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RBIbaseball

Running outside the baseline?

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Here was another one that happened for me yesterday. Hopefully I can accurately describe what I saw.

Bases clear, no outs. BR hits a ball to the outfield and gets caught in a rundown between 1st and 2nd. I was positioned on the infield grass about 6-8 feet away following the rundown.

Initially F6 caught the ball on 2B base with the BR about two or three steps away. Both turned back for 1B. At about the half way point, F6 had gained enough ground that he went for the tag (first with the glove, then pulled the ball out and swiped again with the hand). The BR was looking back as he attempted and was able to arch his back and clearly avoid the tags by a few inches. A few steps later as they both caught their balance (at this point about 10-12 feet from 1B) F6 stopped to throw to 1B, but as the BR saw him set to throw, he turned and looped around back toward 2B. When this happened, he clearly ran more than 3 feet outside the previous established base line (probably 5-6 feet), but I let the play go. Everyone (crowd and dugout) yelling for him being outside the baseline as you could imagine. As he started to turn and loop around F6 made no attempt to tag. F6 moved from his stance (ball in air behind his ear) where he was aimed at 1B for the throw and did a 360° [edit: meant 180]pivot bringing his front foot around toward 2B for the throw (ball remained behind his ear cocked to throw the whole way). The throw into 2B was dropped and the BR was now safely on 2B.

 

Coach came out to discuss the call. I said something along these lines, "Coach, this is what I saw. I did not see a tag attempt on the runner as he changed directions. To be considered outside the baseline, the runner has to be avoiding a tag. Because your fielder was trying to throw to first, then changed his throw to second, without ever attempting to tag the runner, I cannot call him out for running outside the baseline. If he would have attempted to tag him it might be a different story." He seemed quite satisfied with my reasoning and told me thanks for the explanation and went back to the dugout.

 

Was my call correct? 

Does the baseline "reset" after a clear separation in a tag attempt vs another play?

Running 5+ feet around a fielder that does not make any attempt to tag is legal for the runner?

 

Right or wrong, I got to say I was happy with how I articulated it. It at least avoided further heartache.

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Never mind I misread it.. So the player with the ball never made an attempt to tag him when he changed directions and ran past them.. Odd to say the least

 

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Messrs. noumpere, yawetag, maven, and Rich Ives—Mr. Jimurray gave us the correct and current interpretation for this play and it seems to have been ignored by all. Here’s what the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual says about the new interpretation (and it is not marked as new for 2018)(section 5.41, p. 58)—

“When determining whether a base runner should be called out under Rule 5.09(b)(1), so long as the umpire determines that a play is being made on the runner and an attempt to tag is occurring (i.e., the fielder is moving to tag the runner, no physical tag attempt is required to call a runner out  for leaving the basepath.”

Also, Rich Marazzi says in his blog on baseballrulesacademy.com—

“Prior to the 2017 season, a runner’s baseline (excluding a rundown) was restricted by the fielder’s tag attempt with ball in glove or hand and extended toward the runner. This season, however, there is a rule change. A fielder no longer has to have ball in glove or hand extended toward the runner to restrict his baseline. A fielder’s movement toward the runner is sufficient.”

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I'm interested in the "excluding a rundown" parenthetical. Is that still in effect? If so, what's different between a rundown baseline and a non-rundown baseline? OP's situation is a rundown, so I wonder if Marazzi's statement even applies.

Also, in OP, the fielder wasn't moving to tag the runner - he was throwing to another fielder.

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We like outs, right?  I'm sure there was an opportunity missed here somewhere...

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18 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

Messrs. noumpere, yawetag, maven, and Rich Ives—Mr. Jimurray gave us the correct and current interpretation for this play and it seems to have been ignored by all. Here’s what the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual says about the new interpretation (and it is not marked as new for 2018)(section 5.41, p. 58)—

“When determining whether a base runner should be called out under Rule 5.09(b)(1), so long as the umpire determines that a play is being made on the runner and an attempt to tag is occurring (i.e., the fielder is moving to tag the runner, no physical tag attempt is required to call a runner out  for leaving the basepath.”

Also, Rich Marazzi says in his blog on baseballrulesacademy.com—

“Prior to the 2017 season, a runner’s baseline (excluding a rundown) was restricted by the fielder’s tag attempt with ball in glove or hand and extended toward the runner. This season, however, there is a rule change. A fielder no longer has to have ball in glove or hand extended toward the runner to restrict his baseline. A fielder’s movement toward the runner is sufficient.”

I think we agree with all that.  We (at least I) don't see the items I highlighted in the OP (or, more accurately, they once existed, but stopped).

I agree that I sure would be looking for them.

 

Take this similar play:  R1.  Infield playing mostly in, such that F4 is directly in the 1B-2B line.  Sharp grounder to F4.  As R1 nears F4, he sees that F4 is preparing to throw to first (why? because this is LL).  R1 runs 5-6 feet toward the outfield side of F4.  F4 aborts his throw to first, turns (either 180* or 540*, I'm confused) and throws toward second....

 

Out of the baseline?

 

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3 hours ago, noumpere said:

Take this similar play:  R1.  Infield playing mostly in, such that F4 is directly in the 1B-2B line.  Sharp grounder to F4.  As R1 nears F4, he sees that F4 is preparing to throw to first (why? because this is LL).  R1 runs 5-6 feet toward the outfield side of F4.  F4 aborts his throw to first, turns (either 180* or 540*, I'm confused) and throws toward second....

Out of the baseline?

Not as described (assuming that by 180* you mean 180°).

If he goes through a full 540°, I'm probably calling that a tag attempt. :P

(Side note: if you're going to communicate with the kids, you can't write, "because this is LL"; you have to say, "because LL." You're welcome.)

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14 hours ago, maven said:

Not as described (assuming that by 180* you mean 180°).

If he goes through a full 540°, I'm probably calling that a tag attempt. :P

(Side note: if you're going to communicate with the kids, you can't write, "because this is LL"; you have to say, "because LL." You're welcome.)

Right -- and, it's essentially the same as the OP (at least as I envision the play).

My keyboard doesn't have the fancy "degree" symbol, and I'm too lazy to look up the alt-number combination to get it.

I thought maybe what used to be 180* was now 540* due to inflation.

I don't know how you wrote it but on my screen your note is not on the side -- it's right at the bottom of your post.

Cuz LL

 

 

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25 minutes ago, noumpere said:

Cuz LL

giphy.gif

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2 hours ago, noumpere said:

My keyboard doesn't have the fancy "degree" symbol, and I'm too lazy to look up the alt-number combination to get it.

Alt-0176. Don't ask how I know.

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1 hour ago, noumpere said:

Cuz Nerd

(IR12)

full house ok GIF

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22 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Messrs. noumpere, yawetag, maven, and Rich Ives—Mr. Jimurray gave us the correct and current interpretation for this play and it seems to have been ignored by all. Here’s what the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual says about the new interpretation (and it is not marked as new for 2018)(section 5.41, p. 58)—

“When determining whether a base runner should be called out under Rule 5.09(b)(1), so long as the umpire determines that a play is being made on the runner and an attempt to tag is occurring (i.e., the fielder is moving to tag the runner, no physical tag attempt is required to call a runner out  for leaving the basepath.”

Also, Rich Marazzi says in his blog on baseballrulesacademy.com—

“Prior to the 2017 season, a runner’s baseline (excluding a rundown) was restricted by the fielder’s tag attempt with ball in glove or hand and extended toward the runner. This season, however, there is a rule change. A fielder no longer has to have ball in glove or hand extended toward the runner to restrict his baseline. A fielder’s movement toward the runner is sufficient.”

 

I get these interpretations and agree with them but I think they are missing a few potentially critical elements.  The purpose is essentially to extend the definition of a tag attempt beyond the act of moving the glove/hand/ball to touch the runner to include the act of pursuit or positioning one’s self for the tag.  I’m good with that.  But as it is written (or the way that I am reading it anyway) it overlooks other acts the fielder can, and will, commit.  A fielder who has given up pursuit or positioning and has either just stopped in the base path (to force the runner back and end the rundown) or is in the act of throwing (stopped or in motion) is no longer attempting a tag.  I believe that is the intent of the interpretation, but it does not say that and thus it could be confusing.  

In my opinion, a runner running around the act of a throw is trying to avoid interference, not a tag attempt.

Thoughts on how I read that?

 

(Also, check your sanctioning body’s rule set before applying!)  :)

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On 7/7/2019 at 4:17 PM, Lou B said:

Let me play devil's advocate here: Why would the runner loop around F6 by 5-6 feet if he wasn't trying to avoid a tag?

To avoid any notion of interference.

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Guest Dan

I would say you could have argued either way.  

The base path is established (created) "when the tag attempt occurs." in other words, until there is a tag attempt, there is no base path.

So based upon that, as there was no tag attempt, then there was no base path to run outside of.

But, there is also 

The base runner is out if "running more than three feet away from the baseline to avoid being tagged".

If in your judgement the runner was attempting to avoid being tagged, regardless if the field was attempting to tag or not, then the runner should be out.   

Definitely a judgement call on your part for either, but you did a good job explaining to the coach the reasoning of your call.

Personally, I would have called the runner out as to me at least part of why the runner ran outside the fielder would have been to not be tagged (as the fielder clearly still had possession of the ball). 

 

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31 minutes ago, Guest Dan said:

If in your judgement the runner was attempting to avoid being tagged, regardless if the field was attempting to tag or not, then the runner should be out.   

Definitely a judgement call on your part for either, but you did a good job explaining to the coach the reasoning of your call.

You've confused a rule interpretation with a judgment call. By interpretation, "to avoid being tagged" requires a tag attempt. No judgment required.

A judgment call is ball/strike, catch/no catch, safe/out. These all presuppose settled rules and interpretations defining them.

Whether the fielder was attempting a tag IS a judgment call. But we can't apply the "out of the baseline" provision because we "judge" that there doesn't need to be a tag attempt.

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