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Senor Azul

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Everything posted by Senor Azul

  1. So far I have found just one article online about foul pole rules--at baseballscouter.com. It states that the National and American leagues did indeed have different rules concerning foul poles. The AL ruled that balls that hit a foul pole above the fence but then landed foul are ground rule doubles. On the other hand, the NL ruled such batted balls are home runs. Unfortunately the article gave no details as to when the two leagues agreed to the rule we know today or when they started to rule differently. I have rule books for every year but they are not available to me at the moment. Sometime soon I will have them and I will do more research.
  2. Senor Azul

    Legal Tag

    Well, we now have three OBR citations to provide definitive proof that the tag in the OP is legal. (Thanks to JSam21 and a tip of the cap to you for posting the MLBUM reference.) There is no need to "go rogue" and make a call that is technically wrong. As for high school and college rulings, I can't find anything that states it definitively so I would follow the OBR interpretation.
  3. Senor Azul

    Legal Tag

    Mr. cala blue, there are two OBR citations that tell us the tag you ask about is legal. They can be found in an old post of mine-- Ask the Umpire forum dated 3/29/22 titled Is this enough for the tag to be doubled off of first? I can't cut and paste so if someone would be kind enough to bring it forward I would be grateful. One of the sources is the MiLBUM and a relevant part says--touching a runner with the ball in his bare hand pressed against his glove is legal.
  4. Yes, the batter would still be credited with a sacrifice fly (therefore no at-bat charged). Why penalize the batter for a defensive error? Of course, you would still have to account for the batter reaching base. Simply draw the line to the base he attained and make a notation of E8 (for example).
  5. Mr. ousafe, the answers noumpere gave you are good answers. In fact, they match up with the pro interpretations found in the Minor League Baseball Umpire manual. Those interpretations make sense and probably are the same adopted for each individual state in the NFHS. The FED calls these "game ending procedures" and allows the states to adopt its own rules. That's why the rulebook and the case book don't go into any details about this issue.
  6. From the 2016 Baseball Rules Differences by Carl Childress (section 454, p. 301): Runner Establishes Base Path FED: When a play is being made on a runner, he establishes his base path as a direct line between his position and the base he is trying for. (8-4-2a-2) Official Interpretation: Hopkins: The “skunk in the outfield” is legal. A runner may lead off any way he likes toward the next base and is not guilty of an infraction unless he uses more than three feet on either side of his base path to avoid a tag. (Website 2000 #20; affirmed, website 2005 #16) NCAA and OBR: Same as FED. OBR Official Interpretation: Wendelstedt: A runner may lead off in any manner he wishes, including as far into the outfield as he’d like. The only restriction involves first: If BR runs through first, he is required to return to it before taking his lead. He may not remain out in the outfield and “lead off” from that position or attempt to draw a throw from the defense to allow other runners to advance. 2000 SITUATION 20: With R3 on third base, R1 takes a lead off of first base and positions himself at the grass behind first base down the right field line. F1 throws to F3 in an attempt to pick off R1. R1 runs down the right field foul line toward the outfield fence. RULING: While R1’s position is legal, he is declared out when he ran toward the outfield fence when a play was attempted. In running down the foul line, he was out of the baseline he had between his position at the time of the pick off and second base. (8-4-2a) 2005 SITUATION 16: With R3 on third base, R1 takes a position about three feet in the grass behind first base. The pitcher, in a pick-off attempt, throws to first base and R1 runs directly from his position to second base. The defensive coach argues that this is an unfair tactic and that R2 should be declared out. RULING: While a runner may not position himself behind a base to get a running start, there are no other restrictions as to where a runner must be when taking his lead from a base. From wherever he positions himself, his baseline is established from that point directly to the base toward which he is attempting. As long as he does not run more than three feet away from that direct line to avoid being tagged when a play is being made on him, his action is legal. (8-2, 8-4-2a Note, 8-4-2o)
  7. A batter-runner is allowed to overrun first base by rule. But the same rule requires him to return to first base immediately. So he cannot continue running to the foul pole and then take a lead toward second base. If the batter-runner does not return immediately the defense can step on first and appeal for the putout.
  8. The NCAA code actually has a rule that covers the extra ball on the field situation and FED now has a case play that addresses this question: 2019-2020 NCAA Rule 6 Dead Ball—Play Suspended SECTION 5. Time shall be called by the umpire and play is suspended when: c. An unusual circumstance interferes with the normal progress of the game, such as any crowd action, animal, ball, or other object on the field (see 6-4-a PENALTY); 6-4a PENALTY—The ball is dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as to nullify the act of interference; 2018 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 5: With one out and a runner on third base, the defense is warming up a pitcher in its bullpen, which is located inside the fence in live-ball territory along the left-field fence. A ball from the bullpen gets past the bullpen catcher and goes to the fence to the left of the catcher. Meanwhile, the pitcher throws a wild pitch that gets past the catcher and goes to the fence to the right of the catcher. The catcher retreats to the fence, picks up the bullpen ball and throws it to the pitcher covering the plate for an apparent out on the runner advancing home. RULING: The runner is safe. Only the game ball can be used to record an out. (1-3-1)
  9. Perhaps the most famous (probably because it involved two future HOFers) extra ball on the field incident took place on June 30, 1959 at Wrigley Field. Stan Musial took a ball four pitch that got away from the catcher and went all the way to the backstop of Wrigley. Seeing the ball got away Musial started running to first base. The pitcher and the catcher immediately started to argue with the HP umpire Vic Delmore that the reason the ball got away was that the pitch hit Musial's check swing. During the course of the argument Delmore handed a second ball to the catcher. The catcher sees that Musial is on his way to second and overthrows second base with the second ball going into center field. Musial saw the overthrow and started for third base. While all this was happening the third baseman ran in and picked up the first live ball and threw it to the shortstop Ernie Banks who applied a tag on Musial and he was called out. That out was upheld by the umpires after lengthy discussion. Umpire Delmore was let go after the season ended.
  10. In an MLB game played on August 5, 2014, between the Reds and Indians, there was a play involving an extra ball on the field—the umpires kept the ball live: With none out and two on (R1, R3), B1 hit a double to F9, who threw to F4 to F6 as a ball from the defensive bullpen flew onto the field near F4. F6 threw to F5 as R1 dove back to third and was tagged out. OBR Rule 5.01(b) states that after the umpire calls "Play" and until the umpire calls "Time," or until for legal cause (e.g., hit batsman, umpire or offensive interference, foul ball, etc.), the ball is alive. Rule 5.12 lists several additional opportunities to call "Time," including weather/darkness, light failure, an accident, mound visit, examination of baseball, fielder falls out of play, and the umpire orders a person removed. Rule 5.12(b)(8) states, "Except in the cases stated in paragraphs (2) and (3)(A) of this rule, no umpire shall call 'Time' while a play is in progress." According to these rules, the umpire should not kill the ball simply because an extra ball flies onto the field. The circumstance of an extra ball on the field is not listed as an opportunity to stop play.
  11. A pitcher intentionally in contact with the pitcher’s plate may not go to his mouth in high school ball. 2023 6.2.1 Situation A: With no runners on base, F1 places the pitching hand on the mouth and distinctly wipes off the pitching hand prior to touching the ball, (a) while not touching the pitcher’s plate, (b) while touching the pitcher’s plate. RULING: (a) Legal; (b) illegal, and a ball shall be awarded to the batter’s count. 2023 6.2.1 Situation B: With R1 at first, F1 places the pitching hand on the mouth and distinctly wipes off the pitching hand prior to touching the ball (a) while not touching the pitcher’s plate or (b) while touching the pitcher’s plate in the set position. RULING: Legal in (a). In (b), the pitcher has balked and R1 is awarded second base. (6-1-3) 2008 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 6: While on the pitcher's plate in the windup position, the pitcher has both hands at his side or both hands together in front of his body. He brings his pitching hand to his mouth and then distinctly wipes it off. RULING: This is an illegal pitch. Each runner on base would be awarded one base. If the bases were empty, a ball would be awarded to the batter. (6-1-2 Penalty) SITUATION 7: While on the pitching plate in the stretch position, the pitcher has the ball in his glove hand and his pitching hand is at his side or has hands together in front of his body. He brings his pitching hand to his mouth, distinctly wipes it off and returns it to his side. RULING: This is an illegal pitch by the pitcher. A balk will be called if there are runners on base. If the bases are empty, a ball will be awarded to the batter. (6-1-3 Penalty) SITUATION 8: While off the pitcher's plate, the pitcher goes to his mouth with his pitching hand, distinctly wipes it off and then legally engages the pitcher's plate. RULING: This is legal. (6-1, 6-2-1e)
  12. From the 2016 BRD (section 228, p. 155): FED Official Interpretation: Hopkins: A fielder’s blowing on the ball is the same as touching it. The umpire will rule fair/foul based on where the ball was when the fielder committed the act. 2008 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 1: With runners on first and second and no outs, the batter bunts a slow roller down the third-base line. The third baseman, seeing that he has no play on any of the runners, starts blowing on the ball from his hands and knees, trying to make the ball go foul. The ball eventually rolls into foul territory where it comes to rest. RULING: This is a fair ball. The fielder is using artificial means to induce the ball to become foul. As soon as a fielder blew on the ball, it would be judged to be the same as if he had touched it. So, if the ball was on fair ground when he blew on it, the ball is fair; if the ball was over foul ground when he blew on it, it would be foul. (2-5-1, 2-16-1)
  13. A fielder cannot interfere with the course of a batted ball by official professional interpretation. Here’s how it appears in the 2021 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 10.3, p. 158): "When a batted ball is rolling fair down the foul line between home plate and either first or third base and a fielder stoops down over the ball and blows on it or in any other manner does some act that in the judgment of the umpire causes the ball to roll onto foul territory, the umpire shall rule a fair ball. The ball is alive and in play." I know of only three instances of this shenanigan occurring and the interesting thing is that all involved the Kansas City Royals. The most famous instance, of course, is when Lenny Randle actually succeeded in blowing the ball foul in a game between the Mariners and Royals in 1981. In 1987, Kevin Seitzer of the Royals tried it in a game against the Twins. Finally, in a spring training game in 2012 between the Dodgers and Royals Jerry Hairston tried it.
  14. The FED does rule on this question differently than OBR and NCAA. Under high school rules, if the batter steps out with one foot and the pitcher delivers, it's a strike regardless of the location of the pitch. If the batter steps out with two feet and the pitcher delivers, it's a strike regardless of the location of the pitch, AND IF THE BATTER DELAYS THE GAME IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE UMPIRE, then a second strike shall be issued. And how can we be sure the FED wants the batter to stay in the box? Well, in addition to the rule and case play already posted there are two other case plays in the current Case Book that tell us that if the pitcher completes his delivery after the batter steps out the pitch is to be called a strike no matter the location. 5.2.1 SITUATION A: After F1 has started his delivery, B1 steps out of the batter’s box without being granted “Time.” RULING: If F1 delivers a legal pitch, the umpire shall call the pitch a strike regardless of the location. A second strike may be called, if, in the umpire’s judgment, B1 caused unnecessary delay. The ball remains live. Whether time is granted to the batter shall be umpire judgment. 6.2.4 SITUATION I: With R3 on third base, F1 starts the pitching motion and B2 requests "Time," but the umpire does not grant "Time." B2 steps out of the batter's box with both feet and (a) F1 delivers a pitch, (b) does not deliver the pitch or (c) throws a wild pitch. RULING: (a) The umpire shall call two strikes on B2, one on the pitch, and one for stepping out of the box. In (b), the umpire shall call a strike on B2 for stepping out of the batter's box. The balk is nullified. In (c), two strikes shall be called on B2, one on the pitch and one for stepping out. The ball remains live. (7-3-1 PENALTY)
  15. Senor Azul

    Strike 4

    Under high school rules both teams are responsible to know the count and the number of outs. From the 2016 BRD (section 548, pp. 358-359): FED Official Interpretation: Rumble: An umpire who becomes convinced his call was in error, until a pitch or a play, may reverse his call. FED Official Interpretation: Hopkins: An umpire may not correct the ball and strike count after a pitch. 2000 NFHS Baseball Rule Interpretations SITUATION 10: With R1 on second base attempting to steal third, the left-handed B2 swings to protect R1. The plate umpire does not see the batter swing. The next pitch is a called strike, and the plate umpire announces the count as 1-1. The coach of the defensive team wants the count corrected to 0-2. RULING: Since a pitch has been taken on the disputed ball/strike call, the count is 1-1. (10-2-3i note)
  16. Mr. BDad, sometimes there is intent involved in this kind of play and it must be judged by the umpire. Following are the Instructor’s Comments from the 2022 LL RIM for rule 6.05(g)-- 2022 LL RIM rule 6.05(g) INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS: In cases where the batting helmet is accidentally hit, in fair territory, with a batted or thrown ball, the ball remains in play the same as if it has not hit the helmet. If a batted ball strikes a batting helmet or any other object foreign to the natural ground while on foul territory, it is a foul ball and the ball is dead. If, in the umpire’s judgment, there is intent on the part of a base runner to interfere with a batted or thrown ball by dropping the helmet or throwing it at the ball, then the runner would be out, the ball dead and runners would return to last base legally touched. 2018 LL case book Make the Right Call play 6.05(g) Situation— The batter lays down a bunt between the pitcher’s plate and the first base line. As the batter starts toward first base he/she flips his/her bat into fair territory where it strikes the ball (a second time). RULING: Since the bat struck the ball a second time in fair territory, this would be ruled as interference by the batter whether it was intentional or not. If the ball had struck the bat it would remain live and in play. The umpire must judge what initiated the contact; the bat to the ball—interference or the ball to the bat—live ball.
  17. To our guest, ZoomProf--you actually called it correctly—once the batter is out of the box he would be out and it would be a dead ball and any runner(s) returned to his TOP base. This would be true for the three major rule sets—OBR, FED, and NCAA. One caveat—in Little League for a batter to be considered to be out of the box he must be entirely out, i.e., both feet on the ground out of the box (see the Instructor’s Comment for rule 6.05f in its 2022 RIM). Here’s a high school case play that tells us when the batter is considered to be out of the box-- 2023 NFHS Case Book Play 8.4.1 SITUATION B: B1 squares to bunt and hits the pitch. The batted ball bounces off the plate and hits B1's (a) leg or, (b) bat a second time while B1 is holding the bat in the batter's box (no foot is entirely outside of the batter's box). RULING: In (a), it is a foul ball. In (b), the ball is foul unless, in the umpire's judgment, the ball was contacted intentionally, in which case the ball would be dead and B1 declared out.
  18. The interpretation of fair ball for professional ball was changed in 2018 to the following (this is taken from the 2018 MiLBUM and still reads the same in the 2021 edition)— When in contact with the ground, a ball must be in contact with fair territory and not merely over fair territory in order to be adjudged to be fair.
  19. Well, for sure a high school pitcher does not have to disengage the pitcher’s plate when he makes a feint to third and then makes a throw to first. It is not a balk as it clearly states in at least two case book plays— 2019 NFHS Case Book Play 6.2.4 Situation C With R3 and R1, F1 comes set. He then feints toward third, or he removes one hand from the ball and makes an arm motion toward third but does not step toward third. He follows with a throw to first base. RULING: This is a balk. F1 must step toward third base when feinting there. F1 may not feint to first base. He must step toward the base and throw. He might, while he is on the plate, step toward occupied third and feint a throw, and then turn to step toward first and throw there with or without disengaging the pitcher’s plate. If F1 steps and feints to first, he must first disengage the pitcher’s plate or he is guilty of a balk. 2019 NFHS Case Book Play 6.1.5 SITUATION: With R3 and R1, F1 steps and feints to third and then steps and throws to first attempting to pick off R1. The throw goes into dead-ball territory. The offensive team’s coach wants a balk to be called because the pitcher never threw the ball toward third. RULING: When the pitcher stepped off the pitching plate in his feint to third, he became an infielder. Hence, when his throw goes into dead-ball territory, all runners are awarded two bases. R3 gets home and R1 gets third. Had F1 stayed on the pitching plate during his feint to third and his throw to first, all runners would be awarded one base. R3 would get home and R1 would get second. This would not be a balk as F1 made a legal feint and a legal pickoff attempt with no prior motion to pitch.
  20. Senor Azul


    There is precious little written on this subject. I did, however, find the following play in a copy of Referee magazine dated November 2014 and following that something from the College Study Guide— Very Late Swing Play: R1 is attempting to steal second. The pitch to B3 is in the dirt, so B3 does not swing immediately. However, once the ball is past him, B3 waves the bat at the ball. Ruling: lf the ball is clearly past, the batter cannot be charged with a strike. However, he can be charged with interference if he hinders F2's attempt to throw the ball (NFHS 7-3-5c; NCAA 7-11f; pro 6.03a-3). But there is a huge caveat that goes along with this play from Referee. We have video posted on this site of two plays from the MLB that pretty much match the OP—the case of Pablo Sandoval in 2014 and one with Andrew Benintendi from 2018. In both instances the batter swung at the pitch after it was caught by the catcher and then both times the umpire signaled strike. *** George Demetriou wrote in the 2019-2020 College Baseball Rules Study Guide (p. 158) “there is no clear definition of when a pitch ends that can be applied in all situations…Although unwritten, a batter loses the right to swing at the pitch when it first passes the plate. Thus a pitch that touches the bat on the follow through or after deflecting off the catcher or umpire is not a batted ball. Likewise, if the batter is hit by such a deflected ball, it is not considered hit by pitch.”
  21. Is this a change? We've had the discussion before and (iirc) on a move to second, the step must be beyond the rubber. I suspect that was a guideline. We did have at least one other lengthy discussion about this question—I can’t find it at the moment. I am pretty sure it was fellow member MidAmUmp who proved that the NCAA requires on a pickoff move to second base that the pitcher’s free foot land on the second-base side of the rubber. As I recall he even provided a video from the NCAA rules interpreter (Bruns?). After his proof was presented then someone else added that Jim Evans in his famous balk video stated that pro ball has the same requirement. It seems to me that someone from TASO was going to present the question to his rules interpreter to see what the high school ruling should be—but I don’t recall seeing if that was ever done. So—not just a guideline in college for sure and probably not for pro ball.
  22. The 2013 edition of the Wendelstedt manual answers your question, Mr. Richvee, in a footnote that appears on page 103. “Though adding third base to the prohibition of feinting without completing the throw was explicitly meant to speed up the game by eliminating the so-called ‘third-to-first move,’ an unintended consequence was that it requires the pitcher to throw to third base even on a play with a runner from second attempting to steal third. Take the following situation: “R2, one out. As the pitcher comes to the set position, R2 attempts to steal third base. The pitcher, seeing the runner taking off, steps directly to third base, but does not complete the throw. R2 holds up and attempts to return to second base. The pitcher then charges towards the runner and throws the ball to the second baseman and begins a rundown on R2. “Ruling: This is a balk. Not for throwing to an unoccupied base (he was attempting to make a play), but rather, for feinting to third base without completing the throw.”
  23. Senor Azul


    To our guest, the exact same scenario actually happened in a Minor League game between the Hartford Yard Goats and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies played in May 2017. Yard Goats batter Josh Fuentes jokingly swung at a pitch that had slipped out of the pitcher’s hand but the umpire called a strike on the swing and since it was a third strike the batter was declared out by the plate umpire. Here’s why— Even though the pitch slipped out of the pitcher’s hand the ball did cross a foul line thus making it a legal delivery to the batter. 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.
  24. In high school ball, the pitcher may not make a pickoff from the windup position. That is actually stated pretty clearly in its rule 6-1-2 2019 NFHS rule 6-1-2 …With his feet in the wind-up position, the pitcher may only deliver a pitch or step backward off the pitcher’s plate with his pivot foot first. After the pitcher has placed his pivot foot clearly behind the plate, he has the right to change to the set position or throw or feint to a base the same as that of any infielder. During delivery, he may lift his non-pivot foot in a step forward, a step sideways, or in a step backward and a step forward, but he shall not otherwise lift either foot. The 2016 BRD says that the FED made this rule change in 1987. It also tells us that the FED thinks the rule is so straightforward that up to the time of publishing of the 2016 edition of the BRD the FED had never published a case play on this question.
  25. Senor Azul

    glove glue

    Of the three major rule sets only high school rules actually address this question directly-- 2019 NFHS rule 1-3 ART. 6 . . . Gloves/mitts made of leather shall be worn by all fielders and not be altered to create an adhesive, sticky, and/or tacky surface… In addition the FED case book has a case play directly on point—1.3.6 Situation B. The case play also tells us that the penalty for use of a tacky substance on the glove is an award of three bases to the batter-runner (rule 8-3-3b). Also the use of pine tar on batting gloves is legal as well as on the helmets.
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