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timelydew

(OBR) Question About Possible Runner Interference If Defense Chooses Not To Make Play

Question

Is this little nugget I found true under MLB rules?

"Defense Chooses Not to Make a Play

A batter bunts a ball down the third base line. If the defense allows the ball to roll with attempting to field it and the ball strikes third base before contacting the runner sliding into third, the runner is safe and ball remains in play. Even though the ball has not actually passed a fielder, the runner shall not be in jeopardy of committing interference, because the defense has chosen not to field the ball."

The page itself was referencing the Official Baseball Rules, but I can't find anything to support this anywhere.

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32 minutes ago, timelydew said:

Is this little nugget I found true under MLB rules?

"Defense Chooses Not to Make a Play

A batter bunts a ball down the third base line. If the defense allows the ball to roll with attempting to field it and the ball strikes third base before contacting the runner sliding into third, the runner is safe and ball remains in play. Even though the ball has not actually passed a fielder, the runner shall not be in jeopardy of committing interference, because the defense has chosen not to field the ball."

The page itself was referencing the Official Baseball Rules, but I can't find anything to support this anywhere.

It's the correct ruling and can be found in the MLB Umpire Manual.

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From the 2016 Baseball Rule Differences by Carl Childress (section 336, p. 220):

Official Interpretation: PBUC:  If defensive players have a chance to field a fair batted ball, but choose not to, and a runner is touched by the ball [while on base], the runner is not out. (section 7.5-11)

Play189-336:  R2, 0 outs. B1 bunts fair down the third-base line. The pitcher and third baseman back toward the base, hoping the ball will roll foul. It bounces on third and hits the runner who has advanced from second. Ruling:  Because the fielders had an opportunity to field the batted ball but chose not to, the runner is not out.

Note 305:  BRD recommends adopt this interpretation for all your games.

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But now someone is going to use this interp from that bunt situation, for the hit and run, and the stealing runner is accidentally hit by the batted ball, because the 2nd baseman and 1st baseman make no attempt (chooses not to-) to "make a play", as being a reason not to call the stealing runner out.

The fielders are choosing not to make a play many times because they have no chance to make a play anyway. They just luck up and get an out from the deal because the runner is hit, and is out per the rule.

Better clarify.

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This ruling might seem like an exception, but it is grounded in the key concept of interference, namely hindrance. When the fielders let the ball roll and make no attempt to field it, they cannot be hindered in their attempt to field it. So when R2 is hit by the batted ball, the contact hinders no one. No hindrance = no INT.

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