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Everything posted by maven

  1. I think that's unfortunate, and explicable by the fact that whoever is providing that guidance is a former pro umpire trying to raise the level of LL umpiring. It doesn't do justice to the fact that LL coaches are not pro coaches and cannot reasonably be expected to know a rule that they might see applied twice if the coach for 50 years. It also doesn't do justice to the notion that LL is instructional baseball top to bottom (that is, including the adults involved). I have no authority to advise LL umpires. But for amateur ball I have always recommended taking any option to the coach without making him ask.
  2. Yes, that's OBS. I won't change the requirements on R3—touching HP in a certain time frame—because F2 obstructed him. The entire need to go back to touch HP is (as I read it) the result of the OBS. Again, as I'm reading it, at the time of the tag (which presumably would be the end of playing action, as it would be the 3rd out), I'm calling time, ruling OBS on F2, and awarding the touch of HP to nullify the effect of the infraction. This OBS call is essential to make. The runner properly avoided F2—and I usually make a point of telling him "good job" for that—and failing to get OBS here penalizes him for proper base running. Even had R3 gotten back to touch HP prior to the tag, call the OBS when it happens and let R3 know he played it correctly. Not sure whether you are an umpire, but runners 'touch' bases, fielders 'tag' them.
  3. maven

    Force Removal

    First, here's the actual link: https://baseballrulesacademy.com/2023-game-and-inning-ending-plays/ Second: I don't quite get the point of your post. Are you citing Marazzi (not an authority?) to support your (minority?) view, or to announce a change of mind? If you and one other were right, then the order of appeals would not matter, contrary to Marazzi's statement. If R1 is forced and misses 2B, then you seem to be saying that any appeal at any time of the miss will be a force play. And if that were right, then the order of appeals on multiple runners would be irrelevant, which would contradict Marazzi. OR: your original claim might be restricted to the trailing runner being retired on a force play that is NOT an appeal. But if that's what you're saying, Marazzi's posted play does not address that, as no runner in that play is retired except by appeal. So it still doesn't support your view, even on this interpretation of it. Third: what's up with the aggrieved tone?
  4. Sometimes, you just gotta umpire. Mods, I recommend locking this one up, as it's on the border of troll town. Or maybe Villa della Trolla. You'd have to check the IP address to be sure.
  5. I believe it was ruled a double play. No. The runner was returning to touch a missed HP, so he had no base path (no direct line from his position to his advance base). And, in general, umpires give leeway for this particular play. In OBR, the current interpretation allows the fielder to tag the base at any time, whether or not the runner is attempting to return. I like this interp because it precludes this nonsense; I'm not sure of the current FED interp (which I seem to recall being the same as OBR). Based on this video, it would seem NCAA is different (or was in 2020). The old J/R interp distinguished between "relaxed" and "unrelaxed" action, where the fielder could appeal by tagging the base if the action was relaxed—if the runner were not near the base and trying to return. This was superseded by a Wendelstedt interp from years ago.
  6. maven

    Balk or legal

    Two issues: first, most restrictions on F1 that could result in a balk apply only when he is engaged with the rubber. If he legally disengages—his pivot foot steps back off the rubber and touches the ground prior to the other foot moving—then those restrictions lapse. In particular, F1 may throw the ball to any fielder (or feint a throw), within any applicable time limits. It won't matter where F3 is, because F1 is not subject to that restriction unless engaged with the rubber. Second: if F1 is engaged, then yes, he must step and throw "directly" toward 1B when he picks there. This restriction does indeed prohibit F1 while engaged from throwing to F3 away from the base. By interpretation, F1 has satisfied the requirement to throw directly to the base when F3 is in position to make a play, though this restriction too needs interpretation (obviously, any fielder with the ball anywhere near a runner could chase him back to the base and so be making a play in some sense). Whether 10' satisfies this requirement will depend on level: for 10U I'd say no, but for HS and up it likely is. At 10' an adult-sized F3 with the ball can reach out and tag a runner diving back.
  7. Sometimes umpires get confused by strange, unusual plays. The out for passing is immediate, and the ball remains live. The other piece the umpire needed to remember is that all force plays are off when a trailing runner is retired—think of a bases-loaded ground ball to F3, who steps on 1B to retire the batter runner. When F3 throws to another base, the fielder's should all be calling "TAG!" to remind themselves that all forces are off. Also: a runner is never out for "failing to advance." That's not a thing (in baseball). But failing to advance usually makes playing on that runner much easier.
  8. maven


    I'd say no OBS. I'll go ahead with my followup post now. 😀 Although it's true that F3 may not be in the runner's base path without the ball (subject to an irrelevant exception), I wonder about the collision. The BR has an obligation to avoid a fielder, even an obstructing one, and if he doesn't try to do that, we might be looking at MC. But even if the collision was just a bump and not MC, how exactly was the BR hindered? He reached 1B, and F2 was standing with the baseball in his hand. Where was the BR going, that contact with F3 hindered him? No hindrance = no OBS. So, for me, this is either MC or nothing, definitely not OBS as I picture it, and either way I'd have a word with F3 to get out of the way unless he's making a play.
  9. C'mon guys: "third world" is so 1958—countries not either in NATO (First World) or Warsaw Pact (Second World). "Developing country plays" has no mojo. I can't recommend it. So maybe we need a new term: how about "infinitesimals?" As in, the probability of their happening is...you know...infinitesimal. Maybe that's not catchy enough. "[Near] zero probability plays," or ZIPS? That will offend only Akron U. alumni.
  10. There's your problem right there. Yeah, I might call time and clean the plate (or base, if BU, which I NEVER do) if I saw that one setting up. But I wound't say anything to the coach—think that one through? Do you think that appeals to this chap's sense of sportsmanship are likely to work? He's using that game to practice his tricks. He doesn't care what you think.
  11. maven

    Fair or foul?

    A batted ball before it reaches 1B or 3B is fair or foul depending on where it is first touched, regardless of where it lands. If the entire ball is over foul territory when first touched, that's a foul ball. If any part of the ball is over fair territory when first touched, that's a fair ball. A batted ball beyond 1B or 3B is fair or foul depending on where it first lands, regardless of where it is touched.
  12. When F3 receives the ball, it's not a CATCH under the rulebook definition. For one thing, a CATCH must involve a batted ball in flight, but the throw to F3 can bounce in. Instead, it must satisfy the rulebook definition of TAG (which includes tagging the base or tagging the runner). And this term includes secure possession in hand or glove, but does NOT include voluntary release. Many tags are preceded only by a fielder fielding a ground ball. The fact that many tags involve gaining possession of a thrown ball does not entail that the definition of CATCH now applies to a tag. It does not. That's why 'voluntary release' is not part of the definition of TAG. All that said, if a fielder does voluntarily release the ball, that's evidence that the ball was held securely through the tag. And secure possession IS necessary (hence the NCAA guidance).
  13. If F3 fielded the throw and was subsequently in touch with 1B—even accidentally—that's a tag of the base, and the BR is out. Nothing else matters. If F3 came off 1B to field the throw and then attempted to tag the runner without first tagging 1B, and if the ball came out of the glove during the tag, then that's no tag, and the runner would not be out. The ball coming out of the glove during the tag is evidence that it was not held securely. Thus it's no tag by interpretation, all codes.
  14. I can't tell exactly what happened on the far right edge of that video, over 100 feet away from the camera, through a fence. But it looks like F3 fields the batted ball, runs right at the BR, and crashes him deliberately instead of stopping and tagging. Tagging the runner instead of the bag is a legal choice, and a smart choice when F3 fields the ball in front of the base. But intentionally crashing him is not a legal way to make a tag. If that's what happened, I'd probably rule MC: the fielder is ejected, and the BR awarded 1B. That's the applicable rule and how it would apply. But I can't say with much confidence that it's the correct call for this play without better video.
  15. First, you should be aware that the batter's foot is out of the box only if his entire foot is on the ground outside the box and not touching the line. If that were truly the case, then the umpire should not allow a pitch, as the batter has not assumed legal position in the box. So perhaps the batter's foot was touching the line, or that's what the umpire saw. That puts him legally in the box. And at that point, CI is back on the table. The other relevant rule is the possibility of an illegally batted ball. One way for that to happen is if the batter's foot is on the ground completely outside the box AND he hits a pitch. This is not a call that any PU is likely to make in this kind of situation, as he should be tracking the pitch, and cannot possibly see the position of the foot at contact.
  16. The batted ball was already fielded. After that, wherever a live ball is — outside of a player's hand or glove — it's a thrown ball. So, yes, the OP still involves a thrown ball and falls under the rule. This is not a rule in OBR or FED, so I'll infer it's not in LL either. Folks sometimes say things like, "Let's not reward the defense for erring." And that's fine, but it does not allow us to make up rules. Instead, it can influence the judgment component of the call. In the OP, R3 scores and doesn't move fast enough to avoid hindering the defense. Did he have the opportunity to move? That's the question where we can consider the context, and give a bit more leeway to the offense. But there will still be obvious instances of INT that we have to call, where R3 clearly did have time to move and made no attempt to do so. "Not rewarding the defense" cannot nullify the call we need to make there.
  17. Well, he was a member of it before. But after he scores he loses his status as a runner (which confers certain privileges), so now he's merely a member of the offensive team.
  18. We can't really judge the correctness of judgment calls without video. The video in our heads isn't sufficient. I, too, say "as I'm picturing this..." and then judge. But that's useful for the application of a rule, not for assessment of a judgment call. That approach can also clarify the description of a play. But any call we make is contingent on the adequacy of the picture. What if our head video is off, and now some umpire goes around announcing that he's right, when he isn't? We need to be careful there. Some newer umpires treat our forum as more authoritative than it is. And I apologize for picking on this particular post of yours—it just reminded me of a trend here that I had wanted to address. Not trying to pile on.
  19. The relevant rule requires retired/scored runners to attempt to vacate any area required by the defense to make a play. So, if R1 had time to do so and failed, then INT is the correct call (dead ball, BR out for R1's INT, score R1's but not BR's run). If it was bang-bang, then play the bounce.
  20. As I'm envisioning this, it's almost certainly a start/stop balk in pro ball. For amateur baseball, it would depend on the age level. Sub-varsity, it's almost certainly nothing (though I'd mention it to the coach). HS varsity, he should know better, and 50-50 it's a balk (depending on how pronounced it is).
  21. No. There's no hindrance by F2, and no hindrance = no OBS. I have R3 running into foul away from F5 with the ball in fair, not running around F2. Watch it again and check where R3 is looking, back at F5 to see him decide not to throw to F2. Looking back like that, he can't possibly by trying to avoid F2 (though it seems to occur to him after the tag to say something like that).
  22. Pro umpiring has inexplicably insisted on using the same mechanic for missed 1B that they employ at other bases (most notably HP). They require pro umpires not to signal for this play, thus tipping the miss to the defense. Perhaps they think it looks odd to rule safe on the play and a moment later out on the appeal (though of course that's exactly what in fact happened). To me, the current pro mechanic fetishizes consistency and provides no obviously superior result. FED still uses the proper mechanic here: rule on whether the ball beat the runner. When the BR passes 1B, he is credited with beating the ball whether or not he touches the base. So we have to make a ruling on that play; not to rule on it is to signal the defense that they can appeal the missed base. So this is an appeal play. F3 receiving the throw does not constitute an ("automatic") appeal: appeals must still be intentional and clearly signaled by word or act. Some additional word or act by the defense must occur before we can rule on a missed base appeal. The RULE is the same for both OBR and FED, only the mechanic is different. We are not required to use pro mechanics for OBR games (or for anything else), though in most instances their evidence-based approach makes it advisable for us to do so. In this instance, however, I have not adopted the pro mechanic, and for the reasons sketched above. This might be the only instance where I have not adopted the pro mechanic—it's the only one I can think of at the moment.
  23. He needs to vacate any area needed by the defense to make a play. If he makes any effort to get out of the way, he's good, that is, he is not liable for INT with a fielder. This is similar to a wild pitch with R3 trying to score. He's liable for INT with the ball only if he intentionally knocks it down.
  24. I agree with this except for the last sentence. In particular, I would emphasize that a fielder-runner collision during a batted ball is always something, never nothing. As I'm envisioning the play (in the hypothetical circumstance that F1 muffs the ground ball and F6 subsequently fields it), we have the muff and the F6/R2 collision at approximately the same time. In that case, I'm not transferring protection to F6 until after the collision, even if he ultimately fields the ball. And so it's still OBS on F6, as he was not protected (from OBS) when the collision occurred. In all codes this OBS will be penalized the same way: wait until the end of playing action, and award R2 3B. If the defense retires the BR, that out will stand (unaffected by the OBS against R2). This award is mandatory in FED, and expected in OBR. In some TWP version of this play, we might theoretically fabricate a way to allow an out at 3B to stand, but you won't find me calling that, on any planet.
  25. That's all you need right there. Ball 4. What would calling CI here add, other than an annoyed coach? CI/CO is called when the batter hits F2's mitt, or on a play at the plate where F2 moves in front of the plate to take the pitch (he's allowed to move if F1 disengages first and throws home). Hitting the mitt is sometimes hard to get if it's small; if B hits F2's hand through the back of the mitt, it's hard to miss. Like all forms of INT, we want to get the obvious ones, and only those. Don't be a pioneer.
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