Jump to content
  • 0
C3GPS

Catcher's Interference on Steal of Home

Question

So I know that OBR 6.01(g) states that Catcher's Interference should be called on the catcher if R3 is stealing home and the catcher steps on or in front of home to receive the ball, thereby interfering with the batters ability to hit the pitch. However, I've seen interpretations, that I agree with, that say the batter must stay in the box so that he's able and willing to hit the pitch for this to be called. Meaning, if he steps out of the box before the pitch arrives, the catcher's interference shouldn't be called since a batter not in the batter's box cannot legally hit the pitch anyway. So there are some who argue vehemently, and correctly, that 6.01(g) does not provide the batter out of the box exception. My question is, where in the OBR rule book, or any manual, is the out of the box exception mentioned?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

21 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

That's the thing, I don't think that interpretation is mentioned in any official capacity. At least not any that I'm familiar with. The rule itself isn't dependent on the batter staying in the box, so I'd enforce it as it's written. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
6 hours ago, C3GPS said:

My question is, where in the OBR rule book, or any manual, is the out of the box exception mentioned?

It isn't. Interpretations supplement the rule book, to answer questions such as yours.

I've never heard of that interp, and I don't agree with it. The batter is entitled to an unhindered opportunity to hit the pitch, even if he doesn't swing, steps out, or does the Macarena. Even if he steps out early, so F2 thinks he has abandoned his opportunity to hit the pitch, he might step back in. Or he might throw the bat at the ball, which is legal.

The action you describe is CI/CO in every code (though as we know not always enforced as written).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

From the 2010 Jaksa/Roder rules interpretation manual (chapter 14, p. 117):

However, it is not catcher’s interference if the batter…

completely gives up his opportunity to swing or bunt at a pitch…

Example: R3, stealing. The batter takes two or three steps backward during the pitch. Catcher’s interference is no longer possible.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
42 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

From the 2010 Jaksa/Roder rules interpretation manual (chapter 14, p. 117):

However, it is not catcher’s interference if the batter…

completely gives up his opportunity to swing or bunt at a pitch…

Example: R3, stealing. The batter takes two or three steps backward during the pitch. Catcher’s interference is no longer possible.

Roder was wrong about a number of things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Mr. Rich Ives, the OP asked this, “My question is, where in the OBR rule book, or any manual, is the out of the box exception mentioned?” I answered that question—you did not. You chose to make an ad hominem attack on Rick Roder (apparently, there is nothing wrong with Chris Jaksa). Here’s the applicable rule:

OBR rule 5.05: 

(b) The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when:

(3) The catcher or any fielder interferes with him…

 

Mr. maven has a mantra, “no hindrance = no interference,” which has several adherents on this site (I believe you are one of those adherents). I ask you how does the catcher hinder the batter who has given up his right to the pitch by backing out of the box? Couldn’t Mr. Roder and/or Mr. Jaksa be on to something here?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

A conundrum? If the catcher reaching or stepping in front of the plate on a pitch is not CI, how can the PU call the pitch a ball or a strike when it never reaches the plate?*

*I don't think this is what is meant by the definition of a ball as "a pitch which does not enter the strike zone in flight and is not struck at by the batter."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
55 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. Rich Ives, the OP asked this, “My question is, where in the OBR rule book, or any manual, is the out of the box exception mentioned?” I answered that question—you did not. You chose to make an ad hominem attack on Rick Roder (apparently, there is nothing wrong with Chris Jaksa). Here’s the applicable rule:

 

Couldn’t Mr. Roder and/or Mr. Jaksa be on to something here?

The J/R is out of favor because there are things in it that are wrong. It wasn't an attack. It was a statement of fact. J/R are not "on to something" here. The last update was ten years ago.

 It has been commonplace across many boards to refer to just Roder as he was the primary architect.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Wendelstedt has walked back a couple J/R positions and aimed for somewhat more defense-friendly interps. For example, WUM takes a defense-friendly approach to INT with F2 fielding the ball after D3K, emphasizing the rule's language about clear hindrance over extending the concept of tangle/untangle to cover this play.

It's quite possible that, because J/R takes a more defense-friendly position on CI, Wendelstedt would agree on this particular point. I just had never heard of that interp before.

I disagree that the batter stepping out makes CI "no longer possible": apart from petitio principii, that claim ignores the fact that the batter may still throw the bat at the pitch and legally bat it.

Note that the CI/CO rule is couched in terms of the batter's opportunity to hit the pitch: we can still have a violation even when the batter does not swing. By moving over the plate, F2 has hindered the opportunity, even when the batter does not avail himself of it. On that reasoning, I'd still have CI/CO on this play.

Of course, that's just me. YMMV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
11 hours ago, maven said:

It isn't. Interpretations supplement the rule book, to answer questions such as yours.

I've never heard of that interp, and I don't agree with it. The batter is entitled to an unhindered opportunity to hit the pitch, even if he doesn't swing, steps out, or does the Macarena. Even if he steps out early, so F2 thinks he has abandoned his opportunity to hit the pitch, he might step back in. Or he might throw the bat at the ball, which is legal.

The action you describe is CI/CO in every code (though as we know not always enforced as written).

Hey, Macarena.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
3 hours ago, maven said:

that claim ignores the fact that the batter may still throw the bat at the pitch and legally bat it.

I have to question the validity of this statement.

If, as in the J/R  interp's example, "The batter takes two or three steps backwards during the pitch"....., he is no longer in a legal batting position. He'd be out of the box and even if he threw the bat at the ball and made contact it would be an illegally batted ball.

Can a catcher actually interfere with a batter who is illegally trying to bat a ball?

On the other side of the coin, I agree... how do you call a "pitch" that hasn't reached the strike zone because F2 stepped up and caught it before it got there?

This play seems to be catcher interference with a pitch more than catcher interference with a batter.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
47 minutes ago, Richvee said:

I have to question the validity of this statement.

If, as in the J/R  interp's example, "The batter takes two or three steps backwards during the pitch"....., he is no longer in a legal batting position. He'd be out of the box and even if he threw the bat at the ball and made contact it would be an illegally batted ball.

Can a catcher actually interfere with a batter who is illegally trying to bat a ball?

On the other side of the coin, I agree... how do you call a "pitch" that hasn't reached the strike zone because F2 stepped up and caught it before it got there?

This play seems to be catcher interference with a pitch more than catcher interference with a batter.

 

I think the pitch could be called a ball by definition. I lean towards CI for any move over HP but real world has it not called even with batters in the box with bat on their shoulder. Two triple steals in NCAA might actually have been CI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

FWIW, I believe it’s not CI for two reasons beyond J/R (and closecallsports agrees with J/R).

1. How can a catcher ineterfere with a batter who is not in a position to legally strike a ball?

2. The umpire school manual that I have is what became J/R. (Our class was taught by Roder). The point being, that interpretation is what was being taught in class, at least in the 90’s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 7/21/2018 at 2:29 PM, LRZ said:

A conundrum? If the catcher reaching or stepping in front of the plate on a pitch is not CI, how can the PU call the pitch a ball or a strike when it never reaches the plate?*

*I don't think this is what is meant by the definition of a ball as "a pitch which does not enter the strike zone in flight and is not struck at by the batter."

 

On 7/21/2018 at 6:48 PM, Richvee said:

If, as in the J/R  interp's example, "The batter takes two or three steps backwards during the pitch"....., he is no longer in a legal batting position. He'd be out of the box and even if he threw the bat at the ball and made contact it would be an illegally batted ball.

Can a catcher actually interfere with a batter who is illegally trying to bat a ball?

On the other side of the coin, I agree... how do you call a "pitch" that hasn't reached the strike zone because F2 stepped up and caught it before it got there?

 

I think that's exactly what it means.   If the catcher prevents the pitch from entering the strike zone then I see no reason why you couldn't call it a ball, by rule and definition.

I would say that J/R's interpretation is "right", but probably difficult to judge in practice.   Though he wouldn't be able to "legally" throw his bat at the ball from outside the box, as @maven states he would definitely be able to step back in the box and then swing/throw his bat.  So, though F2 may believe the batter gave up his opportunity to hit...it would ultimately be up to the umpire to determine if the batter gave up his opportunity to hit, and except in the most blatant cases (eg. the batter running backwards 20 feet to make sure he's clear of the plate), I think it would be difficult for an umpire to conclude, completely, that the batter wasn't capable or willing to step back in and swing at the pitch. 

Regardless, it would be completely umpire judgment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
45 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

I think it would be difficult for an umpire to conclude, completely, that the batter wasn't capable or willing to step back in and swing at the pitch. 

 

Here is the problem with these situations....

Batters are usually instructed by the coach to "clear the area" so the batter cannot be called for interference. As such they are usually avoiding any opportunity to "hit the ball".  It is always a tough play and I cringe when I see it developing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

I think that's exactly what it means. 

Applying Occam's razor, I think it refers to pitches that bounce first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
40 minutes ago, LRZ said:

Applying Occam's razor, I think it refers to pitches that bounce first.

Regardless of what it may be referencing, it in turn applies exactly to the situation.  And since it is the defense that is preventing the ball from entering the strike zone, I have no qualms with the pitch call that doesn't benefit the defense.

So, what do you do if a batter allows himself to be hit by a pitch, where you determine he doesn't get first base...but he was at the front of the box and therefore got hit before the pitch reached the plate.   You're going to call it a ball or a strike, regardless.   You're not calling it nothing.  And, I'd surmise that if the pitch was going to enter the strike zone you would call it a strike.   So why would the OP be any different?

Otherwise you have a nice little loophole.   A batter who stands at the front of the box could stick his hand in front of the plate, allowing four pitches to hit his hand before they reach the strike zone, and get himself a walk.   

If you want to use Occam's razor, then making it simple is simple.

If the defense prevents the ball from reaching the strike zone, it's a ball.

If the offense prevents the ball from reaching the strike zone, it's a strike. (ie. you can judge whether or not it would have been a strike - if it was two feet inside, curving away from the plate, even if he did get hit on purpose, he likely didn't prevent it from entering the strike zone - if he stuck his elbow in front of the plate on a fastball, he likely prevented it from entering the strike zone)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I have been following this thread and posed the question to my partner on our way to a DH yesterday (Mens league, MLB Rules). 

As luck would have it, this happened...

R3, count 1-0, pitcher in the WU. Here comes R3!  F1 sees him taking off and continues his delivery. The batter back pedals out of the way, F2 stands up and moves forward to the back corner of the plate. At this point CI never entered my mind. I remember thinking, "I'm gonna end up calling a balk"!  The pitch ended up coming in high out of the reach of F2 and to the backstop, R3 slides in safely, 2-0 on the batter.  

IMO, calling CI here would be a travesty of the game.  And I would have had to fight my way to the car!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

As for the contention that it is legal for a batter to throw his bat at a pitch, it is not, at least in FED.

From the BRD (2016 edition, section 98, pp. 84-85):

A player may not carelessly throw his bat.

Official Interpretation: Rumble:  If a batter throws his bat toward a pitch, that constitutes a carelessly thrown bat with all attendant penalties.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Is the batter moving back to avoid an already incoming catcher? Shouldn't that be a part of the equation in considering the J/R interpretation? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Gil of Close Call Sports/UEFL recently analyzed a catcher’s interference play on May 10, 2018—he labeled it Case Play 2018-3 No Strike, No Balk, No Steal (Solved). You can find the article on his website just by searching the term catcher’s interference and scrolling down until you find it or follow this link:

https://www.closecallsports.com/search?q=catcher's+interference

The article has a link to the video solution also posted on YouTube. In the video Gil also agrees with the Jaksa/Roder interpretation—the OP Mr. C3GPS mentions this fact in his post from last Saturday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
10 hours ago, Tksjewelry said:

Is the batter moving back to avoid an already incoming catcher? Shouldn't that be a part of the equation in considering the J/R interpretation? 

I think so...I think it's all part of the judgment I alluded to earlier.  To me, it would have to be pretty blatant to determine the batter has given up on the pitch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By Thunderheads
      I think I had 2 of these all season .......... here, Fletcher gets 2 in one game!   Both with Ellsbury at bat ....
      p.s. ... I didn't know AF was a southpaw ?!?
      Your browser does not support iframes.
    • By Thunderheads
      How, ...as a catcher .....can you argue this ?!?!
      Your browser does not support iframes.
    • By Thunderheads
      Simple, but always good to see / hear ...and watch the mechanic ....
      But, don't listen to the announcers for fear of ear-bleed!   (Ripperger had quite a day)
      Your browser does not support iframes.
    • By Mad Mike
      Hypothetical situations using OBR:
       
      (1)
      R2, outs don't matter. Pitcher balks, but continues his pitch. Umpire calls the balk. Batter goes to swing at pitch and hits catcher's mitt. Umpire calls "That's interference". Ball is not batted successfully.
      Do you give the manager his choice of penalties? Or do you penalize both?
       
      (2)
      R2, outs don't matter. R2 stealing on the pitch. Pitcher delivers. Catcher moves forward from crouch to receive pitch. Steps on plate to catch pitch. Batter does not swing. Catcher throws to F5 and retires runner.
       
      Now, I recall that a catcher's balk is only applicable with R3 and a squeeze attempt or steal of home. What would you have on this particular play?
       
       
    • By pnewton
      Jacoby Ellsbury (who leads the world in drawing C.I. calls including at least three this season) is interfered with but gets a base hit anyway.  Farrell comes out to take the result of the play rather than the interference, which he shouldn't have to do because the batter reached and the runner advanced on the play.
       
      http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=29196755&query=catcher
×
×
  • Create New...