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maven

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Everything posted by maven

  1. Isn't that what happened? The 0–1 pitch hit him as he swung, ruled a dead-ball strike, sub on the injury, the sub assumes the 0–2 count. What was wrong about any of that?
  2. Contact is irrelevant. The operative concept is hindrance. The umpire must judge whether the runner's position and actions hindered the fielder. As I'm envisioning it, and for HS (varsity?), I'd say no. Being "distracted" by an approaching runner is on the fielder; being screened, contacted, potentially run into by a runner is more what we're looking for. Contact is helpful in calling INT because the call sells itself. If there's no contact, we need the hindrance to be quite evident—so when coach argues that there was no contact, we can point out that the hindrance he did see is sufficient for INT. We need this to be big because the penalty is big: the offense is losing a runner at 3B or one who will score, which can be the difference in a game. When in doubt, it wasn't INT. As for the OBS: the runner did a good job avoiding the fielder as he was supposed to do. That put him on the ground, like the fielder—hindering his own opportunity to advance. Unless something additional happens after that point, I'm not likely to hang OBS on F5: ideally, they both get up at the same time and in such a way that F5 does not hinder the runner. But yes, in principle, F5 is on the hook for OBS once he misplays the batted ball.
  3. maven

    Third base pick off

    The term "slide step" generally refers to a pitching motion from the set position. It is a move to pitch to the batter without a significant leg lift. If F1 does that slide step and throws to 3B instead, that's a balk for failing to step and throw directly to the base. If the "slide step" is a step toward 3B, then all is good, provided that the move otherwise satisfies the requirements of stepping and then throwing directly to a base (the step gains distance and direction, the throw is to the base and not a fielder away from the base, etc.).
  4. War stories aside: many amateur umpires are too close to their own experience coming up as a solo umpire. They're used to knowing whether time is out because they called it (or not). With more than 1 umpire, we have to be clear at all times whether time is out. If the batter is getting ready and all eyes are on the plate, sure, PU can put his hand up to call time. Any other time, all umpires must verbalize "Time!" loud enough for all the umpires to hear and register. Failing to do so creates shît shows like the OP.
  5. Sounds as if you DID call OBS, just never got around to verbalizing it! Yes, F3 hindered the BR without the ball. And this is a call we HAVE to get, because this BR did the right thing by not crashing F3. We penalize his correct choice if we ignore it.
  6. maven

    Balk?

    And if R1 feints advancing to 2B, thus legitimizing F1's move to 2B, F1 may also feint (to 2B), which is always legal.
  7. Definitely 3BLX. Stay out of the damn way! Officiating the back side of action at the plate is quite undesirable. Read step to avoid screening, which will also open us up for a possible swipe on R3. Losing the look down the line is a compromise we should make here.
  8. For FED, check the awards table in rule 8. A HR leaves fair territory over the fence "in flight," which entails that it does not bounce. A ball that bounces over the fence (including ON the fence) is a 2-base award. If you need more proof, start diving into the definition of "in flight" in "Batted Ball." Other codes are the same, others can post the references. I agree with U3's "no catch" call.
  9. This is not correct. Yes, the same we always use for check swings: did the batter offer at the pitch? If so, it's a dead-ball strike, no runner (including the BR) may advance. If not, it's a HBP, batter awarded 1B.
  10. maven

    Interference

    For me, this judging tangle/untangle turns more on time, not distance. If both start moving "immediately," the contact can be nearer ("instant") or farther (edge of the box, even just out of it) depending on where the ball is. But it still will be in the plate area: if F2 is 6' up the 1BL before contact, that's likely not immediate and will be INT. The BR will have had the opportunity to avoid F2 in that instance, as he's required by rule to do for the protected fielder. What will count as "immediate" will vary with level of play. In pro ball, 'immediate' is pretty quick, as I expect it is in NCAA. For HS Varsity, it's a bit longer. Lower levels can seem like all day, due to slow reaction times. Unfortunately, the tangle/untangle exception to the runner INT rule is impressionistic, and one of those that takes some experience to apply correctly. When in doubt, it's not INT (for tangle/untangle).
  11. maven

    Interference

    There's a more developed thread on an expanded version of this question—mods, please merge.
  12. maven

    Interference

    The ruling turns on how "slow to run" the BR was. If he was about as slow as F2, then the contact is nothing: the umpire should signal safe and verbalize "That's nothing! Play on!" There is an exception to the INT rule that covers this kind of contact (which apparently is far rarer in Velho's experience than mine). If he was substantially slower than F2 to react to the ball, then the contact is INT: the window for the exception (known to umpires as "tangle/untangle") has elapsed, and the BR is once again responsible for yielding to the protected fielder. This judgment call belongs to the umpire. We might be able to assess an actual game call if provided with video of the play. Anything else would be speculation at this point.
  13. Oh, and don't forget to allow the defense to appeal the miss at 1B, when all is said and done. 😉
  14. This is a standard setup: PU is visibly nodding "yes" to one question, and coach reports it as a different question. Rats gonna rat. Either say nothing and walk coach to your partner, or loudly provide a more substantive response, "yes, I saw the play!" so partner can hear your statement. For all codes, when the contact occurs beyond the base, the runner is safe (pending appeal). It's not OBS, because the BR is not trying to advance—no hindrance = no OBS. And it's not INT, because the runner is already safe, so there's nothing to hinder. I recommend signaling "safe" and verbalizing "That's nothing!" (and not, "That's a baseball play!" which is not an umpiring term, might mean different things to different coaches, and fails to communicate what we want, since both OBS and INT are (illegal) baseball plays as well). As for the BR's decision to advance: I read that as unrelated to the contact, and instead connected to the impending missed base appeal. If we kill it, we deprive the defense of the opportunity to appeal the missed base (by effectively protecting the BR back to 1B where he can correct his error during the dead ball). Just on this piece: it's important to understand what this "head of club" means. He's assuming that the only options for the runner are to stop running or crash the fielder. But that's a false choice. Merely saying "not my job" does not adequately address the problem, and in practice sounds like a cop out. Collisions occur because one player moves unexpectedly into the path of another. MC—deliberately colliding with an opponent—is much rarer than unintentional collisions. The key word is "unexpected"—how could anyone conceivably coach players to respond to the unexpected? My response to that question is something along the lines of: "Teach them that unexpected collisions happen in baseball, and to do their best to avoid injuring anyone including themselves." This response has the virtues of being true, realistic, and sporting.
  15. maven

    Walk Off Balk

    "Coach, the game ended before R1 completed his award."
  16. Really? It's been right there after rule 4 for some time now. 😉
  17. You are correct. I don't work LL and don't have their book. But I can give you OBR rules, and you can find the comparable LL rule. R1 is forced to advance by the batter becoming a runner. The force is removed once he reaches 2B safely. When he over-runs 2B, he is a runner off the base. To be retired he must be tagged. OBR 5.09(b)(6), under 5.09(b): "Retiring a Runner." "The force is removed as soon as the runner touches the base to which he is forced to advance, and if he overslides or overruns the base, the runner must be tagged to be put out." A runner can be retired with a tag of a base only when the runner is forced to that base.
  18. I recommend reconsidering this objective. If you want to be invisible, don't show up. We should aim to be as visible as required. Sometimes, we need to be both visible and audible: close calls, unusual calls, game temperature adjustments. If we're invisible for those, games get ugly. Sometimes, we do need to be minimally visible: routine plays, expected calls that are also correct calls, petty or minor instances of silly, macho, or otherwise ignorable behavior. Yet even there, we need to project an authority that indicates we are allowing the behavior for the moment in the interest of moving the game along. For me, that's the opposite of invisibility.
  19. First: I think the OP means F6, the short stop, covering 2B on the steal attempt. In general, we distinguish collisions on the base path into two types: those during a batted ball, and those during a thrown ball (in principle, we could have one during a pitched ball, but that's quite rare). A collision during a batted ball is (almost) always INT on the runner when it involves the fielder fielding the ball. A collision during a thrown ball, if illegal, is (almost) always OBS. But during a thrown ball, we can have train wrecks. Whether to call INT, OBS, or nothing turns above all on hindrance. These are rarer in FED, where the bar for OBS is lower. FED is quite insistent that a collision in front of the base with a fielder who doesn't have the ball is OBS. There's a case play where a bad throw pulls F3 off the base toward home, where he collides with the BR, and the ruling is OBS. I'd apply the same logic to the OP: bad throw pulls F6 off 2B into the path of the approaching runner, where F6 hinders the runner's advance. For FED (only—for other codes, this is a train wreck due to the "fielding the ball" exception) this is OBS: the ball is dead, the runner is awarded his advance base (2B here). The OP asks a second general question about having to avoid the fielder. The FED INT rule, 8-4-2, has a provision requiring runners to slide or try to avoid a fielder in the act of making a play. This rule is in place to prevent crashing a fielder, not to prevent two moving players from colliding. Runners are never required to slide, and they're also not required to triangulate a moving fielder's path. It does not supersede the OBS rule (as the MC rule does, for example). In the OP, F6 isn't making a play, he's trying to field a poorly thrown ball, and he's not protected from OBS in that instance.
  20. maven

    Coaches

    I don't recall a constraint (beyond the uniform you mentioned). FED generally regards more adult supervision as better. State associations sometimes have limits, especially in the state tournament (mine does). We have to deal only with the big cheese (though polite & respectful speech should be reciprocated from any participant).
  21. For baby ball, I'm OK with this. But not above 10U. F2 is (or needs to be) the smartest player on the field, and needs this lesson burned into his memory. "Coach, I think we just saw that."
  22. maven

    OBS or No?

    The FED OBS rule, as you know, requires that fielders without the ball allow the runner "access" to the base. That means a way for the runner to reach hand or foot to the base from roughly the directly he's coming. For your play, that would be the 2B side of 3B. The judgment part of the call concerns whether "F5 had his legs spread" constitutes access. Could the runner have slid and reach his hand or foot to the base? If so, then no OBS. If not, then OBS. Note that the access allowed by the fielder need not be the runner's preferred access. For example, let's split the 2B side of 3B—the part of interest to an advancing runner—into 2 parts, the outfield side and the infield side. If the BR rounds 2B and is well behind the line connecting the bases, so that he's approaching 3B from the LF side of the baseline, his preferred access to 3B might be the outfield side of the base. F5 can block that side, leave the infield side of 3B accessible, and thus comply with the OBS rule. This is an advanced fielding skill. To anticipate the next question: if F5 sets up straddling the base, so that he's allowing access to the "middle" of the base, and then moves with the throw to block that part of the base, that could be OBS. If the runner has already committed to the (formerly) accessible part of the base and the fielder blocks that part before having the ball, that would be OBS. If the runner is far enough to adjust his path and slide, and the fielder has still allowed (now different) access to the base, that would not be OBS. This is an advanced umpiring skill, and sometimes difficult to assess in real time and from the angles afforded by 2-umpire mechanics. When in doubt, it's not OBS.
  23. Everyone's responsible for knowing the count. The call was correct: live ball, play on, runs score, bring the B back to complete his plate appearance. In some areas, this ploy is coached to gain an advantage: if F2 throws down successfully, the B cannot be retired, and R3 will often score safely as the defense figures out what the hell is going on; if F2 throws wild, 2 runs can score, as happened here. This play is not illegal, because everyone is responsible for knowing the count. F2 will learn a lesson from that experience.
  24. Here, try this link.
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