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Guest Willis

R2 no outs.  Batter hits to F6.  F6 attempts a tag on R2 about 1/2 way to third, but drops the ball.  R2, assuming he's out starts to cut across the infield toward home while F6 recovers and tries to throw out the runner at first.  R2 realizes his mistake and, rather than trying to return to third, runs home, steps on the plate, and jogs into the dugout.  Defense sets up, batter walks to the plate and the pitcher delivers a pitch.  Is R2 now out for abandonment or does his run score?  I know that if this happened close to third, the run would score assuming the defense didn't appeal the missed base, how close does a runner need to get to a base for it to be a "missed base"? 

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without proper appeal from the defense the run scores. 

 

he didn't abandon the bases, he ran to home and stepped on the plate, home plate umpire likely would take note of that runner, would he have seen him not go to third, impossible to say without knowing more details, if there were 2 or more umpires, he may have, but he also may have turned to view 1B for the play there, especially if he was solo. 

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There's no defined distance; some authorities require the runner to reach foul territory.

Given that the runner ran and touched the plate, I'd allow the run to score, pending an appeal (which it's now too late to make).

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42 minutes ago, Guest Willis said:

R2, assuming he's out starts to cut across the infield toward home while F6 recovers and tries to throw out the runner at first.

If I see this action and process the intent as "assuming he's out," then I'm getting the out for abandonment. It does need to be obvious, though: benefit of the doubt to the offense, as the defense still has the opportunity to appeal the missed base.

"After touching first base, he leaves the base path, obviously abandoning his effort to touch the next base." 5.09(b)(2)/8-4-2p

A couple mechanics notes: first, let's make sure we have a big "NO TAG" on R2, so that both teams are aware that R2 has not been retired.

Second, let's be sure we have a big "SCORE THAT RUN" if we decide to score it, to ensure that the defense has an opportunity to appeal if they wish to do so.

So many of these issues arise because umpires don't communicate clearly what they're ruling. Then we see questions like, "Once we screwed this up, how do we fix it?"

(A snarky answer I've deleted more than once: buy a time machine, go back to winter, get some proper training, and then you'll officiate the play correctly from the outset!)

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Wait a minute, did the runner ever touch 3rd?  I read the OP as he did NOT.  If this is the case, I call an out for abandonment.  If he touched thrid, I score the run after the pitch without an appeal.

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9 minutes ago, agdz59 said:

Wait a minute, did the runner ever touch 3rd?  I read the OP as he did NOT.  If this is the case, I call an out for abandonment.  If he touched thrid, I score the run after the pitch without an appeal.

Missing a base is not abandonment. He didn't abandon - he cut the corner. :)   That's actually a planned play some places where the umpires are expected to be looking elsewhere.   An appeal is required on the missed base.

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16 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

... That's actually a planned play some places where the umpires are expected to be looking elsewhere. ...

Fess up Rich, is this your tactic? :P

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Guest Willis

So, how far does the "cut the corner" tactic go?  Say there is a pickoff attempt of R1 and, instead of trying to make it to second or return to first, he takes off directly for home from a spot halfway between first and second.  He touches the plate, and jogs off to the dugout.  Does the umpire yell "score the run" and wait for the defense to do something?  If the confused defense then returns to their positions and pitches to the next batter does the run count even though the runner never approached second or third?

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3 hours ago, maven said:

If I see this action and process the intent as "assuming he's out," then I'm getting the out for abandonment. It does need to be obvious, though: benefit of the doubt to the offense, as the defense still has the opportunity to appeal the missed base.

"After touching first base, he leaves the base path, obviously abandoning his effort to touch the next base." 5.09(b)(2)/8-4-2p

A couple mechanics notes: first, let's make sure we have a big "NO TAG" on R2, so that both teams are aware that R2 has not been retired.

Second, let's be sure we have a big "SCORE THAT RUN" if we decide to score it, to ensure that the defense has an opportunity to appeal if they wish to do so.

So many of these issues arise because umpires don't communicate clearly what they're ruling. Then we see questions like, "Once we screwed this up, how do we fix it?"

I don't like this, but:  I'm gonna disagree with you on this, @maven.  I'm gonna be on Team-Not-"Holler-SCORE-THAT-RUN" here.

Because I don't think the situation here calls for it.  This was a zero out start, turning into just one out at the end of the playing action.  It's not a time play, so there's no announce to make.  I mean, when a bases-loaded double is hit, you're not giving "SCORE THREE RUNS" in a less-than-two-outs deal, so you wouldn't say anything here, either.

I realize, you're saying that in the context of having to figure abandonment versus not, and also in the interest of not having scorebooks match up three innings later.  But I guess that ALSO means I'm not on Team-Abandonment, either.  Of course, this is a word exercise, but the description of the OP doesn't lead me anywhere to an abandonment situation.  So I wouldn't want to lead the defense to what to do by giving that call.

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1 hour ago, agdz59 said:

Wait a minute, did the runner ever touch 3rd?  I read the OP as he did NOT.  If this is the case, I call an out for abandonment.  If he touched thrid, I score the run after the pitch without an appeal.

As an umpire, if you're announcing the run (which I'm in agreement with @HokieUmp here - I'm not saying anything), then you have to do it when he touches the plate, not after the next pitch. He's scored the run prior to the pitch - the pitch just makes it impossible for the defense to appeal the missed base.

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1 hour ago, agdz59 said:

Wait a minute, did the runner ever touch 3rd?  I read the OP as he did NOT.  If this is the case, I call an out for abandonment.  If he touched thrid, I score the run after the pitch without an appeal.

Well, if he touched third why would there be an appeal?

And you don't wait to see if there's an appeal or not before scoring a run.  A run scores, and counts, until an appeal occurs, and then, effectively, the play is undone/updated to remove the run.

 

27 minutes ago, HokieUmp said:

I don't like this, but:  I'm gonna disagree with you on this, @maven.  I'm gonna be on Team-Not-"Holler-SCORE-THAT-RUN" here.

Because I don't think the situation here calls for it.  This was a zero out start, turning into just one out at the end of the playing action.  It's not a time play, so there's no announce to make.  I mean, when a bases-loaded double is hit, you're not giving "SCORE THREE RUNS" in a less-than-two-outs deal, so you wouldn't say anything here, either.

I realize, you're saying that in the context of having to figure abandonment versus not, and also in the interest of not having scorebooks match up three innings later.  But I guess that ALSO means I'm not on Team-Abandonment, either.  Of course, this is a word exercise, but the description of the OP doesn't lead me anywhere to an abandonment situation.  So I wouldn't want to lead the defense to what to do by giving that call.

This is abandonment...and it doesn't require the runner to enter his dugout or even foul territory.    Within a few steps it's typically evident that he thinks he's out and he's leaving the field.   I think we can assume by the OP that the offense bench is on first base side...and though we don't know exactly where between first and second he is, it's probably more accurate to deduce he started jogging more towards or around the mound, on his way to the first base bench - at some point he realized he wasn't out, and decided he was closer to home than to third, and made a slight veer to touch the plate.

I'd rather see more communication, not less.  This is weird enough that the defense needs to be clearly told that the run scores either explicitly (score that run) or implicitly (safe at home), so they know...if they don't know a run has scored they don't necessarily know they need to appeal.  It might be a few minutes before people realize what's going on.    It's also for the score keepers - again, this is weird enough they may even be confused...and you don't want this to go even a couple of pitches before it gets cleared up.

It kind of goes hand in hand with making sure it's known the runner is safe.   If that update/communication somehow gets missed, the announcement of the run scoring reinforces it.  Now, if you're big enough and loud enough on the "no tag" then the "run scores" is probably isn't necessary...but, if that was big and loud early enough, the runner never would have abandoned in the first place.

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16 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

This is abandonment...and it doesn't require the runner to enter his dugout or even foul territory.    Within a few steps it's typically evident that he thinks he's out and he's leaving the field.   I think we can assume by the OP that the offense bench is on first base side...and though we don't know exactly where between first and second he is, it's probably more accurate to deduce he started jogging more towards or around the mound, on his way to the first base bench - at some point he realized he wasn't out, and decided he was closer to home than to third, and made a slight veer to touch the plate.

I'm gonna disagree.  (I'm not sure if this is The/A Hill I Choose To Die On, but still.)

Not about the path he took, but just deciding abandonment.  For *me*, at least, him not knowing he's out doesn't make him out on the abandonment, especially if he's still somewhere in the middle of the infield.  Again, from the description, it doesn't sound like he gets too far before realized "I've made a huge mistake," and cuts his losses and touches the plate.  He hasn't passed a point of no-return for me.

mistake.jpg.c982ab509c98ed07f12830a5ced76294.jpg

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24 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

Well, if he touched third why would there be an appeal?

And you don't wait to see if there's an appeal or not before scoring a run.  A run scores, and counts, until an appeal occurs, and then, effectively, the play is undone/updated to remove the run.

Of course, d'oh! Just like any other miss of a base.  I ove having found this site so it can make me better.  Thanks beerguy.

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1 hour ago, Guest Willis said:

So, how far does the "cut the corner" tactic go?  Say there is a pickoff attempt of R1 and, instead of trying to make it to second or return to first, he takes off directly for home from a spot halfway between first and second.  He touches the plate, and jogs off to the dugout.  Does the umpire yell "score the run" and wait for the defense to do something?  If the confused defense then returns to their positions and pitches to the next batter does the run count even though the runner never approached second or third?

First, let's recognize that OBR is written for pro players and pro managers and pro umpires.  A pro player wouldn't do this; a pro manager (and the pro players on defense) would know what to do if he did; a pro umpire would rule accordingly.

 

When kids and well-meaning inexperienced dad coaches, and first year volunteer umps get involved, the fecal matter hits the rotary air movement device.

 

In both the OP and your revision, it's umpire judgment as to whether the runner has abandoned, or whether he's merely taken a short cut to the plate, or even whether he's running the bases backwards to confuse the defense (or whatever the specific wording is).  If the runner in these plays (seemingly) INTENTIONALLY touches the plate, I'm probably considering it a "shortcut."  I am also, however, doing almost everything I can to delay the next pitch to encourage the defense to ask some questions to get the appeal right.  Note that this is different from how I would act during a "normal" missed base

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1 hour ago, HokieUmp said:

I'm gonna disagree.  (I'm not sure if this is The/A Hill I Choose To Die On, but still.)

Not about the path he took, but just deciding abandonment.  For *me*, at least, him not knowing he's out doesn't make him out on the abandonment, especially if he's still somewhere in the middle of the infield.  Again, from the description, it doesn't sound like he gets too far before realized "I've made a huge mistake," and cuts his losses and touches the plate.  He hasn't passed a point of no-return for me.

mistake.jpg.c982ab509c98ed07f12830a5ced76294.jpg

Agree wholeheartedly with the "hill to die on".  It would be more accurate for me to say that I can justify abandonment here, and can live with a no call too - and wouldn't lose sleep over either.  I think not calling abandonment can open just as many cans of worms as calling it.

The abandonment factor, to me, also needs to consider what is reasonable.  Is it reasonable for the runner to know he's safe, or to think he's out.  That would be then based on how effective the ump was in that first communication on whether there was an out call and/or a very clear safe call.  If it's reasonable for him to think he's out, he probably gets some leeway.

At the same time, the runner is allowed to keep running, even if he knows he's out...he's certainly allowed to keep running if he doesn't know.  The rules offer him more protection, and afford him more forgiveness, to keep running rather than to try to get off the field.   And, by rule, he's safe until something makes him out, and, practically speaking, until he's told he's out.  So, there's far less reason for him to run to the bench than to advance to the next base.   In short, the rules encourage him to assume he's safe and to keep running.  Because of that, I, typically, like to see abandonment called sooner than many umps are willing to, and as you say, have a narrower margin on that point of no return.   This is one of those cases where I lean towards protecting the defense, and think it's unfair to make them chase down a player who all indications show he is "leaving".   It can also lead to chaos and stupidity.  I think this is the principle they were following when the put in the "dirt circle" rule for dropped third strikes.

Speculation here: I suspect part of the reason for the rule is 150 years ago some guy did this as a decoy...faked giving himself up to avoid a tag, started jogging towards the bench, and then got back to a base safely, so made a rule that basically says "if it looks like you're giving up, you're giving up".

 

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8 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Well, if he touched third why would there be an appeal?

And you don't wait to see if there's an appeal or not before scoring a run.  A run scores, and counts, until an appeal occurs, and then, effectively, the play is undone/updated to remove the run.

 

This is abandonment...and it doesn't require the runner to enter his dugout or even foul territory.    Within a few steps it's typically evident that he thinks he's out and he's leaving the field.   I think we can assume by the OP that the offense bench is on first base side...and though we don't know exactly where between first and second he is, it's probably more accurate to deduce he started jogging more towards or around the mound, on his way to the first base bench - at some point he realized he wasn't out, and decided he was closer to home than to third, and made a slight veer to touch the plate.

I'd rather see more communication, not less.  This is weird enough that the defense needs to be clearly told that the run scores either explicitly (score that run) or implicitly (safe at home), so they know...if they don't know a run has scored they don't necessarily know they need to appeal.  It might be a few minutes before people realize what's going on.    It's also for the score keepers - again, this is weird enough they may even be confused...and you don't want this to go even a couple of pitches before it gets cleared up.

It kind of goes hand in hand with making sure it's known the runner is safe.   If that update/communication somehow gets missed, the announcement of the run scoring reinforces it.  Now, if you're big enough and loud enough on the "no tag" then the "run scores" is probably isn't necessary...but, if that was big and loud early enough, the runner never would have abandoned in the first place.

 

I am Team No Scream all the way ... it is not the umpire’s job to notify the defense that they need to appeal.  If you had a bang-bang play at the plate where the catcher missed the tag and the runner missed the plate, you don’t “no call” it so the defense knows they need to appeal.  So why would you emphasize it to call attention in this instance?

And add me to Team Not Abandoned also ... if he went back to a base ... ANY base ... especially THE NEXT base ... he didn’t abandon.

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26 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

If you had a bang-bang play at the plate where the catcher missed the tag and the runner missed the plate, you don’t “no call” it so the defense knows they need to appeal.

Has this mechanic changed? I'm 99% sure that if the tag is missed and the base is missed, you make no call.

In fact, this mechanic has changed at plays at 1B. We used to give a safe if the fielder was off the bag and the runner missed the base; now we give no signal in those situations.

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10 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

And add me to Team Not Abandoned also ... if he went back to a base ... ANY base ... especially THE NEXT base ... he didn’t abandon

 

Now, having stated my side, softball codes typically require the runner enter the team area or leave the field of play for abandonment to occur.   Baseball does not, by rule, unless there's a guide/ruling/case play.

But, this is where things get stupid if you don't call abandonment earlier:

R2 is somewhere between 2nd and 3rd...he gets tagged and doesn't realize F6 dropped the ball.  R2 starts jogging towards the first base dugout.   Just before he reaches the foul line...about halfway between first and home, he realizes his mistake and turns around and is going to go to a base.

If you have not yet called him out for abandonment, what is his status?

Has he returned towards first, missing second on the way?   This would matter if he runs to third.  It would also matter if BR rounded first in determining if he has passed R2.   

Has he gone towards home, missing third on the way?  This would matter if he runs back to second.

Or is he still technically just between second and third?

If the fielder is next to him with the ball, and R2 tried to avoid a tag, what is his path for the "three feet" rule?   Is he going to second, third or home?

Instead of calling him out, you now have a defense chasing a runner around the pitcher's mound.   That's not baseball.

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13 hours ago, yawetag said:

Has this mechanic changed? I'm 99% sure that if the tag is missed and the base is missed, you make no call.

In fact, this mechanic has changed at plays at 1B. We used to give a safe if the fielder was off the bag and the runner missed the base; now we give no signal in those situations.

You are correct. @The Man in Blue would be using a non "preferred" mechanic according to my 2017 MLBUM.

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So why did the runner assume he was out?  Most likely because he knew he got tagged and there was no "no tag" call to let him know he wasn't out.  If you're running to the next base and get tagged you keep going a bit and have your back to a drop and any non-verbal signal from the umpire.  And maybe the drop happened on the transfer. I guess those rear facing eyes should have been used.  OOPS - they were covered by the required NOCSAE helmet. 

Fess up guys. It's not all on the runner. 

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55 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Fess up guys. It's not all on the runner. 

I confess.  It's also on the coach(es).

The fact is, there are way to many variables here to know who did / didn't do what s/he was supposed to do.  The OP asked more about a ruling, then about the "mechanics" of all involved.

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1 hour ago, Rich Ives said:

So why did the runner assume he was out?  Most likely because he knew he got tagged and there was no "no tag" call to let him know he wasn't out.  If you're running to the next base and get tagged you keep going a bit and have your back to a drop and any non-verbal signal from the umpire.  And maybe the drop happened on the transfer. I guess those rear facing eyes should have been used.  OOPS - they were covered by the required NOCSAE helmet. 

Fess up guys. It's not all on the runner. 

No, it's not...but the rules encourage and allow the runner to continue running the bases even if he KNOWS he's out, let alone if he doesn't know.

In fact, if he were to just keep running the bases after being called out, he would probably not be called for interference on a subsequent play where, for example, a thrown ball hit him.   However, if he were to start running/jogging across the infield to the dugout, after being called out, and a thrown ball hit him resulting in hindering a play, interference would be called.

There is very little reason for that runner to leave the field any time before the play is over, even if he's 100% certain he's out.   The rules protect him if he just keeps running the bases, they don't if he doesn't.

Also, I teach my players that the ball isn't foul until an umpire says so, and they aren't out until an umpire says so.   It's the baseball equivalent of "play to the whistle".

 

 

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