Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rule 7.10: How a Runner is Out on Appeal

Appeal plays occur in baseball when the defense claims a violation of the rules by the offensive team (Rule 2.00 [APPEAL]), while Rule 7.10 appeals occur when a fielder claims a violation by a runner.

For instance, on Saturday, the Cleveland Indians appealed that Tigers baserunner Alex Avila violated OBR Rule 7.02 by failing to touch first, second, third and home bases in order en route to scoring a run. With two out and one on, baserunner R2 Avila attempted to score from second base after Indians F6 Asdrubal Cabrera overthrew third base during an attempted fielder's choice. After the play's conclusion, the Indians appealed to third base umpire Wally Bell that Avila never touched third base, a ruling affirmed as Avila was declared out on appeal for failing to touch all bases pursuant to Rules 7.02 and 7.10(b) [failure to touch each base in order]. The ruling negated the run Avila had attempted to score during the previous play.

This table of possible outcomes for each sequence
demonstrates that the order in which an appeal is
executed is of tantamount importance.
Video: Avila ruled out on appeal for missing third base

Similarly of note, Rule 7.10 appeals must be made prior to the next pitch or any play or attempted play, while Rule 7.10 appeals themselves are not to be be interpreted as plays. Appeals are made while the ball is live.

In essense, if a runner misses third base, as in the video above, a Rule 7.10 appeal must be executed prior to the next pitch, as in the video above. Similarly, the Rule 7.10 appeal must be made before an ensuing play or attempted play.

In the video above, new baserunner R2 Quintin Berry tried to induce an attempted play by running towards third base and providing the Indians the opportunity at an easy out if they were to tag Berry while he was off his base. Had the Indians made a play or attempted play on Berry (e.g., by tagging him out) prior to completing their appeal play (e.g., by tagging third base), they would have lost their chance to appeal Avila's miss of third base.

Instead, as the video shows, third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall tagged third base pursuant to the procedure for a Rule 7.10 appeal prior to tagging Berry, who was still off his base. Because Chisenhall tagged third base and executed his appeal prior to making a play on Berry, the appeal was eligible for review and affirmation by umpire Bell. Had Chisenhall reversed the order and tagged Berry before stepping on third base, the appeal would not have been eligible for review, Bell would not have been able to declare Avila out for missing third base, and Avila's run would have stood.

Other 7.10 appeals include leaving early on a fly ball & losing overrun protection at first base, as seen here... Also listed is the rarely-seen "fourth out" play which, in tandem with a time play, occurred during a Major League contest from 2009:

Rule 7.10(a), 7/16/11: Beckham is ruled out on appeal for leaving third base before a fly ball is caught
Rule 7.10(b), 9/5/12: The Mets appeal R1 Adron Chambers did not retouch second base on his way back to first base during a caught fly ball - applies both to advancing and returning to a base
Rule 7.10(b), 5/3/12: The Diamondbacks appeal B1 Bryce Harper failed to touch first base enroute to 2nd
Rule 7.10(b), 4/17/10: Choo ruled out for missing first base - Had this been the third out of the inning, Choo's RBI would be negated and the run would not score because Choo did not reach first base [Rule 4.09(a)]
Rule 7.10(c), 9/10/12: Colvin out for failing to return to first base after an attempt at advancement [Rule 7.08(j)]
Rule 7.10(d), 8/2/09: Schneider tags home plate after Montero fails to touch it during his slide

Fourth Out, 4/12/09: With one out and two on, Dodgers batter Randy Wolf lines into a double play, R2 Juan Pierre tagged off second base. However, R3 Andre Ethier continues running to and through home plate during the play, touching home before Pierre is tagged for the third out. The Diamondbacks had a chance to invoke the "fourth out" and appeal that Ethier had failed to tag up at third base, which would have made Ethier, not Pierre, the third out. Instead, the D-Backs leave the field after the third out on Pierre, failing to appeal (or notice) Ethier's violation of Rule 7.10(a) [tagging up on a caught fly ball]. Because Arizona does not appeal, Ethier's run stands and his violation of this rule is disregarded.


Cricket said...

In the "Super slow-mo replay" on the Harper one, I never see the foot contact the base.

UmpsRule said...

Wow, watching that Berry play live, it looked like a really boneheaded move. Now, it looks really smart.

Anonymous said...

On the Harper appeal at 1B, this should be a balk,throwing to an unoccupied base, as the pitcher did not step off.

Anonymous said...

I believe Harper did touch 1B, his left foot missed the bag on the step, but then his left foot grazed the bag when he lifted it on the turn to 2B

Anonymous said...

I used to think that too, but what you wrote is incorrect. You do not have to step off to prevent a balk. I am sure a real umpire will cite you chapter and verse.

It is suggested that a pitcher step off so if he drops the ball it won't be a balk, which would advance other runners and negate the subsequent chance to try another appeal.

ANON = LMS1853

Gil Imber said...

It is not a balk if a pitcher throws to an unoccupied base while in contact with the pitcher's plate for the purpose of making an appeal at that base (NAPBL/PBUC Umpire Manual Section 6.6, see also MLB Umpires Manual 7.7 and balks).

In such an event, the umpire is to defer to Rule 8.05 Comment to supercede Rule 8.05(d), considering that "the intent of the pitcher shall govern." When making an appeal to an unoccupied and trailing base, the pitcher is unlikely to have attempted to deceive the runner.

For more information on balks, see "Rule 8.05: It is a balk when—"

Anonymous said...

Does the appeal happen when the base (in this case) is tagged or when the player verbalizes the appeal? It looks to me like the base is tagged, then R2, then the appeal is verbalized. Is there a written interpretation?

Anonymous said...

interesting...looks like cubby's in for layne in st. louis- i guess he's the acting cc over vanover? good for him!

Anonymous said...

I think that's not right. If the offense initiates a play, the defense does NOT lose the right to appeal the missed bag/left early, etc.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9;34 said:
"I think that's not right. If the offense initiates a play, the defense does NOT lose the right to appeal the missed bag/left early, etc."

Actually in OBR that is right. If you make a play on another runner, you can't go back and appeal a previous runner.


Anonymous said...

@ Anon 6:21pm

From 7.10
An appeal should be clearly intended as an appeal, either by a verbal request by the player or an act that unmistakably indicates an appeal to the umpire. A player, inadvertently stepping on the base with a ball in his hand, would not constitute an appeal.

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