By Guest Tad
Its a timed ball game. With new inning starting as last out is recorded. Tie ball game runners on 1st and 2nd 2 outs. 15 seconds left on the clock. Batter hits a 1 hopper over the fence forna dead ball ground rule double. The runner from 2nd scores but the runner from 1st touches 2nd and thinks game is over. He back tracks to celebrate at 1st. With about 6 seconds to go the batter/runner passes the runner between 1st and 2nd. We call time and call the out. And new inning starts. Is this the correcr call
It seemed as though it would only be a matter of time before the IBB and no fake to third would be implemented. The changes on pitchers' positioning is going to be problematic unless there is a universal effort to enforce the new standards.
The HBP and runners staying at their bases changes are the most interesting to me. I wonder what the penalty will be for runners leaving their bases during a defensive conference.
This past weekend, I was acting as onsite UIC, and as I was rolling the cooler full of ice, water, and towels from one field to another, replenishing the guys between innings, one of my crews had a situation happen right in front of me which I was very proud of how they handled it... without botching it or consulting me or the TD.
R1, R2, 2 outs, X-2 count (balls not relevant). Swinging strike, pitch makes contact with the bat, and ends up... in the F2's armpit, trapped there. F2 gets up, flips the ball towards the mound, and starts trotting towards his dugout while the DT fans applaud his outstanding catch...
... but was it a catch?
The 3BC (OTHC) starts bellowing, "That's not a catch! That's not a catch! Get the rule right!" while the PU steps back, and instead of making an Out mechanic, motions and calls, "Time!". I refrained from saying anything, as much as my younger umpire-self would have liked to, instead leaving it to this crew to determine. The PU motioned in the BU, and they met just in front of the mound. At this point, both the OTHC and the DTHC are on the field, and the PU has to signal to both of them to back off and return to their dugout areas, before he resumes discussing with the BU. Of course, the DT parents are, to a person, clamoring, "But it didn't hit the ground! He caught it!" I'm standing right next to the Field Marshal (FM, an employee of the TD), telling him, "It has to be the glove first for a foul tip. If it hits anywhere else on the catcher's body, like his mask or CP, it's a foul ball."
At that moment, the PU disengages from the BU, heads back towards the plate, and announces, "Foul ball." DTHC approaches PU while his players resume their positions, and PU gives him a brief explanation, ending with, "My UIC is standing right there (points at me), he'll tell you the same thing."
"Play!" Next pitch is a line-out to F5. Oh well. Nicely handled, Blue!