Jump to content
  • 1

When does a batter yield the right to swing at a pitch?


Guest Realitant

Question

Guest Realitant

I’m a little league ump and an unusual situation happened today. The catcher caught the pitch very early, to the point that I think his outstretched mitt was in the strike zone. As far as I know, there is no infraction for that, but obviously if the batter swings and hits the mitt, he gets a free base. But the catcher just kept his mitt there. So how long do I wait before calling strike?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Use your natural timing and make the call as you would for any other pitch. One suggestion I read/heard somewhere to help with timing is to let the catcher catch the ball, think yourself, "It's a..." and then call ball/strike as appropriate. YMMV.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
3 hours ago, Guest Realitant said:

I’m a little league ump and an unusual situation happened today. The catcher caught the pitch very early, to the point that I think his outstretched mitt was in the strike zone. As far as I know, there is no infraction for that, but obviously if the batter swings and hits the mitt, he gets a free base. But the catcher just kept his mitt there. So how long do I wait before calling strike?

Do you want the batter to swing and take the catcher's hand off? This should be CI but it's a gray area that usually doesn't get called. NCAA did put out an interp that the batter can keep his bat on his shoulder and it's still CI if the catcher steps and/or reaches across the plate. Your sit is unusual in that there was no other occurrence that caused the catcher to catch the pitch prematurely, except probably that he wanted to glove it in an opportune location. Did the catcher interfere with the batter? Does the batter have to clock the catcher to get the CI called? Not very well addressed in FED or OBR. I think NCAA does not want the catcher clocked and wants the violation called whether the batter swings or not. Parsing each codes rules does not help very much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

The batter has the absolute right to the pitch and the catcher cannot take that away from him. It is catcher’s interference when the catcher is on or forward of the tip of the plate (in other words he is in fair territory) to get the pitch. By doing so he prevents the batter’s opportunity to swing at or bunt the pitch. In addition to the interference it is a huge safety hazard for the catcher to be where the bat can hit him. All of this is based on Little League rule 6.08(c)--

2019 LL rule 6.08 - The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided said runner advances to and touches first base) when –

(c) the catcher or any fielder interferes with the batter. If a play follows the interference, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire of a decision to decline the interference penalty and accept the play. Such election shall be made immediately at the end of the play. However, if the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batsman, or otherwise, and all runners advance at least one base, the play proceeds without reference to the interference;

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

For the high school ruling here is a case play—please note, Mr. Realitant, that high school calls catcher’s interference catcher’s obstruction.

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 8.1.1 SITUATION F: R2 is on second base. After B2 takes his position in batter's box, F2 clearly reaches out over home plate (a) prior to; (b) after F1 has made a movement that has committed him to pitch; or (c) to receive the pitch.

RULING: It is catcher obstruction in both (b) and (c), and B2 is awarded first base and R2 is awarded third base only if he was stealing on the pitch. F2 may not catch the pitch until it has passed home plate. In (a), there is no violation provided F2 and his equipment are removed from the area over home plate before pitcher has made a movement that committed him to pitch. (8-3-1c)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Thank you for that case play Mr. Blue. I can't say I've ever looked for this.  Has anyone out there actually called this kind of CI

Bet it always gets a conversation started. I'll need to remember this the next time I'm feeling lonely behind the plate. :fuel:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
7 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

For the high school ruling here is a case play—please note, Mr. Realitant, that high school calls catcher’s interference catcher’s obstruction.

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 8.1.1 SITUATION F: R2 is on second base. After B2 takes his position in batter's box, F2 clearly reaches out over home plate (a) prior to; (b) after F1 has made a movement that has committed him to pitch; or (c) to receive the pitch.

RULING: It is catcher obstruction in both (b) and (c), and B2 is awarded first base and R2 is awarded third base only if he was stealing on the pitch. F2 may not catch the pitch until it has passed home plate. In (a), there is no violation provided F2 and his equipment are removed from the area over home plate before pitcher has made a movement that committed him to pitch. (8-3-1c)

For clarification purposes...

Is this saying that obstruction should be called for F2 reaching over the plate without a swing from the batter? If that is the case, I would like to witness that call being made and the ensuing clown show.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
8 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

 It is catcher’s interference when the catcher is on or forward of the tip of the plate (in other words he is in fair territory) to get the pitch.

While there are rules about stepping/reaching over the plate this statement is not completely true. The  rear of the box is behind home plate and the batter can be there and hit F2s glove while it is over foul territory and it is still CI.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
34 minutes ago, Kevin_K said:

For clarification purposes...

Is this saying that obstruction should be called for F2 reaching over the plate without a swing from the batter? If that is the case, I would like to witness that call being made and the ensuing clown show.

In the usual situations where this might happen, yes CI/CO should be called without a swing by the batter. Steals of home or squeezes would be where this happens normally. NCAA put out an interp a few years back after some no calls. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
1 hour ago, Kevin_K said:

For clarification purposes...

Is this saying that obstruction should be called for F2 reaching over the plate without a swing from the batter? If that is the case, I would like to witness that call being made and the ensuing clown show.

That's the balance, I guess.   It would have to be blatant that the batter did/could not swing because the catcher's mitt/arm/body was there.   It's one more case of avoiding creating a culture where a batter is required to break the catcher's hand/wrist in order to get CI called. 

Most cases of CI the bat just nicks the glove...no one gets hurt and it's quite apparent there's no intent...the catcher just cut it close...it's not even evident on those that the catcher's put himself in that situation until you hear the hit.   Those should never be called without a swing.

I think if you see a catcher put himself in a situation where you and your blind aunt can see that if the batter were to swung the catcher's gonna get clocked I think CI is a pretty good pre-emptive tool, no? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
4 hours ago, Kevin_K said:

Is this saying that obstruction should be called for F2 reaching over the plate without a swing from the batter? If that is the case, I would like to witness that call being made and the ensuing clown show.

Yeah...exactly.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
3 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

think if you see a catcher put himself in a situation where you and your blind aunt can see that if the batter were to swung the catcher's gonna get clocked I think CI is a pretty good pre-emptive tool, no? 

I have had situations where I was convinced the batter contacted the glove intentionally, no different than trying to get hit by a pitch.  Now, I still have put the batter on, but the catcher turned around and I said 'I know, I'm thinking the same thing you are'.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
2 hours ago, LRZ said:

I'd rather see a clown show than a decapitation. (Exaggeration to make a point.]

Agreed AND I'm not calling CI/CO for the glove sneaking out over the point of the plate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
1 hour ago, Velho said:

Agreed AND I'm not calling CI/CO for the glove sneaking out over the point of the plate.

Wouldn't this depend on where the batter is?

Huge difference between batter at very front of box and very back of box if catcher's glove is over or near the point of the plate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

Wouldn't this depend on where the batter is?

Huge difference between batter at very front of box and very back of box if catcher's glove is over or near the point of the plate.

Not according to the interpretation. Hence, my question.

I might suggest that this falls under the practice of using the rule book to solve problems rather than create problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
12 minutes ago, Kevin_K said:

Not according to the interpretation. Hence, my question.

I might suggest that this falls under the practice of using the rule book to solve problems rather than create problems.

I agree.  It's not meant to be taken literally.  It's there to address the situation where F2 reaches out (and maybe "way out") and then BR doesn't swing.  Without this rule, there's nothing in the FED rule book allowing us to call CI/CO.  So, they added this rule.  And, since "reaches into the batter's swing area" is too squishy to be enforced, they settled on the plate as being an objective area.

 

That's my thought, at least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
8 hours ago, Rich Ives said:

Some of you guys couldn't hit.  If you could you'd know that there's no way in he!! they batter is going to see where the catcher's glove is.

Like I tell the catchers "Don't toss me the ball, hand it to me. There's a reason I ump and don't play."

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
On 6/22/2021 at 12:43 PM, aaluck said:

I have had situations where I was convinced the batter contacted the glove intentionally, no different than trying to get hit by a pitch

You have no idea how difficult this would be...when the batter is looking at the pitcher and at the ball he can't see the catcher...at all.   (watch a MLB F2 give signs...first thing he does is looks at the batter to make sure he's looking at the pitcher...when he's locked into F1 he can't see the signs from F2)  That catcher could creep up almost even with the batter's back hip and not be seen.  Only when the catcher makes an overt movement into the swing path would a batter notice anything.   It's virtually impossible, without blind luck, to hit a baseball you're not looking at...even more difficult to hit a glove that is behind you.   He'd have to go up there with the express intent of doing so, and turn his head to see where he needs to direct the path of his swing...and in doing so, take his eye of the ball...meaning he has to trust it's still going over the plate and not into his rib cage...though he'd know when he sees the catcher move his glove to catch the pitch.   Otherwise, he'd be just trying to take an unnaturally long/wide swing path at the pitch and hope he catches the glove on the way through...he'll strike out more often than he succeeds....or he'll actually hit the ball and it won't go more than 30 feet.

I'm sure I could do it, after a couple of hundred tries, but it would look exactly like that...like I was trying to club the catcher.   The swing would either be incredibly early or late in relation to the pitch...it wouldn't have a natural swing path...and I'd probably just as likely break the catcher's wrist instead of hitting the pocket of the glove.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Maybe I am taking a different approach based on the way I am reading the unusual situation postulated ...

Catcher catches the ball, possibly out over the plate, possibly not, and then holds it there.  At that point the batter sees this and swings at the catcher's mitt.

I'm not thinking catcher's obstruction.  Once the ball is in the mitt and a swing was not already in progress, I do not believe the catcher has deprived the batter of an opportunity to hit the ball.  The opportunity passed the batter by -- literally! -- and the batter did not take it. 

Now, what I am thinking when the batter swings at the catcher's mitt (not the ball inside it) is malicious contact and have a seat, junior.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...