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Guest Bob M

Returning to missed bag

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Guest Bob M

We had a play in a game yesterday I hadn't seen before and I can't find it explicitly covered in the rule books.

 

Runner on second (no one on first), batter hits a clean single.  Runner misses third base, passes the bag about 10 feet and attempts to return.  The defense throws the ball to the base, no tag was made, and the umpire called the runner out.  He said once he passed the base, it became a force play to return.  I still contend it is a tag play.  What do you think?

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You don't mention the rule set, but the standard interpretation of this play is this: if the runner is attempting to return to the base, treat it as if it were a runner off the base and require a tag of the runner. If he is not trying to return and/or playing action has ended, then either the runner or base may be tagged.

 

Please note that in general the contrast between a force and tag play applies to an advancing runner, not one returning to touch a missed base. Your play is properly called an appeal play, and it must be a clear and unmistakable act by the defense (sounds as if it was in your play). In any case, an appeal play is NEVER a force play, but is sometimes confused for one because often the base may be tagged to execute the appeal.

 

A force play is an attempt to retire a runner who has been forced to advance because the batter became a runner. The distinction between force and appeal plays can make a difference in scoring situations: if a runner is put out in a force play for the third out, no runs can score. If a runner who is not forced is put out in an appeal play for the third out, it's a time play and runs scoring before the out will count.

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Guest Guest

Thanks for the reply.  I didn't mention it was Little league majors division (10-12 y/o). 

 

You first said it should require a tag as if it was a runner off base, then you said the play was properly called an appeal play.  What am I missing?

Thx again for the help.  It was such a unique play since the runner attempted to return, but I'm definitely learning from it :)

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Thanks for the reply. I didn't mention it was Little league majors division (10-12 y/o). You first said it should require a tag as if it was a runner off base, then you said the play was properly called an appeal play. What am I missing? Thx again for the help. It was such a unique play since the runner attempted to return, but I'm definitely learning from it :)
Right, you're not missing anything. It IS an appeal play, but when that runner is scrambling back we treat at AS IF it were just a runner off base. I should point out that this is an interpretation, and that other folks will be along shortly to tell you that the fielder can always tag the base, even when the runner is scrambling back. That is a legitimate reading of the rule, and I believe Wendelstat teaches that interp. FAIK it might now be the dominant interp.

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I had this last Thursday.  

 

But they appealed 2B first and got him out there as he was trying to return.  

 

He passed 3B, but didn't retouch 3B on his way back to 2B.  

 

I was hoping.....no luck though. 

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It seems like we want to apply this comment to bases other than home.

 

7.08 Any runner is out when—

(k) In running or sliding for home base, he fails to touch home base and makes no

attempt to return to the base, when a fielder holds the ball in his hand, while

touching home base, and appeals to the umpire for the decision.

Rule 7.08(k) Comment: This rule applies only where runner is on his way to the bench and the

catcher would be required to chase him. It does not apply to the ordinary play where the runner misses

the plate and then immediately makes an effort to touch the plate before being tagged. In that case,

runner must be tagged.

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We had a play in a game yesterday I hadn't seen before and I can't find it explicitly covered in the rule books.

 

Runner on second (no one on first), batter hits a clean single.  Runner misses third base, passes the bag about 10 feet and attempts to return.  The defense throws the ball to the base, no tag was made, and the umpire called the runner out.  He said once he passed the base, it became a force play to return.  I still contend it is a tag play.  What do you think?

 

 

It's definitely not a "force play"

 

I also correct my earlier post in that it relates in no way to the OP.  

 

I misread the OP.  

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The key element is whether or not the ball was still live and/or the play was in progress.

A) If all these actions are part of a progressing play, and the ball is still live (and I'll assume that the LBR has not crossed home plate, as per your description), then the LBR has the right to return to 3B as if it was an overrun or over-slide, and the action taken upon him has to be a tag – provided that the TBR hasn't passed him or occupies 3B as a result of the play (you said single, not triple), and that the LBR hasn't left the general base path to return to 3B.

B) If the ball is dead, or the LBR has crossed home plate, then the action taken upon the LBR is an Appeal (as Maven said), which can be executed by either tagging the LBR with the ball, tagging the missed base with the ball, and/or indicating your Appeal to the Umpire. IIRC, in NFHS and lower, all it takes is a verbal appeal to the umpire once the ball is dead, the LBR has crossed home plate, or the next legal pitch hasn't been pitched.

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A) If all these actions are part of a progressing play, and the ball is still live (and I'll assume that the LBR has not crossed home plate, as per your description), then the LBR has the right to return to 3B as if it was an overrun or over-slide, and the action taken upon him has to be a tag – provided that the TBR hasn't passed him or occupies 3B as a result of the play (you said single, not triple), and that the LBR hasn't left the general base path to return to 3B.

 

You're making this too complicated.

 

First, whether the ball is live or dead, whether play is still going on or ceased, this is an appeal play. R2 missed 3B.

 

Second, the presence or absence of a trailing runner is irrelevant. R2 still needs to touch 3B and is liable to be put out on appeal for missing it. If the BR can get to 3B while he's scrambling back, (a) wow, he's fast, and (b) we have another rule to deal with him (passing, entitled to 3B or not, etc.).

 

You muddy the waters by bringing other issues into the question, which very simply concerned whether R2 had to be tagged. One of the things that can overwhelm newer umpires is the idea that there are way too many rules to remember, so we can help everyone if we stay focused on the question. :)

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@maven - understood.

Then the simple answer is the Umpire on the Scene was completely wrong, and made the call about himself rather than about the rules. May his ball bags be filled with juvenile electric eels.

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@maven - understood.

 and made the call about himself rather than about the rules.  

 

 

Not likely.  He simply didn't know the rule.  ^^^^^^One of my all time pet peeve sayings.

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 http://umpire-empire.com/index.php/topic/53779-does-the-run-count/

Read that post for the rule references. Your question come from an umpire believing a rule myth and missing a couple of others rules. The runner missed third and either has to retouch or be liable for an appeal. If he is in the vicinity and returning then he needs to be tagged. If he is closer to the plate you can just touch the base and tell the umpire that you are appealing the miss. This a concept we have called relaxed play and unrelaxed play. It simply means that if he is actively trying trying to return, then he needs to be tagged. If he is not trying to return or is just starting, then you can just touch the base. 

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