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Everything posted by maven

  1. maven

    Batter INT

    As always, no hindrance = no INT. As always, benefit of any doubt to the defense. And as always, make 'em big—we need to be able to point to the hindrance if the OC asks what he did, and to explain how that hindered the play of F2 on the runner.
  2. R2 is forced to advance for the standard reason: the batter became a runner. The BR's "right" to 1B is moot, and not part of the definition of a force play. Had the outfielder dropped the fly ball, could R2 have remained on 2B? Of course not: he's forced. The force is not off until the ball is caught, at which time runners become obligated to retouch. Runners have to hedge their bets and judge the likelihood of a catch when they determine how far to advance on the fly ball. Sometimes it's good to go back to very basic ideas and reconnect them in our minds. Thank you for the opportunity to think and talk through this connection.
  3. Umpires should use the proper term: it's a 'time play'. Would you call the alternative a 'forcing play'? No, it's a force play.
  4. While the ball is in the air, yes, he is forced. But once it's caught, the BR is out, and all force plays are off. Think of it this way: once the batter is out on the catch, R2 may legally return to 2B, right? So he's not forced to advance any longer. This is a retouch appeal play on R2. A retouch appeal can NEVER be a force play: if a retouch is required, that means the BR was retired on a caught fly ball, so all force plays are off. So, yes, this would be a time play, and if R3 scores before R2 is doubled off—that is, before R2 is tagged out—then the run scores.
  5. maven


    First, the missed base must be legally appealed prior to the umpires leaving the field. Assuming that happened, R2 is out, for the first out of the inning. The rest of the play stands, including R1's score. In the original scenario, the game is over. I have never heard of a code that requires returning runners, so under no circumstances would R1 be required to return following a successful missed base appeal. Had R2's out been the 3rd out of the inning, R1's run would be nullified, and the game would go to extra innings. In the variant scenario, where R1 is put out prior to the appeal, that out also would stand. The inning would resume with 2 outs and the BR wherever he got to (1B or 2B, probably).
  6. What noumpere said. For FED: we have always taught that 'a possible DP' (which is an exceedingly weak standard on its face) in this context means "routine double play ball," that is, a hard grounder right to or near F4 or F6, and for HS varsity probably F1 or F5 as well. I do not consider a ball in front of the plate a routine double play for HS. I'm not giving the defense a cheap double play when the INT I've called didn't prevent one—doing so, for me, is a disproportionate penalty for INT. That's a potential game-killer.
  7. The fielder's protection from OBS lasts from the time he starts fielding the ball until he makes (or is prevented from making) his throw. The contact in this video happens in that window, so it would qualify for INT. The tangle/untangle exception lapses once the BR stops his advance. When he restarts and makes contact, he's liable for INT here. I'd have runner INT on the BR: the ball is dead, BR is out, R1 returns. Same ruling for OBR and FED.
  8. True, because we all come up watching professional players who so rarely obstruct or interfere. Our brains have thus been trained up to a pattern where baseball plays generally occur legally. As we know, youth baseball is quite different, including the officiating—many adults present at youth games assume that the umpire is making something up against their team. I discourage umpires we train from calling the "less than blatant." We have to judge whether a runner was clearly hindered in advancing (or returning) to a base. Get the big ones (and I am NOT asserting that contact is required), and leave the borderline ones uncalled (a "talk to" offense, in your example, with F3). That won't guarantee that anyone likes the call, but will give us more confidence to say, "Coach, the runner was clearly hindered in his advance by F3 being out of position." He won't agree, but we'll be certain (and any video will support our judgment call).
  9. If that's the worst they ever say about you as an umpire, you've had quite a run!
  10. TL;DR: No. A lodged ball occurs when the ball becomes immobile in a player's or umpire's equipment, or in an element of the field (fence, padding, etc.) so as to create a delay in play.
  11. I don't see any white or gray. The laces appear to be light black to me.
  12. It should say, "batter-runners."
  13. I do not recommend this approach. It sounds arbitrary and capricious, which is exactly what coach is suggesting in the subtext of the report of his prior experiences. Instead, stand on the rule: "Coach, this is the rule. If you'd like to share your email address, I'd be happy to send the citation after the game." If what you're using is an interpretation rather than black-letter rule, it gets trickier, but it might still be worth sharing a resource. That way, coach knows (a) you're not using the MSU rulebook, (b) you put your money where your mouth is, (c) there's more to calling the game than black-letter rule, and (d) they have a link to that "more."
  14. Ignoring the coach-speak in the tweet, the video seems to present a step and throw to 3B. Legal. What might look odd is F1 falling toward HP as he throws to 3B. However, we should bear in mind that the rules in this case require a step and throw toward 3B. The front foot pretty clearly gains distance and direction to 3B, and F5 is there to make a play. F1 has thus complied with the rule, despite subsequently losing his balance. Note that the rules do NOT say F1 is prohibited from (ever) moving toward HP. It's a balk if his FIRST motion is toward HP and he then throws or feints a throw to a base. But the reason for that is that we're interpreting the requirement that F1 step and throw/feint DIRECTLY to a base—and starting toward HP will violate that requirement. Falling subsequent to a legally executed pickoff is nothing.
  15. maven

    Pop up

    Two out of three of these, assuming F2 catches the ball in foul ground.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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?
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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