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Coach BIll

Is it time for the orange base?

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I think they badly missed that one last night - but it's such a poorly written rule it's understandable. The orange base would make sense based on the current rules. If they don't add it, then they need to better clarify the rule that will allow a runner to actually run to the base with the line being on the outside edge. The orange base would probably stop a few injuries and sure make 5.09 (a)(11)  far more sensible. What say you?

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4 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Make sure you're not talking in absolutes on this one...I have as many games playing and coaching rec league and club level fastpitch under my belt as I do baseball.   I've coached club softball games in two countries, five provinces, five states, at least six different rule sets, and three national championships.   

I could write a thesis on the orange bag.

 

Perhaps you should.  Granted my search was nothing more than ten minutes down the Google rabbit hole, but I could find nothing solid providing data on one side or the other.  So yes, ALL of our opinions and stories are just anecdotal at this point.  The only thing I could find  against the safety base was a reference in the early 2000s to a memo from NFHS encouraging schools NOT to pursue looking into the double base.  Beyond that I found recommendations from multiple medical organizations recommending it and a reference to a “baseball study” (no org mentioned) that found it was beneficial.  Again, all anecdotal since I couldn’t find the sources or data.

Perhaps the best I could find was an article lamenting the lack of common sense when arguing against it.  Why would you argue against safety equipment that can improve chances of avoiding injury?  Nobody says it will 100% remove injuries, but it lessens the chances.  It is like arguing that seatbelts injure/kill people.  Yes, there are freak instances where that can happen.  But the injury prevention far outweighs the injuries caused.

 

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3 hours ago, MadMax said:

Show me (us) the numbers of injuries that are occurring at first base at the professional level (Major and Minor) before pulling The Injury Prevention Card out in your argument. Follow that with the injury numbers for College as well.

I believe that the Safety Base is addressed in Fed Rules on a case-by-case basis, due to the selective use of it depending on the facility. Obviously, it’s not compulsory, but you can be sure that if there were measurable injuries due to the absence of the Safety Base, the Fed would mandate it.

The injuries you speak of just aren’t happening.


Fed does mandate it ... in softball.

If the injuries aren’t happening, why do groups like the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommend using the double base?  Granted, as I said above, data seems to be hard to come by on either side.  

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18 minutes ago, humanbackstop19 said:

Anytime there's a force play on the batter-runner at first base, a play is being made on them; making it required they are inside the RL at 45'.  If they're making a turn.....there's no play being made on them; so they don't have to be in the lane.  If there is a play being made on them and they are running outside the lane after 45', they are running illegally to first base.  A penalty only comes into play when interference occurs during the play.  

By definition, you can't have a force at 1B. The RL is only enforced if the throw is coming from the home plate area. A throw from the SS will never fall under the accepted interpretations on this. As has been mentioned elsewhere, it is interference with the ability to catch the ball.

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23 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

Perhaps you should.  Granted my search was nothing more than ten minutes down the Google rabbit hole, but I could find nothing solid providing data on one side or the other.  So yes, ALL of our opinions and stories are just anecdotal at this point.  The only thing I could find  against the safety base was a reference in the early 2000s to a memo from NFHS encouraging schools NOT to pursue looking into the double base.  Beyond that I found recommendations from multiple medical organizations recommending it and a reference to a “baseball study” (no org mentioned) that found it was beneficial.  Again, all anecdotal since I couldn’t find the sources or data.

Perhaps the best I could find was an article lamenting the lack of common sense when arguing against it.  Why would you argue against safety equipment that can improve chances of avoiding injury?  Nobody says it will 100% remove injuries, but it lessens the chances.  It is like arguing that seatbelts injure/kill people.  Yes, there are freak instances where that can happen.  But the injury prevention far outweighs the injuries caused.

 

No, it is not like that at all.

The empirical evidence on seat belt safety is clear.  The exceptions prove the rule, they don't debunk it.  They are exactly that, exceptions.   For every person killed by a seatbelt, and for every person who lived because they weren't wearing one, I can show you thousands who are alive because of their seat belt.   Nobody can demonstrate anything remotely resembling that with safety bases - for every collision on a standard base I can show you a collision on a safety base.

There is no empirical evidence that shows the safety base is safer, and the only anecdotal evidence that really exists is that someone strategically decided to name it a "safety base".   i'm sure someone thought, reasonably, that it "should" be safer...it makes sense to hypothesize that...but the facts don't bear it out.

There is as much, if not more, anecdotal evidence to suggest the "safety" base is less safe.

And, frankly, until you get into a closed system where all rule sets at all levels use the safety base, no study will be complete - because another problem arises when players who are used to a safety base system migrate to a system without it...and, the reverse causes its own set of problems and confusion.

So, no, I'm not supporting the move to a system just because someone thinks it's safer, with nothing to support their assertion...doing something for the sake of doing something is, to put it mildly, stupid.  And we need to stop encouraging it.   Beyond that, I've seen with my own eyes the product of both systems...over thousands of games over four decades - as a player and as a coach, not to mention the countless games I've observed as a spectator.  Until I see some well defined studies that follow proper scientific method, I'll trust my experience.

I don't wear fire retardant clothing every time I drive my car either.  Do you?  Why not?....it's safer...isn't it?

 

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I'd prefer they mandate breakaway bases for FED, before the orange base. IME, the orange base reinforces the horrible habit of F3 standing or having a foot on the base. 

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47 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:


Fed does mandate it ... in softball.

If the injuries aren’t happening, why do groups like the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommend using the double base?  Granted, as I said above, data seems to be hard to come by on either side.  

Because to the layperson it looks like it SHOULD be safer...but however smart these people are, they don't have any context, they likely don't know the intricacies of the sports, and it's irresponsible to make such a recommendation without accompanying said recommendation with a list of specific rules and standards that MUST be followed to ensure the end result is a safer experience.

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1 hour ago, humanbackstop19 said:

Anytime there's a force play on the batter-runner at first base, a play is being made on them; making it required they are inside the RL at 45'.  If they're making a turn.....there's no play being made on them; so they don't have to be in the lane.  If there is a play being made on them and they are running outside the lane after 45', they are running illegally to first base.  A penalty only comes into play when interference occurs during the play.  

One more time. Interference is illegal. Merely running out of the lane is NOT illegal unless it results in interference..

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59 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Interference is illegal. Merely running out of the lane is NOT illegal unless it results in interference..

This is my favorite line in this discussion virtually anywhere I've seen it discussed. 

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@beerguy55 ... not trying to pick a fight here, but your arguments are equally flawed.  At least I am admitting that I am not finding data to support either side.  You are citing the lack of data as evidence that your experiences are correct.  It doesn’t work that way.  Your experience IS just as anecdotal as people who say it can (not will) prevent injury.

Perhaps your example of FR clothing is a better (albeit still not perfect) analogy.  No, you don’t wear it every day when driving a car.  But race car drivers do.  Linemen do.  People who have a higher risk factor use preventative safety equipment.  You are more likely to have a collision if two people are trying to run to/occupy the same space than if those two people are trying to run to/occupy different spaces.  Pretty simple.  You aren’t going to eliminate all collisions, but you lessen the odds.

I will also agree that there are codes that overly-complicate the concept of a double base, and that also leads to more opportunity for injury.  Then again, misusing any tool increases your chance of injury.

 

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8 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

If the injuries aren’t happening, why do groups like the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommend using the double base?

And to @beerguy55 (sorry, just can’t seem to quote it)...

I’m specifically addressing the MLB / MiLB level. Where are the injuries? Surely, when Buster Posey got injured at a play at the plate, the rule was addressed and modified relatively soon after. When Rubén Tejada broke his leg via Chase Utley’s slide, the rule got addressed, modified, and clarified. So where’s the key injury? Where’s the smoking gun? @Coach BIll wants this implemented into MLB / MiLB to “alleviate injuries”... was there an injury in that play?

No. Sooooooo :shrug:

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I think the problem with the double base are the exceptions. If it was simply "fielders get the white base, runners get the orange one" then it wouldn't be (as much) an issue. Once you start adding "Well, if it's a dropped third strike and the ball's coming from foul ground, so let's switch it" or "Well, the runner can touch any of the two bases," these exceptions are what change the safety of the program.

I don't equate this to FR clothing at all. FR clothing is designed to do its best every time you put it on. Double base requires both people the rule was designed to protect to act as the rule expects them. FR clothing doesn't have a brain lapse, it doesn't have a last-second change of plans, and it certainly doesn't have any reason to want to harm the person wearing it.

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9 hours ago, MadMax said:

And to @beerguy55 (sorry, just can’t seem to quote it)...

I’m specifically addressing the MLB / MiLB level. Where are the injuries? Surely, when Buster Posey got injured at a play at the plate, the rule was addressed and modified relatively soon after. When Rubén Tejada broke his leg via Chase Utley’s slide, the rule got addressed, modified, and clarified. So where’s the key injury? Where’s the smoking gun? @Coach BIll wants this implemented into MLB / MiLB to “alleviate injuries”... was there an injury in that play?

No. Sooooooo :shrug:


Gotcha ... I’m talking HS and below ... :cheers:

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1 hour ago, yawetag said:

I think the problem with the double base are the exceptions. If it was simply "fielders get the white base, runners get the orange one" then it wouldn't be (as much) an issue. Once you start adding "Well, if it's a dropped third strike and the ball's coming from foul ground, so let's switch it" or "Well, the runner can touch any of the two bases," these exceptions are what change the safety of the program.

I don't equate this to FR clothing at all. FR clothing is designed to do its best every time you put it on. Double base requires both people the rule was designed to protect to act as the rule expects them. FR clothing doesn't have a brain lapse, it doesn't have a last-second change of plans, and it certainly doesn't have any reason to want to harm the person wearing it.


I did add a little piece to the FR analogy ... as you point out, there is no perfect analogy.

Agreed 100% on the changing rules.  It should stay simple: the colored portion only exists for the runner and only on an initial play at first base.  Other than that, everything else is the normal base.

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11 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

@beerguy55 ... not trying to pick a fight here, but your arguments are equally flawed.  At least I am admitting that I am not finding data to support either side.  You are citing the lack of data as evidence that your experiences are correct.  It doesn’t work that way.  Your experience IS just as anecdotal as people who say it can (not will) prevent injury.

Perhaps your example of FR clothing is a better (albeit still not perfect) analogy.  No, you don’t wear it every day when driving a car.  But race car drivers do.  Linemen do.  People who have a higher risk factor use preventative safety equipment.  You are more likely to have a collision if two people are trying to run to/occupy the same space than if those two people are trying to run to/occupy different spaces.  Pretty simple.  You aren’t going to eliminate all collisions, but you lessen the odds.

I will also agree that there are codes that overly-complicate the concept of a double base, and that also leads to more opportunity for injury.  Then again, misusing any tool increases your chance of injury.

 

No, I'm saying without any data my experiences are all I have to go on.    And unless you're reading something I'm not saying, I'll state it clearly right now - my experience shows nothing to indicate that one is safer than the other.   The inconsistency among rule sets that have the orange base, and the fact that players move back and forth between rule sets with and without the orange base, can cause confusion, and that confusion/inconsistency can increase the risk of collisions - but all things being equal, I have seen nothing to indicate that one system is inherently safer than the other.  When it comes to collisions on plays at first base - People who play nothing but fast pitch with a safety bag are no safer than people who play nothing but baseball without a safety bag.

However, our current situation is there are rule inconsistencies, and also the fact that most rule sets allow the crossover (which IMNSHO defeats ANY justification for safety).  In this current state, the orange bag likely is more dangerous.  And that won't change unless ALL rule sets used the orange bag AND no crossovers were allowed.  And then, we likely end up in a state that is really no safer/different than having no safety bag at all.

I'm giving more weight to my experience because, one, it's MY experience and I can attest to what I have observed as a coach, and experienced as a player, and apply the proper context to it when I'm a spectator...and I have 40 years of that experience - it's not like I watched a couple of games last weekend and saw a couple of collisions at first base.  Yes, it's anecdotal.  I've always said that.  But it's my anecdote.   And if I didn't have that on my resume I'd defer to someone who did.  I would hope anyone would do the same, and I hope one would take my experience at face value.   

I'm certainly not going to defer to a hospital administration for an opinion.  Yeah, I get it...injuries are bad.  Collisions cause injuries.  That's their expertise.  Make less collisions.  Fine.  How to achieve that is not their expertise.   Their recommendation should really read something like "Baseball needs to attempt to reduce the frequency of high speed collisions, especially at first base and home plate."  THAT'S the problem.  They see serious injuries (quantity and frequency unknown) from high speed collisions, especially at bases where the runner is allowed to run through the base.  The real request is to reduce the number of collisions, or the impact of those collisions.  What they offered was a potential solution, which isn't their place.

Changing the status quo because you THINK it will be better is tantamount to changing for the sake of change....well, that system isn't perfect, so let's just try this one on for size.

For any proposed change we should be asking four questions: 

  • What problem are you trying to solve?      
  • Is it a problem we really need to solve?    
  • Does this actually solve the problem?       
  • What new problems does this create? 

The safety bag fails two or three of those questions.   Why it was introduced in the first place, I can only imagine.  As I've always said...it LOOKS like a good idea, especially for kids...and maybe even for 60 foot bases.  But I think we've run both systems long enough to see that the safety bag really hasn't changed anything overall.

 

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3 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

Agreed 100% on the changing rules.  It should stay simple: the colored portion only exists for the runner and only on an initial play at first base.  Other than that, everything else is the normal base.

You can then get crossed paths if an U3K throw is coming from the foul side.

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Yes, yes you can.  But no, no you shouldn’t ( @beerguy55 and I agree on this part!).  If the rule is simple, so is everything else that follows.  I don’t like codes that do that — why are we letting the defense dictate where the offense can run?  I would almost make the argument that it could be a form of obstruction.

Ball squirts away from the catcher, F3 immediately goes to the colored part of the bag without any play being made.  The runner must alter his path.  Obstruction in any other case.

Sorry the ball zigged instead of zagged, but the offense gets the colored part on the initial play and the defense gets the white.  No odd changes, no situational changes, no on the fly changes ... K.I.S.S. is the key to making it work.

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48 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

Yes, yes you can.  But no, no you shouldn’t ( @beerguy55 and I agree on this part!).  If the rule is simple, so is everything else that follows.  I don’t like codes that do that — why are we letting the defense dictate where the offense can run?  I would almost make the argument that it could be a form of obstruction.

Ball squirts away from the catcher, F3 immediately goes to the colored part of the bag without any play being made.  The runner must alter his path.  Obstruction in any other case.

Sorry the ball zigged instead of zagged, but the offense gets the colored part on the initial play and the defense gets the white.  No odd changes, no situational changes, no on the fly changes ... K.I.S.S. is the key to making it work.

However, as @Rich Ives points out, if you don't allow a crossover on U3K in first base foul territory you now risk the throw hitting the runner...another safety issue (let alone a practical matter of the defense being able to make a play).   In a standard base format, F3 goes to the foul side of the base and takes the throw in foul territory while the runner, ideally, passes the base behind him.   With a safety base, the only way you can accommodate this is to allow F3 to take the orange to ensure the throw doesn't cross the runner's path, and allow/force the runner to take the white.

This is just one example of the dilemmas and problems the safety bag introduces under the guise of good intentions.  You disallow the crossover, you have potential safety problems, let alone game play issues with the ball/runner crossing paths - in short you have something that F3 can do with a single base, but can't with a double base  You allow the crossover you have potential safety problems in crossing up the runner who's  conditioned to touch the orange....except NOW.

Keep in mind, without the crossover, if F3 is touching the white, and steps into foul territory side ways to take the throw, it's not OBS - the runner has the right TO the bag, not through the bag.   Someone's going to the hospital, but there's nothing illegal on the play.   The rule doesn't prevent F3 from touching the orange, it only says he MUST touch the white.

I agree with KISS...and KISS is getting rid of the orange bag.  We'll just have to agree to disagree.

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We don't need to change anything in the rule book or the bag configuration.  What we need is a set of broadcasters who either have a clue about the rules or have somebody with them who does!

Mike

Las Vegas

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A correct call turns into a frenzy because the broadcasters and analysts don't know what they are talking about.

Orange bases in MLB, are you kidding me!

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22 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

No, I'm saying without any data my experiences are all I have to go on.    And unless you're reading something I'm not saying, I'll state it clearly right now - my experience shows nothing to indicate that one is safer than the other.   The inconsistency among rule sets that have the orange base, and the fact that players move back and forth between rule sets with and without the orange base, can cause confusion, and that confusion/inconsistency can increase the risk of collisions - but all things being equal, I have seen nothing to indicate that one system is inherently safer than the other.  When it comes to collisions on plays at first base - People who play nothing but fast pitch with a safety bag are no safer than people who play nothing but baseball without a safety bag.

However, our current situation is there are rule inconsistencies, and also the fact that most rule sets allow the crossover (which IMNSHO defeats ANY justification for safety).  In this current state, the orange bag likely is more dangerous.  And that won't change unless ALL rule sets used the orange bag AND no crossovers were allowed.  And then, we likely end up in a state that is really no safer/different than having no safety bag at all.

I'm giving more weight to my experience because, one, it's MY experience and I can attest to what I have observed as a coach, and experienced as a player, and apply the proper context to it when I'm a spectator...and I have 40 years of that experience - it's not like I watched a couple of games last weekend and saw a couple of collisions at first base.  Yes, it's anecdotal.  I've always said that.  But it's my anecdote.   And if I didn't have that on my resume I'd defer to someone who did.  I would hope anyone would do the same, and I hope one would take my experience at face value.   

I'm certainly not going to defer to a hospital administration for an opinion.  Yeah, I get it...injuries are bad.  Collisions cause injuries.  That's their expertise.  Make less collisions.  Fine.  How to achieve that is not their expertise.   Their recommendation should really read something like "Baseball needs to attempt to reduce the frequency of high speed collisions, especially at first base and home plate."  THAT'S the problem.  They see serious injuries (quantity and frequency unknown) from high speed collisions, especially at bases where the runner is allowed to run through the base.  The real request is to reduce the number of collisions, or the impact of those collisions.  What they offered was a potential solution, which isn't their place.

Changing the status quo because you THINK it will be better is tantamount to changing for the sake of change....well, that system isn't perfect, so let's just try this one on for size.

For any proposed change we should be asking four questions: 

  • What problem are you trying to solve?      
  • Is it a problem we really need to solve?    
  • Does this actually solve the problem?       
  • What new problems does this create? 

The safety bag fails two or three of those questions.   Why it was introduced in the first place, I can only imagine.  As I've always said...it LOOKS like a good idea, especially for kids...and maybe even for 60 foot bases.  But I think we've run both systems long enough to see that the safety bag really hasn't changed anything overall.

 

I think the main problem we are trying to solve is fan and announcer ignorance.

 

A different way to approach this would be to assess whether such a rule would be added if we were just developing the game of baseball and what it would look like. Would we let the runner run in fair territory? That would lead to more bunts where the runner could "get in the way.". Would we have a double first base?  would we put first base half in foil territory as it used to be?

 

 i come down on the side of leaving the rule as it is. If you don't want to be called out at first then learn to run in the lane. 

 

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So, just spitballin' here and not claiming this is well-thought out or anything, but what would be the pros and cons of simply redefining the running lane to be 1.5 feet on either side of the foul line, instead of just three feet to the right? Or 1 foot left, 2 feet right, I dunno. So you'd have two running lane lines drawn parallel to the foul line from the 45' mark to just before the base. Perhaps a slightly greater risk of collisions at 1B but a more natural running motion. 

Personally, I think this is a solution in search of a problem, just magnified by Joe Buck's idiocy and fanboy ignorance.

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17 hours ago, Vegas_Ump said:

We don't need to change anything in the rule book or the bag configuration.  What we need is a set of broadcasters who either have a clue about the rules or have somebody with them who does!

Mike

Las Vegas

Get rid of the rule and allow the BR to run the quickest and most direct path to 1B. If they deviate from that path to screen F3 call Interference. Moreland not only violated the lane rule he deviated from the lane to screen the fielder and didn't get called for either. https://www.closecallsports.com/2016/05/mlb-ejection-065-manny-gonzalez-1-terry.html

Hertzog tried to rationalize the Moreland call and it might explain Jim Wolfs no call which you failed to opine on:

https://www.closecallsports.com/2016/06/officially-speaking-runners-lane.html

https://www.closecallsports.com/2016/07/officially-speaking-rli-no-call-part.html

Let the runner run in a straight line when the ball is being fielded behind him. Let the PU judge intentional interference if the runner deviates to screen F3 as Moreland did. We might need an interp to judge the direct path to 1B being established when the runner exits the dirt circle to allow some deviation for getting out of the box. I have not seen RLI in a few years in my HS and JUCO games. I have seen most every runner running out of the lane in a direct line to 1B, as coached, and the defense has made the play, "inside" or "outside". I think most MLB plays involve a runner running direct and the defense making the play. I have occassionally seen actual RLI violations no called at the HS level by guys that did not have the same anatomy as Holbrook or the same rules knowledge as him.

 

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I think we need a running lane from third towards home!

R3 and a grounder up the line to F5.  R3 runs home in fair territory making it difficult for F5 to throw to F2 at the plate.  We need a running lane to keep R3 out of fair territory!  :)

Or maybe we need an orange plate behind the white one!!!

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1 hour ago, Lou B said:

I think we need a running lane from third towards home!

R3 and a grounder up the line to F5.  R3 runs home in fair territory making it difficult for F5 to throw to F2 at the plate.  We need a running lane to keep R3 out of fair territory!  :)

Or maybe we need an orange plate behind the white one!!!

Nobody ever runs from third to home in fair territory and I’m pretty sure you know that.

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