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Everything posted by maven

  1. If we call someone out for this kind of INT, it can't be the normal INT penalty, namely, the player who interfered. That's why the rules specify calling out the runner who would have been played on: we can call a batter or runner out, but nobody else, including an on-deck batter. In this instance, we call out the runner who would have been played on, or the runner closest to home if we can't tell. Note that one of the plays cited above has the batter, not the on-deck batter, handling a live ball. In that case, we call out the batter if we apply a penalty.
  2. maven

    foot on bag ?

    ...and if the shoe slips under the base, that's a tag too!
  3. If this means that the umpires ruled correctly per MLB interpretations, instructions, and supervisor guidance, then I doubt that you know any of that. Also, isn't it the case that the replay officials are supervisors? OTOH, if this means that the umpires ruled correctly per your personal opinion about what makes for good baseball...well, you know what they say about opinions. But of course a forum is the best place for 'em!
  4. Conflict between whom? Most newer umpires struggle with umpire/coach conflict. The standard approach to managing coach arguments is to understand what they're allowed to do. They're allowed to ask for an explanation of a call. They may request time and approach the umpire to ask for such an explanation. After that explanation is provided, they're to return to the dugout so that the game may resume. They're not permitted to run onto the field yelling and screaming. They're not permitted to argue a judgment call. If they disagree with the application of a rule, then their remedy, if permitted by the league, is to protest the game at that point. In practice, most coaches want their say. They want to see that the umpire understands their point of view, and can hear their resistance to the call. This "say" should not extend to other calls from the current game, to other calls from other games or umpires, or anything else. How we handle this kind of conflict—generally known as game management—is an art, not a science. It's the most difficult aspect of officiating any sport, not least because the officials have all the power. This discrepancy can aggravate a coach's sense of being aggrieved, that the officials "have it in" for them. Sarcasm almost never plays well. Learning game management is often the main difference between good officials and great ones. Even pro umpires can reach a limit with their game management skills and cannot progress to the next level. The most common error that amateur umpires make in game management is to keep talking in order to convince a coach. The coach is not going to think we're right—he's right, not us. Our goal should never be to convince a coach, but rather to resume play. Focus on what's up to us: we need to communicate clearly the rule we're applying, and our judgment of what just happened. Coach is entitled to disagree. He has his say, we have our say, and the game gets going again. Don't tolerate anything more.
  5. maven

    Adult softball

    The standard application of 'mockery' in baseball rules is running the bases backwards, not complying with the run rule. Then again, I aim to know less about softball than I do about almost anything else.
  6. Although I agree with this statement, I'll add a brief explanatory note. The rule allows ONE option, not two. When feints to 3B are disallowed, the rule is just like that for 1B: it requires a throw to the base. Where the fielder is not positioned at the base, the interpretation of a "throw to a base" gives us this criterion: if the fielder is close enough to make a play immediately on the returning runner, then the throw was "to the base." The paradigm play that's allowed is the set play, where F1 throws to the base and the fielder knows it's coming, moves to the base ahead of the throw, and immediately makes a tag attempt. If he has to catch the ball and only then get over to the base, he's not in a position to make a play. That would be a balk. There are borderline cases. I'd apply a sliding scale, enforcing more strictly at higher levels (HS varsity and up). In youth ball, if I ruled no balk on a borderline play, I'd warn the coach between innings (or in the moment, if I have to explain to the other coach).
  7. maven

    Adult softball

    No rule prohibits this. If you think it's improper, report it to the league (as noumpere suggests). They can decide (a) how to handle your case, and (b) whether they want any change in their rules. Not every "bush league" or mildly unsporting behavior is in the umpire's purview. And, frankly, injecting ourselves into the game makes it look like we're just trying to get home/beer/to our date/out of there as quickly as possible. Not a good look.
  8. The collision rule was introduced years ago, and they still haven't figured out how to enforce it. Maybe the exception to field the throw is to blame? Could FED be better?
  9. In case anyone is wondering why this is a balk: OBR now treats 3B the same as 1B, so F1 must throw to the base. The requirement is not merely a throw, which we had here, but a throw to the base. When F1 throws to F5 away from the base, it counts as feinting a throw to the base. Feinting a throw to 3B is now a balk, same as feinting a throw to 1B.
  10. The other posters quoting this question have answered it, but I'll do so in other words: A fly ball that "hits the top of the wall" and goes out of play is a HR because the top of the wall is beyond the forward edge of the fence: an inch is as good as a yard for determining "over the fence." (Non-U.S. translation: a centimeter is as good as a meter.) A ball that hits the fence and returns to the field of play is live, but cannot be caught for an out. That's the same rule that dictates that F2 cannot catch for an out a fly ball that has touched the backstop (though that one is foul, so dead when it hits the fence).
  11. ... or what base(s) the runner(s) are on.
  12. maven


    And R1 still has to tag up, even during the dead ball, or be liable to be out on appeal. If playing under FED rules, which allows a dead-ball appeal, R1 must be afforded the opportunity to complete his base-running responsibilities before we rule on the appeal. If he fails to retouch and gets all the way to 3B and stops, I'd rule on an appeal at that point.
  13. First of all, that's not the same play: the play where the batter should remain still in the box is the one where F2 fields the pitch cleanly. So it's not a counterexample. In general, when the batter has time to clear the way, he should try. The defense has fumbled here, so I'm looking for something more intentional from the batter before I call INT (something like willful indifference). At some levels, the play described could in theory be batter INT, but it's a third world play: at those levels, no F2 would be fumbling the ball that long (and still have a play on R1).
  14. maven

    Foul or fair

    No different in principle from the slow roller along the line that goes foul and then is picked up by the fielder for a foul ball. That is, when the ball is fielded in front of the base, it does NOT have touch the ground in foul to be a foul ball. The ball's position over foul territory is sufficient for that.
  15. "not moving" is pretty strict, during the interval from when F2 catches the pitch to when he releases the throw. I would not count breathing, relaxing muscles, peristalsis, or flatulence as "moving."
  16. That's not batter INT. Because F2 caught the pitch and came up to throw, the batter should either (a) complete a normal swinging motion, or (b) remain motionless. These are the only 2 allowable actions for this kind of play. Your ruling is tantamount to requiring the batter to guess—correctly—which way F2 will move and to anticipate and get out of the way. That's unreasonable, and not the rule. The play that requires the batter to move is the one where the pitch gets away from F2, and the batter has time to move—more time than a fraction of a second, time to see the play developing, process it, and move accordingly. His failure to (try to) do that is "willful indifference": a deliberate choice to remain in the way of the defense making a play.
  17. This is a good start. I hope that MiLB umpires's salaries will be slightly less ridiculously low going forward as well. But the economics of minor league baseball are tight....
  18. The OP concerns a steal of HP, not 3B. I see you diverted the thread above. That diversion is somewhat unfortunate, because batter INT is already a complex rule with a complex penalty, and these 2 situations are enforced quite differently. When F2 catches the pitch and immediately plays on R2 stealing at 3B, the batter may swing normally or remain stationary in the box. Any "other" motion—together with actual hindrance—would constitute batter INT. That would include backing out of the box or trying to get out of the way: for this play (and the same kind of play on R1 at 2B) batter INT imposes a "strict liability" standard on the batter, so accidental hindrance may still be penalized when he steps out or across the plate (or bends over, or crouches, etc.—any motion that is not part of his swing). In contrast, on the play at the plate after a wild pitch, the batter should NOT remain stationary in the box. Given the opportunity, he has to vacate the plate area and try to avoid hindering the play. Here, a good faith effort to avoid hindrance is sufficient, and accidental hindrance will not be penalized when he steps out. The different standard is partly justified by the defense misplaying the pitch.
  19. If BR is on the grass and F3 just doesn't move and the throw hits BR, that's nothing. Runners are not required to be ball-permeable. If F3 fields the ball, moves to avoid the BR and throws, then BR adjusts his path to be in the way again, and the throw hits BR, that would (probably) be INT. I've seen the former any number of times; I've seen the latter once (not a game I was officiating), and INT was not called.
  20. What amateur umpires need to know is that the MLB umpire supervisors review tapes like this (and thousands more) every season and determine how their umpires will handle the pitcher. They issue directives to their crews, who enforce the rules in accordance with those directives. None of that has anything to do with how amateur ball should be officiated.
  21. Yes: he's allowed to hit a pitch.
  22. My first thought as well. The batter is not required to disappear, and must do some prohibited something (our guest can follow up on what if he cares) to violate the batter INT rule.
  23. I'll put noumpere's point in slightly more fan-friendly language: bullpens behind the outfield fence and ball deflects off fielder into bullpen = home run. bullpens outside the foul lines but in front of the outfield fence and ball deflects off fielder into bullpen = "ground rule double."
  24. maven

    Balk high school

    Yes. Delayed-dead balks allow a pitch to the batter. They also allow a throw and will leave it live if the throw goes wild. The enforcement of the balk depends on what happens to that pitch or throw. In this situation, there's no pitch or throw. Kill it and enforce the balk.
  25. maven

    Balk high school

    Holy cow. For the sake of the internet, I almost want this post scrubbed.
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