Saturday, July 13, 2013

Case Play 2013-07: Hidden Ball Trick Fails due to Time Out

Case Play: The Padres attempted a hidden ball trick play Friday night, innings before Manager Bud Black was ejected for arguing a correctly ruled obstruction call. With two out and Giants baserunner Pablo Sandoval on second base in the top of the 5th inning, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera concealed the game ball while pitcher Sean O'Sullivan walked toward the back of the mound and into the 18-foot dirt circle.

F6 tags R2 as F1 stands to the side of his plate.
As Sullivan ascended the dirt hill, Sandoval took his lead and Cabrera snuck in from behind to tag him. 2B Umpire Laz Diaz, however, ruled time had been called resulting in no play and therefore no out or balk. (Video: Time called, no play). Specifically, time was out after Sandoval's double immediately preceding Pence's at bat (the base coach entered the field to retrieve Sandoval's protective gear) and the ball was never put back into play as the pitcher did not assume his position on the pitcher's plate and HP Umpire Mike Winters did not call "Play."

This frivolity actually explains why a hidden ball trick can never be executed after a double, charged mound visit or other event that results in a call of "Time" immediately afterward.

Q: Had "time" not been granted to either Sandoval or batter Hunter Pence prior to the tag out, what would the proper call have been—out, balk or otherwise—and how should play proceed? This case play expires Sunday 7/14/13 at 3:00pm. Time's up! The correct answer is below...

A: Rule 8.05(i) states it is a balk when "the pitcher, without having the ball, stands on or astride the pitcher's plate or while off the plate, he feints a pitch." Because neither of these events occurred (the pitcher did not stand on his pitchers plate or astride it—he did not straddle it—and he did not fake a pitch, there is no balk and the runner is out. The inning is over.

The rule concerning balks under the professional rules set requires the pitcher to address the pitching rubber via contact or perceived contact (e.g., astride). Under NCAA 9-3-f and NFHS 6-2-5, this same situation is a balk because it becomes a balk when a pitcher steps within five feet of the rubber (NFHS) or merely onto the dirt area of the pitching mound (NCAA).

Correct Responses: Angel55Snapback, Bob Abouy, clawdad, CricketChapman (via e-mail), gkiewitt, kickersrule, Moe, NorthStarUmpire#2, RadioPearl, Radwaste50 (way to cite rules by level of play!), Red @ss Ump, RolBama24, rgoldar2, SJR, toss 'em, Turducken, ump_24, UmpsRule (via e-mail).

Related: MLB Ejection 094: Laz Diaz (1; Bud Black)

21 comments :

Gil Imber said...

It is a balk, pursuant to rule 8.05i

Gil Imber said...

Had time not been called, R1 is out [8.05(i)]. Because F1 remains off the rubber, there's no intent to deceive here. The tag would represent the third out, and the game would head into the bottom half of the fifth inning.

Gil Imber said...

If 'Time' had not been called by an Umpire the ball would have been live and the tag would have been legal and would have resulted in an out. Since two were out at the time of the play there would have been three out and they would proceed to the bottom of the 5th inning. OBR rule 5.11 tells us when the ball is to be put back in play after time has been called. 8.05(i) states, 'It is a balk when... The pitcher, without having the ball, stands on or astride the pitchers plate...'. Therefore, merely being on the 18' circle without the ball does not constitute any violation of the rules. In discussion with rostered MLB Umpires it seems that MLB has an approved ruling stating that the plate umpire does not have to put the ball in play. If the ball can legally be in play, it is in play, with or with out any signal by HP. Another reason umpires are to ever vigilant to where the ball is.

Gil Imber said...

Had time not been called, it would be an out. It would only be a Balk if the pitcher was on the rubber. I believe.

Gil Imber said...

Just saw replay and the announcer had no clue what the rule was either.

Gil Imber said...

If time had been called a balk would have been called. Play would resume with the panda at third base

RIumpinchief

Gil Imber said...

Proper call would be an out had time not been granted. It is not a balk to be on the dirt. Surprise the announcers are wrong it is a balk to be on or astride in OBR.(8.05i). In lower levels this is a balk NCAA 9-3-f, NFHS 6-2-5

Gil Imber said...

Had "time" not been granted and the ball were alive, the play would result in an out.

If Sullivan had continued further up the mound and assumed his position on the rubber or straddled the rubber, the play would have resulted in a Balk.


If the play prior to the situation resulted in a 'Dead Ball', the play would have resulted the same as play would not have continued until Sullivan assumed his position on the rubber with the ball in his possession.

Gil Imber said...

If time was not called, it would be a balk as soon as the pitcher enters the dirt circle. However, time WAS called, so nothing happens except for embarrassment for the padres on a poorly executed play

Gil Imber said...

Balk - The pitcher, without having the ball, stands on or astride the pitcher’s plate or while

off the plate, he feints a pitch; In this case the pitcher would be on the mound without the ball. if he was not on the mound the runner could be tagged out.

Gil Imber said...

gkiewitt
Rule 8.05(I) covers this play. If time had not been granted Sandoval would have been out and the inning would have been over. The pitcher was not on or astride the pitcher's plate.

8.05 If there is a runner, or runners, it is a
balk when—
(i)
The pitcher, without having the ball, stands on or astride the pitcher’s plate
or while
off the plate, he feints a pitch

Gil Imber said...

I have an out, as the pitcher was not on the rubber, or trying to simulate taking signs or pitching.

Gil Imber said...

If the play were in play, the runner would have been out and the inning would be over. As long as O'Sullivan never comes in contact with the pitching rubber than the runner is out and no balk would be called.

Gil Imber said...

Guest: Angel55Snapback . Out. 8.05(i).

Gil Imber said...

If time had not been granted to Sandoval or Pence, then the ball was live & the tag on Sandoval would be the 3rd out. End of the 1/2 inning.

Gil Imber said...

Had time not been granted, this is an out.

Contrary to the belief of the Padres' play-by-play man, a pitcher may occupy any part of the dirt circle, except for a position on or astride the rubber, without the baseball under 8.05i.

Play would proceed with the Padres coming to bat in the bottom of the 5th and Sandoval likely receiving a large fine from the Magistrate of the Giants' Kangaroo Court.

Gil Imber said...

Answer by RolBama24..


If the pitcher addresses the pitching plate, then the attempt to tag the runner out would be a balk by rule, and the runner would advance one base. If the pitcher had not addressed the pitching plate, the runner would be called out as in any other tag play

Gil Imber said...

I believe the runner would have been out if the ball was not dead. There would be no balk call because the pitcher never took the rubber without the ball.

Gil Imber said...

The move would have been legal as long as he did not either engage the rubber or straddle the rubber without the ball. ~SJR

Gil Imber said...

Since O'Sullivan was not astride the pitching rubber, the out would have stood had time not been called in accordance with the restrictions found in 8.05(i). Dick Enberg is incorrect in that the pitcher has to be off the dirt circle for the hidden ball trick to be effective.

Gil Imber said...

If time had not been called the runner would be out. It is not a balk because the pitcher didn't take his position on the rubber without the ball.


Bob Abouy

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