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Runner at 2B one out. Ground ball to second baseman who throws runner out at first, runner advances to third. Retired batter returns to 3B dugout across the infield. 1B inadvertently hits retired runner in the back while returning ball to pitcher. Ball drops to ground and runner from third scores. Umpire should probably not allowed runner to use that path to return to dugout but caught that action too late. I don't know how a penalty can be imposed on a retired runner so is there interference?  The action of the return throw was inadvertent so is this a live play or does the runner return to third or is a penalty imposed (called out)on the runner who scored?

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Although the bar for INT is lower for retired runners than it is for runners, the retired runner is not required to disappear, and returning to the dugout across the field during a live ball is legal.

Shaun, Jim's not trying to "make you out to be an idiot". Jim subscribes to the sacrosanct-ness of the Rules, which is if there is INT, then there must be (somebody) Out. And, in the Fed rulebook espe

Your last sentence is not accurate, as shown above. The problem is finding a rules basis for the solution you and others have proposed. We can call it INT and have it supported (and being the har

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5 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

In OBR that retired stealer must be aware of and avoid any following throw to play on any other runner. In the OP if we have hindrance with a following play the retired runner would be guilty of INT whether intentional or not. But let's say the OP intentionally interfered. What would you call?

Jim...I already stated above, as others have, that if he unintentionally interferes with a PLAY being made on R2/R3, then INT is the call.

In regards to intentional interference, maybe he was pissed at himself and swatted at the ball in anger, with no play being made on R2/R3 and no advancement being attempted, I am using this:

"If the interference is intentional, the ball shall be dead at the moment of the interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference."

 

Thus, ball is dead, runner stays on third, not allowing him to score b/c of his teammates wanton act

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17 minutes ago, ShaunH said:

Jim...I already stated above, as others have, that if he unintentionally interferes with a PLAY being made on R2/R3, then INT is the call.

In regards to intentional interference, maybe he was pissed at himself and swatted at the ball in anger, with no play being made on R2/R3 and no advancement being attempted, I am using this:

"If the interference is intentional, the ball shall be dead at the moment of the interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference."

 

Thus, ball is dead, runner stays on third, not allowing him to score b/c of his teammates wanton act

You are using that sentence out of context and that rule specifically excludes our retired runner:

"6.01(d) Unintentional Interference

In case of unintentional interference with play by any person herein authorized to be on the playing field (except members of the team at bat who are participating in the game, or a base coach, any of whom interfere with a fielder attempting to field a batted or thrown ball; or an umpire) the ball is alive and in play. If the interference is intentional, the ball shall be dead at the moment of the interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference.

Rule 6.01(d) Comment: For interference with a fielder attempting to field a batted or thrown ball by members of the team at bat or base coaches, who are excepted in Rule 6.01(d), see Rule 6.01(b). See also Rules 5.06(c)(2), 5.06(c)(6) and 5.05(b)(4), which cover interference by an umpire, and Rule 5.09(b)(3), which covers interference by a runner."

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3 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

You are using that sentence out of context and that rule specifically excludes our retired runner:

"6.01(d) Unintentional Interference

In case of unintentional interference with play by any person herein authorized to be on the playing field (except members of the team at bat who are participating in the game, or a base coach, any of whom interfere with a fielder attempting to field a batted or thrown ball; or an umpire) the ball is alive and in play. If the interference is intentional, the ball shall be dead at the moment of the interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference.

Rule 6.01(d) Comment: For interference with a fielder attempting to field a batted or thrown ball by members of the team at bat or base coaches, who are excepted in Rule 6.01(d), see Rule 6.01(b). See also Rules 5.06(c)(2), 5.06(c)(6) and 5.05(b)(4), which cover interference by an umpire, and Rule 5.09(b)(3), which covers interference by a runner."

Well since you're hellbent on making me out to be an idiot, why don't you just tell us what you would do?  

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This is no different than a batter striking out and as he steps across the plate to return to his dugout the catcher hits him in the helmet with the ball while trying to return it to the pitcher--and I have had this happen more than once.

As luck would have it, Mr. aaluck, there is an entry in the 2016 BRD that deals with a batter being struck by a catcher’s return toss to his pitcher. Here is what it says (section 288, p. 188):

FED:  No provision. Treat as in NCAA.

2019-2020 NCAA rule 7 When Batter or Batter-Runner Is Out

SECTION 11. A batter is out when:

f. The batter intentionally or unintentionally interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders a defensive player’s action at home plate;

Note: A batter’s actions must be intentional for there to be interference during a catcher’s return throw to the pitcher. If it is unintentional and the return throw to the pitcher hits the batter or his bat while he is in the batter’s box, the ball remains live and in play. If the batter does nothing intentional and no runners are attempting to advance, and the catcher’s return throw to the pitcher hits the batter or his bat while he is legally out of the batter’s box, it is not interference. The ball is immediately dead and all runners return without penalty.

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1 hour ago, maven said:

As for splitting the difference: a third option is to kill it, put R2 back on 3B, and get ready for the next pitch. No INT, no advantage gained, no run. 

You're missing the point--there is no legal justification for that.

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Based on OP  I'm going with blowing play dead once ball hits retired runner.  No one is out and No one scores.

 

So now if the throw was directed to F1 and retired BR took a swipe on it maliciously I would call INT and call R3 out on his BR's INT with a thrown ball. 5.09b3 ( OBR )  ( crap was this Fed or who's rules?)

But as far as cutting across the diamond No..  I was taught you ground out,  you run back get your bat and then go to the dugout.   

 

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21 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

A batter’s actions must be intentional for there to be interference during a catcher’s return throw to the pitcher. If it is unintentional and the return throw to the pitcher hits the batter or his bat while he is in the batter’s box, the ball remains live and in play. If the batter does nothing intentional and no runners are attempting to advance, and the catcher’s return throw to the pitcher hits the batter or his bat while he is legally out of the batter’s box, it is not interference. The ball is immediately dead and all runners return without penalty.

I like it!  ...and with that said I see not difference between this and any fielder returning a ball to the pitcher and doinking a retired runner. However, I still have a problem with lazy fielders hitting retired runners.

Perhaps we have an answer we can agree on?--  The ball is immediately dead and all runners return without penalty.

 

EDIT:  This does not address when runners ARE trying to advance.

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On 4/29/2021 at 12:42 PM, ShaunH said:

Well since you're hellbent on making me out to be an idiot, why don't you just tell us what you would do?

 

On 4/29/2021 at 1:24 PM, Jimurray said:

I'm leaning toward INT and R3 is out

Shaun, Jim's not trying to "make you out to be an idiot". Jim subscribes to the sacrosanct-ness of the Rules, which is if there is INT, then there must be (somebody) Out. And, in the Fed rulebook especially, we (umpires, the rules) penalize to prevent. Why is Obstruction a mandatory 1-base award, even for something as "innocuous" as faking a tag, or blocking off 1B on a pickoff attempt? Because the penalty's drastic weight is to deter repetition or future occurrences. Same here for this interpreted or perceived INT. If we merely kill it, and (re-)place R3 back on 3B again, what's to deter a Retired Baserunner from trying or pulling this stunt again, perhaps in a different circumstance, situation, or umpire crew? 

However, it looks like this particular dialog between Shaun and Jim is postulating, and going beyond what actually happened in the OP. The OP states "inadvertent", meaning that (even) the umpires judged it to NOT be intentional. So too, it does assail our baseball senses – "that ain't supposed to happen", or "I ain't never seen that happen before". To that, you're right. We never so very very rarely see this happen in normal baseball, let alone televised baseball, that there aren't even case book instances of it (watch, right as I say this, Senor Azul will roll out a casebook citation from 1977). 

Here's the thing though... this is amateur (high school) baseball. Just about any dumb thing that could happen, will happen... at some time. In this case, ya make a "stupid", half-brained, all-too-casual throw from F3 towards F1 for the simple purpose of returning the ball to the F1, and you hit the retired runner in the back??? Yeah, no... play stupid games, get stupid prizes. I mean, what are we to do if F2 "forgets" there's a R1 on a strikeout, and throws a "round the horn" errant ball into DBT over by 3B? Are we negating base awards for R1 because F2 didn't intend to throw the ball over his F5's head? 

On 4/29/2021 at 1:46 PM, ArchAngel72 said:

Based on OP  I'm going with blowing play dead once ball hits retired runner.  No one is out and No one scores.

Can't really do that. The Retired Baserunner isn't a mobile DBT or Object, and a thrown ball remains Live and in play, until it enters a DBT zone, is lodged, or is possessed by a fielder whereupon we (umpires) can call Time. What if that same throw hit the BU (who was in the working area, for example)? Are you calling that dead, too? 

If we set the precedent that Time can be called by hitting a Retired Baserunner, a base coach, or an umpire with a thrown ball, and all action ceases, then you're just excusing unskilled fielders for their errant throws. "Hey! If I want to freeze that R2 at 3B, I'll throw this at this other runner I just tagged out! The umpire called Time before!"

There is an Out. The Retired Baserunner is still Out. 

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Max, I agree with essentially everything you said.

but this entire thread, I’ve said it’s nothing, play on. Then said it would have to be intentional or INT on a play to be an out.

Not sure where Jim either misunderstood or tried to paint me into a corner but that is the rule regarding thrown balls and int 

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1B inadvertently hits retired runner in the back while returning ball to pitcher. Ball drops to the ground....


Why the heck has this devolved into something with like 4 additional variables that didn’t exist in the org. play?

It wasn’t intentional, we really should subtract this from the discussion.

Fielder biffed it. Ball is live like a throw that accidentally hits an umpire. Play the bounce.

We should move on by now.


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52 minutes ago, ShaunH said:

Max, I agree with essentially everything you said.

but this entire thread, I’ve said it’s nothing, play on. Then said it would have to be intentional or INT on a play to be an out.

Not sure where Jim either misunderstood or tried to paint me into a corner but that is the rule regarding thrown balls and int 

"That is the rule". There are different rules and interps in the different codes. It is nothing in FED. Interference with a throw has to be intentional. I lean toward INT in OBR as retired runners are liable for unintentional interference once they are not running the bases. In the OP I picture F3 throwing with a clear path to F1 and the retired runner drifting into the throwing lane. In OBR he is responsible for staying out of the way once of the basepath and returning to the dugout. 

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1 hour ago, Senor Azul said:

Note: A batter’s actions must be intentional for there to be interference during a catcher’s return throw to the pitcher. If it is unintentional and the return throw to the pitcher hits the batter or his bat while he is in the batter’s box, the ball remains live and in play. If the batter does nothing intentional and no runners are attempting to advance, and the catcher’s return throw to the pitcher hits the batter or his bat while he is legally out of the batter’s box, it is not interference. The ball is immediately dead and all runners return without penalty.

Though this may indeed be the closest scenario, this is still a batter...not a "retired" batter, so, it is different.  (or is it?)

This is more in line with the Blue Jays/Rangers playoff game a few years ago...in fact, I'd say it's exactly in line with it.

I agree with the above stated concerns about just throwing balls at retired runners to get free INT outs.  However, if you are concerned that that ridiculousness is plausible, then so is the opposite ridiculousness, which is the retired runner interfering with said throw with no repercussions...whether intentional, not, or accidentally on purpose...if the result is either play on, or runners simply return, and never an out, then, from the offense's perspective, all reward, zero risk...retired runner is going to be encouraged to take the route back to the dugout most likely to get in the way of an innocuous throw (ie. not a play on a runner).

So, yeah, the what ifs go both ways.

I think God rule applies here...the EXACT scenario of a retired runner getting hit by a throw, where no play is being made on a runner, doesn't seem to be covered by any rule.

I would lean to play on for no intent (but could live with dead ball runners return)....either way this also allows for consistency since the runner isn't always going to advance as a result of the interference anyway...and doesn't put you in a position where you're only calling the runner out if they choose to take advantage of the interference (considering they may not be aware of HOW the ball rolled away...only that it did), or worse, calling the runner out even when they chose to stay put.

But with intent, I think there needs to be a penalty...is it runner closest to home is out?  Or is it simply an ejection?

Do the scenario a different way, but the principles remain - ie. retired runner, no play on other runner, retired runner interferes intentionally that allows other runner(s) to advance...R1/R3...R1 is picked off.  With R3 just standing on base, R1 takes ball out of F3's glove and throws it into OF corner.   Dead ball, R3 stays?  R3 is out?  R1 is ejected?

There has to be some penalty for intentional interference of a retired runner at the very least, no?

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Catch18 said:

It wasn’t intentional, we really should subtract this from the discussion.

No, we shouldn't.  We should understand how this is called when there's intent, and when there's not, and make sure the reasoning and consistency align.   The last thing you should be doing is assessing every scenario in a bubble.

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No, we shouldn't.  We should understand how this is called when there's intent, and when there's not, and make sure the reasoning and consistency align.   The last thing you should be doing is assessing every scenario in a bubble.

I’m not in a bubble, I’m in the scenario that happened. It suits my rule interp and game management well. When I need to evaluate an intentional interference play, I’ll find a good example, just not this one.


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4 hours ago, ArchAngel72 said:

Based on OP  I'm going with blowing play dead once ball hits retired runner.  No one is out and No one scores.

 

So now if the throw was directed to F1 and retired BR took a swipe on it maliciously I would call INT and call R3 out on his BR's INT with a thrown ball. 5.09b3 ( OBR )  ( crap was this Fed or who's rules?)

But as far as cutting across the diamond No..  I was taught you ground out,  you run back get your bat and then go to the dugout.   

 

5.09(b)(3) is for a runner, not a retired runner.

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On 4/29/2021 at 2:15 PM, maven said:

I agree that the issue is how to handle retired runner getting hit by a throw when there's no play. I was aware of the greater onus on a retired runner to stay out of the way of the defense making a play on another runner, but that's not what this is. There was no play: R2 was holding at 3B, and advanced only AFTER the ball hit his teammate.

I'm inclined to put this on the defense: F3 has nothing better to pay attention to than getting the ball to F1 and avoiding the retired runner.

As for splitting the difference: a third option is to kill it, put R2 back on 3B, and get ready for the next pitch. No INT, no advantage gained, no run. 

The third option is the one we made and both coaches were satisfied.

 

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