Friday, September 20, 2013

Case Play 2013-09: Whose Base is it Anyway?

Lightning Case Play: Whose Base is it Anyway? With one out and runners on first and third (R1 Brett Lawrie,
Iassogna declares a double play at third base.
R3 Jose Reyes), batter Adam Lind hits a come-backer to pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, who throws to catcher Chris Stewart, who runs R3 Reyes back towards third base before throwing to third baseman Mark Reynolds. As R3 Reyes dives back towards third, R1 Lawrie comes from first to step on the base. F5 Reynolds tags R1 Lawrie followed by R3 Reyes, resulting in a double play call from 3B Umpire Dan Iassogna.

Question: What happened? Who is entitled to occupy third base at all stages of this play? What rules apply and how is this a double play?

*A lightning case play is a "simple" scenario worth one point. This case play expires Saturday.

Video: Yankees score inning-ending double play with a timed tag at third in Toronto (MLB Must C)

54 comments :

Gil Imber said...

How is Lawrie (R1) out? R3 and R1 never occupied the base at the same time - and R1 wasn't tagged until after R3 (who was clearly off the bag when tagged) had been put out. Iasogna seems pretty confident in giving his explanation, but I'd sure like to hear how he thought this went down

Gil Imber said...

Under 7.01, Reyes (R3) is entitled to that base until he is put out or forced to vacate it. The announcers in the last part of the video are correct. It's Reyes' bag. The initial tag attempt missed Reyes. Then, Lawrie was tagged while on the base which (according to 7.01) belongs to Reyes. Lawrie is ruled out on the tag. Reyes was tagged while not in contact with the bag which is an out on any day whose name ends in "y". 7.03 does not apply in this situation as both runners were not in contact with the base.

Gil Imber said...

You missed the *first* tag on Lawrie, which occurred before the missed tag on Reyes.

Gil Imber said...

You can't call Lawrie out on the tag if Reyes isn't on the bag. The only possibility that Lawrie could be out here is if it is determined that he passed Reyes on the basepath. Reyes ends up farther up the third-base line than the bag, so this is feasible. Reyes is out for baserunning brainfart.

Gil Imber said...

I concur. The base belonged to Reyes so technically, Lawrie was not on a bag so is at risk to be put out. and Reyes is put out because he ACTUALLY IS

Gil Imber said...

I am assuming we get points in the league for this case play and I don't feel like writing a book so I am just gonna say that radiopearl is 100% correct and that is somewhat how I was going to write my description.

Gil Imber said...

Wrong. It's Lawrie's base at any point Reyes isn't making contact with it. Lawrie was not tagged at any moment when Reyes and he were simultaneously touching the bag. As stated above, the only way Lawrie is out is if U3 ruled Reyes was up the line and therefore Lawrie "passed" him on the basepath.

Gil Imber said...

Reyes (R3) is entitled to occupy 3B up until he either crosses HP or he is put out, this was not a force situation. (7.01).



Since Lawrie is tagged prior to Reyes (and Reyes is off the base when he is tagged), both runners are out pursuant to 7.08(c)...."He is tagged, when the ball is alive, while off HIS base. Lawrie was off HIS base as he was not yet entitled to 3B.

Gil Imber said...

I do not think Iassogna got this one right. While it is true the lead runner has the right to third base that is only true if he is occupying third base. At the time of the first tag of Lawrie, Reyes was not on the base so he could not occupy it meaning Lawrie now has the right to the base. Had Reyes been on third base at the time of the tag of Lawrie, Iassogna would have been correct. Reyes is correctly called out for being tagged out while off the base but Lawrie should have been ruled safe.

Gil Imber said...

RadioPearl, so here is a counter question... Lets say Reyes was heading home while there is a play at 3rd on Lawrie. Lawrie arrives at the base prior to the tag, but Reyes has yet to touch home. Is Lawrie out now? Based on your explanation, its still Reyes' bag and thus Lawrie must be out when tagged, even if he is on it. This does not make sense and is not the way the rule is intended to be read. The word "entitled" is intended to mean he may return to it safely if he chooses.

Gil Imber said...

It is clear that when Lawrie is tagged, Reyes is not in contact with 3rd base. As stated above, Reyes does make contact with the base for an instant prior to the tag and at the point Lawrie has lost his right to the base. However, once Reyes no longer physically occupies 3rd base, Lawrie now does. Rule 7.01 does not apply in such a manner as to not allow Lawrie to occupy 3rd at any point Reyes has yet to advance to home. Rule 7.01 simply allows Reyes the opportunity to return to 3rd legally as he was not forced to advance. Thus, if Reyes is not physically occupying the base, Lawrie is entitled to be there and be safe when tagged while in contact with the base.



I see only one way that this could be considered a double play. When Reyes dives back to the bag he does make contact with it and then rolls "past" it. Lawrie could possibly have been ruled out for passing a preceding runner under rule 7.08 (h) when Reyes rolls "past" the base. I am not saying I agree with that but I see it as the only way Lawrie could have been correctly ruled out.

Gil Imber said...

My opinion is that the call on the field was incorrect.



First of all, 7.01 does not apply, as R3 was not forced. There was no R2.


When R1 was tagged for the first time, R1 was on third base and R3 was not on third base. R1 is safe. Had R3 been on third base, 7.03 would apply and R1 would be out.


When R3 was tagged, R3 was not on third base and R1 was on third base. R3 is out. 7.08(c).


When R1 was tagged for the second time, R1 was on third base and R3 was already out. R1 is safe, as he is entitled to third base once R3 is out.


We also have a red herring of R1 possibly passing R3. This did not occur, as while R3's body may or may not have passed R1 in reverse during this sequence, it is clear that R3's feet were ahead of R1 at all times prior to R3 being tagged out. This is the rule I screwed up on the "Segura steals first base" play.

Gil Imber said...

Agree, doble play, no questions ask, even do he was out of the base, he ain't obviously abandoning his effort to touch the next base, so 3er base belong to him.

Gil Imber said...

Iassogna is right - this is a double play by rule 7.01. Note that the order of the tags is critical. Because R1 was tagged before R3, R1 is out due to 7.01 and R3 is out because he was tagged off the base. If the order of the tags were reversed, R3 would have been out but R1 would have been safe.


One final note. Given the atrocious rules knowledge displayed by some announcers, I'm shocked that the announcers were on top of this one.

Gil Imber said...

R3 is entitled to third base only as long as he still occupies it. Replays conclusively show that he left third base, and was as such not entitled to third base anymore, PRIOR to R1 being tagged.

Gil Imber said...

In this case, Reyes chose to return to the bag in which he was still entitled. Had he continued running toward home and not attempted to return to 3B it would be a non-issue.

Gil Imber said...

But he needs to be in contact with third base which he was not

Gil Imber said...

Actually the rule states that R3 is entitled to the base once he occupies and continues to be entitled to it until he is put out, 'forced' to vacate, or becomes entitled to another base since you cannot be entitled to more than one base at a time.



What must be understood is that a runner is always entitled to a base AND a runner can only be entitled to one base at a time. Since R3 is not entitled to HP until he crosses or overruns it he remains entitled to 3B up until the point that he is either put out or is 'forced' to vacate. Since there was no R2 then there is no force. R1 advanced to 3B on his own free will and was not yet entitled to it.


R1 cannot be ruled safe in this case because that would leave R3 with no base in which he is currently entitled. In this situation, at the time of the tags, R1 was entitled to 2B and R3 was entitled to 3B.

Gil Imber said...

No, R3 is only entitled to third base if he is contact with it. In this video he is tagged while off the base never having been back in contact with the base, making him out and giving Lawrie rights to the base. he should have been safe.

Gil Imber said...

He doesn't have to be in contact with the base to be entitled to it.. Occupied and entitled are two different concepts. He remains entitled to the base up until the point that he is either put out or forced from the base. There was no force in this situation as R1 chose on his own free will to advance to 3B. Until a runner is put out, he always remains entitled to one base, and only one runner can be entitled to a base. In this case, R3 was still entitled to 3B since he hadn't crossed HP and R1 was entitled to 2B because the entitlement of 3B to R3 had not expired.

Gil Imber said...

Yeah and he was put out before reaching the base. Had Reyes been on third base, I would agree with you but he was tagged out before reaching the base he was entitled to. To be safe you have to actually be on the base you were entitled to. Reyes was tagged out off the base which would make a runner out in any situation. Since he was tagged out, Lawrie now has rights to the base and he was tagged out while on the base he was entitiled to. I think Iassogna is a really good Umpire but I do not feel he was right on this call.

Gil Imber said...

If you are stating that the entitlement expired once R3 vacated the base then that would mean that a runner would never be able to return to a base he previously occupied...hence leading off would be illegal and a rundown situation would be an automatic out. Since it was not a force situation, Reyes must be put out before Lawrie has rights to the base...since it was done in the opposite order then the call was correct.

Gil Imber said...

Lawrie was tagged out prior to Reyes which is why they were both out. Lawrie was out for occupying a base in which he was not yet entitled (since Reyes had not been yet put out). Had Reyes been tagged first, then Lawrie would have been entitled to 3B, but that is not the order in which it occured.

Gil Imber said...

So hat you saying is no one can be safe at third until the preceding runner has crossed home plate. Say that statement out loud to yourself and you'll realize how ridiculous that sounds.

Gil Imber said...

Take note of a paraentheical phrase in 7.08(b)Comment that applies to run-down situations..."a runner is considered to occupy a base until he legally has reached the next succeeding base"; therefore, the statement "no one can be safe at third until the preceding runner has crossed home plate" is a correct statement, no matter how ridiculous it may sound coming out of my mouth.

Gil Imber said...

Reyes wasn't on the base when Lawrie was tagged. Following runner is only out if tagged while both he and preceding runner occupy the base at the same time - which they never did

Gil Imber said...

This seems correct to me

Gil Imber said...

In order to be out for passing a preceding runner, the following runner has to move entirely beyond the preceding runner towards the next base. That never happened here. Reyes going past third base towards left field does not mean that Lawrie passed him. Reyes could have gone all the way to the fence and (ignoring abandonment and out of the baseline issues) Lawrie would still not have "passed" him

Gil Imber said...

You need to get clear on the concepts "occupy" and "entitled". They are not the same. Reyes was entitled to return to 3rd, Lawrie was properly occupying 3rd. Only if both are occupying third at the same time is Lawrie subject to being tagged out (s the following runner).

Gil Imber said...

Its both ridiculous and not the rule - So if they tag Lawrie while he's standing on third base and before Reyes reaches home Lawrie's out??

Gil Imber said...

That is correct...because it is a rundown situation..the preceding runner is still occupying the base, even if he is not touching it...it may be ridiculous, but it is the rule, in black and white.

Gil Imber said...

That's referring to a play with an act of offensive interference, meaning if Reyes had been called out for interference, Lawrie would have been sent back to 2B. It has no bearing here.

Lawrie was on 3rd when he was tagged and Reyes was off the base at the time. Lawrie should have been ruled safe and Reyes out.

Gil Imber said...

The parenthetical statement in the comment refers to ALL run-down situations, not just interference.

Gil Imber said...

Like I said before though, Reyes was not on the base when,Lawrie was tagged meaning Lawrie legally obtained the base. It is only Reyes's base if he is actually on it which he was not and Lawrie was.

Gil Imber said...

Reyes doesn't have to be on the base to legally occupy as has been pointed out...in a rundown situation, the runner legally occupies the base he was already on until he successfully reaches the next base.

Gil Imber said...

All the comment means is that in the case of interference, the following runner's last legally occupied base would be second (in this case). If Reyes had been called out for interference, Lawrie would have been sent to second. As there was no interference on the play, it's completely irrelevant. Lawrie is safe because 7.03 isn't satisfied (Reyes isn't touching 3rd). Reyes is out because of 7.08c, he was tagged while off base.

Gil Imber said...

I just read rule 7.08 (b) and that does not apply here. This comment is talking about a rundown when a runner commits offensive interference.


Rule 7.08 (b) comment
---If, in a run-down between third base and home plate, the succeeding runner has advanced and

is standing on third base when the runner in a run-down is called out for OFFENSIVE INTERFERENCE, the

umpire shall send the runner standing on third base back to second base

Gil Imber said...

No, 7.08(b) doesn't apply and I never said it did...but the statement in the comment regarding the legal occupation of a base is there so that we can understand why rule 7.08(b) happens the way it does and is completely based off of 7.01 and 7.03 and what constitutes the occupation of a base.



The parenthetical statement in the comment is clarifying that in a run-down situation (not just in interference, but in any run-down), the runner in the run-down is considered to be legally occupying the base he was on up until the point he reaches the next base, and since two people cannot legally occupy a base according to 7.03, then Lawrie was correctly ruled out.



If interference had occurred, then Lawrie would have been sent back to 2B; however, interference did not occur and since Reyes was in a run-down and did not make it to HP, he still technically occupied and was entitled to 3B.

Gil Imber said...

On what grounds would Lawrie be out? Even if it's true that Reyes still occupied the base, that doesn't mean Lawrie is liable to be put out when he alone is touching it.

7.03
Two runners may not occupy a base, but if, while the
ball is alive, two runners are touching a base, the following runner
shall be out when tagged. The preceding runner is entitled to the base.


If in this scenario Reyes is considered to occupy 3rd base, Lawrie can still safely touch the base without being liable to be put out. If both
Lawrie and Reyes are touching 3rd, then Lawrie's liable to be put out.

Gil Imber said...

No, Lawrie cannot safely touch the base without being liable to be put out as two runners cannot occupy the base at the same time, and this situation, even though Reyes is not touching the base he is still legally occupying it.

Using the MLB Umpire Manual interpretation... in a rundown situation , the preceding base legally belongs to the runner in the rundown...the following runner cannot legally reach (occupy) the base until the runner in the rundown is either put out or successfully or reaches the next base.

Gil Imber said...

If that were true, rule 7.03 wouldn't exist.

Lawrie is not liable to be put out unless Reyes is also touching 3rd.

I've shown and cited why he's safe. Explain under what rule he's out.

Gil Imber said...

7.03(a) states that two runners may not 'occupy' a base, I'm sure every one can agree on that.



The 'MLB Umpire Manual' interpretation states that in a run-down situation, the runner in the run-down 'occupies' (even while not touching) the preceding base up until the time he is put out or successfully reaches the next base.


Based on this interpretation, Lawrie could not be considered to have been legally occupying 3B until either after Reyes was tagged out or after Reyes successfully reached home plate. Since neither of these occurred before Lawrie was tagged, Lawrie was liable to be put out, even though he was touching a bag (he was not doing so legally).


Since Lawrie was not 'legally occupying' nor was he yet entitled to 3B, then he is out pursuant to 7.08(c), "he is tagged...while off HIS base," as Lawrie's base was actually 2B.

Gil Imber said...

7.03 says he's only liable to be put out if both runners are touching the base.

Gil Imber said...

He is out based on 7.08(c), as I stated, not 7.03. Lawrie did not have the legal right to even occupy the base because the base still belonged to Reyes, therefore he was liable to be put out.

Gil Imber said...

We're clearly in a rules interpretation pickle here.

7.01 states "A runner acquires the right to an unoccupied base when he touches it before he is out. He is then entitled to it until he is put out, or forced to vacate it for another runner legally entitled to that base."

Several people here are arguing that this right applies even when R3 is not touching the base, which would result in R1 being out. However, the wording of 7.03 makes this interpretation highly unlikely.

"Two runners may not occupy a base, but if, while the ball is alive, two runners are touching a base, the following runner shall be out when tagged. The preceding runner is entitled to the base."


If 7.01 was intended to be written in such a manner as to state R3 was entitled to third base, 7.03 would have been written differently as the following runner would be out even if the preceding runner was not touching the base.


Let's look at the "Segura steals first base" case play from earlier this season, as it's a very similar play. The solution to this case play, while it did not directly reference 7.01 in this context, was clearly written with the interpretation that the preceding runner had to be touching the base to be entitled to it.


Looking at the comments for the Segura play, all of them were focused on the abandonment red herring so we have no help there.


Back to yesterday's play. Given that the game would have been immediately protested had U3 used the interpretation of 7.01 being used here, it is safe to say U3 used only 7.03 to call R1 out.



We are supposed to be using the rules to determine the correctness of a call, not interpreting the rules to justify an umpire's call. U3 ruled that R3 was on the base when R1 was tagged; while this is an incorrect call, people are attempting to justify the double play with the interpretation of 7.01 being discussed here.


For over a century, 7.01 has been interpreted to only entitle the runner to the base if he is occupying it. Ask any umpire; if R3 was halfway between third and home and R1 was tagged while on third base, R1 would have been ruled safe. Any umpire that interprets 7.01 in the way these comments are suggesting would be laughed out of the league.


tl;dr: Based on the common interpretation of 7.01, R1 is safe at third and R3 is out.

Gil Imber said...

You completely missed my point.

Gil Imber said...

Absolutely correct. I can't believe this is even being debated.

Gil Imber said...

That maybe the commonly held interpretation of those who are not MLB umpires...but it is not the interpretation that is specifically listed in the MLB Umpire Manual.

Gil Imber said...

I wish someone was ejected!!! I own Iassogna!! :-)

Gil Imber said...

Give me one example in the entire history of baseball where R2, having advanced to and standing on 3rd base is tagged out because R3 has not yet completed his advance to home. Never happened

Gil Imber said...

That's why I said I didn't necessarily agree with it. I was only trying to pose a scenario where Lawrie could be correctly ruled out by rule. If Iassogna had ruled this I still think his judgement about passing the preceding runner was off.

Gil Imber said...

I'm just curious - since you are really adamant about your interpretation. Do you actually umpire on any level? I'm not being facetious, but in all my years of umpiring I've never known anyone to take the position you take on being "entitled" to the base

Gil Imber said...

Would have been negative points for an incorrect call

Gil Imber said...

ClutchUp:


Lawrie appears to be on the base when tagged and its clear to me that Reyes was NOT touching the third base bag when they tagged Lawrie, thus Lawrie should not be out. Had Reyes actually been touching the bag when Lawrie was tagged then Lawrie is out and Reyes would be out because he rolled off the bag and was tagged while off the bag. It also does not appear Lawrie contact with the bag when tagged - so he's not out.

Lawrie should be on third with one out. Iassongna got the call wrong IMO.

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