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Missing First Base


Raul

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a batter hits a ground ball to shortstop the shortstop fields the ball and throws to first the runner steps over the bag, missing first base before the first baseman catches the ball,  nobody saw the runner miss first but me, do I call him out, or is it an appeal play

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From the 2021 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 5.12, p. 55):

Play 1:  Batter-runner hits a ground ball and beats the play at first base but misses the bag as he passes it with both feet.

Ruling 1:  The proper mechanic is for the umpire to make no call on the play because the batter-runner has not yet touched first base. If the defense appeals by tagging the runner (or base) and appealing that the runner missed first base before the runner returns to first base, the batter-runner would be declared out.

For FED the following can be found in the 2016 BRD (section 362, p. 242):

Official Interpretation: Hopkins:  If BR misses first but beats the throw, he is "considered safe" and the umpire should so signal. If the defense appeals, the umpire will reverse his call. 

There is also an online case play (number 20 from the 2015 interpretations).

 

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Pro umpiring has inexplicably insisted on using the same mechanic for missed 1B that they employ at other bases (most notably HP). They require pro umpires not to signal for this play, thus tipping the miss to the defense. Perhaps they think it looks odd to rule safe on the play and a moment later out on the appeal (though of course that's exactly what in fact happened). To me, the current pro mechanic fetishizes consistency and provides no obviously superior result.

FED still uses the proper mechanic here: rule on whether the ball beat the runner. When the BR passes 1B, he is credited with beating the ball whether or not he touches the base. So we have to make a ruling on that play; not to rule on it is to signal the defense that they can appeal the missed base. 

So this is an appeal play. F3 receiving the throw does not constitute an ("automatic") appeal: appeals must still be intentional and clearly signaled by word or act. Some additional word or act by the defense must occur before we can rule on a missed base appeal.

The RULE is the same for both OBR and FED, only the mechanic is different. We are not required to use pro mechanics for OBR games (or for anything else), though in most instances their evidence-based approach makes it advisable for us to do so. In this instance, however, I have not adopted the pro mechanic, and for the reasons sketched above. This might be the only instance where I have not adopted the pro mechanic—it's the only one I can think of at the moment. 

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30 minutes ago, maven said:

Pro umpiring has inexplicably insisted on using the same mechanic for missed 1B that they employ at other bases (most notably HP). They require pro umpires not to signal for this play, thus tipping the miss to the defense. Perhaps they think it looks odd to rule safe on the play and a moment later out on the appeal (though of course that's exactly what in fact happened). To me, the current pro mechanic fetishizes consistency and provides no obviously superior result.

 

OBR used to be the same as FED, then  OBR changed it.  They should change it back.

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