Senor Azul's post in Balk? was marked as the answer
OBR rule 6.02(a)(2) tells us that it is a balk for an in-contact pitcher to feint a throw to first or third base. It should be noted that no arm motion is required when a pitcher feints to second base—only the legal step toward the base is required by rule.
For FED a pitcher in the set position may feint to third with or without disengaging the rubber (see case play 6.2.4C).
From the 2016 BRD (p. 266) FED Official Interpretation: Hopkins: The feint does not require arm motion.
2002 NFHS Baseball Rule Interpretations
SITUATION 9: With runners on first and third bases, the pitcher is in the set position. The pitcher then attempts the third-to-first pick-off move by stepping towards third base, and turning around and throwing to first. The third-base coach claims this is a balk since the pitcher, in his feint to third, only stepped toward third with no arm movement. RULING: This pick-off move is legal. A feint is a movement that simulates the start of a pitch or a throw to a base. Arm movement by a pitcher during a feint is not mandatory. (2-28-5)
Senor Azul's post in Jake Brentz wild pitch was marked as the answer
From the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual and then the actual rule (p. 146):
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.
Senor Azul's post in Ball or NP was marked as the answer
Nick, that was a spring training game between the Diamondbacks and Giants that day 20 years ago. The umpires in the game got to legitimately use what is sometimes referred to as the “god rule” to decide on field what to do about the pitch. The rule is 8.01(c) and it gives the umpire the authority to rule on any point that is not specifically covered by the rules. Their on-field decision was to call it a no pitch. Since then it has appeared in our rules interpretation manuals--here's one example--
From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 10.7, p. 137):
If a batted or thrown ball strikes a bird or other animal on the playing field, consider the ball alive and in play the same as if it had not touched the bird or animal. If a pitched ball strikes a bird in flight or other animal on the playing field the pitch is nullified and play shall be resumed with the previous count.
Senor Azul's post in Interference call was marked as the answer
David, under high school rules your play was indeed a violation of the force play slide rule. Since the batter-runner was declared out for the third out no runs would score (he never legally attained first base). Here are the applicable rules--
2019 NFHS rule 8-4 ART. 2 . . . Any runner is out when he:
b. does not legally slide and causes illegal contact and/or illegally alters the actions of a fielder in the immediate act of making a play, or on a force play, does not slide in a direct line between the bases; or
PENALTY: The runner is out. Interference is called and the ball is dead immediately. On a force-play slide with less than two outs, the runner is declared out, as well as the batter-runner. Runners shall return to the bases occupied at the time of the pitch. With two outs, the runner is declared out. The batter is credited with a fielder’s choice.
Rule 9-1 ART. 1 . . . A runner scores one run each time he legally advances to and touches first, second, third and then home plate before there are three outs to end the inning.
EXCEPTION: A run is not scored if the runner advances to home plate during action in which the third out is made as follows:
a. by the batter-runner before he touches first base; or
Senor Azul's post in MLB baseball rule was marked as the answer
Yes, it's still a home run and here's the rule--
2019 OBR rule 5.12(b)(3) When an accident incapacitates a player or an umpire;
(A) If an accident to a runner is such as to prevent him from proceeding to a base to which he is entitled, as on a home run hit out of the playing field, or an award of one or more bases, a substitute runner shall be permitted to complete the play.
Here’s a real example—
On Sept. 14, 2005, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 at the Skydome. The difference in the game came courtesy of second baseman Tony Graffanino, who launched a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning off of Blue Jays starter Josh Towers.
The thing is that Graffanino could not complete his home run trot because the runner on first base at the time suffered an injury that didn’t allow him to finish running the bases. Who was that runner? Gabe Kapler.
While running around second base, Kapler stumbled and ruptured his left Achilles tendon. Kapler was unable to continue running, which halted Graffanino at first base until Red Sox manager Terry Francona had to substitute a pinch-runner--who turned out to be Alejandro Machado--to finish running the bases for Kapler, allowing Graffanino to finish running the bases as well.
Senor Azul's post in Force play was marked as the answer
The answer to your question can actually be found in the rules. All three rule sets (pro, college, and high school) agree on this. Here’s the pro rule (I have bolded the relevant portion)--
2019 OBR rule 5.09(b)(6) He or the next base is tagged before he touches the next base, after he has been forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner. However, if a following runner is put out on a force play, the force is removed and the runner must be tagged to be put out. 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. However, if the forced runner, after touching the next base, retreats for any reason towards the base he had last occupied, the force play is reinstated, and he can again be put out if the defense tags the base to which he is forced;
Senor Azul's post in Does run score was marked as the answer
2019 MLB Rule 5.08 Comment:
APPROVED RULING: No run shall score during a play in which the third out is made by the batter-runner before he touches first base. Example: One out, Jones on second, Smith on first. The batter, Brown, hits safely. Jones scores. Smith is out on the throw to the plate. Two outs. But Brown missed first base. The ball is thrown to first, an appeal is made, and Brown is out. Three outs. Since Jones crossed the plate during a play in which the third out was made by the batter-runner before he touched first base, Jones’ run does not count.
Senor Azul's post in ball out of play was marked as the answer
2019 OBR rule 5.06(b)(3) Each runner, other than the batter, may without liability to be put out, advance one base when:
(C) A fielder, after catching a fly ball, steps or falls into any out-of-play area;
Rule 5.06(b)(3)(C) Comment: If a fielder, after having made a legal catch, should step or fall into any out-of-play area, the ball is dead and each runner shall advance one base, without liability to be put out, from his last legally touched base at the time the fielder entered such out-of-play area.
2019 OBR rule 5.12(b) The ball becomes dead when an umpire calls “Time.” The umpire-in-chief shall call “Time:
(6) When a fielder, after catching a fly ball, steps or falls into any out-of-play area. All other runners shall advance one base, without liability to be put out, from his last legally touched base at the time the fielder entered such out-of-play area.
In 2016 MLB revised Rule 5.06(b)(3)(C) (including the Comment) to remove the opportunity for a player to "catch-and-carry" the ball into dead-ball territory. The rule formerly allowed a player who made a catch on the run in fair territory, but whose momentum then carried him into dead-ball territory, to have a legal catch and then throw the ball back into play, so long as the player did not fall in dead-ball territory. This is no longer the case. The rule now states that any player who "after having made a legal catch, should step or fall into any out-of-play area, the ball is dead ...." There is a one-base award for all runners on base, although the batter is out on the catch (if made while the fielder is still in fair territory).
So long as the fielder has a legal catch before stepping or falling into dead-ball territory, the catch is good and the out stands. If, on the other hand, one or both feet are out-of-play when the ball is secured, this is not a catch (just a foul ball). It would also not be a catch if both feet are off the ground while leaning over a fence or other barrier while reaching into out-of-play territory while attempting the catch.
Senor Azul's post in Inside Move Quick Question was marked as the answer
2013 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 19: The runner at first base takes off in an attempt to steal second base. The pitcher legally makes a spin move and throws to unoccupied second base to easily retire the stealing runner. The third-base coach argues, saying the pitcher cannot throw to an unoccupied base. RULING: A pitcher may throw or feint a throw to an unoccupied base in an attempt to put out or drive back a runner. The out stands. (6-2-4b)
2013 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 20: With runners at first base and second base, the runner at second bluffs a steal of third by running hard to third before he stops and retreats back to second base. The pitcher, seeing the runner take off hard to third base, legally throws to the unoccupied third base. The third-base coach wants a balk called on the pitcher since the runner from second stopped. RULING: A pitcher may throw or feint a throw to an unoccupied base in an attempt to put out or drive back a runner. As long as the umpire judges that it is reasonable for the pitcher to believe he had a play at third, even though the runner stopped, it is a legal move. (6-2-4b)
Senor Azul's post in Dropped Foul Batter Walks was marked as the answer
Under the provisions of rule 9.12(a)(1) a defensive player is charged with an error if he muffs a fly ball in foul territory and thereby prolongs a batter’s time at bat. In fact, it is proper to charge the error whether or not the batter ultimately gets on base. At first glance it might seem unnecessary to charge the error if the batter is retired but the oversight would affect the fielding average of the defensive player which is computed on the basis of putouts, assists, and errors.
Rule 9.22(a) tells us about plate appearances …Total appearances at the plate shall include official times at bat, plus bases on balls, times hit by pitcher, sacrifice hits, sacrifice flies and times awarded first base because of interference or obstruction…
Senor Azul's post in "Pushing" a runner off a base was marked as the answer
From the 2016 BRD (section 459—Runner—No Body Control on Base, pp. 303-304):
NCAA Official Interpretation: Paronto: “A legal tag that is forcefully applied to a runner can result in an out. When a runner is going into a base without body control and a forceful tag knocks him from the base, he is out.”
OBR Official Interpretation: Wendelstedt: A forceful tag should not be grounds for protecting a runner from being tagged while off his base. (2013 WRIM, p. 144)
“A forceful tag is not, in itself, a knock or push by a fielder.” (2013 WRIM, p. 144, Fn 330)
OBR Official Interpretation: Wendelstedt: If a runner is knocked or pushed off a base by a fielder and would not have lost contact on his own momentum, the umpire following conclusion of play will call time and award the runner the base he had already reached safely.
Case Play: R1, 1 out, 3-2 count. The batter singles to right. R1 attempts to go to third. As he slides headfirst over the top of the bag, he is able to hold the bag with the toes of his left foot. The third baseman applies a hard tag on R1’s foot, knocking it off the bag. Ruling: At all levels, R1 is out. (2013 WRIM)
Also, you can find the following in the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 5.14, p. 45):
If in the judgment of an umpire, a runner is pushed or forced off a base by a fielder, intentionally or unintentionally, at which the runner would have otherwise been called safe, the umpire has the authority and discretion under the circumstances to return the runner to the base he was forced off following the conclusion of the play.
And here’s an old thread with video of the Kent Hrbek/Ron Gant play from the 1991 World Series—
Senor Azul's post in When does a swing start? was marked as the answer
There is precious little written on this subject. I did, however, find the following play in a copy of Referee magazine dated November 2014—
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.
A strike by actual definition in the rule book is “a pitch that is struck at by the batter and is missed.” It’s up to the umpire’s judgment as to whether the batter “struck at” the pitch. I guess that’s as close as we are going to come to answering your question. But I have to admit I like the Referee case play.
Senor Azul's post in Electronic Usage was marked as the answer
Good question, Shannon Allen. And, of course, you deserve a proper answer. Here’s what I have found so far—the following is quoted from the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 2.2, p. 29):
“The use of electronic equipment during a game is restricted. No club shall use electronic equipment—including but not limited to walkie-talkies, cellular telephones and laptop computers or tablets—to communicate to or with any on-field personnel, including those in the dugout, bullpen, field, and during the game, the clubhouse. However, if a dugout is not equipped with a phone to communicate with the bullpen, walkie-talkies or cellular telephones may be used solely for that purpose.
“No equipment may be used for the purpose of stealing signs or conveying information designed to give a club an advantage. Laptop computers and hand held devices are not permitted on the bench or in the dugout.
“If, during the course of a game, a violation is observed, the plate umpire or crew chief should inform the offending club of such violation and file an Umpire’s Incident Report with the League Office following the game.”
Senor Azul's post in Safe or out was marked as the answer
A TAG is the action of a fielder in touching a base with his body while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove; or touching a runner with the ball, or with his hand or glove holding the ball (not including hanging laces alone), while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove. It is not a tag, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his touching a base or touching a runner, the fielder drops the ball. In establishing the validity of the tag, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball. If the fielder has made a tag and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the tag, the tag shall be adjudged to have been made. For purposes of this definition any jewelry being worn by a player (e.g., necklaces, bracelets, etc.) shall not constitute a part of the player’s body.
Senor Azul's post in Is there a rule on this at any code? was marked as the answer
2014 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 11: As the head coach moves to the pitching mound for a defensive conference, he tosses a baseball to his third baseman and has him take warm-up throws with another player to get ready to pitch. RULING: A team cannot have a fielder, in the game, throw a baseball for the purpose of warming up as a pitcher, during a defensive conference or a pitching change. If a team desires to warm up a player in the game to prepare him to pitch, it would need to take him out of the game to warm up and then later re-enter him under the substitution rule. (3-4-1)
Senor Azul's post in HIGH SCHOOL DESIGNATED HITTER was marked as the answer
2019 NFHS Case Book Play 3.1.4 Situation C: F4, for whom the DH is batting, pinch hits or pinch runs for the DH. RULING: The DH position is eliminated for the remainder of the game. However, the starting DH could re-enter as a player but not in the role of DH. If he does re-enter, he must re-enter in the same position in the batting order, replacing F4.
2019 NFHS rule 3-1 ART. 3 . . . Any of the starting players may be withdrawn and re-entered once, including a player who was the designated hitter, provided such player occupies the same batting position whenever he is in the lineup…
Senor Azul's post in Runner Interference or not? was marked as the answer
The following play is from the 2019 NCAA Softball Case Book but I think this would be true for any level of softball.
A.R. 12-55. The batter hits a typical ground ball to the second baseman, but the runner from first base noticeably slows down or stops in order to time running in front of the fielder just as the batted ball is about to be fielded. The runner does not make contact but attempts to distract the fielder by being near the fielder as she fields the ball. Can interference occur without physical contact such as this play?
RULING: Merely running in front of the fielder fielding the ball does not usually constitute interference; however, it could if the defense was prevented from making the play. Note: Contact is not required for interference to occur. For example, if a runner runs straight into a base and the fielder who fielded the ball is unable to throw the ball because the runner is screening the receiver. (Rule 18.104.22.168.5.2)
Senor Azul's post in Force outs was marked as the answer
Peter, here is the actual rule that answers your question--
2018 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.
Senor Azul's post in softball test question #1 was marked as the answer
For FED softball the answer is “a” and here are the supporting rules--
2015 NFHS Rule 8 SECTION 6 THE RUNNER IS OUT
ART. 10 . . . The runner interferes:
a. with a fielder attempting to make the initial play on a fair batted ball
2015 NFHS Softball Rule 2 SECTION 47 “PLAY BALL, ” MAKE A PLAY, INITIAL PLAY
ART. 3 . . . Initial Play. A fielder is considered to be making an initial play on a fair batted ball when she:
c. Fails to gain control of the batted ball and is within a step and a reach (in any direction) of the spot of the initial contact.
Senor Azul's post in Dropped 3rd strike was marked as the answer
FED: On a dropped third strike (pitch not caught in flight) with fewer than two out and first base unoccupied, the batter may try for first until: the time of the next pitch; he reaches his bench or other dead-ball area; or the infielders have left the diamond when a half-inning is ending. (8-4-1i)
2018 NFHS rule 8-4 ART. 1 . . . The batter-runner is out when:
i. on a dropped third strike, he gives up by entering the bench or dugout area, or with two outs he does not attempt to reach first base before all infielders leave the diamond at the end of the half-inning;
NCAA: The batter is out if he does not try for first before he leaves the dirt area surrounding home plate heading toward his dugout. (7-11u)
2018 NCAA rule 7-11u. A batter who does not realize his situation on a third strike not caught and who is not in the process of running to first base, shall be declared out once he leaves the dirt circle surrounding home plate heading toward his dugout;
OBR: Same as NCAA 7-11u. (5.05a-2 Comment)
Senor Azul's post in Balk was marked as the answer
OBR rule 6.02
If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when…:
(4) The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;
Rule 6.02 (a)(4) Comment: When determining whether the pitcher throws or feints a throw to an unoccupied base for the purpose of making a play, the umpire should consider whether a runner on the previous base demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression of his intent to advance to such unoccupied base.
From the 2018 MiBUM (section 6.22, p. 104):
Play 1: Runners on first and second, pitcher in set position. Runner breaks for third base and pitcher throws to third base. Ruling 1: Legal play.
Play 2: Runners on first and second, pitcher in set position. Runner bluffs going to third base and pitcher throws to third base. However, runner did not go. Ruling 2: Balk under OBR 6.02(a)(4).
“The key to understanding the above two plays is for the umpire to use good judgment in deciding whether or not the runner on the previous base demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression of his intent to advance to such unoccupied base.”
Senor Azul's post in MLB MOUND CONFERENCES was marked as the answer
The rule changes you ask about have been incorporated into the 2018 OBR that is posted at mlb.com--
5.10(m)(1) Mound visits without a pitching change shall be limited to six per team, per nine innings. For any extra-innings played, each team shall be entitled to one additional nonpitching change mound visit per inning.
(2) For purposes of this Rule 5.10(m), a manager or coach trip to the mound to meet with the pitcher shall constitute a visit. A player leaving his position to confer with the pitcher, including a pitcher leaving the mound to confer with another player, shall also constitute a visit, regardless of where the visit occurs or the length of the visit, except that the following shall not constitute visits:
(A) Discussions between pitchers and position player(s) that occur between batters in the normal course of play and do not require either the position player(s) or the pitcher to relocate;
(B) Visits by position players to the mound to clean spikes in rainy conditions;
(C) Visits to the mound due to an injury or potential injury of the pitcher; and
(D) Visits to the mound after the announcement of an offensive substitution.
Senor Azul's post in LoB was marked as the answer
Thomas, every player who completes a plate appearance must either be put out, score a run, or be left on base. In your scenario the batter is left on base and the R2 who did not score (touch the plate in time) is considered to be left on base (LOB).
The scorer’s rule that covers this is 9.02g. Total LOB for each team is a required stat in the official scorer’s report.
Senor Azul's post in Bunt Ruling was marked as the answer
Your guess is correct—it is illegal. A fielder cannot interfere with the course of a batted ball by official interpretation. Here’s how it appears in the 2015 Major League Baseball Umpire Manual (paragraph 64, p. 80):
"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."
And, Joe S, you’re also right about this being a rare occurrence. I know of only three instances and the interesting thing about them 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.
Senor Azul's post in Is it an out? was marked as the answer
No, it is not a catch or an out because it no longer meets the requirements of the following definitions found in the rule book:
A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it…
IN FLIGHT describes a batted, thrown, or pitched ball which has not yet touched the ground or some object other than a fielder.