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Oldies but Goodies Part 1

Senor Azul

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Things seem to be at a standstill right now so I thought this might be a good time to try something a little different. I went back through old posts to find interesting topics that have only been discussed once (at least I could not find another instance). The first oldie but goodie comes from a post in the Ask the Umpire forum back in May of 2017—here’s the question posed then:

Bases loaded two out...suicide squeeze. Hitter bunts ball fair yet it rolls back toward the plate as stealing R3 slides safely. The ball rolls into R3 who is already lying across the plate, just having slid, preventing the catcher from fielding it cleanly and potentially throwing to another base for the force out.

Run count? How about with just one out? Other implications?

Do you call interference or not? Does the run count? Is there a difference in ruling from rule set to rule set?

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2018 NFHS Rule 2


ART. 3 . . . A retired runner is a player of the team at bat who has been put out, or who has scored and is still in live-ball area.

The following text is from the 2016 BRD (section 462, p. 307): “The definition is of practical value…when a runner who has scored interferes with or maliciously crashes into a defensive player. The point: Interference by a runner who has scored is, by definition in FED, interference by a RETIRED RUNNER.”

2010 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations

SITUATION 14: With R3 on third base and no outs, B2 hits a pop fly in fair territory in front of home plate. The catcher misses the ball completely, never touching it, and the backspin on the ball causes it to move back toward home where it strikes R3 in fair territory. The ball continues to move into foul ground, where it comes to rest. The offensive head coach claims R3 is not out since the batted ball “passed” an infielder. RULING: The ball is dead immediately and R3 is declared out for being contacted by a fair batted ball. B2 is awarded first base. The action of the ball in this situation is not considered to be “passing” an infielder. Had the ball contacted R3 in foul ground, the ball would be dead immediately, R3 would be returned to third and B2 would remain at bat. (8-4-2k, 5-1-1f-1) 

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Let’s see how many interferences the runner in the OP committed—

The runner who just scored is hit by a fair batted ball

The runner who just scored prevents the fielder from making a play

The runner who just scored prevents a batted ball from going foul (The status of the batted ball in this scenario had not been established yet. It was rolling back toward the plate and the defense could have chosen to let the ball roll foul but that choice was taken away by the offense.)


The original thread currently can be found on page 37 of the Ask the Umpire forum. The consensus then—several members asserted—since the runner had scored his status has changed from runner to something else and these interference rules no longer applied to him. Do you agree? Would you ignore all those infractions?

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Here are official interpretations from the 2016 BRD (section 514, pp. 329-330) that answer whether the run would count or not--

FED:  A runner who has scored on a force play but is guilty of interference with a fielder nullifies his run. (2.32.2C; 8.4.2w)

Official Interpretation:  Rumble:  A runner who has scored but is guilty of interference with a batted ball keeps his run but causes a teammate to be out.

OBR:  Deary:  The umpire will cancel a legally scored run if the runner who has scored is guilty of interference with a fair batted ball after crossing the plate.

Barney Deary was a director of PBUC, in other words, supervisor of minor league umpires. I mention that because in the original thread this interpretation was sneered at as something less than credible. This interpretation was listed in the 2014 BRD as being from a letter by Mr. Deary to the editor of Referee magazine in 1987. The objection was that the interpretation was too old and it was misconstrued as being from Referee magazine not from the director of minor league umpires.

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