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Kali

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  1. This is a common enough play. We usually see it at first base but we also see it at third. The fielder, expecting the ball, takes up a position on the inside corner of the bag. But the ball isn't thrown to them. If they fail to leave that point of the bag, the runner is free to take the base behind them but they are obstructed if they try to round the base and continue. The question then becomes how to apply rule 8-3-2 "The obstructed runner is awarded a minimum of one base beyond his position on base when the obstruction occurred." If the runner runs around the fielder, it becomes obvious that they have attained that base and are being obstructed as they are trying for the next base. However, if the runner attempts to hit the inside corner of the bag and runs into the fielder, it isn't as obvious. It appears that the runner is being obstructed BEFORE touching the base but, to me at least, it's the same play and should involve the same penalty. What say you all?
  2. To expand on this a bit. Both times this happened, the fielder looked at me and said, "Isn't he supposed to slide?". I didn't call interference in either case. My own thinking is that the runner, being too far away to slide then only needs to get out of the way of the throw. No throw, then there's nothing to interfere with. That's more in line with the OBR way of thinking than the Fed but that's what I've got at this point. I have looked through the rules and I can't find the term "in the vicinity" anywhere. I'd like to know the citation for that one.
  3. There are times you just want to get lost in a baseball game and forget the world. On Easter morning in 2010, four young people got into a car. The driver was drunk and he plowed into a signpost, killing himself and two other boys. The two passengers killed were both friends of my son from early childhood, both good kids whose only mistake was getting into a car with a drunk. One of those boys was also a pretty good catcher in Little League and High School ball and I had umpired behind him many times. A few days later we held a memorial service for the catcher. His parents had both been active in our local Little League, both great people. We all told stories about the boy and what a wonderful young man he had become. It was one of the saddest things I have ever been to. I went home and was obviously pretty depressed. It wasn't even noon yet. I decided to go online and see if my local Little League district had any open spots looking for umpires. It turns out that there was a jamboree for the Minors starting in an hour. I signed up and suited up and went out to the park. I showed up at the park on a gorgeous spring day with about 50, 10 year-olds bouncing around two fields excited to play their first game of the season. When I showed up in uniform, the excitement went up another notch. It appears, they'd never had an umpire in uniform for a game before. A very relieved mom was so happy to see me show up. They had just started to strap the umpire gear on her and now she was off the hook. As I walked toward the field, a young player came racing up to me about as excited as he could be. "Mr. Umpire, Mr. Umpire sir, can I ask you a question?" I said, "Sure, what's on your mind?" He says, "In this league, can we charge the mound?" I don't really remember what I said. I think I said, "I don't really think you can do that in any league." or something lame like that. I just remember thinking, "this is why I do this..."
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