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HBP- Ball Two!


refump10

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HS Varsity last night...Top of 1st, R2 one out.  B3 at bat with 1-0 count.  Fastball comes in high & tight.  B3 makes no move whatsoever and pitch hits him in the shoulder.  I immediately yelled, "Time! That's ball two!  No attempt to avoid the pitch."  I'm new to the association, and I've heard VT HC can be a PITA, and I know we're going to have a discussion here. 

 

He asks me how in the world I can make that call.  I said, "he has to make some attempt to avoid the pitch, coach."  He didn't like it, and wanted to argue further, but I just restated, "he has to made an attempt to avoid the pitch, coach," 

 

VHC never got out of hand, and it ended right then and there.  I guess my question to you guys is, how much do you require a batter to avoid.  I was taught that even a flinch is good enough to award him 1B, and that obviously I don't want to be grabbing the dirty end of the stick.  What say you?

 

Related observation:  I have noticed this year in my return to umpiring (been gone a long time) that this seems to be a trend now; I can hear the player out of the dugouts saying things like "take it" or "wear it". Is this call something that has become one of those unwritten things that we just don't call any more?

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On this play, the pitch was inside, but there was no movement at all by the batter to avoid the pitch, that's why I balled it.  Side note, made me feel a little better about the whole thing when the batter drove the next pitch into the gap for a double! :)

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If it's a FED game, you could also try, "he permitted the pitch to hit him," which is the language in the rule (not "make an attempt" to avoid or whatever).

 

Permitting the pitch to hit one is an intentional act, and so you're judging intent. I have no problem with that (we judge each others' intentions all the time, every day, when we decide whether something is said sincerely, in jest, sarcastically, ironically, or whathaveyou).

 

So for me it depends on the pitch and the batter's actions. Fastballs sometimes don't leave you much time to move. Curve balls do, but they sometimes break out of the way. And sometimes a batter just freezes, which for me does not constitute permitting the pitch to hit him.

 

I don't have a simple algorithm to share for this call. :(

 

I will say, any benefit of the doubt goes to the batter. Unless I am confident that he permitted the ball to hit him, he's on his way to 1B.

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If it's a FED game, you could also try, "he permitted the pitch to hit him," which is the language in the rule (not "make an attempt" to avoid or whatever).

 

Permitting the pitch to hit one is an intentional act, and so you're judging intent. I have no problem with that (we judge each others' intentions all the time, every day, when we decide whether something is said sincerely, in jest, sarcastically, ironically, or whathaveyou).

 

So for me it depends on the pitch and the batter's actions. Fastballs sometimes don't leave you much time to move. Curve balls do, but they sometimes break out of the way. And sometimes a batter just freezes, which for me does not constitute permitting the pitch to hit him.

 

I don't have a simple algorithm to share for this call. :(

 

I will say, any benefit of the doubt goes to the batter. Unless I am confident that he permitted the ball to hit him, he's on his way to 1B.

And the farther inside the ball is the more likely he is to get first (unless he actively and intently moves into the pitch of course).

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If the pitch is inside enough to be in the batter's box, 99.9% of the time the batter's getting first base.  Most other times he has to make an effort (noticeable to me) to let the pitch hit him to leave him at bat.  Depending how inside the pitch in question is, I'd be inclined to award the HBP as described in the OP.

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Thanks for the replies, guys. Maven, I like your wording better.  I'll try to remember that.  I agree with all you have said.  In this play, B3 made no movement whatsoever, no even a slight twitch. And F1 wasn't bringing it enough to freeze him.  Might have hit 80 mph if there was a strong tailwind.  the batter was set up a little close to the plate, but not hanging over it.  It was just his lack of any movement whatsoever that triggered my call.  To quote Gus above, he just stood there like a statue.

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I'm known to be a bit more liberal on HBP than some, as I am quicker to adjudge slighter movements as enough to fulfill "not permitting the ball hit him"....like said,above, I've seen batters frozen by fast balls, or just trying to stay on a curve that just didnt break......... 

 

I always liked the old NCAA rule interp on HBP, as its the pitcher who made the mistake not the batter......those that dip, turn or lean into a ball, they get to stay at the plate.... 

 

This question has made me a bit sad, as this is where I would usually say......"IMHO, but my old buddy Michael S Taylor will be along here in a few minutes to represent the other viewpoint"

 

MST was among the camp that a definitive action to avoid was necessary......and we always ended the question like an episode of point/counterpoint

 

But he won't anymore...

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He's gotta lean into it for me or be really crowding the plate. The pitcher has no business inside the batter's box and the batter will get first if he's where he's supposed to be and not moving into the pitch. I view "permitting the pitch to hit him" as he's hanging over the plate trying to get the ball to hit him and gets plunked on the elbow. He's staying in the box for that. It's all in our judgement, so call what you see. I probably would've given first on this.

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He's gotta lean into it for me or be really crowding the plate. The pitcher has no business inside the batter's box and the batter will get first if he's where he's supposed to be and not moving into the pitch. I view "permitting the pitch to hit him" as he's hanging over the plate trying to get the ball to hit him and gets plunked on the elbow. He's staying in the box for that. It's all in our judgement, so call what you see. I probably would've given first on this.

If he's leaning out over the plate, 9 times out of 10 I've got "Time! That's a strike."

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Thanks for the discussion, guys.  As I have alluded to, I have been gone from the game a long time and this site has been great to me to get a feel for some of the "read between the lines" interpretations.  I have thought about putting up a post in the "introductions" forum that might be kinda long but telling a little bit about my experiences so far in returning to the game.  I'll wait for some replies to see if anyone might be interested.

 

Thanks again.

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Thanks for the discussion, guys.  As I have alluded to, I have been gone from the game a long time and this site has been great to me to get a feel for some of the "read between the lines" interpretations.  I have thought about putting up a post in the "introductions" forum that might be kinda long but telling a little bit about my experiences so far in returning to the game.  I'll wait for some replies to see if anyone might be interested.

 

Thanks again.

definitely do the intro post.....we are glad to have you

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This past Tuesday I kept a JUCO batter in the box for reaching out with his elbow and being hit.  His coach came out to ask me the batter wasn't just blocking the ball from hitting him in face/head with his elbow.  It was a great argument that I had never tried on an umpire and never heard from a coach as an umpire. However, I didn't buy it.  I knew this kid leaned up and in to try and get the base as he was down 0-2 in the count.  His act was pretty overt in my opinion and I balled it and kept him in the box.  He wound up getting a hit so nothing came of it.

 

When asked by the coach if I was sure that batter wasn't just blocking from being hit I responded with "Steve, that is a great point and I am sure that sometimes the batter is doing that to protect themselves but in this particular situation I am positive the batter caused the contact with the ball by reaching out and up with his elbow.  But, I appreciate that point of view and will watch for it in the future.

 

Just throwing it out there.  Anyone ever heard this argument/excuse before?

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Did the pitch hit the batter? Or did the batter hit the pitch? It's one or the other (and I think you can determine results of each)

I don't think that standard is consistent with the rule.  If the batter simply stands there, the pitch hit him.  But if the he consciously permitted the pitch to hit him, he shouldn't get first.

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Did the pitch hit the batter? Or did the batter hit the pitch? It's one or the other (and I think you can determine results of each)
I don't think that standard is consistent with the rule. If the batter simply stands there, the pitch hit him. But if the he consciously permitted the pitch to hit him, he shouldn't get first.
I agree in principle, but not always in practice. If the defense doesn't want the batter awarded first, then they shouldn't throw it into the batter's box. The farther in they throw it, the more the batter gets the benefit of the doubt. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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This past Tuesday I kept a JUCO batter in the box for reaching out with his elbow and being hit.  His coach came out to ask me the batter wasn't just blocking the ball from hitting him in face/head with his elbow.  It was a great argument that I had never tried on an umpire and never heard from a coach as an umpire. However, I didn't buy it.  I knew this kid leaned up and in to try and get the base as he was down 0-2 in the count.  His act was pretty overt in my opinion and I balled it and kept him in the box.  He wound up getting a hit so nothing came of it.

 

When asked by the coach if I was sure that batter wasn't just blocking from being hit I responded with "Steve, that is a great point and I am sure that sometimes the batter is doing that to protect themselves but in this particular situation I am positive the batter caused the contact with the ball by reaching out and up with his elbow.  But, I appreciate that point of view and will watch for it in the future.

 

Just throwing it out there.  Anyone ever heard this argument/excuse before?

Had the same thing this week in HS varsity game.

 

I saw the kid drop his elbow into a fastball and kept him in the box. HC whined that it was a fastball, and asked me (of all people) why his kid would do that. I replied that I did not know why, but that he definitiely did it. The pitch was off the plate, but not in the box, really not even near the kid's arms at all.    Ball 1.......let's go! 

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