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Runner called out at first then appealed


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Guest Todd

Runner on second, no outs. Field umpire behind 5-6 hole. Ground ball to short and throw to first, field umpire calls batter/runner out at first. Call is appealed and home umpire says that the first baseman pulled his foot, runner returns to first. But the batter/runner walked off the field after being called out at first and the defensive team coach appeals that the baserunner left the field and the home plate umpire turns the call over again and says the batter/runner is now out again because he left the field of play. Should he be called out for leaving the field of play after being called out?

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Not sure if it is just in the wording, or if the sequence of events is exactly as you penned, but the appeal should have gone something like this.   U1 from the C position makes the call

Umpires can make what they refer to as a correctable error. One type of correctable error occurs when an umpire errantly calls out a runner who then walks off the base as a result of that wrong call a

Little League rules are based on pro rules. So here is the professional interpretation from the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (p. 126) and then the supporting LL rule from the 2019 Little L

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Interesting question.  In MLB, they tell the runner to stay on the base while they check with their replay personnel for this very reason, but in a game with no replay, an umpire would expect a runner to go to their dugout after being called out.  Standing their in defiance and disbelief could be construed as unsportsmanlike.

What level of game was this? HS? NCAA? Little league?

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Umpires can make what they refer to as a correctable error. One type of correctable error occurs when an umpire errantly calls out a runner who then walks off the base as a result of that wrong call and then is declared out because he is tagged or for abandoning his effort to run the bases. Since no rule set was specified I will use the following high school case plays to illustrate.

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 10.2.3 Situation E:  With R1 on first and a three-ball, two-strike count on B2, R1 attempts to steal second on the next pitch, which is ball four. The base umpire, R1 and F4 do not realize it was ball four and R1 is called out on the play. R1 then quickly heads for the bench and is tagged out during the confusion. RULING:  The umpire shall put R1 back on second base because it was his decision that caused R1 to leave the bag.

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 10.2.3 Situation N:  With two outs and runners on first and second bases, B5 hits a ground ball to F3 who backhands the ball and shovels a throw to F1. The base umpire calls B5 out, but B5 asks the base umpire to check with the plate umpire because B5 thought F1 pulled his foot. During the discussion, R2 from second scores. The plate umpire indicates that F1 did in fact pull his foot. The base umpire then calls the batter-runner safe. The coach of the defensive team tells the umpire that because the call was reversed, a run scored. Therefore, R2 should have to return to third base. RULING:  The umpire shall return R2 to third, R1 to second, and B5 to first base in accordance with Rule 10-2-3l. COMMENT:  If proper umpire mechanics were used, this situation would not have occurred.

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10 minutes ago, ShaunH said:

Interesting question.  In MLB, they tell the runner to stay on the base while they check with their replay personnel for this very reason, but in a game with no replay, an umpire would expect a runner to go to their dugout after being called out.  Standing their in defiance and disbelief could be construed as unsportsmanlike.

What level of game was this? HS? NCAA? Little league?

This was little league, so not a big deal but I was unsure and never came across something like this before. I would agree with you about being defiant towards the umpire by staying on the base. I first question to the umpire was, how you can overturn an appeal. I appealed the call at first and it was over turn and not you are overturning my appeal. It just did not make sense. Also he said because the runner gave them self up by leaving the field they were out. You can not give yourself up if you were called out, so it did not make any sense. 

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Little League rules are based on pro rules. So here is the professional interpretation from the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (p. 126) and then the supporting LL rule from the 2019 Little League RIM.

Play 1:  Runner on first base is stealing with a 3-1 count on the batter. The next pitch is called ball four, but the catcher throws the ball to second base anyway, and the runner is tagged before reaching the base. Umpire erroneously calls the runner out, and the runner, believing he is out, steps off the bag and again is tagged by the fielder.

Ruling 1:  The runner left second base under the assumption that the runner was out; however, the out was declared as a result of umpire error. In this situation the runner should be returned to second base. This is correctable umpire error.

9.02(c) If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision, may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse, or interfere with another umpire’s decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.

INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS:

Take responsibility for your own calls. Work hard to make the right calls and do not be an umpire that frequently needs to go to their partner for assistance. However, if a manager asks an umpire about a call they made that involves some aspect of the decision other than judgment, and the umpire making the call has doubt about their decision (their view may have been blocked or positioning was such that they think they may have missed some critical aspect of the play), they are encouraged to seek information from their partner/s. Examples include whether the fielder pulled their foot during a put-out at first base or a force play at another base, whether a swipe tag touched the runner, whether the ball was bobbled or dropped during a tag, whether a batted ball was caught by the catcher (foul tip) or hit the ground. Partner responses should reflect only factual information and not offer contrary judgment. After getting information from their partner, the umpire making the original call can decide whether they wish to change their decision.

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Not sure if it is just in the wording, or if the sequence of events is exactly as you penned, but the appeal should have gone something like this.

 

  • U1 from the C position makes the call at first.
  • When play ends, manager asks for time and when granted proceeds to U1 to inquire about him possibly seeking help on the call for a potential pulled foot.
  • U1 should then, if so inclined, tell the manager to return to the dugout and meet with the PU.
  • The PU, if he has information should relay that to U1
  • U1 then decides if he is going to change his call. If so, call runner safe and put back on the bases.

I'm not sure in the sequence you described why the PU was overturning a call nor why he then overturned his overturn and recalled the runner out.

Once the PU called the runner out, you (or manager) should have asked why. When he used the abandonment excuse and would not change his mind, you only have two alternatives to continue. Accept it and play on, or lodge a protest for a misapplication of the rules. Look up 4.19 in the book on how to follow though with a protest. Since his calling the runner out for abandonment was based 100% on the initial call of out at 1st, which then was changed, the abandonment should not apply. This is not a judgement call and should be protested.

Since this game already is in the books, I would reach out to your league UIC, not to complain, but so that he/she can work with the umpires and use this as a teaching moment.

 

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Mr. Senor Azul—-I really appreciate your responses.

‘I wish I could put you on speed dial during this upcoming season.

‘I will no doubt be seeking your guidance very soon.

Thank you.

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16 hours ago, MT73 said:

I wish I could put you on speed dial during this upcoming season.

You don’t need to. Just carry a copy of the Rules and Case Study Manual for whichever ruleset you’re working. 


 

 

There’s a difference between publication and application. 

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