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"first play" per Rule 5.06(b)4(G)


Guest Jeff

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Guest Jeff

Rule 5.06(b)4(G) says bases are awarded based on TOP so long as it is the "first play" and BR has not crossed first before the TOT.

Situation: Runners on 1B and 2B, ground ball to third, 3B touches bag at third for the force out and throws to first for the DP but throws the ball into the stands. At TOT, the BR had not yet reached first base but the runner from first HAD already reached 2B. Does the runner from first score on the play?

Pro - the "first play" is the force out at third; after that, any throw by the infielder is the "second play" on the ball and therefore it is no different than a 6-4-3 attempted double play where the runner from first beats the throw to second and is awarded home on the wild second throw (even if the BR had not crossed first at time of the second throw).

Con - BR clearly only gets second base (two bases) since he hadn't crossed first yet and all other baserunners are limited to two bases from their position at the TOP.

Which is correct? Thanks.

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27 minutes ago, Guest Jeff said:

Rule 5.06(b)4(G) says bases are awarded based on TOP so long as it is the "first play" and BR has not crossed first before the TOT.

Situation: Runners on 1B and 2B, ground ball to third, 3B touches bag at third for the force out and throws to first for the DP but throws the ball into the stands. At TOT, the BR had not yet reached first base but the runner from first HAD already reached 2B. Does the runner from first score on the play?

Pro - the "first play" is the force out at third; after that, any throw by the infielder is the "second play" on the ball and therefore it is no different than a 6-4-3 attempted double play where the runner from first beats the throw to second and is awarded home on the wild second throw (even if the BR had not crossed first at time of the second throw).

Con - BR clearly only gets second base (two bases) since he hadn't crossed first yet and all other baserunners are limited to two bases from their position at the TOP.

Which is correct? Thanks.

TOT 

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From the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (pp. 61-62):

When it is a time-of-throw (TOT) award each runner is awarded two bases beyond the base occupied by the runner at the time the throw originated (left the fielder’s hand).

The lead runner is always the first runner awarded his bases; such runner is never awarded three bases to allow a two-base award for a following runner.

Example: TOT Award (second play)

R1, one out, hit and run. A grounder is batted to the second baseman, who tosses to the shortstop, but the runner beats the throw and is safe at second. The shortstop overthrows past first: the force try at second is a play, so the throw to first was a second play, and the award is TOT. R1 awarded home (he had occupied second at TOT), batter-runner to second.

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1 hour ago, Senor Azul said:

From the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (pp. 61-62):

When it is a time-of-throw (TOT) award each runner is awarded two bases beyond the base occupied by the runner at the time the throw originated (left the fielder’s hand).

The lead runner is always the first runner awarded his bases; such runner is never awarded three bases to allow a two-base award for a following runner.

Example: TOT Award (second play)

R1, one out, hit and run. A grounder is batted to the second baseman, who tosses to the shortstop, but the runner beats the throw and is safe at second. The shortstop overthrows past first: the force try at second is a play, so the throw to first was a second play, and the award is TOT. R1 awarded home (he had occupied second at TOT), batter-runner to second.

The OP has read the rule, which he cites, but actually is concerned with a sentence in the comment: "The position of the batter-runner at the time the wild throw left the thrower’s hand is the key in deciding the award of bases. If the batter-runner has not reached first base, the award is two bases at the time the pitch was made for all runners. The decision as to whether the batter-runner has reached first base before the throw is a judgment call" It doesn't make sense and we ignore it as a glitch in the writing of the rules.

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R1 has reached a new base, so his award is started from the base last legally acquired at the time of the throw. 

BR having not yet legally attained ANY base at the time of the throw is awarded the same two base award from time of throw which would be 1st and then 2nd. Seems odd, considering that prior to reaching 1st, the award for a TOP and TOT equates to the same thing, but them are the rules.

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On 10/3/2021 at 8:20 PM, Jimurray said:

The OP has read the rule, which he cites, but actually is concerned with a sentence in the comment: "The position of the batter-runner at the time the wild throw left the thrower’s hand is the key in deciding the award of bases. If the batter-runner has not reached first base, the award is two bases at the time the pitch was made for all runners. The decision as to whether the batter-runner has reached first base before the throw is a judgment call" It doesn't make sense and we ignore it as a glitch in the writing of the rules.

I suspect this section of the comment was supposed to be contextual to the Approved Ruling at the end of the rule - it makes perfect sense if applied specifically to that statement...the comment should start with that statement that starts with "The term 'when the wild..."   Someone screwed up by putting the other comment/ruling about not always being possible to award bases in between them.

I believe the intent was for it to look like this:

APPROVED RULING: If all runners, including the batterrunner, have advanced at least one base when an infielder makes a wild throw on the first play after the pitch, the award shall be governed by the position of the runners when the wild throw was made.

Rule 5.06(b)(4)(G) Comment:  The term “when the wild throw was made” means when the throw actually left the player’s hand and not when the thrown ball hit the ground, passes a receiving fielder or goes out of play into the stands. The position of the batter-runner at the time the wild throw left the thrower’s hand is the key in deciding the award of bases. If the batter-runner has not reached first base, the award is two bases at the time the pitch was made for all runners....yadda yadda yadda...and then put the "impossible to award" section somewhere after this.

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The first part of the current 5.06(b)(4)(G) Comment entered the rule book as part of the Notes—Case Book—Comment section in the back of the 1951 rules. It was exactly the same as it is today—

In certain circumstances it is impossible to award a runner two bases. Example: Runner on first. Batter hits fly to short right. Runner holds up between first and second and batter comes around first and pulls up behind him. Ball falls safely. Outfielder, in throwing to first, throws ball into stands.

APPROVED RULING: Since no runner, when the ball is dead, may advance beyond the base to which he is entitled, the runner originally on first base goes to third base and the batter is held at second base.

All the rest of what is today’s comment entered the rule book in 1976 and it was simply added to the end of the previous part of the Comment. Then the text (the exact same as today’s text) from the Case Book was added to the rule book proper in 1978. So for 45 years there has been no problem with the rule.

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1 minute ago, Senor Azul said:

The first part of the current 5.06(b)(4)(G) Comment entered the rule book as part of the Notes—Case Book—Comment section in the back of the 1951 rules. It was exactly the same as it is today—

In certain circumstances it is impossible to award a runner two bases. Example: Runner on first. Batter hits fly to short right. Runner holds up between first and second and batter comes around first and pulls up behind him. Ball falls safely. Outfielder, in throwing to first, throws ball into stands.

APPROVED RULING: Since no runner, when the ball is dead, may advance beyond the base to which he is entitled, the runner originally on first base goes to third base and the batter is held at second base.

All the rest of what is today’s comment entered the rule book in 1976 and it was simply added to the end of the previous part of the Comment. Then the text (the exact same as today’s text) from the Case Book was added to the rule book proper in 1978. So for 45 years there has been no problem with the rule.

Until we get some who reads all of the rule with which there has been no problem, but then reads the comment which has a problem we ignore.

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14 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

So for 45 years there has been no problem with the rule.

Frankly, I don't think there ever was, or is, a problem with the rule.   

The problem is with the comment...it's either A) outright wrong, or B) contextually out of place.    Whether it was there first or second is irrelevant, it should have been placed in front of the existing comment to ensure the context wasn't lost or misunderstood.   As it stands now, it doesn't help...it only serves to confuse would be newer umpires trying to learn the rules.

The only comment that is really needed is clarifying that "TOT" means when the ball leaves the fielder's hand.

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This rule first entered the book in 1910 as rule 72-3:  In all cases where there are no spectators on the playing field, and where a thrown ball goes into a stand for spectators, or over or through any fence surrounding the playing field, or into the players’ bench (whether the ball rebounds into the field or not), the runner or runners shall be entitled to two bases. The umpire in awarding such bases shall be governed by the position of the runner or runners at the time the throw is made.

In the early 1930s it had morphed into what sometimes was a three-base award as evidenced by this note attached to the rule--from the 1934 edition rule 65 Section 2--

Note—The latter part of Section 2 means that if a runner has started to steal second base and an overthrow is made, the runner shall be given not only second, if in the opinion of the umpire he might have made the base, but two bases in addition.

The baseball powers that be finally realized that a three-base award is just too severe a penalty for an overthrow and through a series of amendments over the years to the rule set out to limit the award to two bases in all overthrow situations. This history of the rule is also why the Jaksa/Roder interpretation I posted earlier referenced not allowing the lead runner three bases to enable the two-base award to the trail runner. It is also why in 1951 the Comment was added to the rule to cover the anomaly that is presented when both runners are between first and second base when the overthrow is made.

The Comment has always been about the exception to the rule hence the “certain circumstances” language used to start the Comment. It is not outright wrong, there is no “glitch” in the rule and no one screwed up in its formulation.

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On 10/17/2021 at 8:42 PM, Senor Azul said:

It is not outright wrong, there is no “glitch” in the rule and no one screwed up in its formulation.

So your assertion is that this statement is correct, without question, on its own merits, no matter what?  

"The position of the batter-runner at the time the wild throw left the thrower’s hand is the key in deciding the award of basesIf the batter-runner has not reached first base, the award is two bases at the time the pitch was made for all runners"

Meaning, as per the OP, that on a DP attempt, with R1 already on second by the time the (second) throw is made, that, because the b/r is not yet at first, you are to award R1 only to third base?  (ie. two bases TOP)

That is patently wrong.   Since it's not the first play, it's two bases TOT - R1 gets home, B/R gets second.   

The rule and comment are below as they appear in the rulebook...the comment paragraph in red applies to the Approved Ruling in red.  Without understanding that context, or making that logical leap, how is a new umpire (or a fundamentalist) supposed to know the comment doesn't apply to all of G (ie. any time the b/r hasn't yet reached first), and not just the Approved Ruling (ie. first play)?    In fact, a new umpire would be perfectly fine if they just read the rule without the comment (as long as they knew when "time of throw" meant).

Either the paragraph is misplaced for context, or it's plain wrong, or every umpire I've ever run across, including the ones who have responded TOT to this thread, have been getting the rule wrong.  Because if taking the comment literally, R1 only gets third base in the OP.  As stated above, umpires are ignoring this comment because it doesn't make sense.

Are you ignoring it, or are you applying it literally?

(G)  Two bases when, with no spectators on the playing field, a thrown ball goes into the stands, or into a bench (whether or not the ball rebounds into the field), or over or under or through a field fence, or on a slanting part of the screen above the backstop, or remains in the meshes of a wire screen protecting spectators. The ball is dead. When such wild throw is the first play by an infielder, the umpire, in awarding such bases, shall be governed by the position of the runners at the time the ball was pitched; in all other cases the umpire shall be governed by the position of the runners at the time the wild throw was made;

APPROVED RULING: If all runners, including the batterrunner, have advanced at least one base when an infielder makes a wild throw on the first play after the pitch, the award shall be governed by the position of the runners when the wild throw was made.

Rule 5.06(b)(4)(G) Comment: In certain circumstances it is impossible to award a runner two bases. Example: Runner on first. Batter hits fly to short right. Runner holds up between first and second and batter comes around first and pulls up behind him. Ball falls safely. Outfielder, in throwing to first, throws ball into stands.

APPROVED RULING: Since no runner, when the ball is dead, may advance beyond the base to which he is entitled, the runner originally on first base goes to third base and the batter is held at second base. The term “when the wild throw was made” means when the throw actually left the player’s hand and not when the thrown Rule 5.06(b)(4) 30 ball hit the ground, passes a receiving fielder or goes out of play into the stands.

The position of the batter-runner at the time the wild throw left the thrower’s hand is the key in deciding the award of bases. If the batter-runner has not reached first base, the award is two bases at the time the pitch was made for all runners. The decision as to whether the batter-runner has reached first base before the throw is a judgment call.

If an unusual play arises where a first throw by an infielder goes into stands or dugout but the batter did not become a runner (such as catcher throwing ball into stands in attempt to get runner from third trying to score on passed ball or wild pitch) award of two bases shall be from the position of the runners at the time of the throw. (For the purpose of Rule 5.06(b)(4)(G) a catcher is considered an infielder.)

PLAY—Runner on first base, batter hits a ball to the shortstop, who throws to second base too late to get runner at second, and second baseman throws toward first base after batter has crossed first base.

RULING: Runner at second scores. (On this play, only if batter-runner is past first base when throw is made is he awarded third base.)

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