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udbrky

Catcher hit by thrown bat with pending play at home

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Had an interesting situation last night. HS game.

 

Bases loaded.

Ground ball back to pitcher.

Batter throws bat hard and as Catcher is popping up, he gets nailed by the bat in the thigh.

Catcher goes down almost to the ground about 3 feet to the left. I look down at him, then up and pitcher is trying to come home with the throw. 

Catcher recovers and tries to jump up and get the throw, misses it by a little, throw goes to the backstop.

 

WUG?

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I don't have my FED rule book with me right now but it's interference, the batter is out, and runners return. Here's the relevant comment from OBR. If someone finds the FED equivalent that'd be awesome. 

Quote

If a whole bat is thrown into fair or foul territory and interferes with a defensive player attempting to make a play, interference shall be called, whether intentional or not.

 

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Thread from 2 years ago that I went back and found. 

Consensus there seems to be play the bounce in OBR at least, not sure for FED. 

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2019 NFHS Case Book Play 7.3.6 SITUATION:  In hitting a slow roller to F5, the (a) whole bat slips out of his hands and interferes with F5 or (b) his bat breaks and hits the ball or F5 as F5 attempts to field the ball. RULING:  In (a), the ball is dead immediately. B1 is declared out for interference, because B1 is responsible for controlling his bat and not allowing it to interfere with a defensive player attempting a play. In (b), there is no penalty and the ball remains live.

7.3.5 Situation K:  With less than two outs, R3 attempts to steal home. B2 swings and misses the pitch for strike two. On the follow-through, his bat releases and strikes F2 in the facemask. RULING:  The ball is dead and R3 is declared out. With two outs, the batter is declared out.

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The question is, is a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball equivalent to a fielder attempting to catch a thrown ball. 

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6 hours ago, Richvee said:

The question is, is a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball equivalent to a fielder attempting to catch a thrown ball. 

That is the sticking point IMO.

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15 hours ago, Richvee said:

The question is, is a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball equivalent to a fielder attempting to catch a thrown ball. 

Disagree: that's not the question (as the answer is: obviously not).

The BR has an obligation to deal with his bat in a way that does not hinder F2. The rules don't say what he must do with it (he can carry it to 1B if he likes), but he can't hinder the defense with it.

I read the following provision of 8.4.1J quite broadly, to cover this case as well: "The batter may not use a bat or any other personal equipment to hinder the defense."

That particular play involves hindering a fielder attempting to field a batted (bunted) ball, but as I say I read it broadly. To do otherwise would invite batters to take out catchers "accidentally" on any play where a runner could score.

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That’s a darned good case citation, Mr. maven. A word of advice though, be sure to use case plays that are not “overly wordy.” Anyway, here’s the play you cited. I have to be honest--this was the first time I have read this case play. I usually rely on my old 2015 copy of the case book and sometimes forget to check the current one.

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 8.4.1 Situation J:  B1 bunts the ball down the first-base line, the catcher comes out from behind the plate and (a) the batter/runner intentionally drops/throws his bat and contacts the batted ball prior to any fielder having an opportunity to field the ball; (b) without contacting the ball intentionally, the batter/runner drops/throws his bat or other batter/runner equipment which impedes a fielder’s opportunity to field the ball. RULING:  The ball becomes dead immediately in both (a) and (b), the batter/runner is ruled out and all runners return to the base they occupied at the time of the pitch. The batter may not use a bat or any other personal equipment to hinder the defense.

 

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Mr. Gfoley4, the consensus was wrong two years ago.

The following example plays are from the 2017 Jaksa/Roder rules interpretation manual (chapter 13, p. 101):

#9  The batter hits a pitch off the end of his bat into fair territory near home plate. His backswing hits the catcher in the head, preventing the catcher from making a play on the ball. The pitcher is unable to get to the ball in time and the batter-runner is safe at first:  the batter is out for interference.

#10  The batter swings and pops the ball up behind home plate. His backswing hits the catcher, preventing his chance to catch the fly ball, and no other fielders can make the play:  the batter is out for interference.

#11  R2, the batter swings and misses at wild pitch and dazes the catcher with his backswing. Since the catcher is not able to retrieve the ball, R2 scores:  there is interference without a play, but also a wild pitch. R2 should be sent back to third.

From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 5.34, pp. 56-57):  “If a whole bat is thrown into fair territory and interferes with a defensive player attempting to make a play, interference shall be called, whether intentional or not…If a whole bat is thrown into fair or foul territory and hits a catcher (including the catcher’s glove) and the catcher was attempting to catch a pitch with a runner(s) on base and/or the pitch was a third strike, interference shall be called, whether intentional or not.”

From the 2013 Wendelstedt manual (section 9.3, p. 175):  “The whole bat, either in or out of possession of the batter-runner, hits a fair ball a second time in fair territory, or it is thrown and interferes with a fielder attempting to field or throw a ball.”

 

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Here's what I had:

 

Catcher pops up, bat hits him hard in the thigh and he (not on purpose) goes to his left, down almost to his knee in pain. 

I look down to see how bad he took it. I look up and pitcher is trying to throw home.

Catcher jumps up and a few feet back to the plate to try to catch pitcher's throw, but cannot cover the ground in that state.

Ball goes to the backstop, I think back through the play.

I call "Time! That was interference! Batter is out!" and send the runners back to their bases, declaring "All runners return to the base they held at the time of the pitch"

 

As I explained to the offensive coach, the act of the batter recklessly throwing the bat and hitting the catcher, took the catcher out of the ability to make the play.

 

I think I could have declared R3 out since it would have been an easy 1-2-3 double play.

Offensive coach accepted that it was INT, then started fishing with "well usually INT is called immediately."

I countered telling him that I needed to make sure they were coming home. If they go to 2nd, I don't have an effect on the play. He complained that F1 hesitated to throw. 

My response is, because his catcher was down almost on the ground and recovered to try to field his throw.

 

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On 5/9/2019 at 9:48 PM, udbrky said:

Here's what I had:

 

Catcher pops up, bat hits him hard in the thigh and he (not on purpose) goes to his left, down almost to his knee in pain. 

I look down to see how bad he took it. I look up and pitcher is trying to throw home.

Catcher jumps up and a few feet back to the plate to try to catch pitcher's throw, but cannot cover the ground in that state.

Ball goes to the backstop, I think back through the play.

I call "Time! That was interference! Batter is out!" and send the runners back to their bases, declaring "All runners return to the base they held at the time of the pitch"

 

As I explained to the offensive coach, the act of the batter recklessly throwing the bat and hitting the catcher, took the catcher out of the ability to make the play.

 

I think I could have declared R3 out since it would have been an easy 1-2-3 double play.

Offensive coach accepted that it was INT, then started fishing with "well usually INT is called immediately."

I countered telling him that I needed to make sure they were coming home. If they go to 2nd, I don't have an effect on the play. He complained that F1 hesitated to throw. 

My response is, because his catcher was down almost on the ground and recovered to try to field his throw.

 

Coach, I am not a computer and it took me a moment to see what occurred, process the information, and decide on the appropriate ruling. 

Timing, timing, timing...

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