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Appeal goes wrong


Guest timphilo@gmail.com

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Guest timphilo@gmail.com

MLB rules in effect. Home run. Defense appeals runner didn’t touch first base by throwing over to first from the mound once ball is put in play, but throws it wildly and out of play. Can the defense again appeal, or have they blown their chance?

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4 minutes ago, Guest timphilo@gmail.com said:

MLB rules in effect. Home run. Defense appeals runner didn’t touch first base by throwing over to first from the mound once ball is put in play, but throws it wildly and out of play. Can the defense again appeal, or have they blown their chance?

They have erred on appeal and can't appeal again.

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Here is the actual rule that answers your question--

2021 OBR rule 5.09c…

An appeal is not to be interpreted as a play or an attempted play.

Successive appeals may not be made on a runner at the same base. If the defensive team on its first appeal errs, a request for a second appeal on the same runner at the same base shall not be allowed by the umpire. (Intended meaning of the word “err” is that the defensive team in making an appeal threw the ball out of play. For example, if the pitcher threw to first base to appeal and threw the ball into the stands, no second appeal would be allowed.)

And here is the official interpretation of the rule (from the 2021 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual, p. 71)—

“If the pitcher or any member of the defensive team throws the ball out of play when making an appeal, such act shall be considered an attempted play. No further appeal will be allowed on any runner at any base. (This refers to an appeal being made after a definite break in action.)”

High school baseball rules are different on this—the defense may still appeal after throwing the ball to DBT.

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Some umpires might wonder what the mechanic is for "a request for a second appeal on the same runner at the same base shall not be allowed by the umpire."

I recommend NOT to rule on the appeal: we're not ruling that the runner touched the base, and merely signaling safe will be interpreted that way. To do that would not be disallowing the appeal, but denying it. If the miss was obvious, then we look like chumps.

Rather, my approach is to kill it, shake my head no, and point at the pitcher to indicate the fielder should throw it back (I'll verbalize "you can't appeal," but not very loudly). This mechanic looks like "disallowing," even from a distance.

The defensive coach will likely come out (and I've called time, so, fine), and I'll explain it to him. (Can't quite do it in 5 words: "can't appeal again after the error.")

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I hope I am not hijacking this thread, but here goes. If there is a live action appeal (of course, not on a home run hit out) and the defense throws the ball out of play they CAN still appeal the infraction once the ball is made live if the baserunner has not corrected it. Am I correct? 

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1 hour ago, Mussgrass said:

I hope I am not hijacking this thread, but here goes. If there is a live action appeal (of course, not on a home run hit out) and the defense throws the ball out of play they CAN still appeal the infraction once the ball is made live if the baserunner has not corrected it. Am I correct? 

Of course.  It's all part-and-parcel of the "only one appeal may be made..." rule and that applies only to relaxed action appeals.

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2 hours ago, Mussgrass said:

I hope I am not hijacking this thread, but here goes. If there is a live action appeal (of course, not on a home run hit out) and the defense throws the ball out of play they CAN still appeal the infraction once the ball is made live if the baserunner has not corrected it. Am I correct? 

I didn't have that throw as part of the appeal.

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1 hour ago, maven said:

I didn't have that throw as part of the appeal.

The throw was a continuous action appeal. It going out of play doesn't preclude a subsequent relaxed action appeal of the same runner at the same base. MLBUM covers this for OBR. NCAA is a little hazy because they preclude further appeals even if the ball doesn't go out of play on a misplay if a runner advances during a missplay.

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