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Guest Tony C.

Avoid the Sac Fly Walk Off

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Guest Tony C.

Situation: Runner on third, less than two outs, any sac fly situation applies but lets consider bottom of the 9th in a tie game for the sake of argument.  The batter hits a fly ball to any of the outfielders that's too deep to throw the runner out once they tag. Due to the tie game in the 9th, the runner at third is gearing up to tag and score the winning run. What if, the outfielder purposefully bobbles the ball or lets it pop up into the air after it hits their glove before they catch it? The runner will take off as soon as the ball hits the glove but they would be leaving early since the ball was bobbled or popped into the air. At that point, the runner would have to go back and re-tag third in order to run home, giving the outfielder enough time (theoretically) to throw them out at the plate. If they don't re-tag, you could appeal that they left early. Or they would simply go back to third and there would be two outs with a runner on third and that eliminates the possibility of a sac fly.  Could this work if the outfielder was able to control it off the bobble and get it to the plate in time?

In a tie game, it wouldn't necessarily matter if you drop the ball when trying to pop it into the air because the runner would score if you caught it anyway assuming it was deep enough.

This quarantine got me thinking outside the box.

 

Thanks - TC

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23 minutes ago, Guest Tony C. said:

Situation: Runner on third, less than two outs, any sac fly situation applies but lets consider bottom of the 9th in a tie game for the sake of argument.  The batter hits a fly ball to any of the outfielders that's too deep to throw the runner out once they tag. Due to the tie game in the 9th, the runner at third is gearing up to tag and score the winning run. What if, the outfielder purposefully bobbles the ball or lets it pop up into the air after it hits their glove before they catch it? The runner will take off as soon as the ball hits the glove but they would be leaving early since the ball was bobbled or popped into the air. At that point, the runner would have to go back and re-tag third in order to run home, giving the outfielder enough time (theoretically) to throw them out at the plate. If they don't re-tag, you could appeal that they left early. Or they would simply go back to third and there would be two outs with a runner on third and that eliminates the possibility of a sac fly.  Could this work if the outfielder was able to control it off the bobble and get it to the plate in time?

In a tie game, it wouldn't necessarily matter if you drop the ball when trying to pop it into the air because the runner would score if you caught it anyway assuming it was deep enough.

This quarantine got me thinking outside the box.

 

Thanks - TC

Runners can tag once the ball is "touched".  

It would be cool though to see if the OF'er could bobble it all the way to the plate.  OR, hot potato it there!

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As previously stated the runner may leave once the ball is touched.  The runner does not have to wait till the ball is caught.  This prevents the exact situation (juggling the ball) that you describe.

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There's a reason you never see this.

Every time you think of a possible loophole, ask yourself: have I ever seen this? If not, assume it's illegal.

Runners can leave once a fly ball is touched in all codes. Retouch is required only if the ball is subsequently caught.

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2 hours ago, maven said:

 

Runners can leave once a fly ball is touched in all codes. Retouch is required only if the ball is subsequently caught.

Say what?

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Tony C., what all the others have told you is correct because it is actually in the rule book (bold emphasis added)—

2019 OBR Definitions of Terms (Catch) Comment: A catch is legal if the ball is finally held by any fielder, even though juggled, or held by another fielder before it touches the ground. Runners may leave their bases the instant the first fielder touches the ball. A fielder may reach over a fence, railing, rope or other line of demarcation to make a catch. He may jump on top of a railing, or canvas that may be in foul ground. No interference should be allowed when a fielder reaches over a fence, railing, rope or into a stand to catch a ball. He does so at his own risk.

This rule did not enter the rule book until 1920. Prior to that the rule was that runners after returning to their original base (retouching or tagging up) could try to advance as soon as the ball had been “settled into the hands of a fielder.” Umpires took that phrase to mean that a ball had to be firmly secured before a runner was free to tag up and try to advance.

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4 hours ago, maven said:

There's a reason you never see this.

Every time you think of a possible loophole, ask yourself: have I ever seen this? If not, assume it's illegal.

Runners can leave once a fly ball is touched in all codes. Retouch is required only if the ball is subsequently caught.

Last sentence - incorrect.

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I don't know what people are reading into my statement. A fly ball that is uncaught does not require runners to retouch. This is a pretty basic claim.

The "subsequently" refers to a bobbled fly ball: if caught after the bobble ("subsequently"), runners much retouch. If dropped after the bobble, no retouch required.

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30 minutes ago, maven said:

I don't know what people are reading into my statement. A fly ball that is uncaught does not require runners to retouch. This is a pretty basic claim.

The "subsequently" refers to a bobbled fly ball: if caught after the bobble ("subsequently"), runners much retouch. If dropped after the bobble, no retouch required.

I think they are reading that a runner leaving the base on first touch of a bobble must retouch the base when the result of the bobble was a catch. Which is not the case but there is a semantic issue with leaving and retouch in the OBR rules. 

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38 minutes ago, maven said:

I don't know what people are reading into my statement. A fly ball that is uncaught does not require runners to retouch. This is a pretty basic claim.

The "subsequently" refers to a bobbled fly ball: if caught after the bobble ("subsequently"), runners much retouch. If dropped after the bobble, no retouch required.

In normal English construct ti says runners must retouch after the subsequent catch.

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1 minute ago, Rich Ives said:

In normal English construct ti says runners must retouch after the subsequent catch.

Yup.

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maven, I think the word "retouch" is causing confusion.

R3, one out, fly ball to the outfield.  Ball hits the fielder's glove and pops-up into the air.  R3, standing on third, takes off for the plate.  The fielder then subsequently "catches" the ball.  R3 does NOT have to go back and "retouch" third base after the catch is made.

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On 3/21/2020 at 12:11 PM, maven said:

Every time you think of a possible loophole, ask yourself: have I ever seen this? If not, assume it's illegal.

In fairness, it's not illegal for an outfielder to do this. It's just not going to end up the way he thought it would.

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On 3/21/2020 at 5:59 PM, maven said:

I don't know what people are reading into my statement. A fly ball that is uncaught does not require runners to retouch. This is a pretty basic claim.

The "subsequently" refers to a bobbled fly ball: if caught after the bobble ("subsequently"), runners much retouch. If dropped after the bobble, no retouch required.


Not in Fed.  The runner can leave at first touch.  A catch following the first touch does not require the runner to wait or retouch.

 

8-2-4

ART. 4 . . . If a fair or foul batted ball is caught, other than a foul tip, each base runner shall touch his base after the batted ball has touched a fielder. (See 8-4-1c for fielder intentionally dropping the ball and 8-4-2i for runner being put out.)

There is more verbiage in the penalty as well.

I won’t speak for any other codes.

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11 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:


Not in Fed.  The runner can leave at first touch.  A catch following the first touch does not require the runner to wait or retouch.

 

8-2-4

ART. 4 . . . If a fair or foul batted ball is caught, other than a foul tip, each base runner shall touch his base after the batted ball has touched a fielder. (See 8-4-1c for fielder intentionally dropping the ball and 8-4-2i for runner being put out.)

There is more verbiage in the penalty as well.

I won’t speak for any other codes.

Same for OBR. Not sure of rule reference.

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