By Guest Coach Bill
So I was just having this discussion with a coaching friend of mine this week watching Mike Trout obstructed on a single to left by the third baseman about 5 steps in front of the bag. The coach didn't send him and I thought he missed the free base. I asked what happens if he's obstructed closer to second base. Sure enough, as seems to always happen, my question happened in my 50+ baseball league yesterday while I was coaching third. Batter rips a ball in the right center gap (this is 50+ league the outfielders are slow and the batter still runs pretty well). As he is rounding second the shortstop obstructs him and both the home plate and base ump give the obstruction sign. Third base is never in question - even after the obstruction. If he is not obstructed I would have definitely had him rounding the base at a minimum and reading. I see the sign go up and I'm telling the runner to go. In the middle of the play - the umps say out loud - no he gets third. Granted it's only a small chance I send him, but now no way. But I'm telling him to run and they were saying he only gets third. He didn't run - so I know I don't get home - but what's the right call if he does run? Like I say - third was never in question. Even after he touched third after a serious obstruction that made him completely stop, the ball was in the outfield beyond where the second baseman plays.
Stumbled across this video that was posted 11 years ago (YouTube is that old??).... My initial thought was that F1 is no longer protected after the ball hit him and bounced away by more than "a step and a reach", thus this would be obstruction on F1, so BR gets 1st.
Tonight I had R2 going to third on a hit ball. R2 slides into 3rd.. As the 3rd base man fakes a tag. 3rd base did not have the ball. But in my opinion R2 was going to slide anyways because his coach was yelling down down down.. BUT Little League Definition of Obstruction is :
“OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. A fake tag is considered obstruction. (NOTE: Obstruction shall be called on a defensive player who blocks off a base, base line or home plate from a base runner while not in possession of the ball.)”
SO should I have called it and gave him home plate?
This is one rule I have always struggled with and it occurred again last night......
B1 hits the ball to the F6. F6 fields the ball and throws it to F3 in a manner that causes F3 to extend into the baseline and contact the runner (a) BEFORE F3 has possession of the ball, or (b) after the ball has already passed F3 (missed scoop, etc) or (c) F3 is attempting to run to the fence to retrieve the errant throw. In both (a) and (b) runner has stayed in his 45' lane and the contact has occurred in the 45' lane. In (c) both F3 and B1 are in the infield, past first base, runner turning toward second, F3 running toward foul territory. Now, I have always allowed contact that occurs if the ball arrives to the 1st baseman right (very close) to the time of the contact (collision last night) as he is "making a play on the ball".
Could someone please cover (a), (b) and (c) above?
Thanks again guys.