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Runner misses base: Safe or no call?


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I've seen a couple conflicting things about this. We've all seen a play at the plate where the runner doesn't touch home and the catcher misses the tag. At lower levels (I do rec and am starting HS), should this be a safe call and wait for an appeal or just a no call and wait for a scramble? Also wondering about plays on the bases too. 

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You've seen conflicting things because it has changed in the past few years. Formerly, it was a safe call on the bases and no call at the plate. Now, it is no call all around.  The logic beh

From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 5.15, p. 46): A runner does not acquire the right to an unoccupied base on an attempt to retire the runner until he touches it before he

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

You've seen conflicting things because it has changed in the past few years.

Formerly, it was a safe call on the bases and no call at the plate. Now, it is no call all around. 

The logic behind having no call at the plate is that the runner's status changes once they touch it--they are no longer a runner that can be put out. Indicating that they are safe also indicates that change in status and would be improper if the plate is missed. On the bases, the logic of signaling safe is to not tip off the participants that the base was missed; the runner can be put out at any time they aren't in contact with it, so there's no harm in a safe call.

For consistency's sake (avoiding the argument that the same call means different things at different bases,) the base mechanic was changed to be the same as the absolutely necessary plate mechanic.

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From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 5.15, p. 46):

A runner does not acquire the right to an unoccupied base on an attempt to retire the runner until he touches it before he is put out. This is true regardless of whether the umpire’s act of not making a call signifies to the defensive team that the runner failed to touch the base for purposes of an appeal play.

Play 1:  Batter-runner hits a ground ball and beats the play at first base but misses the bag as he passes it with both feet.

Ruling 1:  The proper mechanic is for the umpire to make no call on the play because the batter-runner has not yet touched first base. If the defense appeals by tagging the runner (or base) and appealing that the runner missed first base before the runner returns to first base, the batter-runner would be declared out.

The text is underlined in the book signifying a change for the 2018 season in Minor League Baseball. It further explained that the interpretation was added to clarify that on plays where the batter-runner overruns and misses first base and has both feet beyond the base before a play is made there, the umpire should make no “Safe” call (i.e., make no call on the play).

The following interpretation can be found in the 2016 BRD (section 362, p. 242):

FED Official Interpretation:  Hopkins:  If BR misses first but beats the throw, he is “considered safe” and the umpire should so signal. If the defense appeals, the umpire will reverse his call.

2015 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations SITUATION 20: The batter hits the ball to the shortstop who bobbles the ball and throws late to first base. The batter-runner beats the throw but does not touch first base. RULING: The runner beats the ball on the play and is considered to be safe. The defense must appeal the missed base or tag the batter-runner before he returns to first in order to have the out declared for the missed base. (8-2-1 Penalty)

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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. In that case, the runner must be tagged…

On a play at the plate, should the runner miss home plate and the fielder miss the tag on the runner, the umpire shall make no signal on the play…the runner must then be tagged if he attempts to return to the plate, if he continues on his way to the bench, the defense may make an appeal.

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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Let me preface this by saying, I understand the case plays and rulings, and that is what I do.

HOWEVER, here is my "internal" controversy regarding this. If the runner misses 1B, and the defense does what they are supposed to do (assuming a throw to F3, he receives the throw with a foot on the bag)..........Why should the defense need to appeal?  They DID what they were supposed to do.  The BR failed to do his part, when he missed the bag.

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35 minutes ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

Let me preface this by saying, I understand the case plays and rulings, and that is what I do.

HOWEVER, here is my "internal" controversy regarding this. If the runner misses 1B, and the defense does what they are supposed to do (assuming a throw to F3, he receives the throw with a foot on the bag)..........Why should the defense need to appeal?  They DID what they were supposed to do.  The BR failed to do his part, when he missed the bag.

You could also argue that the defense failed to do their part by getting the ball there late.


There are plenty of opportunities for internal controversies. Why should there be an infield fly rule? If you don't want two outs, don't pop it up. A runner racing head down gets hit by a batted ball, with no fielders around. He didn't do anything he wasn't supposed to, and the defense gains an out because of the rule.

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On 3/2/2021 at 10:10 AM, Matt said:

Formerly, it was a safe call on the bases and no call at the plate. Now, it is no call all around.

If B/R misses first AND F3 gets pulled off the bag...is there still a mechanic to indicate he's off the bag...or is it still no call at all?

I agree that the no call is a tip...but like you said, why only have that tip at home?  I was specifically taught this by my coach in Little League about home plate and we all knew to look for the non-call...and it helped a few times on both offense and defense.

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On 3/2/2021 at 7:53 PM, Aging_Arbiter said:

Let me preface this by saying, I understand the case plays and rulings, and that is what I do.

HOWEVER, here is my "internal" controversy regarding this. If the runner misses 1B, and the defense does what they are supposed to do (assuming a throw to F3, he receives the throw with a foot on the bag)..........Why should the defense need to appeal?  They DID what they were supposed to do.  The BR failed to do his part, when he missed the bag.

The BR reached first base, he just didn't touch it. It's the responsibility of the defense to recognized that the BR failed to touch first base. But once he passes first base he has "reached" it, he just hasn't touched it. 

RUNNER PASSING A BASE - Baseball Rules Academy

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4 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

If B/R misses first AND F3 gets pulled off the bag...is there still a mechanic to indicate he's off the bag...or is it still no call at all?

I agree that the no call is a tip...but like you said, why only have that tip at home?  I was specifically taught this by my coach in Little League about home plate and we all knew to look for the non-call...and it helped a few times on both offense and defense.

You know what would really be nice? An HTML editor so one could split quoted posts with multiple questions. Absent that:

Yes; Maybe; I explained that earlier; your coach was over three sigmas from the mean in understanding baseball officiating.

 

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  • 5 weeks later...
33 minutes ago, MT73 said:

I would think that no call means no call.

‘So no, I would not give the “Off the base” signal.

While the current mechanic is no call at 1B, CCS has not corrected their judgment that Ortiz used the correct mechanic when he did give a safe signal. A commenter on their YouTube stated that a MiLB umpire says that the MiLBUM interp is not what is taught at pro school. Apparently their is some dispute about the change at 1B. 

 

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42 minutes ago, MT73 said:

The mechanic was changed in the 2018 MLBUM.

 Now the mechanic is to make no call.

Which makes the entire video obsolete.

Unless one of the commentors on the video is correct that pro school is not teaching the changed mechanic per certain MiLB umpires he calls with. 

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2 hours ago, Biscuit said:

For the record, we never covered this situation at pro school this year. 

I'd ask for a refund. ;)

 

It seems serious enough, and common enough, that it would have been covered (regardless of what the "right" mechanic turns out to be).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just for another point of reference. April 20th, Mets v Cubs Bottom 5, Bryant groundball to third, U1 rules that F3 was off bag, and makes "Safe" and "off the bag" motions. B/R misses first on his way by, and they don't get the out. Haven't seen a video on twitter or anything but is maybe out there somewhere.

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@Gfoley4, MLB's video section is very comprehensive in breaking down a game's action into bite sized clips. Best of all it's free AND searchable. They usually don't put up the clips until a few hours after each game ends or sometimes the following day if it's a late game that went into extra innings...

Here's the link: https://www.mlb.com/video

The search field is in the upper left just underneath the MLB logo.

~Dawg

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30 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

@Gfoley4, MLB's video section is very comprehensive in breaking down a game's action into bite sized clips. Best of all it's free AND searchable. They usually don't put up the clips until a few hours after each game ends or sometimes the following day if it's a late game that went into extra innings...

Here's the link: https://www.mlb.com/video

The search field is in the upper left just underneath the MLB logo.

~Dawg

Good thinking, it's the second video in https://www.mlb.com/video/davis-multiple-throwing-errors?q=ContentTags %3D ["gamepk-634411"] Order by Timestamp DESC&cp=CMS_FIRST&p=0 

After this, F3 threw the ball to F4 for some reason, and Bryant scampered back to the base before they could throw it back and appeal. 

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Continuing with this play, both the announcers noticed that the F3's foot actually moved backwards and touched the base AFTER the runner went by.

The BU used the wrong mechanic and signaled safe?  If he even noticed the BR missing the base, he didn't think the F3's inadvertent touch was an appeal - which it wasn't. But, the announcers kept saying that runner should be out by the inadvertent touch.

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18 minutes ago, Mussgrass said:

Someone please remind me, in this situation when does the runner need to be tagged and when can the base be tagged?

IIRC, WUM issued an interp some (5?) years ago saying that fielders could always appeal a missed base by tagging the base, even if the runner was just a few feet away and scrambling back. That's authoritative for OBR, and I'd treat FED the same.

For those who liked J/R's concept of "unrelaxed action," that WUM interp was the final nail in the coffin. Makes sense though: the rules fix a deadline for making an appeal (next pitch or play), but leave tacit when the appeal window opens. Presumably, given this interp, it opens the moment the infraction occurs.

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I have posted the following at least twice before. From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 5.15, p. 46)(the mechanic was new for 2018):

Play 1:  Batter-runner hits a ground ball and beats the play at first base but misses the bag as he passes it with both feet.

Ruling 1:  The proper mechanic is for the umpire to make no call on the play because the batter-runner has not yet touched first base. If the defense appeals by tagging the runner (or base) and appealing that the runner missed first base before the runner returns to first base, the batter-runner would be declared out.

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