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Guest steve

Travesty?

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Guest steve

never seen this before (although I should have seen this coming).  We are operating a travel tournament using MLB rules with fed slide rules modification. (slide rule not relevant here.) Home team is losing 4-1 and we are in bottom of 5th.  Runner on 3rd and 2 out.  we are approaching time limit; less than one minute left.  Coach verbally instructs r3 to run home.  Pitcher steps off and throws home to catcher who tags runner out with 10 feet to spare.  My partner and I are livid. We bring in site directors who say that the play is legal because "they did it when they were coaching". We maintained that there was no intent to steal home but to simply "give up" in order to start the next inning before time expired.  We maintained that this was "travesty" and that the game should be declared over.  Can anyone weigh in on this?  I can't find anything to directly support this but we maintain that the integrity of the game was clearly violated.

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Travesty??  ............ or strategic coaching WITHIN the rules set for them to follow?

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The word "travesty" appears exactly ONE time in OBR, and that is when a runner runs the bases in reverse order to confuse the defense or make a travesty of the game.  So no, you cannot use "travesty" as a basis to penalize the home team.

However, you may have been able to use the following:

7.03 (a): A game may be forfeited to the opposing team when a team:

(2) Employs tactics palpably designed to delay or shorten the game;

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I think that anytime the game is played under time limit restrictions we must accept that it will spawn uncommon situations like the one described in the OP. All involved (including the officials) have accepted the playing terms and must accept the result. I don't see it as a travesty. What if the runner stayed at third and then the OC requested time to make have a mound visit / defensive conference to eat up the remainder of the clock? Good strategy or travesty?

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It's strategic coaching, and I have done it.   This is the risk you have with "no new inning after" rules.   He figured he had a better chance of starting a fresh inning to score 3 runs with no outs.  It's not a travesty, it's smart coaching.

The other coach needs to be on the ball too - let the player score.  As well, the OC may feel forced to do this because the DC, and the pitcher, are probably stretching things out a bit...making sure the game does go past that time limit.   Time limit rules sometimes create these situations - time management is an appropriate and acceptable strategy in tournament play.  Hard stop time limits lead to convenient mound visits too.

There is a line though - I think you want to discourage intentional/accidental bad throws into CF from F2 to F1 after every pitch, as an example, if it's obvious they're trying to push the game past the limit.

But getting out on purpose, or, as a response, letting that runner score, are fine with me.  (as a coach I would have just told R3 to run to the dugout)

A coach's job is to understand the time limit rules for that tournament, and apply strategy and tactics accordingly, if necessary.  This, IMO, was a savvy move.

 

War Story Alert:

Tournament rules - there is a five run per inning mercy rule, except for the final inning.  If the umpire declares "last inning" before the inning starts, then there's no mercy rule.  If he doesn't, and the inning goes longer than expected, and time runs out, the mercy rule stays in place.

Top of 5th, we're down by two with probably 40 minutes to go...away team puts up their five run limit, and inning takes a long time.  When we come up there's under ten minutes...we can only score five runs, meaning we can't catch them, and it will take longer than ten minutes to score five runs, meaning the game will be over.  Risking even trying to put one or two runs across is problematic.  So, I have my three batters swing at every pitch...ideally, if they put it in play then just run back to the dugout...otherwise, three bad whiffs and they're out.  Even that took five minutes.

So, we start the sixth, with no run limit.  Shut down the visitor.  Scored six runs in the bottom, and had bases loaded when the final out occurred.   Sure, we still lost, but it was our only chance to win, and it was really fun making it a game (except for talking that last batter off the ledge after the game - but she went on to play university ball, so she bounced back)

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Defense should have let the runner score, 4-2. Tell the pitcher to walk the next batter and if needed make a visit to the pitcher, game over!  :)

 

beerguy55, in your War Story case, once I see your first batter swinging at every pitch I'm asking for time to go out and talk to my pitcher.  I'll waste a little time and then make a pitching change.  I'll tell my new pitcher to intentionally pitch high, outside, whatever, nothing near the plate.  After that batter I'm going out and changing pitchers again. Heck, if I need to I'll make another pitching change mid at-bat!  It takes two to tango.  :)

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Just claim the coach's clock was wrong and you had the time past the limit. Of course, if a clock is visible to everyone, then that won't work.

Why were you "livid"? Because a coach forced you to stay out there an extra inning longer than you thought? Sorry.

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1 hour ago, grayhawk said:

The word "travesty" appears exactly ONE time in OBR, and that is when a runner runs the bases in reverse order to confuse the defense or make a travesty of the game.  So no, you cannot use "travesty" as a basis to penalize the home team.

However, you may have been able to use the following:

7.03 (a): A game may be forfeited to the opposing team when a team:

(2) Employs tactics palpably designed to delay or shorten the game;

Agree: this is not a travesty.

Disagree: games with a time limit are subject to this sort of nonsense. It's no different from F1 throwing 11 pickoffs with R1 standing on 1B in order to extend the inning past the deadline. Unless otherwise prohibited by rule, I've got nothing here.

The OP reports that the score was 4–1 when they sent that R3 to give himself up. Why not let him score? Two can play silly time limit games.

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The OP reports that the score was 4–1 when they sent that R3 to give himself up. Why not let him score? Two can play silly time limit games.

Because the defensive coach wasn't as strategic.  Let him score then have a mound visit.  Game over.   

 

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2 hours ago, grayhawk said:

However, you may have been able to use the following:

7.03 (a): A game may be forfeited to the opposing team when a team:

(2) Employs tactics palpably designed to delay or shorten the game;

I wouldn't here...maybe with 37 consecutive pick off attempts.  Or dropping every throw back from F2.  Those are real delay tactics.  This is neither a delay, nor shortening the game.   It's following the umpire's instructions and hustling off the field to get in another inning.  :)

 

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1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

I wouldn't here...maybe with 37 consecutive pick off attempts.  Or dropping every throw back from F2.  Those are real delay tactics.  This is neither a delay, nor shortening the game.   It's following the umpire's instructions and hustling off the field to get in another inning.  :)

 

It was obvious to everyone that the coach sent his runner to make sure there was another inning played.  This is both palpable and a delay tactic.  I didn't tell the OP he SHOULD use this, but if they are determined to use the rules to prevent that type of behavior, then this rule could definitely provide the cover they need.

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There is no coincidence why "Travesty" and "Travel Ball Tournaments" (which is where time limits usually reside) share the same root word.

7 hours ago, Guest steve said:

My partner and I are livid. We bring in site directors who say that the play is legal because "they did it when they were coaching". We maintained that there was no intent to steal home but to simply "give up" in order to start the next inning before time expired.  We maintained that this was "travesty" and that the game should be declared over.

What right do you have to be livid? The site directors are the folks in charge – it's their tournament, they are "signing your check" – so anything outside the core Rules (and time limits are outside any core Rules) is on them, and their responsibility. Create less stress in your life, don't get so upset over innings spilling over the time limits.

If anything, look introspectively. Look back at how you could have made the game go quicker.

  • Did you (and/or your partners) call "Time" excessively?
  • Did you (and/or your partner) have an "efficient, effective" strike zone?
  • Did you call as many appropriate strikes as possible?
  • Did you keep warmup pitches – even during pitching changes – to 5?
  • Did you work together to get teams on and off inside 2 minutes between half-innings?
  • Did you try to keep conferences as brief as possible?

I (and other guys here) have worked hundreds of time-limited travel ball tournament games. Know the fastest way to get these games over with? Either hit the run rule (mercy rule) as quickly as possible, or else press these kids to get thru all 6, 7, or 9 innings under that time limit! The Phoenix Valley hosts 3 weeks of HS tournaments wherein teams from out of state, on their Spring Break, arrive and play local teams, and each other, on various HS fields around. The local High Schools, in an effort to kind, will give a time limit of 2 hrs 45 minutes; that's way too long. So, at the Plate Meeting, I'll look these Head Coaches dead in the face, and say, "Amongst us here (at the Plate Meeting), we have a 2 hour 45 minute time limit, but tell your teams 2 hours 15 minutes... Let's keep them on the hop." To a man (coach), these coaches do exactly that... and we get games that are either hitting the 10-run Run Rule, or in fact, go full 7... in just over 2 hours.

Just this week, I did 7 games on a Private HS Invitational that had 1 hour 40 minute time limits on every game from opening round to championship. While we did have the one extreme where due to accumulated run-overs, the last game of the 2nd day started 1 full hour late (and thus, I didn't leave the ballpark until 11pm), I also had the other extreme, wherein I was PU on the Championship game, played in the Stadium, which went 4-0 (visitors), full 7 innings, in exactly 1 hour 40 minutes.

That's baseball, that's life.

 

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2 hours ago, MadMax said:

If anything, look introspectively. Look back at how you could have made the game go quicker.

Agree 100%.  Looking back at the OP I missed that very important fact.   A 4-1 game in the fifth inning should very very rarely be anywhere near a standard time limit - unless a rain shortened tournament cuts down the round robin time limits to get the games in.

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And this is the exact problems that we now see for kids making transition from tourney ball to college.  They only play a 20 game HS schedule and then go into summer and have to play 75-100 games of "rat ball" because of time limit rules.  Bad teaching leads to bad habits. 

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4 minutes ago, GPblue said:

And this is the exact problems that we now see for kids making transition from tourney ball to college.  They only play a 20 game HS schedule and then go into summer and have to play 75-100 games of "rat ball" because of time limit rules.  Bad teaching leads to bad habits. 

I don't see a big deal.  It really doesn't come up THAT often.   Well managed games typically get in all innings...or the run rule takes effect...or there's a big enough lead that teams/coaches don't try to manage the time to their advantage (or even if they do it's not impactful to the game - more like avoiding prolonging the inevitable).

I think the "important" tourneys (states, regionals, nationals) don't have time limits.

The others it's a necessary evil to ensure teams get enough games in to make the tournament worthwhile.  If anything I think the time limits, for the most part, teach the players and coaches to move their asses and keep the game moving along.   Nobody wants every game to end in the fourth inning.

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You know what will really speed up the pace of games? Eliminate pitch counts.

Yes, pitch counts. Single-most disruptive affliction on tournament baseball.

Why’s that? The obvious thing is what we see in the pitching changes that take 3-5 minutes!! Coach has to go out there, huddle the kids together, pick the kid that may or may not be able to put a ball over the plate without bouncing, then the kid has to shed all the EvoCuffs and lucky bracelets and batting gloves and sunglasses (because, of course we know you can’t wear sunglasses* while pitching; to be fair, kid wasn’t wearing them on his face while in the field), then retrieve his pitching glove (which, of course, has the extra-long laces and is as close to whitish tan as one can get), then change his shoes from spikes to plastics or flats, because we’re playing on a combination field with a portable mound, then take no less than 9 warmup pitches, half of which hit the backstop!

Nearly ten minutes later, when we resume the game, we now have a weaker pitcher, or at least a different pitcher, who has to “find the zone”. He might just be different enough, though, to spoil the outburst of runs the batting team has hung on the previous pitcher, thus staving off an early run (mercy) rule. Or, worse yet, he is weaker than the outgoing pitcher, who simply hit this ambiguous pitch count number, but was completely effective and in a groove, and now the batting team starts teeing off, and the defensive team starts committing even more fielding mistakes and errors.

But hey, little Logan’s arm has been preserved. That’s all that matters.

Insidiously, what ends up happening as an undercurrent to what I just described, is that batting teams start telling their batters (through a torturous amount of signs before every frakkin’ pitch, often with those stupid football number-code sleeves) to tactically take or fake-bunt at pitches!!! So each at-bat becomes a prolonged, energy-sapping affair, repeated until finally a third out is recorded, often by sheer miracle (or interference!). In the meantime, only 3 runs have scored, all off passed balls, wild pitches, or U3K’s uncompleted.

Here’s the thing: no one – no one – is naturally talented at Fortnite. How do these kids (and twenty-somethings, to be fair) get so good at it? They play it incessantly and repetitively, and without limitations on when and how often, they build up skills through experience. Fortnite actually awards for frequency despite failure. So these kids are playing it over and over and over and over... and over... and over... and good grief, Colby, are you playing it again?!?!? I’ll hand it to Colby’s everywhere – they’ve gotten to be better video game players because of it, despite losing a major percentage of the time, and watching others do those goofy dances over their avatar’s corpse. It’s motivated them to get better, or in some cases, exact retribution so they can dance over a defeated adversary the next time...

Wouldn’t these same kids benefit from pitching as frequently as possible to build up arm strength and pitching skills, or, on the converse side, swinging at as many pitches as possible to build up the batting skills necessary to be an effective hitter?

No wonder games hit their time limits in the 3rd inning!!!

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23 hours ago, grayhawk said:

It was obvious to everyone that the coach sent his runner to make sure there was another inning played.  This is both palpable and a delay tactic.  I didn't tell the OP he SHOULD use this, but if they are determined to use the rules to prevent that type of behavior, then this rule could definitely provide the cover they need.

I don't see how this is a delay tactic. If anything, it sped the game up from an "outs remaining in the game" aspect. I don't see how you can justifiably call this a delay tactic. We know what they are doing, but it's not a delay tactic.

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Join in the fun, don't make the call at home, instead call time and meet with your partner to discuss the play. As soon as time expires, call the runner out, game over. 

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7 hours ago, Thatsnotyou said:

I don't see how this is a delay tactic. If anything, it sped the game up from an "outs remaining in the game" aspect. I don't see how you can justifiably call this a delay tactic. We know what they are doing, but it's not a delay tactic.

The purpose of sending R3 to get tagged out is to ensure the game goes to a 6th inning instead of ending in the 5th.  How is that anything other than a delay tactic?

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Just now, grayhawk said:

The purpose of sending R3 to get tagged out is to ensure the game goes to a 6th inning instead of ending in the 5th.  How is that anything other than a delay tactic?

What he's saying is it progresses the game further along, even if it ultimately results in a longer game. It's semantics, but in some ways he's technically correct. In an untimed game it would speed up the game, but I personally have no problem labeling it a delay tactic.

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8 hours ago, grayhawk said:

The purpose of sending R3 to get tagged out is to ensure the game goes to a 6th inning instead of ending in the 5th.  How is that anything other than a delay tactic?

I’m aware of the purpose. But again, it’s advancing the game, not delaying it. Delaying the game would be the nine mound visits, throwing it into center field, etc. That is stalling the game. 

 

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15 hours ago, grayhawk said:

The purpose of sending R3 to get tagged out is to ensure the game goes to a 6th inning instead of ending in the 5th.  How is that anything other than a delay tactic?

It's semantics.   It's not delaying the action - it's actually moving the game along.  It's not stalling the action, it's ensuring another inning gets played.  In the end, yes, it prolongs the game by getting in an extra inning, but I look at it this way:

Team one wants the inning to end after the time limit - they do things like mound visits, pick offs, bad throws and catches, or if on offense take every count as deep as possible, foul off pitches, etc,  to keep the inning going long enough to pass the time limit, to end the game.

Team two wants the inning to end before the time limit - they do things like get out on purpose, or, if they're on the defense, pitch as fast as legally possible, everything down the middle to try to get three quick outs, so they can get one more crack at winning the game.

They can't BOTH be delay tactics, can they?

The play examples in scenario one would ALWAYS be delay tactics, whether the game had time limits or not. (eg. maybe coach is trying to stall to get a pitcher warmed up...or he's just being a jerk)  Even though the game doesn't have a time limit you don't want action delayed - I would even venture to guess that the rule writers never even thought or cared about time limits when documenting the rule...baseball by default and definition doesn't have time limits.

The play examples in scenario two are only questioned because it's a time limit game.  In a game without time limits you wouldn't care if a coach had his own player get out on purpose (eg. show of mercy in long inning)

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19 hours ago, Mister B said:

Join in the fun, don't make the call at home, instead call time and meet with your partner to discuss the play. As soon as time expires, call the runner out, game over. 

Even better - call him safe right away, and see who argues with you.

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