Let's change it a little. Same scenario, but batter makes contact with the ball. Is he out for an illegally batted ball? or does he get 1B on CI

I can see the argument both ways. 

The CI happened first, enforce that. 

The batter was in an illegal batting position. He is not entitled to protection from being interfered with.   

:HS:question1::shrug:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The batter's legal until his foot is on the ground completely outside the box. Swing follow-throughs, especially on batted balls, often result in a foot on the ground outside the box (usually the back foot). 

What if the batter throws his bat at the pitch (legal) and the bat hits the catcher's glove?

92.63% of the CI's happen because the catcher reaches for the ball instead of waiting for it to come to him so don't lay too much of the blame on the batter.

Don't give me the ol'  "but coach" bit because it could be my catcher or my batter.   I have to think of it from both sides. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Wait... Richvee and Rich Ives... Not the same name... Not the same account... Not the same person

:smachhead:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
8 hours ago, Rich Ives said:

The batter's legal until his foot is on the ground completely outside the box. Swing follow-throughs, especially on batted balls, often result in a foot on the ground outside the box (usually the back foot). 

What if the batter throws his bat at the pitch (legal) and the bat hits the catcher's glove?

92.63% of the CI's happen because the catcher reaches for the ball instead of waiting for it to come to him so don't lay too much of the blame on the batter.

Don't give me the ol'  "but coach" bit because it could be my catcher or my batter.   I have to think of it from both sides. 

Congratulations. You came nowhere near even remotely answering the question(s)

 

6 hours ago, Biscuit said:

Wait... Richvee and Rich Ives... Not the same name... Not the same account... Not the same person

:smachhead:

:Spit_20Laugh:Not even close.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
3 hours ago, Richvee said:

Congratulations. You came nowhere near even remotely answering the question(s)

 

:Spit_20Laugh:Not even close.  

Like no other thread has ever had what-ifs inserted.   And why aren't these worth considering?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

From J/R (bolded to highlight items relevant to this thread):

However, it is not catcher's interference if the batter
(1) steps outside the batter's box and he or his bat strikes the catcher.
(2) throws his bat at, and strikes, the catcher.

(3) uses his bat to intentionally strike the catcher on foul territory (tries to hit the
catcher versus the pitch).
(4) swings, but does not strike the catcher, who is on foul territory.
(5) completely gives up his opportunity to swing or bunt at a pitch.
(6) accidentally strikes the catcher with his bat during a practice swing while the
pitcher prepares to pitch.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Based on the thoughts and feedback in this thread, and a little common sense (perhaps), I'm thinking it's simply a strike.   (maybe a dead ball strike?)

Going back to the OP question "Is catcher’s interference called...or is the batter out for stepping out of the batter’s box while swinging?".

Looks like it's not CI, but I also can't see an out call either.

If he had hit the ball he would be out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
20 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

 

And for Mr. grayhawk, is it still the catcher’s responsibility to avoid contact when it was the batter who was not in a legal batting position in the batter’s box? That is, it was the batter who moved and not the catcher and thus it was the batter’s fault there was contact. Do you still award him first base?

I see no provision in the rules for the batter to be in a legal position in the batter's box for catcher's interference (obstruction) to be called.  J/R is not an official interpretation.  In the OP, it's not like the batter stepped BACK into the catcher (which could be interpreted as an intentional act).  Rather, he stepped into the pitch which means that F2 would almost have to be reaching for the pitch for the bat to contact it.  Seems like the responsibility lies with the catcher in this case.

It seems reasonable to allow for umpire judgment on who created the contact, but I just don't see any rule, case play or official interpretation that allows this.  In the absence of any of these, I think the black letter rule must be applied which place us squarely in the camp of catcher's interference (obstruction).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thank you, Mr. grayhawk, for your well-thought out response. I completely disagree.

That bit of text that Mr. noumpere quoted was exactly what I was going to post. It is in the current 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (chapter 14, p. 122): and it was there in the 2010 edition. Jaksa/Roder is generally accepted as Authoritative Opinion even if you do not accept it. But we will try to argue without referring to that text even though I think it is a definitive answer to the question posed in the OP. So let’s talk black letter rule.

Excerpted from the 2019  NFHS Case Book from case plays 7.3.5 E and F:

“The batter is entitled to his position in the batter’s box and is not subject to being penalized for interference unless he moves or re-establishes his position after F2 has received the pitch, which then prevents F2 from attempting to play on a runner…”

“A batter is entitled to an uninterrupted opportunity to hit the ball, just as the catcher is entitled to an uninterrupted opportunity to field the ball. Once the batter swings, he is responsible for his follow-through.”

2019 OBR rule 6.03 Batter Illegal Action

(a) A batter is out for illegal action when:

(3) He interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base.

I grant you that the scenario in the OP does not involve any runners (at least none were mentioned). But why in this instance does the batter benefit from an action that would be penalized in most instances?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
13 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Thank you, Mr. grayhawk, for your well-thought out response. I completely disagree.

That bit of text that Mr. noumpere quoted was exactly what I was going to post. It is in the current 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (chapter 14, p. 122): and it was there in the 2010 edition. Jaksa/Roder is generally accepted as Authoritative Opinion even if you do not accept it. But we will try to argue without referring to that text even though I think it is a definitive answer to the question posed in the OP. So let’s talk black letter rule.

Excerpted from the 2019  NFHS Case Book from case plays 7.3.5 E and F:

“The batter is entitled to his position in the batter’s box and is not subject to being penalized for interference unless he moves or re-establishes his position after F2 has received the pitch, which then prevents F2 from attempting to play on a runner…”

“A batter is entitled to an uninterrupted opportunity to hit the ball, just as the catcher is entitled to an uninterrupted opportunity to field the ball. Once the batter swings, he is responsible for his follow-through.”

2019 OBR rule 6.03 Batter Illegal Action

(a) A batter is out for illegal action when:

(3) He interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base.

I grant you that the scenario in the OP does not involve any runners (at least none were mentioned). But why in this instance does the batter benefit from an action that would be penalized in most instances?

There is a difference between an AO and and OI.  The rules you reference pertain to the catcher making a play, not to negating catcher's interference.  You know this, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
17 hours ago, grayhawk said:

I see no provision in the rules for the batter to be in a legal position in the batter's box for catcher's interference (obstruction) to be called.  J/R is not an official interpretation.  In the OP, it's not like the batter stepped BACK into the catcher (which could be interpreted as an intentional act).  Rather, he stepped into the pitch which means that F2 would almost have to be reaching for the pitch for the bat to contact it.  Seems like the responsibility lies with the catcher in this case.

It seems reasonable to allow for umpire judgment on who created the contact, but I just don't see any rule, case play or official interpretation that allows this.  In the absence of any of these, I think the black letter rule must be applied which place us squarely in the camp of catcher's interference (obstruction).

There has to be some degree of common sense applied here though, lack of technical provision aside.

Otherwise, batters just need to step backwards out of the box, after the pitch is delivered, and then while standing next to the catcher swing - CI every time.   If following the letter of the law.

Edit - clicked submit too early.  Your interpretation as intentional act may be correct, but is arbitrary when compared to the other scenarios where the batter steps out of the box and hits the catcher.   In the OP the batter steps on the plate.  I wouldn't treat it any differently than the batter stepping back.

Provided, as you say, it's even possible to see the batter stepping out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 minute ago, beerguy55 said:

There has to be some degree of common sense applied here though, lack of technical provision aside.

Otherwise, batters just need to step backwards out of the box, after the pitch is delivered, and then while standing next to the catcher swing - CI every time.

I agree with you.  But in the OP, the batter didn't step backwards (which again could be seen as an intentional act).  I addressed this in my earlier post.  In the OP, it seems like the catcher was still at fault even though the batter stepped on the plate.  Perhaps they were both at fault.  Sometimes you just have to umpire and 9 times out of 10, we will see/hear the CI and NOT see the batter out of the box.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
3 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

I agree with you.  But in the OP, the batter didn't step backwards (which again could be seen as an intentional act).  I addressed this in my earlier post.  In the OP, it seems like the catcher was still at fault even though the batter stepped on the plate.  Perhaps they were both at fault.  Sometimes you just have to umpire and 9 times out of 10, we will see/hear the CI and NOT see the batter out of the box.

Yup - edited my post just as you submitted yours - agree with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

IMO the catcher denied the batter an uninterrupted opportunity to hit the ball, legal or not. (unless intentional of course)

If the batter MAY have made contact with the pitch while out of the box, the catcher prevented him from doing so. 

I don't think anyone would argue with CI/CO here, especially the catcher. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...