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Guest RICH

INTERFERENCE

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Guest RICH

Runners on 1st and 2nd, 2 outs. Batted ball deflects off pitcher's glove to the shortstop. The runner on 2nd hinders the shortstop attempting to make a play. Interference or not? Some argue that once the ball deflects off the pitcher's glove, there is no interference. Rule 7.08b does not make an exception for a deflected ball. Please help.

 

 

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INTERFERENCE 
 (a) Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, 
obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. 
If the umpire declares the batter, batter-runner, or a runner out for interference, 
all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the 
umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise 
provided by these rules. 
 
I'd say you have interference. R2 is out. R1 goes to 2nd. BR to 1st. 

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A fair ball touches him on fair territory before touching a fielder. If a fair ball goes

through, or by, an infielder, and touches a runner immediately back of him, or

touches the runner after having been deflected by a fielder, the umpire shall not

declare the runner out for being touched by a batted ball. In making such decision

the umpire must be convinced that the ball passed through, or by, the fielder, and

that no other infielder had the chance to make a play on the ball. If, in the judgment

of the umpire, the runner deliberately and intentionally kicks such a batted ball on

which the infielder has missed a play, then the runner shall be called out for interference.

 

thought I remembered the pitcher being mentioned in this instance, may be in J/R but dont have my copy handy. 

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If he interferes with a fielder making a play on the batted (now deflected) ball, you have runner's interference. If the runner is hit with the batted (now deflected ball) he hasn't interfered by that action alone.

 

Tim.

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Once deflected a runner cannot interfere with the ball. He can interfere with the fielder. Hence the confusion.

 

This way of putting the point might be confusing, given the ambiguity in 'can' (permission vs. ability).

 

As @BigUmp56 points out, a fielder's protection is not eliminated by a deflection, and runners must avoid the protected fielder as he fields a deflected ball. But a deflected ball that strikes a runner is live and in play, because that contact does not constitute INT.

 

The rule is different again for a misplayed ball, where a fielder's protection is eliminated.

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BigUmp, will you please cite the rule reference for a fielder's protection NOT being eliminated by a deflection?

 

My understanding is that a fielder who gets a glove or body on the ball maintains protection for a step and/or reach. Any other fielders in the area/vicinity do not also enjoy protection once the first fielder touches the ball.

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http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=10953967&topic_id=11493214&c_id=mlb

 

MLBUM 2010
MLB RULE INTERPRETATIONS
21. Interpretation of Rules 5.09(f) and 7.09(k): Batted Ball Striking the Runner

The concept of the runner being in jeopardy after the ball goes
past an infielder and strikes the runner in a situation where another
infielder still has a chance to make a play on the ball applies ONLY
when the ball PASSES the first infielder without being touched or deflected
by him. This concept DOES NOT APPLY if the ball is
touched or deflected by the first infielder, even though another
infielder has a chance to make a play on the ball.
In other words, after a ball has been touched (deflected) by any
infielder (including the pitcher), if the ball then strikes a runner (unintentionally on the part of the runner), the ball is alive and in play
even if another infielder may be in position to field the ball. (See Official
Baseball Rules 5.09(f) and 7.09(k).)
The reasoning for the above concept is that a runner cannot be
expected to avoid a deflected ball while running and should not, therefore,
be in jeopardy of being called out for being struck by such a deflected
ball. Of course, a runner may still be guilty of intentional
interference even after an infielder deflects the ball if the runner deliberately
deflects the ball or allows it to strike him when he could have
reasonably avoided it. The fact that the ball has been deflected by an
infielder should not be taken as a license for a runner to interfere intentionally.
(See Official Baseball Rules 7.09(f) and (g).)
After a batted ball has been touched (deflected) by an infielder, if
the ball then strikes a runner (unintentionally on the part of the runner),
it is alive and in play despite the fact that another infielder may
be in position to field the ball. This is not the case if a fielder is making
a play on the ball. Specifically, if a batted ball is deflected by an
infielder and another infielder has a play on the ball, the runner must
avoid the fielder. If the runner interferes with the fielder making a
play---even though the ball has been touched by another fielder-the
runner is declared out. Under the rules, a fielder making a play on a
batted ball takes priority.

 

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Thanks for the Rule Interpretation. To make sure I understand this, how about this situation:

 

No outs. Bases loaded. Batter hits ground ball between F5 and F6. F5 partially deflects the ball with his glove, but F6 still has a play on it as it continues on the ground towards him. R2 while running to 3B makes slight contact with F6 before he can field the ball. Would you have interference on R2, immediate dead ball, and return runners to base (except R2 who is out) and place BR at 1B?

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Thanks for the Rule Interpretation. To make sure I understand this, how about this situation:

 

No outs. Bases loaded. Batter hits ground ball between F5 and F6. F5 partially deflects the ball with his glove, but F6 still has a play on it as it continues on the ground towards him. R2 while running to 3B makes slight contact with F6 before he can field the ball. Would you have interference on R2, immediate dead ball, and return runners to base (except R2 who is out) and place BR at 1B?

You've got it, Mike. The runner is only protected from being struck by a deflected ball. He's obligated to avoid a protected fielder.

Tim.

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Thanks for the Rule Interpretation. To make sure I understand this, how about this situation:

 

 

You can also get it directly from the rules.  Interfering with the fielder is 7.09(j) and interfering with the ball is 7.09(k).  The second one contains an exception for a deflected ball, the first one does not.

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