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Guest Steve

Obstruction by second baseman way outside of normal basepath

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Guest Steve

This play occurred in Little League, but I would be happy with any jurisdiction that you can rely on.  Runner hits a ball to left field and takes a very wide turn at first.  The second baseman, daydreaming perhaps, is about 6 feet behind the straight line between first and second and doesn't move out of the way of the baserunner.  Because of the wide turn, the baserunner's direct line to second now goes through the spot where the immobile second baseman is standing.  They collide, and when the runner gets back up, he is thrown out at second, tug by the shortstop.  The umpire ruled obstruction by the second baseman and awarded the runner second base.  Coach of the defense argued that it was only because of the wide turn that the second baseman was in his way.  Umpire stated that the runner had established his baseline that widely and the second baseman had a duty to move out of it.  The only MLB rule remotely on point that I see says, "A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely;"  Here there was no tag attempt though.  Did the umpire make the right call?  Does the second baseman have a duty to get out of the runner's way no matter where he has made his turn?  Thanks.

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2 minutes ago, Guest Steve said:

This play occurred in Little League, but I would be happy with any jurisdiction that you can rely on.  Runner hits a ball to left field and takes a very wide turn at first.  The second baseman, daydreaming perhaps, is about 6 feet behind the straight line between first and second and doesn't move out of the way of the baserunner.  Because of the wide turn, the baserunner's direct line to second now goes through the spot where the immobile second baseman is standing.  They collide, and when the runner gets back up, he is thrown out at second, tug by the shortstop.  The umpire ruled obstruction by the second baseman and awarded the runner second base.  Coach of the defense argued that it was only because of the wide turn that the second baseman was in his way.  Umpire stated that the runner had established his baseline that widely and the second baseman had a duty to move out of it.  The only MLB rule remotely on point that I see says, "A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely;"  Here there was no tag attempt though.  Did the umpire make the right call?  Does the second baseman have a duty to get out of the runner's way no matter where he has made his turn?  Thanks.

Correct call. Fielder has to get out of the way.  A runner can run wherever he please until a tag attempt starts.

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Guest Steve
7 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Correct call. Fielder has to get out of the way.  A runner can run wherever he please until a tag attempt starts.

Thank you, Rich.

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5 minutes ago, Guest Steve said:

 Did the umpire make the right call?  Does the second baseman have a duty to get out of the runner's way no matter where he has made his turn?  Thanks.

Yes

The rule you cite is only specifically to determine the three feet measurement.

The runner makes his own path, except when avoiding a tag - runners don't (and shouldn't) run the bases in straight lines at 90 degree angles - if one were to properly run the bases from home back to home, trying to achieve it in the fastest manner, the path would look more like a circle than a square.

So, the wide turn is perfectly reasonable.

Having said that, runner can, if he wants, run into right field, and then back and do a couple of laps around that pitcher's mound and then proceed to second base, if they wish, and technically the fielders have to get out of his way if they don't have the ball.

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:big_no:big_no:big_no:BD:

:P

Base line = a three inch white chalked line that runs from the appropriate spot of the batters box (imaginary through the tip of home plate) through the outside edge of first or third base and delineates fair territory from foul territory.

Base path = a baserunner’s path from one base to the next.

 

Yes, to the ruling.  :D

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14 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

:big_no:big_no:big_no:BD:

:P

Base line = a three inch white chalked line that runs from the appropriate spot of the batters box (imaginary through the tip of home plate) through the outside edge of first or third base and delineates fair territory from foul territory.

Base path = a baserunner’s path from one base to the next.

 

Yes, to the ruling.  :D

The three inch white chalked lines running from the batters box is a foul line, not a baseline, per Diagram No. 1 Diagram of the Playing Field, in the official MLB rule book  :D 

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From the 2018 Little League Rules Instruction Manual (Rule 2.00 Definitions)--

OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. A fake tag is considered obstruction. (NOTE: Obstruction shall be called on a defensive player who blocks off a base, base line or home plate from a base runner while not in possession of the ball)

EXAMPLE: - Obstruction is the act of: (a) a defensive player or team member which hinders or prevents a batter from striking or hitting a pitched ball; (b) a fielder, while not in possession of the ball, impedes the progress of a base runner or batter-runner who is legally running bases. (c) a fielder doing a fake tag. Play: Batter hits a line drive into right center. Sensing a double, he/she immediately sprints toward 2nd. As he/she rounds first the 1st baseman inadvertently steps into the base path and collides with the batter-runner. The batter-runner continues to 2nd where he/she is tagged out by a perfect throw from the center fielder. Ruling: Obstruction, delayed dead ball, on the first baseman. Call time and award batter-runner 2nd base.

INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS:

It is quite simple now for the umpires to rule on obstruction…if the defense does not have the ball and impedes the progress of any runner it shall be called obstruction. It makes no difference if the defense is fielding a thrown ball or waiting for the ball, if the defensive player does not have the ball in his/her possession it is obstruction if they impede the progress of any runner.

Most actions related to obstruction concern who has the right-of-way. The defense has the right to the baseline on a batted ball or when he/she already has the ball in his/her possession. The offense has the right to the baseline in all other occasions, including on a thrown ball.

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