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Author TOPIC: Beav's Blog: Courtesy Runners

July 21, 2008
11:17:33 PM

Entry #: 2839308
Sorry for the lack of blog entries this season. I know that for some of you last summer, reading the blog became as much of a part of your routine as a cup of coffee and that first dump in the morning. I've been busy, but I'm not trying to make excuses. As I've been told, I'm a teacher, and apparently I do nothing but sit on my ass for two and a half months in the summer. Anyways, on to today's topic.

I've never been a fan of courtesy runners at any level of baseball. Growing up, depending on the tournament, if the catcher reached base with two outs, in order to speed-up the game, a courtesy runner was allowed to enter the game so the catcher could start putting on his gear. Most coaches took advantage of this because usually the catcher was the fattest, slowest kid on the team (example: Alex exception: Brad). Somewhere along the way, the WPIAL (or PIAA or some national high school baseball governing body, I'm not sure) extended this privilege to pitchers as well and removed the two out stipulation for both players! I understand all that nonsense about pitchers getting hurt running the bases, but god forbid our participants be athletes!

Now on to beer league softball. The rules say, "A player may be allowed to use a courtesy runner if he is injured. This should be determined before the game begins unless a player becomes injured during the course of that game ... This rule is not intended to allow slow or inexperienced runners to be pinch run for, but rather to protect players with legitimate injuries." The natural question is, what's a legitimate injury? A bum ankle? Bad knee? High cholesterol? I feel like I need to ask for a doctor’s note from some of these opposing teams. Seriously, if you're that feeble, do you really think it's a good idea to be playing at all?

While we were waiting for the B-league game to finish before us this past Sunday, it seemed like the same four high school kids kept running the bases. Once they scored, they went back out as courtesy runners. I don't know about you, but I don't know many high school kids with artificial hips.

If, and when, I become commissioner of this gold mine of a softball league, the first thing to go will be the courtesy runner rule. Fat guys beware.

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