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Stealing Home


Guest Maddo

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Runner on 3rd stealing home on a pitch, (a) is the batter required to move from the box on a ball or strike (b.) Can the batter be called for obstrution if he hinders the catchers attempt to tag the stealing runner from third?

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4 hours ago, Guest Maddo said:

Runner on 3rd stealing home on a pitch, (a) is the batter required to move from the box on a ball or strike (b.) Can the batter be called for obstrution if he hinders the catchers attempt to tag the stealing runner from third?

(a) no.  (b) yes (but its for Interference, not for Obstructions) -- but not if he just stands still

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4 hours ago, Guest Maddo said:

Runner on 3rd stealing home on a pitch, (a) is the batter required to move from the box on a ball or strike (b.) Can the batter be called for obstrution if he hinders the catchers attempt to tag the stealing runner from third?

Regarding (b): the normal standards for batter INT apply. So, the batter is entitled to swing at the pitch as usual—the pitch is ALWAYS for the batter—with all that a swing entails.

He is not entitled to leave the box or make "any other movement" besides a swing. If he does these AND his doing so hinders F2's play on the stealing runner, then the batter has committed batter INT.

Note that special penalties apply for batter INT with R3 stealing.

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A batter is not required to move. In fact, just the opposite is the case—a batter should not move or re-establish his position after the catcher receives the pitch. Here’s the current pro rule dealing with possible batter interference on a play at the plate—

2021 6.03 Batter Illegal Action

(a) A batter is out for illegal action when:

(3) He interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base.

And here is a high school case book play explaining that a batter is entitled to his position in the box and will not be penalized if he maintains his position and does not move after the catcher receives the pitch.

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 7.3.5 Situation E:  With less than two outs, R2 and B2 at the plate, R2 attempts to steal third. In the process, B2, who bats right-handed, after swinging or not swinging at the pitch, (a) makes no attempt to get out of the way of F2 throwing to third or (b) is unable to make an attempt to get out of the way of F2 throwing to third. As a result, F2 cannot make a play on the runner. Is B2 out, and must R2 return to second? RULING:  B2 is not guilty of interference in (a) or (b). B2 is entitled to his position in the batter’s box and is not subject to being penalized for interference unless he moves or re-establishes his position after F2 has received the pitch, which then prevents F2 from attempting to play on a runner. Failing to move so F2 can make a throw is not batter interference.

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Note that special penalties apply for batter INT with R3 stealing.

Mr. maven, what special penalties are you referring to? Are you sure you are not thinking of the penalty for catcher’s interference on a steal attempt of home? Here is the penalty listed in the current OBR for batter’s interference and I wouldn’t classify the penalty as anything special or extraordinary (especially when compared to the double whammy penalty for catcher’s interference).

EXCEPTION to Rules 6.03(a)(3) and (4): Batter is not out if any runner attempting to advance is put out, or if runner trying to score is called out for batter’s interference.

Rules 6.03(a)(3) and (4) Comment: If the batter interferes with the catcher, the plate umpire shall call “interference.” The batter is out and the ball dead. No player may advance on such interference (offensive interference) and all runners must return to the last base that was, in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference.

If, however, the catcher makes a play and the runner attempting to advance is put out, it is to be assumed there was no actual interference and that runner is out—not the batter. Any other runners on the base at the time may advance as the ruling is that there is no actual interference if a runner is retired. In that case play proceeds just as if no violation had been called.

If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him on the backswing, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play.

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1 hour ago, Senor Azul said:

Note that special penalties apply for batter INT with R3 stealing.

Mr. maven, what special penalties are you referring to? Are you sure you are not thinking of the penalty for catcher’s interference on a steal attempt of home? Here is the penalty listed in the current OBR for batter’s interference and I wouldn’t classify the penalty as anything special or extraordinary (especially when compared to the double whammy penalty for catcher’s interference).

EXCEPTION to Rules 6.03(a)(3) and (4): Batter is not out if any runner attempting to advance is put out, or if runner trying to score is called out for batter’s interference.

Rules 6.03(a)(3) and (4) Comment: If the batter interferes with the catcher, the plate umpire shall call “interference.” The batter is out and the ball dead. No player may advance on such interference (offensive interference) and all runners must return to the last base that was, in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference.

If, however, the catcher makes a play and the runner attempting to advance is put out, it is to be assumed there was no actual interference and that runner is out—not the batter. Any other runners on the base at the time may advance as the ruling is that there is no actual interference if a runner is retired. In that case play proceeds just as if no violation had been called.

If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him on the backswing, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play.

The special penalty is 5.09(b):

(8)  He attempts to score on a play in which the batter interferes with the play at home base before two are out. With two out, the interference puts the batter out and no score counts;"

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What you can see is what is discussed in most clinics:

If F2 comes out early to catch the pitch in order to get a good tag down, you may have the only double penalty in baseball:  The pitcher is charged with a balk (and runners advance one base, so R3 scores), and F2 is charged with defensive interference which entitles the batter to first base.  (OBR)

Mike

Las Vegas

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