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Ball or NP


Guest Nick Nicola

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Guest Nick Nicola

Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) Tweeted:
20 years ago today, Randy Johnson hit a bird with his fastball. Never forget. https://t.co/nKezbs6nuT https://twitter.com/Dbacks/status/1374739279406985222?s=20
Is that a ball or a NP?

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"Windage and Elevation..."

Apparently, Mr. Mudisfun, you are not the only one who cared about the fate of that poor birdie—as it turned out was a mourning dove. At the time those wacky people at PETA threatened Randy Johnson wi

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Nick, that was a spring training game between the Diamondbacks and Giants that day 20 years ago. The umpires in the game got to legitimately use what is sometimes referred to as the “god rule” to decide on field what to do about the pitch. The rule is 8.01(c) and it gives the umpire the authority to rule on any point that is not specifically covered by the rules. Their on-field decision was to call it a no pitch. Since then it has appeared in our rules interpretation manuals--here's one example--

From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 10.7, p. 137):

If a batted or thrown ball strikes a bird or other animal on the playing field, consider the ball alive and in play the same as if it had not touched the bird or animal. If a pitched ball strikes a bird in flight or other animal on the playing field the pitch is nullified and play shall be resumed with the previous count.

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Apparently, Mr. Mudisfun, you are not the only one who cared about the fate of that poor birdie—as it turned out was a mourning dove. At the time those wacky people at PETA threatened Randy Johnson with a lawsuit on behalf of that bird. Fortunately for Johnson that never actually happened so that became another feather in the Big Unit’s cap.

And the YouTube video has become one of the more popular videos posted with millions of views. Another good thing that came from the tragic event is that the musician Prince wrote a great song called When Doves Die (you know—the one with the lyric “this is what it sounds like when doves die”). Of course, there were opposing views such as the one from Ozzy Osbourne who said, “A perfectly good meal gone to waste.”

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No pitch.

 

It wasn't covered (if I recall correctly -- an increasingly rare occurrence) in any of the materials of the day.  The interpretation was added to supplemental materials shortly thereafter.

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16 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

 

If a batted or thrown ball strikes a bird or other animal on the playing field, consider the ball alive and in play the same as if it had not touched the bird or animal. 

The ball may be live, but no so much the animal... Poor birdie!

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21 hours ago, Mudisfun said:

The ball may be live, but no so much the animal... Poor birdie!

"Windage and Elevation..."

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