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Guest Willis

Chasing out play

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Guest Willis

R2 and R3, no outs.  Batter bounces a hit to F6 who comes up to throw to F2.  Throw is wide and pulls F2 off the plate.  R3 steps over the plate and jogs into the dugout.  F2 notices that he missed the plate and looks to the umpire and says, "he missed the plate."  Umpire doesn't react.  F2 realizes that he should do something and chases R3 into the dugout and tags him after R2 arrived at 3rd and B/R arrived at first.  What happens now?  My guess is that R2 is awarded home on the ball out of play (entering the dugout) and B/R is awarded third.  I'd also guess that R3 is safe and his run scores unless the defense properly appeals the missed plate.

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From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 5.44, p. 60):

Official Baseball Rule 5.09(b)(12) states that should a runner in scoring fail to touch home plate and continue on his way to the bench, he may be put out by the fielder touching home plate and appealing to the umpire for a decision. However, this rule applies only where a runner is on his way to the bench and catcher would be required to chase him. It does not apply to the ordinary play where the runner misses the plate and then immediately makes an effort to touch the plate before being tagged…

A runner is permitted to return to touch home plate when the ball is dead, as long as the runner has not entered the dugout and there are less than three outs and/or a following runner has not scored.

That’s what is supposed to happen. If the catcher in your scenario had stepped on the plate when he made his appeal then the runner should have been called out and the umpire made a mistake in not rendering a decision. If the catcher did not touch the plate then it was his mistake in the appeal and an even bigger one by going into the dugout to tag the runner.

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... and in NFHS ...

Rule 8 Baserunning

SECTION 2 TOUCHING, OCCUPYING AND RETURNING TO A BASE

ART. 5 . . . If a runner who misses any base (including home plate) or leaves a base too early, desires to return to touch the base, he must do so immediately. If the ball becomes dead and the runner is on or beyond a succeeding base, he cannot return to the missed base and, therefore, is subject to being declared out upon proper and successful appeal.

PENALTY (Arts. 1-5): For failure to touch a base (advancing and returning), or failure to tag up as soon as the ball is touched on a caught fly ball, the runner may be called out if an appeal is made by the defensive team. The defense may appeal during a live ball immediately following the play and before a pitch (legal or illegal), granting an intentional base on balls, or before the next play or attempted play. If the offensive team initiates a play before the next pitch, the defensive team does not lose the right to appeal. A live-ball appeal may be made by a defensive player with the ball in his possession by tagging the runner or touching the base that was missed or left too early. A dead-ball appeal may be made by a coach or any defensive player with or without the ball by verbally stating that the runner missed the base or left the base too early. Appeals must be made (1) before the next legal or illegal pitch; (2) at the end of an inning, before the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory; (3) before an intentional base on balls is granted; or (4) on the last play of the game, an appeal can be made until the umpire( s) leave the field of play. NOTE: When a play by its very nature is imminent and is obvious to the offense, defense and umpire( s), no verbal appeal is necessary, e.g. runner attempting to retouch a base that was missed, or a failure to tag up and a throw has been made to that base or plate while a play is in progress.

ART. 6 . . . Appeal procedures and guidelines

a. Types

1. Missing a base

2. Leaving a base on a caught fly ball before the ball is first touched.

b. Live Ball. In all games an appeal may be made during a live ball by any fielder in possession of the ball touching the base missed or left too soon on a caught fly ball, or by tagging the runner committing the violation if he is still on the playing field.

c. Dead Ball. The dead-ball appeal may be made: 1) Once all runners have completed their advancement and time has been called, a coach or any defensive player, with or without the ball, may make a verbal appeal on a runner missing a base or leaving a base too soon on a caught fly ball. The administering umpire should then make a decision on the play. 2) If the ball has gone out of play, runners must be given the opportunity to complete their base-running responsibilities before the dead-ball appeal can be made.

 

Since we have a live ball appeal, the verbal appeal by the catcher is not sufficient.

What the catcher should have done was either touch home plate while possessing the ball or waited until the ball was dead to make the verbal appeal.

What the catcher did was carry a live ball out of play.  So ...

Rule 8 Baserunning

SECTION 3 BASERUNNING AWARDS

ART. 3 . . . Each runner is awarded:

d. one base if a pitch or any throw by the pitcher from his pitching position on his plate goes into a stand or bench or over or through or lodges in a fence or backstop or touches a spectator or lodges in an umpire’s or catcher’s equipment; or with less than two outs, the batter hits a fair or foul ball (fly or line drive) which is caught by a fielder, who then leaves the field of play by stepping with both feet or by falling into a bench, dugout, stand, bleacher or over any boundary or barrier such as a fence, rope, chalk line or pre-game determined imaginary boundary line. A runner shall not be declared out if the fielder deliberately throws or carries the ball into dead ball territory to prevent that runner who has touched or advanced beyond a succeeding base from returning to a missed base or a base left too soon. Award the runner two bases. This allows the runner( s) to correct any base-running error. Defense may still appeal the play.

So, your initial assessment was correct Willis.  The ball became immediately dead (TIME!) once the catcher left the field.  By rule the runner cannot be called out on that play.  Where the rule gets sticky is in saying “This allows the runner(s) to correct any base-running error.  Defense may still appeal the play.”  The runner CANNOT return to touch home under 8.2(d)(2) AND 8.2(d)(3), but 8.3(d) appears to say he can “correct ANY base-running error”.

So ... umpire’s interpretation ... now we either have a chance for the defense to make a proper dead ball appeal OR a race for the runner to return to touch home before the dead ball depending on your interpretation of 8.3(d).

Personally, I’m going with 8.2(d)(3) (following runner scores on the base award) as preventing R3 the opportunity to correct the error.  Since it is NOT a base running error by R2 when he scores, R3 is going to lose his opportunity to correct IF the defense makes a proper dead ball appeal.

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2019 NFHS Case Book Play 8.4.2 Situation N:  R3 is on third with one out when B3 hits safely. R3, while watching the ball, misses home plate. F2 calls for the ball, steps on home to retire R3 and throws to third to get B3 sliding in. RULING:  Legal. Runner may be declared out for missing base during playing action upon proper appeal.

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 8.2.2 Situation M:  With R2 on second, B2 hits a grounder to left field. R2 touches third base but misses the plate in attempting to score. F7 having thrown home, F2 steps on the missed base to retire R2 and throws to F6 in an attempt to put out B2: (a) before R2 attempts to return home; or (b) after R2 attempts to return to touch home plate. RULING:  (a) Upon proper defensive appeal, R2 would be ruled out. (b) Since R2 initiated action prior to the defense touching the plate, R2 must be tagged to record the out. R2 may legally return to touch home if he has not touched the steps of the dugout and if a subsequent runner has not yet scored.

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On 8/12/2019 at 12:21 PM, Guest Willis said:

My guess is that R2 is awarded home on the ball out of play (entering the dugout) and B/R is awarded third.  I'd also guess that R3 is safe and his run scores unless the defense properly appeals the missed plate.

Yes.

And, practically speaking, after all is said and done, the DC is going to say "what's the ruling on the first runner missing the plate - the catcher said he missed the plate but you didn't say anything"...in FED, I'm assuming this is enough to quality as a dead ball appeal now?  If not, I'm sure the conversation will very quickly lead to the coach saying "I'm appealing now".

But in OBR the ump says....???  without giving away all the rule book do you respond "no valid appeal was made" or  "you should know how to appeal" or..what.....how do you respond without actually telling the coach exactly what he needs to do.

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20 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

 

Yes.

And, practically speaking, after all is said and done, the DC is going to say "what's the ruling on the first runner missing the plate - the catcher said he missed the plate but you didn't say anything"...in FED, I'm assuming this is enough to quality as a dead ball appeal now?  If not, I'm sure the conversation will very quickly lead to the coach saying "I'm appealing now".

But in OBR the ump says....???  without giving away all the rule book do you respond "no valid appeal was made" or  "you should know how to appeal" or..what.....how do you respond without actually telling the coach exactly what he needs to do.

"You need to make a formal appeal to ask that question."

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12 minutes ago, KenBAZ said:

At Evan's it was suggested we say, "Ok, you do your job and I'll do mine".

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

Might work in pro ball; I would think it would be "too harsh" for youth coaches.

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If it's something this obvious, then I'm agreeing with @noumpere. If some fielder is looking at me, without the ball, and saying "I think he missed 2B," then I've responded with "OK."

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