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Video Teachable - One-Out Time Play in LA

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This Tmac's Teachable Moments video concerns time plays, and specifically a play that occurred with one out and runners at the corners at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Chief Tom Hallion's Crew with HP Umpire Todd Tichenor and 2B Umpire Sean Barber officiated this inning-ending double...

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Great analysis as usual. I had a discussion once upon a time  about time plays with an umpire much more senior than I. We had an unconventional Time play.  

I wish I could remember the exact phrase he used, but the effect was  As long as you have as many or more runners than outs remaining then you could have a time play. Even with no outs. 

That has always stuck in my mind.

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It's baseball math!

> or 3
0 Outs + 3 Runners
1 Out + 2 Runners or 1 Out + 3 Runners
2 Outs + 1 Runner or 2 Outs + 2 Runners or 2 Outs + 3 Runners.

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That's been brought up here before, possibly years ago.

But you'll never see me signal a time play with bases loaded and no outs. Even with one out, it's so rare that I hardly ever see it signaled. Though, I was just thinking the other day: "Self, why don't we signal time plays with one out and R3? Any fly ball is a potential time play." This situation didn't even cross my mind.

Definitely something I might start pre-gaming with a partner, just to make it fresh in our minds.

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1 hour ago, yawetag said:

That's been brought up here before, possibly years ago.

But you'll never see me signal a time play with bases loaded and no outs. Even with one out, it's so rare that I hardly ever see it signaled. Though, I was just thinking the other day: "Self, why don't we signal time plays with one out and R3? Any fly ball is a potential time play." This situation didn't even cross my mind.

Definitely something I might start pre-gaming with a partner, just to make it fresh in our minds.

I will signal with one out and R2 and R3.

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I like two points that TMac makes ...

1) Arms over the head so as not to confuse it with a safe call.

2) Give the plate umpire a point of reference ... in the commentary’s case, a literal point!  That was one thing I was thinking as I watched the second base umpire ... he was rather slow to make that call on a time play.  (That and his interesting skip and leg kick.)  After praising the first base umpire for his quick call, I was hoping that the slow call at second wouldn’t avoid scrutiny.  Yes we want to slow down to get the call right, so a point is a good compromise.

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Signaling for a time play with bases loaded and nobody out is a bit silly.

Why do we signal time play? It's not a call. It's nothing but a reminder to ourselves. We need a reminder not when something is possible, but when it's likely. A bases loaded time play would be a triple play. I think I've only ever officiated one of those (and it wasn't a time play, and was really dumb): they're not likely.

Even with runners in scoring position and 2 outs, a time play is not likely (how many do you see in a season?). But it's far more likely, I'll wager, than other scenarios where a time play is merely possible.

For me, this kind of signal says more about the umpire than the situation.

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I've told this story before I'm sure, but in true dad form it won't stop me from telling it again...

Collegiate Summer League. I'm working with an incredible umpire, graduate of Wendelstedt and works much higher games than I.

I have the plate, 2 outs R2 and the BR tries to leg a single into a double. The throw to 2nd was offline and the fielder didn't field it well either. Because of the awkwardness of the play and possibility of the ball not being secure, my partner uses a little extra time to make his call, meanwhile R2 crosses the plate. He then made his call and I signaled no run. Well you can imagine the fun that followed. 

The HC argued that R2 was well out of the dirt circle before the out was called. Which was in fact true. But I had to judge when I believed the tag to have been made. Which was well before the call was made. No matter how I tried to explain that the actual out occurred well before the call. 

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So the underlying question is ... should the BU “hurry” that call and make it louder and bigger than would normally be done?

As was described in the video, at least “the point” offers a quicker reference point as to when the tag occurred while allowing the umpire time to make sure something funky doesn’t happen.

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Definitely don't "hurry" the call. Just give an indication of when the tag occurred (a point is best). That gives PU the timing he needs to determine if the plate was touched before the tag.

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