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Appeal: Intervening "Pitch"


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Since we are coming up on tournament time, you might have more interesting plays to rule on. I had this one decades ago in a Little League Tournament (10,11 YO).  I think the call was a lead pipe cinch!  But some guys took an issue.  

Sitch:  R3, R2.  VT up 4-0

HT B4 hits a home run.  The team comes out to celebrate.  R3 jumps into the mosh.  But he never touched home plate!

VT manager comes out to change pitchers.  I hear F2 tell him about R3's running violation.  They all caucus, new F1 warms up, and we are ready to go.  I have my hand up waiting for B5 to take his position.  Then I observe F1 take a stretch, step off, and throw to F2.  F2 says "Runner from third missed home plate."  I responded "You have to wait for me to put the ball in play to make your appeal."

VT manager shouts "Just throw it wide!"

Batter is in the box. battery is set.  I call "Play!" Pitcher winds FROM THE RUBBER and throws wide.  Mike says "Ball!"

F2 makes an appeal, to which I say, "That's an intervening pitch!  The appeal is moot.

EDITED TO ADD:  R3's violation would have been the third out!  So there were 3 run s at stake!

No one got ejected, but the VT manager had a speed wrench on his jaws!  We continued the game at 4-3.  [VT won by that score.]

OK, I had several seasoned umpires try to tell me that F1's delivery was obviously an appeal, and I should have ruled on it's merits.  Their thoughts:  Everyone in that stadium knew that an appeal was on.    I responded that what F1 did sure looked like aa bona fide pitch to me.  And I maintained my call was correct.

What do you think?

Thanks.

Mike

Las Vegas

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10 minutes ago, Vegas_Ump said:

Since we are coming up on tournament time, you might have more interesting plays to rule on. I had this one decades ago in a Little League Tournament (10,11 YO).  I think the call was a lead pipe cinch!  But some guys took an issue.  

Sitch:  R3, R2.  VT up 4-0

HT B4 hits a home run.  The team comes out to celebrate.  R3 jumps into the mosh.  But he never touched home plate!

VT manager comes out to change pitchers.  I hear F2 tell him about R3's running violation.  They all caucus, new F1 warms up, and we are ready to go.  I have my hand up waiting for B5 to take his position.  Then I observe F1 take a stretch, step off, and throw to F2.  F2 says "Runner from third missed home plate."  I responded "You have to wait for me to put the ball in play to make your appeal."

VT manager shouts "Just throw it wide!"

Batter is in the box. battery is set.  I call "Play!" Pitcher winds FROM THE RUBBER and throws wide.  Mike says "Ball!"

F2 makes an appeal, to which I say, "That's an intervening pitch!  The appeal is moot.

No one got ejected, but the VT manager had a speed wrench on his jaws!  We continued the game at 4-3.  [VT won by that score.]

OK, I had several seasoned umpires try to tell me that F1's delivery was obviously an appeal, and I should have ruled on it's merits.  Their thoughts:  Everyone in that stadium knew that an appeal was on.    I responded that what F1 did sure looked like aa bona fide pitch to me.  And I maintained my call was correct.

What do you think?

Thanks.

Mike

Las Vegas

By LL and OBR rule you don't need a batter in the box and the PU should call "play" as soon as the pitcher takes a position on the plate with possession of the ball. Instructions to MLB and MiLB umpires say to wait for a batter but Wendelstedt says in certain game ending situations you don't need a batter. I never put my hand up and don't like that technique. As soon as I can put the ball in play I point it which is what the rule requires. I do normally wait for a batter in the box as the MLBUM says. But knowing they are trying to appeal I would have pointed right away and ruled on the appeal. I really don't like that hand up before pointing. The ball is already dead. Just point it. 

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38 minutes ago, Vegas_Ump said:

 I responded that what F1 did sure looked like aa bona fide pitch to me.  And I maintained my call was correct.

What do you think?

That's an interesting question. I guess you have to decide was that a pitch, or an appeal. Now to make an appeal at a base, the pitcher does not have to disengage. But what about an appeal at home plate? If he is throwing from the rubber, that seems like a pitch to me. What if the pitcher says he wants to appeal, and still throws to home without disengaging?

I don't know the answer off the top of my head. Does the pitcher need to disengage before throwing to home for an appeal?

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The proper way to do the appeal would for the pitcher to step back off the rubber and then throw the ball to the catcher correct?

 

If so I would agree with OP  The coach instructed the Pitcher to just throw it wide. That's a pitch then and thus another "play"  Coaches fault not the player in that case and the coach should then learn too.

 

I get you Maven for the get the out. But are we not suppose to uphold the rules properly?

If you give them the out then you just taught the coach, pitcher, catcher and everyone watching that what they did was OK to do.  I disagree with that.

 

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1 hour ago, ArchAngel72 said:

I get you Maven for the get the out. But are we not suppose to uphold the rules properly?

Nobody applies every rule exactly as written. You'd never get assigned a game if you were that guy.

That said, yes, we want to do it right. But why not grant the appeal here? Because, "technically, the ball's not in play until I put it in play."

If the explanation starts with "technically," then we should probably rethink our application of that rule. 

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On 6/22/2022 at 10:14 AM, maven said:

Nobody applies every rule exactly as written. You'd never get assigned a game if you were that guy.

That said, yes, we want to do it right. But why not grant the appeal here? Because, "technically, the ball's not in play until I put it in play."

 

Let me point out that I think in FED dead ball appeals are allowed.  So that would have been different!

Let me ask, can you decide to call a batter out because he needs a haircut?  Technically?

This was a tournament, and the players and coaches are there because they are all stars.  They should know the game better than your average mid-season team/manager.  A tournament is not the time for a rules clinic.

Mike

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1 hour ago, Vegas_Ump said:

Let me point out that I think in FED dead ball appeals are allowed.  So that would have been different!

Yep, that is true.  NFHS says (snipped):
"(8-2-5) in Penalty:
...
A live-ball appeal may be made by a defensive player with the ball in his possession by tagging the runner or touching the base that was missed or left too early.  A dead-ball appeal may be made by a coach or any defensive player with or without the ball by verbally stating that the runner missed the base or left the base too early...".

In the above, since  "" F2 says "Runner from third missed home plate."""

that counts for Fed, and the whole business with the ball is just window dressing.

 

1 hour ago, Vegas_Ump said:

Let me ask, can you decide to call a batter out because he needs a haircut?  Technically?

This was a tournament, and the players and coaches are there because they are all stars.  They should know the game better than your average mid-season team/manager.  A tournament is not the time for a rules clinic.

Mike

Yep, Tourney ball is where they invite the best they have (at paying for entry into the tourney), so is more serious.  Rules-is-rules there.

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As Mr. Jimurray pointed out earlier, the Little League rule book instructs the umpire to make the ball live as soon as the pitcher has a game ball and is on the rubber. Since the umpire did not follow this rule I would say that he contributed to the error made by the defense in the appeal process. In fact, according to the OP, the defense actually would have performed the appeal process correctly the first time if the ball had been made live properly (especially considering the fact that there were no runners).

2022 RULES INSTRUCTION MANUAL

Rule 5.11 – After the ball is dead, play shall be resumed when the pitcher takes position on the pitcher’s plate with a new ball, or the same ball in said pitcher’s possession and the plate umpire calls “Play.” The plate umpire shall call “Play” as soon as the pitcher takes position on the plate with possession of the ball.

INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENT 

Play shall be resumed when: the pitcher takes a position on the pitcher’s plate with a new ball or the same ball in the pitcher’s possession and all fielders, other than the catcher are in Fair Territory. If a foul ball has occurred, all runners additionally must have returned to and re-touched their bases. 

In the special case when the ball must legally be put back into play at the end of a half inning or at the end of the game in order to appeal a base running violation (Rule 7.10), the only condition required is for the pitcher to take a position on the pitcher’s plate with a new ball or the same ball in said pitcher’s possession and have the Plate Umpire call “Play”. The Plate Umpire shall call “Play” as soon as the pitcher takes a position on the pitcher’s plate with the ball.

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To answer Mr. JonnyCat’s question—a pitcher does not have to step off the rubber to make an appeal throw to a base. He does have to step off to make an appeal throw to the plate. Here’s why--from the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (pp. 148-149):

Pitch versus Throw to Home

If an in-contact pitcher steps toward home, there cannot be a throw--there can only be a pitch or balk (or both).

E.G.: R3 is stealing home. Without disengaging, the pitcher steps forward and pitches, whereupon the batter swings and contacts the catcher: defensive interference.

Moreover, if a pitcher who is not in-contact (or has disengaged) steps and throws home, there cannot be a pitch (unless there is deceptive imitation of a motion to pitch).

E.G.: The pitcher is in the windup position, his hands apart, and the batter is prepared to bat. As R3 dashes for home, the pitcher properly disengages the rubber and throws home. The batter swings at the ball, contacts the catcher (who is standing over home plate) and R3 slides into home without being tagged: the pitcher has not balked. The batter has interfered with the catcher's try to field the throw, and an out must be declared for his interference.

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47 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

To answer Mr. JonnyCat’s question—a pitcher does not have to step off the rubber to make an appeal throw to a base. He does have to step off to make an appeal throw to the plate. Here’s why--from the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (pp. 148-149):

Pitch versus Throw to Home

If an in-contact pitcher steps toward home, there cannot be a throw--there can only be a pitch or balk (or both).

E.G.: R3 is stealing home. Without disengaging, the pitcher steps forward and pitches, whereupon the batter swings and contacts the catcher: defensive interference.

Moreover, if a pitcher who is not in-contact (or has disengaged) steps and throws home, there cannot be a pitch (unless there is deceptive imitation of a motion to pitch).

E.G.: The pitcher is in the windup position, his hands apart, and the batter is prepared to bat. As R3 dashes for home, the pitcher properly disengages the rubber and throws home. The batter swings at the ball, contacts the catcher (who is standing over home plate) and R3 slides into home without being tagged: the pitcher has not balked. The batter has interfered with the catcher's try to field the throw, and an out must be declared for his interference.

Thank you Senor Azul. That interp makes the most sense.

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