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Guest Steve

Double play on dropped liner to first baseman

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Guest Steve

Last night 2B Ian Kinsler intentionally let a pop up fall to the ground, with just a runner on first and one or no outs, because he noticed the batter wasn't running hard, so he tagged the runner and threw to first.  The runner, Andrew McCutchen, hurt his knee trying to avoid the tag.  The Approved Ruling to Rule 5.09(a)(12) permits this, saying, "An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third base occupied before two are out. The ball is dead and runner or runners shall return to their original base or bases; APPROVED RULING: In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder permits the ball to drop untouched to the ground, except when the Infield Fly rule applies."

My question: Why is the Approved Ruling treated differently?  (I'm not saying it shouldn't be--I'm just wondering what the thinking is there....)

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There is a difference between "intentionally drops" vs "permits the ball to drop, untouched". 

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Kinsler is a smart player.  He’s done that a bunch of times

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As Tborze is hinting, this provision does not apply to the play you saw.

An "intentionally dropped ball" is one that a fielder touches, and then drops intentionally.

What Kinsler did was to move to where he could have caught the ball, but then he let it fall to the ground untouched. The rule does not prohibit this act, and umpires should let play proceed.

When runners foolishly give up and assume that the fielder will catch the ball for an out, they put themselves in a position where a smart fielder like Kinsler can double them up. If both runners had run hard, Kinsler probably can't do this (and if he can, he turns a smart play into an amazing play).

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Guest Steve

Thanks, all.  Maven, I agree that it was a very smart play by Kinsler.  His decision to let it drop was quite intentional.  Do you think rewarding smart play (by Kinsler) and punishing stupid play (by the otherwise steady Segura at the plate) is the reason for the rule to be bifurcated that way?  A line drive hit to Kinsler (or any first or second baseman) that he intentionally drops is unfair to the runner, since he can't know that the fielder was going to do that and so can't make an informed decision, and the hitter is likely to be out anyway because it is hit hard.  Whereas as the rule and the approved ruling are written, Kinsler's decision to let it fall rewards him for noticing that the batter wasn't running hard and punishes the offense for that same act.

If so, then it is cleverly written that way and I like it!

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1 hour ago, Tborze said:

There is a difference between "intentionally drops" vs "permits the ball to drop, untouched". 

Exactly.  We had a guy in our association once who we could not convince that in order to drop something you had to at least touch it.  Couldn't grasp the difference between intentional dropped and untouched.  And of course we all wanted to work with that guy.  Especially when he would bring his dog to a game or pull his wadded up shirt out of his gear bag.  And no working phone.

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2 hours ago, Guest Steve said:

Last night 2B Ian Kinsler intentionally let a pop up fall to the ground, with just a runner on first and one or no outs, because he noticed the batter wasn't running hard, so he tagged the runner and threw to first.  The runner, Andrew McCutchen, hurt his knee trying to avoid the tag.  The Approved Ruling to Rule 5.09(a)(12) permits this, saying, "An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third base occupied before two are out. The ball is dead and runner or runners shall return to their original base or bases; APPROVED RULING: In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder permits the ball to drop untouched to the ground, except when the Infield Fly rule applies."

My question: Why is the Approved Ruling treated differently?  (I'm not saying it shouldn't be--I'm just wondering what the thinking is there....)

Just saw on MLB.com that McCutchen is out for the season.  Saw the play.  Great heady ball by Kinsler to notice the batter fall down at the plate.

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20 hours ago, Guest Steve said:

Thanks, all.  Maven, I agree that it was a very smart play by Kinsler.  His decision to let it drop was quite intentional.  Do you think rewarding smart play (by Kinsler) and punishing stupid play (by the otherwise steady Segura at the plate) is the reason for the rule to be bifurcated that way?  A line drive hit to Kinsler (or any first or second baseman) that he intentionally drops is unfair to the runner, since he can't know that the fielder was going to do that and so can't make an informed decision, and the hitter is likely to be out anyway because it is hit hard.  Whereas as the rule and the approved ruling are written, Kinsler's decision to let it fall rewards him for noticing that the batter wasn't running hard and punishes the offense for that same act.

If so, then it is cleverly written that way and I like it!

Letting the ball drop untouched adds a higher level of risk to the play - the ball could have some spin on it, or hit something when it lands, and then the defense might not end up getting any outs.  The rules let that risk/reward play itself out.

When you intentionally drop the ball by touching it first you have significantly more control, so your risk is minimized.   As well, this is where the offense is most vulnerable - imagine bases loaded nobody out and a line drive hit to a fielder.  It's not an IFF.  And the fielder almost certainly can't let it hit the ground untouched.  But let it hit their glove and direct it to the ground in front of them and you have a DP, if not a TP.

That's why they differentiate between the two scenarios.

Keep in mind, a heads up fielder will do this even if they know they can only get one out - standard pop fly to F4 - Rickey Henderson on first, Babe Ruth batting...rather than making the easy catch, they'll let it drop to exchange a fast R1 with a slow BR.   That is a much more frequent possibility than the DP opportunities that happen from time to time.

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19 hours ago, umpstu said:

Exactly.  We had a guy in our association once who we could not convince that in order to drop something you had to at least touch it.  Couldn't grasp the difference between intentional dropped and untouched.  And of course we all wanted to work with that guy.  Especially when he would bring his dog to a game or pull his wadded up shirt out of his gear bag.  And no working phone.

If his phone doesn’t work, why does he carry it in the field with him?  :P

Edited to add: ... in his ball bag ... on the bases.

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On 6/4/2019 at 1:41 PM, Guest Steve said:

Last night 2B Ian Kinsler intentionally let a pop up fall to the ground, with just a runner on first and one or no outs, because he noticed the batter wasn't running hard, so he tagged the runner and threw to first.  The runner, Andrew McCutchen, hurt his knee trying to avoid the tag.  The Approved Ruling to Rule 5.09(a)(12) permits this, saying, "An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third base occupied before two are out. The ball is dead and runner or runners shall return to their original base or bases; APPROVED RULING: In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder permits the ball to drop untouched to the ground, except when the Infield Fly rule applies."

My question: Why is the Approved Ruling treated differently?  (I'm not saying it shouldn't be--I'm just wondering what the thinking is there....)

There is a big difference between letting the ball drop (batter is not out except from IFR) and starting to catch the ball, then changing your mind and letting go of the ball (batter is out but runner do not have to tag up).

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7 hours ago, spark2212 said:

starting to catch the ball, then changing your mind and letting go of the ball (batter is out but runner do not have to tag up).

No. It's a dead ball. Batter's out and runners return to TOP base.

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8 hours ago, spark2212 said:

There is a big difference between letting the ball drop (batter is not out except from IFR) and starting to catch the ball, then changing your mind and letting go of the ball (batter is out but runner do not have to tag up).

I appreciate that you are new here.  And, I understand your desire to read back through old posts.  But, there's no need to respond to them -- especially when the correct answer has been given and you are adding no (or very little) new information).  About 6 or so "old" threads re-opened by you as I post this morning, plus a few from last night.

 

(And, I recognize that I am not a moderator -- but I *do* play one on TV.)

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