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baserunner interference? under what rule?


Guest John

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Guest John

Bases loaded.  Hard ground ball between shortstop and third baseman gets to the outfield.  Runner from first makes wide turn at second and knocks over shortstop with intentional forearm to the back while shortstop is waiting for left fielder to make the throw into the infield.  Ball from LF not in the air yet.  Contact between runner and baserunner occurs when runner halfway between second and third, but SS is ten feet off the baseline on the outfield side.  What is the call?  Rule to be applied here?

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While the baserunner creates their basepath and the wide turn is perfectly fine and legal, it is possible to get an obstruction here.  However, I have an issue with the "intentional forearm to the back."  Without seeing it, I potentially have a malicious contact that overrides the potential obstruction: an out and a player who removed himself from the contest.  Dead ball at the time of infraction and runners returned to the last base legally acquired.

I don't have my books with me at the moment to provide exact citations, but you will want to read sections on interference, obstruction, and malicious contact.

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1 hour ago, Guest John said:

Runner from first makes wide turn at second and knocks over shortstop with intentional forearm to the back while shortstop is waiting for left fielder to make the throw into the infield

The judgment call here is whether this is malicious contact, in the runner rounded second with the intent of hitting F6, or made a decision to run through F6 when noticing that F6 was in the way...or whether or not this was just a last minute act of R1 bracing himself as he collides into F6 (which often involves raising the arms in defense), not realizing their paths were crossing until it was too late...I'd want to see some kind of push off or push through with the forearms for MC...as opposed to the universal reaction of throwing ones arms up, which people do whether they're about to run their car into a tree, or get shot.

Without seeing this, the call could go either way. It might be MC unless F6 made some unexpected move into R1's path....not really sure where F6 is going on a ball that got between him and F5 to end up colliding with R1....F6 should be continuing to third, and F5 coming inside third base for cutoff on F7's throw to home...if F6 is not where I'm expecting him to be I can see his presence in the basepath surprising R1, making the forearm simple instinctive self-defense, as oppose to an offensive maneuver, which would make it OBS on F6.

I don't think there's any scenario where this is nothing.

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Guest John

Thank you.  This exchange is helpful.  I am hearing that this really is judgment call, based on how ump sees/interprets the contact.  Base ump on the field didn't make any call, just let play go.  Little more context here that I should have provided earlier.  13u baseball (54/80 infield), playing on a turf field that is too small (240 down the line to left).  The hit is a hard two-hopper on the infield, just past F5's glove (maybe 20 feet off the line), F5 can't reach ball and passes in front of F6's line of sight.  F5 about 75-80 feet from plate; F6 about 90-95 feet from plate when tried to field the ball.  Hard for F6 to see the ball, tries a backhand, but off his glove.  Because short dimensions, F7 can make throw to the plate in the air.  F5 moves to cover third.  Runner coming from first (who makes contact with SS) is off on contact and fastest runner I have seen in 13u all season.  F6 turns to outfield after ball to his glove and waits for throw from LF, who is maybe 150 feet from home, 50-55 from SS.  SS hadn't moved after turned toward outfield (in part because well clear of baseline).  But, yes, should have been moving to cover third.  R1 would have seen SS right after making turn at 2nd. After completing the turn at 2B, had at least 25 feet before contact.  Extended right forearm into back of SS.  Knocked SS down and knocked wind out of SS.  

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12 minutes ago, Guest John said:

  R1 would have seen SS right after making turn at 2nd. After completing the turn at 2B, had at least 25 feet before contact.  Extended right forearm into back of SS.  Knocked SS down and knocked wind out of SS.  

If this was the case, malicious contact without a doubt.

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As to the call, I concur with @agdz59, but as a coach you're walking on thin ice in discussing the call.   First, MC is pure judgment...Second, if the runner ended up on second base after the collision the risk is an OBS call awards him third base.  If the runner made third, the defensive coach likely has nothing to lose to pursue the MC call.

Maybe BU didn't see anything, or didn't see the forearm.  Or, maybe BU didn't call OBS because the runner made third base anyway.    Defensive Coach needs to find the balance of respectfully making his case (remembering that MC is a judgment call), and quitting while he's "ahead", and not argue his way into giving the runner an extra base.

2 hours ago, Guest John said:

Because short dimensions, F7 can make throw to the plate in the air.  F5 moves to cover third

I'll end with my coaching thoughts -

So, to clarify,  F5 is the "cutoff", not the "relay"...he's there to, if appropriate, cut off the throw to home to get (or at least stop) one of the other runners.   F7's throw needs to be low enough that F5 can catch it...and hard enough that it can reach the plate on its own steam, perhaps on a one-hop.  F5 may become a "relay" if the throw is weak, or offline, and there's still a chance to get the runner at home.   F2 is the QB here...he's either saying nothing at all (ie. let the throw go)...or "relay"...or "cut 3" "cut 2".

F3 goes to first, F4 goes to second, F5 goes to cutoff, F6 to third, F1 is backing up F2.  (now, I've seen coaches, especially on smaller infields, make F3 the cutoff on all throws - easier to coach, easier to practice, easier to remember...and with F4 on second B/R isn't going anywhere...he can round first as much as he wants - in this case F5 or F6 takes third, the other covers a throw there). 

I teach the younger kids these ABC's of defense - to get them understanding that everyone has a job, even if the ball isn't hit to them...

A - Alligator - if there's an alligator on the field, leave

B - Ball - first priority is to go after the ball  (kids have a tendency to go to their base, forgetting about the ball that was hit right where they were standing)

B - Base - if someone has the ball, take a base

C - Cover - if bases are taken, cover the throw to one of them

C - Cutoff - otherwise, be the cutoff

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

A - Alligator - if there's an alligator on the field, leave

🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂 

of course, if you're in Florida (I'm not) this isn't humor it's legitimate direction

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Run as fast as you can toward a brick wall. Do you put your arm up to help you stop or protect you from hitting the wall? I'd be very careful with calling MC here. Most runners are trained to pick up the 3rd base coach between 1B and 2B. If he's telling them to go, they put their head down and are going. After rounding 2B, they'll pick up the coach again to see if they are going in up or down, making the turn or continuing to home. 

For malicious contact, you should be watching the shoulders, if they are level and facing forward, I would bet that the runner is not trying to truck the fielder. If the runner drops the front shoulder, there's a really good chance he's trying to truck the fielder. 

But yes, this is a judgement call, and yes, do leave the field if there is an alligator. But Baseline and Basepath are 2 different things. The Baseline is a straight line between the bases and the basepath is a line from the runner to the base. The basepath is defined by the runner and can change until there is a play attempted on him/her. 

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