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Senor Azul

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  1. George Demetriou says in his 2019-2020 College Study Guide (p. 144)— “If the pitcher drops the ball while in contact with the rubber it is ignored unless there are runners on base. In such case, it shall be considered a pitch and called a ball if it crosses a foul line. If it does not cross a foul line, it is a balk. (9-2b)” He reiterates this point on page 158 where he says— “The following acts by the pitcher result in a ball being added to the batter’s count…Dropping the ball while on the rubber and it crosses the foul line with runners on base.” In addition, the 2016 BRD does not have an entry for a pitcher dropping the ball or having the ball slip from his hand during delivery. To me that would signify that at the time there were no rule differences requiring any entry in the book. I checked NCAA rules books back through the 2013-2014 edition and its rule 9-2b has been nearly identical to its current incarnation the whole time. Of course, there is the chance that Demetriou is wrong but isn’t it just as likely that the test writers just got this one wrong?
  2. From the 2021 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 6.32, p. 120): “In throwing to first or third base, the pitcher has the ball slip from his hand, and the ball does not reach or pass the area where the umpire adjudged the play or attempted play to occur, it is a balk.” This interpretation is an extension (or extrapolation) of OBR rule 6.02(a)(11) and the aforementioned 6.02(b) Comment. Essentially the pickoff throw was not completed to the base in compliance with the rule thus the balk call.
  3. From the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (p. 146) and then the actual rule: A slip (as opposed to a pitch or throw) is a released baseball, intended to be a pitch or throw, but that lacks both aim and momentum. Any intended pitch that slips out of a pitcher’s hand and crosses (or, if it is touched, would have crossed) a foul line is a ball. An intended pitch that slips and does not cross a foul line is a balk if there is a runner, and no pitch if there is not a runner. (6.02b Comment) An intended pickoff throw (in-contact) to first or third base that slips is a balk if it does not reach the foul line or a fielder within reach of a tag attempt at the base. However, it is not a balk if a pitcher drops the ball or allows it to slip after a step to second base, which does not require a throw. 2021 OBR Rule 6.02(b) Comment: A ball which slips out of a pitcher’s hand and crosses the foul line shall be called a ball; otherwise it will be called no pitch. This would be a balk with men on base. It says the same thing in the 2021 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 6.32, p. 120).
  4. Senor Azul

    Missed base

    Mr. concertman71, FED rule 8-2-3 refers to a following runner. For a batter-runner an R3 is a preceding runner. The rule is telling us that if R3 misses home and a following runner, R2 for example, scores on the same play that R3 would not have a legal way of correcting his baserunning error. Of course, the responsibility still is on the defense to recognize the violation and make a proper appeal. 2019 NFHS rule 8 SECTION 2 TOUCHING, OCCUPYING AND RETURNING TO A BASE ART. 3 . . . Any runner who misses a base while advancing may not return to touch it after a following runner has scored. 2015 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 20: The batter hits the ball to the shortstop who bobbles the ball and throws late to first base. The batter-runner beats the throw but does not touch first base. RULING: The runner beats the ball on the play and is considered to be safe. The defense must appeal the missed base or tag the batter-runner before he returns to first in order to have the out declared for the missed base. (8-2-1 Penalty)
  5. From the MLB website: No Major League ballparks are exactly alike, but certain aspects of the field of play must be uniform across baseball… The rulebook states that parks constructed by professional teams after June 1, 1958, must have a minimum distance of 325 feet between home plate and the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on the right- and left-field foul lines, and 400 feet between home plate and the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction in center field. However, some clubs have been permitted to construct parks after that date with dimensions shorter than those specified… The specification on minimum park dimensions was put into place due to the stadium controversy surrounding the Brooklyn Dodgers' move to Los Angeles in 1958. The Dodgers played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum while Dodger Stadium was being built, but the Coliseum was not designed to hold baseball games. The Coliseum's left-field fence was roughly 250 feet away from home plate and the club had to erect a 40-foot-high screen to protect against short home runs. The specification is not strictly enforced, however, so long as teams do not build parks that egregiously violate the rule. For example, Petco Park opened in 2004 and is officially 396 feet in center field, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened in 1992 and is 318 feet down the right-field line.
  6. Mr. BLWizzRanger is right—it is a leftover from history. There was no minimum distance rule to build fences away from home plate until 1889 and it has been amended as recently as 1958. From the book The Rules of the Game by Eric Miklich— In the National League in 1884, Ned Williamson of the Chicago White Stockings would hit 27 home runs. Only two were hit away from home, both being hit in Buffalo at Olympic Park. Williamson was a left-handed batter and it has been stated that the right-field fence at Lake Front Park, Chicago's home field, was less than 200 feet from home plate. This was the shortest fence in the league. Buffalo had the second smallest park in the National League. In fact three other White Stockings hit over 20 home runs that season. Chicago hit 142 for the season which was an unheard of number for the time. No team in either the American Association or the Union Association had more than 40. Not until the National League and American Association of Base Ball Club written rules, in 1889, was this issue addressed. The rules stated that any fair ball hit out of the field of play less than 210 feet from home base was only a double. The distance was changed to 235 feet for the 1892 season. Williamson's mark would not be broken until 1919 when Boston Red Sox left fielder and pitcher Babe Ruth would hit 29.
  7. Here’s the Official Baseball Rule (OBR or pro rules) that answers your question--rule 5.05(a)(9). It would be the same base award in NCAA and FED (high school) as well. 2021 OBR rule 5.05 When the Batter Becomes a Runner (a) The batter becomes a runner when: (9) Any fair fly ball is deflected by the fielder into the stands, or over the fence into foul territory, in which case the batter shall be entitled to advance to second base; but if deflected into the stands or over the fence in fair territory, the batter shall be entitled to a home run. However, should such a fair fly be deflected at a point less than 250 feet from home plate, the batter shall be entitled to two bases only.
  8. Mr. Richvee, it is written into every rule set that one umpire cannot overrule another. The principle I was taught is that umpires can and should confer but ultimately it is the calling umpire’s decision. Here’s how Hunter Wendelstedt puts it in his 2013 WRIM (p. 148): “When determining where to award runners because of obstruction, it may be necessary for more than one umpire to rule on the play. If one umpire calls the obstruction, and another makes the call of out on a play following the obstruction, the initial umpire may call time and award the runner the base he would have received had the obstruction not occurred.”
  9. Senor Azul

    Missed base

    Mr. agdz59, is this what you are asking about? 2019 Case Book Play 8.2.2 Situation M: With R2, B2 hits a grounder to left field. R2 touches third base but misses the plate in attempting to score. F7 having thrown home, F2 steps on the missed base to retire R2 and throws to F6 in an attempt to put out B2: (a) before R2 attempts to return home; or (b) after R2 attempts to return to touch home plate. RULING: (a) Upon proper defensive appeal, R2 would be ruled out. (b) Since R2 initiated action prior to the defense touching the plate, R2 must be tagged to record the out. R2 may legally return to touch home if he has not touched the steps of the dugout and if a subsequent runner has not yet scored.
  10. Senor Azul

    Missed base

    The following text is from the 2021 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 5.12, p. 55): “A runner does not acquire the right to an unoccupied base on an attempt to retire the runner until he touches it before he is put out. This is true regardless of whether the umpire’s act of not making a call signifies to the defensive team that the runner failed to touch the base for purposes of an appeal play.” Play 1: Batter-runner hits a ground ball and beats the play at first base but misses the bag as he passes it with both feet. Ruling 1: The proper mechanic is for the umpire to make no call on the play because the batter-runner has not yet touched first base. If the defense appeals by tagging the runner (or base) and appealing that the runner missed first base before the runner returns to first base, the batter-runner would be declared out… This mechanic first appeared in the book for the 2018 edition of the MiLBUM. Someone posted back then that it was also in the 2018 Major League Baseball Umpire Manual. Someone also posted that this mechanic was not being taught at the umpire school.
  11. Senor Azul

    Missed base

    The rule that tells us that a runner is presumed to have reached a base even though he has not actually touched it is 5.05(b)(3) Comment—in other words the base is his even though he has not legally acquired the base. Rule 5.06(a) tells us that a runner acquires the legal right to a base when he touches it before he is out. 2021 OBR Rule 5.05(b)(3) Comment: If catcher’s interference is called with a play in progress the umpire will allow the play to continue because the manager may elect to take the play. If the batter-runner missed first base, or a runner misses his next base, he shall be considered as having reached the base, as stated in Note of Rule 5.06(b)(3)(D). And for high school the following interpretation can be found in the 2016 BRD (section 362, p. 242): FED Official Interpretation: Hopkins: If BR misses first but beats the throw, he is “considered safe” and the umpire should so signal. If the defense appeals, the umpire will reverse his call. 2015 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 20: The batter hits the ball to the shortstop who bobbles the ball and throws late to first base. The batter-runner beats the throw but does not touch first base. RULING: The runner beats the ball on the play and is considered to be safe. The defense must appeal the missed base or tag the batter-runner before he returns to first in order to have the out declared for the missed base. (8-2-1 Penalty)
  12. The runner in your scenario would be safe if he retouched home and then beat the throw to third. Here are the relevant rules-- 2021 OBR rule 5.08 How a Team Scores (a) One run shall be scored each time a runner legally advances to and touches first, second, third and home base before three men are put out to end the inning… Rule 5.08(a) Comment: A run legally scored cannot be nullified by subsequent action of the runner, such as but not limited to an effort to return to third base in the belief that he had left the base before a caught fly ball. But the runner did not score legally—he had not tagged up (retouched third) before advancing to home. He can return to third even after touching home plate as long as he complies with the rule 5.06(b)(1) and retouches home on his way back to third base. 5.06 (b) Advancing Bases (1) In advancing, a runner shall touch first, second, third and home base in order. If forced to return, he shall retouch all bases in reverse order, unless the ball is dead under any provision of Rule 5.06(c). In such cases, the runner may go directly to his original base.
  13. Here is the actual text from the FED rule book that supports what has already been posted and answers the question posed by our guest (also Mr. beerguy55’s question)— 2019 NFHS rule 3-1-1 …In each of the following situations, the ball is declared live by the umpire-in-chief. Should there be no announcement of substitutions, a substitute has entered the game when the ball is live and: a. a runner takes the place of a runner he has replaced, b. a pitcher takes his place on the pitcher’s plate, c. a fielder reaches the position usually occupied by the fielder he has replaced, or d. a batter takes his place in the batter’s box. …If the player should score a run, advance or cause a play to be made that allows another runner(s) to advance, discovery must be made by an umpire or either team before the first pitch to the next batter of either team. This would invalidate the action of the illegal offensive player. Any out(s) made on the play stands and all other runners return to the base(s) occupied at the time of the pitch. In a game-ending situation, discovery must be made before all infielders leave the diamond (i.e., all infielders cross the foul lines). An illegal player on defense shall be replaced immediately upon discovery by the umpire or either team. If an illegal player on defense is involved in a play, and the infraction is discovered by an umpire or either team prior to the first pitch to the next batter of either team, the team on offense has the option to let the play stand or to allow the batter to bat again…
  14. Here’s the actual rule that governs a batter who throws his bat—please note that there are indeed limitations on throwing the bat at a pitch. This rule entered the rule book in 2016-- 2021 OBR rule 6.03 Batter Illegal Action (a) A batter is out for illegal action when: (4) He throws his bat into fair or foul territory and hits a catcher (including the catcher’s glove) and the catcher was attempting to catch a pitch with a runner(s) on base and/or the pitch was a third strike. *** The Official Playing Rules Committee made the following changes that will be in effect for the 2016 season… • Added new Rule 6.03(a)(4) regarding a batter who throws his bat and hits the catcher. Exception now applies to Rules 6.03(a)(3) and 6.06(a)(4). Comment now applies to 6.03(a)(3) and 6.06(a)(4). • Renumbered previous Rule 6.03(a)(4) to Rule 6.03(a)(5) and renumbered previous Rule 6.03(a)(4) Comment to Rule 6.03(a)(5) Comment.
  15. Does anyone remember middle infielder Mike Phillips? He had an 11-year career in the majors and according to a post I found in another officiating website he actually got a hit by throwing his bat at a pitch-- Once in the eighties, Mike Phillips of the Mets was being intentionally walked and for whatever reason he threw the bat at the ball and got a single on a soft fly into centerfield. I think the fielders were caught off-guard. That is pretty cool but Mike Phillips didn’t play for the Mets in the 1980s so this may be apocryphal. He did play for the Mets in the 1970s—he was a Met in 75, 76, and 77. Actually getting a hit with a thrown bat has to be extremely rare if this is true. Does anyone remember this incident?
  16. Just to back up the relevant rule (1-16d)--George Demetriou says in his 2019-2020 NCAA Study Guide (Chapter 7, p. 201): “No equipment shall be left lying on the field. Gloves, bats, and other equipment must be kept in the dugout or other dead-ball area. Any ball that strikes equipment left on the field remains in play.” He reiterates the point in Chapter 4 in a section of items listed as Not Interference on page 124. And the 2016 BRD references rule 1-16d as the way the NCAA handles it with no qualifiers.
  17. The Brad Rumble interpretation—that throwing the bat at a pitch is considered to be carelessly throwing the bat--is based on FED rule 3-3-1c and its penalty is warning/ejection… SECTION 3 BENCH AND FIELD CONDUCT ART. 1 . . . A coach, player, substitute, attendant or other bench personnel shall not: c. carelessly throw a bat; PENALTY: At the end of playing action, the umpire shall issue a warning to the coach of the team involved and the next offender on that team shall be ejected. In (b), it is also obstruction (8-3-2).
  18. What have you been told or what authoritative opinion have you read about a batter throwing his bat at a pitch? Would it be unconditionally OK or are there caveats we all must take into account? Sadly, there isn’t much written about this question—the following is about all I have found so far. 2016 BRD (section 98, p. 84) FED Official Interpretation: Rumble: If a batter throws his bat toward a pitch, that constitutes a carelessly thrown bat with all attendant penalties. And on page 85 the following case play can be found: FED only: R1. Left-handed B1 attempts to sacrifice. The defense detects the play and pitches out. B1, attempting to protect the runner, throws his bat at the pitch. The bat sails very near F5, charging in for the play. Ruling: B1 is guilty of carelessly throwing a bat. And this from baseballrulesacademy.com— “Sometimes a batter will throw his bat at a pitch during a hit-and-run and lose his grip on the bat. This is a dangerous situation and should be discouraged. If the umpire determines that the bat is thrown intentionally and it interferes with a fielder making a play, two outs could be called.” So it would seem to me that the general principle of a batter being responsible for his bat not interfering would apply also to a bat thrown at a pitch. What do you think?
  19. I am pretty sure the rules committee was not thinking of something from the Ministry of Silly Walks when they used the word unnatural. From dictionary.com (one of the six meanings given for the word unnatural) Unnatural--at variance with what is normal or to be expected: WORDS RELATED TO UNNATURAL abnormal, bizarre, incredible, odd, outlandish, outrageous, perverse, preposterous, stilted, strange, ersatz, extraordinary unusual, affected, aberrant, anomalous, assumed, concocted, contrary, contrived, 2019 NFHS Case Book Play 7.3.5 Situation E: With less than two outs, R2 and B2 at the plate, R2 attempts to steal third. In the process, B2, who bats right-handed, after swinging or not swinging at the pitch, (a) makes no attempt to get out of the way of F2 throwing to third or (b) is unable to make an attempt to get out of the way of F2 throwing to third. As a result, F2 cannot make a play on the runner. Is B2 out, and must R2 return to second? RULING: B2 is not guilty of interference in (a) or (b). B2 is entitled to his position in the batter’s box and is not subject to being penalized for interference unless he moves or re-establishes his position after F2 has received the pitch, which then prevents F2 from attempting to play on a runner. Failing to move so F2 can make a throw is not batter interference. In the video the batter moved and put his bat in the catcher’s throwing lane which was then hit by the catcher’s throw—that’s interference with his bat which is also part of the MiLBUM cite.
  20. Senor Azul

    Dropped bat

    For high school ball you can use rule 7-2-3— 2020 FED rule 7-2 ART. 3 . . . A foul ball or a fair hit (which may be a bunt) occurs when a pitch is touched by the bat of the batter who is in his box (2-5-1, 2-16- 1, 2).
  21. Senor Azul


    Mr. Aluck, no runs count in your scenario because the rule book tells us so (see exception 1 below)— 2021 OBR rule 5.08 How a Team Scores (a) One run shall be scored each time a runner legally advances to and touches first, second, third and home base before three men are put out to end the inning. EXCEPTION: A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made (1) by the batter-runner before he touches first base; (2) by any runner being forced out; or (3) by a preceding runner who is declared out because he failed to touch one of the bases.
  22. 2021 OBR 6.03 Batter Illegal Action (a) A batter is out for illegal action when: (3) He interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base. From the 2021 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 6.42, p. 127): “In addition to stepping out of the batter’s box, interference may be interpreted as any unnatural movement by the batter or his bat within the batter’s box…” From the 2016 BRD (section 280, p. 182) OBR: Authoritative Opinion: Evans: The batter is obligated to avoid making any movement which obstructs, impedes, or hinders the catcher’s play in any way. A swing which carries the batter over home plate and subsequently complicates the catcher’s play or attempted play should be ruled interference. Contact between the batter and catcher does not necessarily have to occur for interference to be ruled. Merely blocking the catcher’s vision to second base may very possibly be interference. (JEA/6:46) 2019 Case Book Play 7.3.6 Situation: “…because B1 is responsible for controlling his bat and not allowing it to interfere with a defensive player attempting a play…”
  23. Thanks for the info, Mr. MadMax. I must be really behind the times because I have not heard anything about all-girls baseball teams being formed and tournaments dedicated to them until now. Just found the following at a website called baseballforall.com—it was an all-girls tournament. INAUGURAL LEIGHTON ACCARDO SERIES We are proud to introduce a brand-new girls baseball event in partnership with the Arizona Peaches: the Leighton Accardo Series, an all-girls baseball tournament for players ages 8–16. This inaugural two-day tournament will be held in Chandler, Arizona in conjunction with East Valley Baseball... Leighton Accardo was a founding member of the Arizona Peaches, an all-girls baseball program in Chandler, Arizona that has grown to include over 150 girls.
  24. Mr. MadMax, it is fascinating to know your work schedule—thanks for that bit of info. But, please tell us, isn’t Chandler a suburb of Phoenix or just very close? Is there anything you could add about this tournament? For example, are you familiar with the venues—Espee and Pima parks? Maybe you know some of the umpires who did participate (apparently our fellow member Mr. KenBAZ was not one of them)? Would they be a lot of softball umpires and perhaps some women umpires? Do you have any idea why the entry fee is so high? What I read on their Facebook page is that the tournament was a stay-to-play tournament. I am not entirely sure what that means exactly but would that be part of the reason for the high fee? Perhaps you could find the results and let us know if the team that Mr. LMSANS mentioned from Jersey did well. Apparently, this was an all-girl tournament. Is girls’ baseball a big thing in Arizona or is it just getting started? How much rain does Phoenix actually get annually? Apparently, this event went off as scheduled even though it was raining in Phoenix. Are these fields in Espee and Pima parks artificial turf and thus not as affected by rain?
  25. For pro ball there is definitely written instructions not to offer the options (see 2013 Wendelstedt manual p. 132 and 2021 MiLBUM p. 105). I cannot find any guidance telling umpires to offer the options to the coach in high school ball. There may not be any guidance for this situation at the amateur level but there is a recommendation from Carl Childress and a couple of his friends (in his 2016 BRD, p. 204 Note 282): “Both JEA (6:64) and HW (2013 Wendelstedt RIM, p. 132) indicate the correct procedure is for the umpire to enforce the penalty for catcher interference, willy-nilly. Then, if the offensive coach requests the option, the ruling will be changed. I believe that’s wrong for amateur umpires, and I am joined in that assessment by senior NCAA Division I umpires Jon Bible and Ken Allen. Simply: When an option exists, offer it to the coach.” In addition, earlier in this thread lawump posted on 6/24/19 the following— We (at my urging) specifically put this in the FED umpire manual in 2016 because I had, had long debates about this with umpires across the country throughout my FED career. I told my fellow committee members that I didn't really care which way it was resolved, but that we definitely needed to provide guidance to umpires. Unfortunately he did not quote what actually made it into the umpire manual that year--perhaps now he can. In case you did not know it, our contributing member lawump actually served on the NFHS rules committee (I think it was 2015-2019).
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