YOU MAKE THE CALL 2014 - QUESTION #1
Runners ON 1ST AND 2ND. R2 IS TAKING A LEAD, CATCHER MAKES A MOTION TO THE PITCHER WHO THINKS THE RUNNER IS STEALING AND THROWS TO 3RD. THE RULES OF BASEBALL SAY A PITCHER MAY NOT THROW OR FAKE A THROW TO AN UNOCCUPIED BASE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MAKING A PLAY. SO HAD R2 MADE ANY KIND OF MOTION TO 2ND THEN IT'S NOT A BALK, BUT FOR THE SAKE OF THIS QUESTION HE DID NOT. BOTH PLATE AND BASE UMPIRES YELL "THAT'S A BALK". NOW THE PITCHERS THROW GOES OVER THE 3RD BASEMANS HEAD BUT NOT OUT OF PLAY. R1 RUN TOUCHES 3RD AND GOES HOME AND R1 COMES TO 3RD BASE. THE UMPIRES RULE THAT R2 IS SAFE AT HOME AND THE RUN SCORES AND R1 IS ALLOWED TO STAY ON 3RD. WAS THE RULING CORRECT?
YOU MAKE THE CALL - QUESTION # 2
Batter squares to bunt but it’s an inside pitch NOT in the strike zone. He pulls the bat back and but is struck in the hand by the pitch but you clearly hear the sound of the ball hitting the bat and the ball goes foul. The batter clearly got hit in the hand as he is shaking his hand in pain. What’s the call? Foul ball? Or does he get first on a hit batter?
THIS WOULD BE AN IMMEDIATE DEAD BALL AND THE BATTER WOULD BE GIVEN FIRST BASE. HAD HE BEEN ATTEMPTING A BUNT OR SWINGING THE BAT AND IT HIT HIS HAND THEN THAT WOULD BE A STRIKE AND HAD IT BEEN STRIKE THREE HE WOULD BE OUT.
YOU MAKE THE CALL - QUESTION # 1
LOADED BASES WITH 1 OUT. BATTER HITS A SLOW GROUNDER TO THE SS. R2 CLEARLY INTEFERES WITH THE SS ATTEMPTING TO MAKE A PLAY ON THE BATTED BALL. R3 IS ALMOST AT HOME BY THE TIME THE SS WENT TO FIELD THE BALL. WHAT'S THE CALL?
Rule 7.08(b) – Any runner is out when…….He/She intentionally interferes with a THROWN ball; or hinders a fielder attempting to make a play on a BATTED ball;
Rule 7.08(b) Comment: A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a pay on a BATTED ball is OUT whether it was intentional OR NOT (this got some guys as it does not have to be intentional). If, however, the runner has contact with a legally occupied base when he hinders the fielder, he shall not be called out unless, in the umpire’s judgment, such hindrance, whether it occurs in fair or foul territory, is intentional. If the umpire declares the hindrance intentional, the following penalty will apply: With less than two out, the umpire shall declare both the runner and the batter out. With two out, the umpire shall declare the batter out.
Now if you thought a double play was possible, this is your judgment these rules could also apply
Rule 7.09(f) - It is interference by a batter or a runner when………….IF, in the judgment of the umpire, a BASE RUNNER willfully and deliberately interferes with a BATTED ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a BATTED ball with the OBVIOUS intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead. The umpire shall call the RUNNER out for interference and ALSO call out the BATTER-RUNNER because of the action of his teammate. In no event may bases be run or runs scored because of such action by a runner
Rule 7.09(g) talks about interference by the BATTER-RUNNER so you may want to have a look but pretty much the same ruling but the BR is out and the runner closest to home is also out.
It’s important to note that on the interference the ball is immediately DEAD and all runners return to their base. So in the situation above had I not thought a double play was possible Batter would go to 1st base, R1 to 2nd base, R2 is out, and R3 stays on third. Obviously had I ruled a Double Play was possible we’d have 3 outs but if there had been no outs and I thought a DP was possible Batter is out, R1 returns to 1st, R2 is out, and R3 returns to third. So 2 outs with runners on 1st and 3rd.
I thought I'd create this page for not only the umpires out there but also for coaches. Every day I get a lot of questions about situations that happen in a game and rule clarifications so I thought I'd create this page and post one of those real game situations and allow my umpires to answer the question based on the particular situation. As coaches feel free to view the question and you can either shoot me an email with the answer or post it on the forum page and I'll get back to you. At the end of the week I'll post the answer with the rule book numbers and at the same time put up a new "YOU MAKE THE CALL" question. Hopefully it will be a learning experience as well as some fun because as you know baseball has rules that even the best of us need to revisit :-) As coaches feel free to send me situations as well that occured in your game and I'll use them for this forum as well. Feel free to also provide me any feedback on this and ways I can improve it. Cheers