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Everything posted by maven

  1. maven

    Balks, oh ya

    Two points that have yet to be mentioned. First, the set (when it finally comes) must be at the chin or below (at least for FED). I recommend not being picky about this—any part of the mitt near the chin as broadly defined as we like. Second, the "two pumps" business is in the book under the windup, not the set.
  2. I recommend addressing it with the coach, as F3 setting up with his foot all the way across the base is poor technique and rather unsafe. If you do it loud enough for the other coach to hear, he should recognize that you've addressed the safety aspect for his runners. "Coach, #3 is setting up with his foot across the base. Best case, the runner misses him. But at some point he's going to get hurt, and if the runner has to slow down, that will be ruled OBS, and he'll be awarded 1B." That way, we do what we can to protect the players while leaving the coaching up to the coaches. If it's 9U daddy ball, more instruction might be required (pretty sure F3 never got instruction); if it's HS, that should be sufficient (coach might or might not have known F3 does this).
  3. maven

    Umpiring questions

    This myth has gained extremely widespread currency. I see kids at all levels, up to and including HS varsity, executing a jump turn and feinting, and it's never balked. I suspect that if an umpire called that a balk, (a) everyone on the field, including the other umpire, would look at him as if he had 2 heads, (b) several someones would try to convince him that he's wrong, because the pivot foot came off the rubber, and (c) in many contexts he would be improperly "overruled" by someone, likely someone responsible for paying him. All of this is most unfortunate. When I was training umpires I always covered this move, but some of those guys are balk-phobic (usually because they lack confidence in their ability to explain why they called a balk). So they go with the flow.
  4. The rule is designed to protect the offense from a cheap double play. The batter is trying to get a hit and pops up to the infield. The runners have to hold, and it's often possible to retire both R2 and R1, which is cheap. On a line drive, the runners are still close to their bases and should be freezing rather than advancing. If they're doubled off, that's bad base running, and deserves no protection. Such a double play isn't cheap, so no protection. If the batter is bunting with less than 2 outs, it's a sacrifice attempt. If he screws it up and pops up, setting up a double play, that's a failed sacrifice and deserves no protection. Such a double play isn't cheap, so no protection.
  5. A general rule has to be applied to this play specifically. For those who want this to be INT: please quote a rule that dictates that infraction for this act. Even our premier rule chopper hasn't done that yet in this thread. The only (FED) rule that applies to a runner touching a batted ball that "has a chance" to be fair is the one that I cited, and I noted that it applies to the BR. My point was that the provision is inapplicable to the OP, in light of the runner being R3 and not the BR (I might have been more explicit in stating my point, I admit). If a batted ball touches R3 in foul ground (R3 not intentionally touching it), we just have a foul ball. If R3 picks up the same batted ball that's rolling/spinning foul, are we ruling that INT? On what basis? And if that's just a foul ball + don't do that, what difference does it make whether R3 has scored? I don't like INT here for the same reason Max hinted at: R3 didn't hinder the defense. If anything, it's an act against interest, because R3 should want that to be a fair ball. We shouldn't let optics dictate fair play or common sense.
  6. Hm. We have 7-4-1i, which states the batter is out for doing this. No other rule quite covers it. One option would have been to rule it a foul ball, and send R3 back to 3B. That would solve the title question. If you have to get INT, it would be retired runner INT. Score the run, and call out R2 for the INT. But I don't like allowing the offense to benefit from this.
  7. No, no, Who's on first. The defense can put runners out, but they can't themselves be out.
  8. The award for a ball (other than a pitch or pick from the rubber) thrown out of play is always 2 bases. The only difference between an infielder an outfielder throwing it is whether it's TOP or TOT. The standard is TOT. The exceptional case is first play by an infielder, which is TOP. The two overlap when the throw occurs prior to the BR touching 1B, so... in the OP, 2 bases, the BR should have been awarded 2B.
  9. Can't get much simpler than you've already put it, as captured by noumpere. Head wrap not included.
  10. I recommend caution. Yes, that's the rule. But local customs vary, and it's quite common in kiddie ball for more coaches to be closer to the players to instruct. For HS ball, I enforce the rule. Beyond that, I recommend following local custom, up to the point where it becomes a distraction. Then enforce the rule equally both ways (and tell them why—enforcement may be preceded by a warning, such as "Coach, if you want to do anything other than coach your players, you'll have to do it from the dugout").
  11. Apologies for quoting my own post, which is tacky. But I was watching a game last weekend and an amateur umpire asked the crowd for aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. Somebody offered Excedrin™, which he accepted. I recommend not using that product (or Anacin, or related products), as they contain caffeine. As you might know, caffeine is a diuretic, and thus dehydrating. Anything that dehydrates us diminishes our visual acuity first, as the eyes are 98% water (TBP, the vitreous body is 98% water, and it constitutes most of the eye by mass and volume). It was a late inning, and I didn't know the guy, so I said nothing. Just sharing the thought here, to help us improve performance.
  12. This question gets at the art of umpiring, and no one answer will be adequate to every situation. Some of the variables include: experience level of the two partners relationship, if any, with coach temperature of the game nature of the call being discussed need to focus on other participants noumpere's answer is right for playing rodeo clown, but if I'm with an inexperienced umpire (even on a varsity game) I will listen in. If the discussion involves a more challenging rule (batter or catcher INT, for instance), I'll listen in to make sure we're giving good info. And if a newer partner is getting ridden too hard, I'll intervene to shut it down.
  13. First, I check my physical condition. Dehydrated? Sore, in pain, discomfort? I address that first. Then, I check for mental distractions and try to focus. If something required my urgent attention, I wouldn't be umpiring. So I try to set whatever it is aside, knowing that it will wait. Finally, and in every case, I slow down. Take a deep breath, go back to basics (read the pitch out of F1's hand, track it to the mitt, judge it mentally, then call it). There's no such thing as a "bad day behind the plate." There's only, "I can do better."
  14. Of course. Any catch/no catch that affects runners other than the BR needs to be sold. F5 sold that it was a catch, for instance, and everyone was looking at him. We have to beat that if we disagree.
  15. Proper mechanic is to verbalize when the call needs to be sold. Always nice to see a Gardenhire ejected. The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.
  16. The days of the expected call have gone. With even amateur fields having multiple cameras on plays, we should make the right call. That philosophy has taken over for a generation in pro ball now, and needs to displace the old guard in amateur ball as well. That is my opinion, offered entirely without justification at this time.
  17. This statement reflects a correct grasp of the rule. F1 must proceed with his windup and pitch to the batter without interruption, once he is committed to pitching (starts the windup, say, with a rocker step). But some opposing coaches see a leg stop, for example, without noticing that something else (such as the hands) continue to move. As long as something is moving, F1's delivery is legal. And, yes, this is a judgment call. Given the severity of the penalty with R3, I'd be looking for an obvious "freeze" of F1's entire body for a substantial time, not a momentary pause of the leg. All of this is irrelevant. If F1 throws 100 pitches in a game, they can all be made with different motions without violating the balk provisions. And deceiving the runner is not illegal in and of itself. The purpose of (legal) feints, suddenly disengaging, varying time to delivery, etc. is to deceive the runner. A balk is illegal deception, as defined in the balk rule.
  18. maven

    Base umpire

    Yes, for the next game.
  19. maven

    Time Play?

    This post reflects my view exactly. By rule, an advantageous 4th out is possible only on an appeal play, and, by definition, an appeal play may occur only for a missed base or failure to retouch. Thus, it should not be possible to appeal the BR at 1B for an advantageous 4th out (the BR can't have missed 1B until he has passed it). True in all codes, including FED. And whatever email from the last millennium from FED to Carl should be ignored, as it contradicts black-letter rule. Always glad to hear that Wendelstedt (and Randy, FWIW) agrees with me. 🙃
  20. True, but it usually happens at lower levels and when the ball is hit to F3. I've never seen R1 coached to remain on 1B. It could conceivably blow up, if the defense tries to turn a double play and the (now retired) R1 interferes with the fielder taking the back end play at 1B.
  21. maven

    Tagging a runner

    What does "valid" mean? For it to be a tag, it has to be arm's length or less! I'm guessing this is about the 3-foot violation. And in that case, it doesn't have to be close at all: once the fielder with the ball starts moving toward the runner, the tag attempt has begun, and the runner has to head directly to a base (advancing or returning). Deviating more than 3 feet from that direct line in order to avoid the tag results in a (live-ball) out.
  22. This is the only part of the first story I don't like. Don't contact anyone. If someone persists in confronting you, take out your phone and dial 9-1-1, but don't send the call. Hold up the phone and tell the person to leave you alone or the police will be involved. Call the assignor when you're secure. Check your league rules, but generally the home book is official. If they disagree, go with home book and recommend that the scorekeepers sort it out. It's not our job to adjudicate these disagreements. Good. Not so good. Do not respond, or, at most, "Thanks coach," and be on your way. He's entitled to his opinion, and your response set up what happened next. The hardest thing is to ignore all these comments thrown our way, especially from ignorant, angry fans. The sooner you learn to do it, the better. Ugh. Some of those leagues are the worst: a bunch of has-beens and never-were's, taking it out on officials. Gross. Don't let them get away with anything.
  23. maven

    Time Play?

    I don't know why this is so difficult. The BR did not make the third out: that was R2 retired (not a force play) after R3 scored. That's a time play. The run counts. Some codes permit an advantageous 4th out play on the BR before he reaches 1B. In those codes, the BR would have made the 3rd out (as an advantageous 4th out replaces the 3rd out), and no run would score. BUT THAT DID NOT HAPPEN IN THE OP, along with a million other irrelevant possibilities. Score the run.
  24. maven

    Time Play?

    Count the run. The third out was not a force play or the BR prior to reaching 1B.
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