|Diagram of the Runners Passing Case Play.|
|NY/Replay's Explanation in Confirming the Call.|
In other words, assume Crew Chief Fieldin Culbreth ruled the runners did pass each other, but only after the ball was dead, and assume this is visually correct. The question at hand is whether or not the ball becoming dead has any bearing on the legality of the trail runner's passing of the lead runner at some point during the dead ball period. Does the runners passing rule become suspended/not applicable when the ball is dead?
Answer: If Yost specifically challenged that the runners passing action occurred prior to the ball going out of play (as the above graphic and explanation from NY/Replay HQ indicates), then this is the proper ruling, as the passing did not occur during a live ball ("The Replay Official shall have no authority to review any calls other than those included in a Manager's Challenge or those accepted for review by the Crew Chief" Replay Review Regulation II.I).
Otherwise, Rule 5.06(c) states that the when the ball is dead, bases may not be run, no run scored, and no runner may be put out, except "as the result of acts which occurred while the ball was alive." For this play, the batted ball bouncing out of play is a live ball event that results in a dead ball bases-run situation (R1 awarded 3rd, B1 awarded 2nd). By contrast, a foul ball is also a dead ball, but no bases are awarded as result of the foul ball, so no runners may advance or be put out. (There is no potential for illegal base running during a dead foul ball because no runners may advance during a foul ball.)
Rule 5.06(b)(4)(I) Comment specifies that a base award without liability to be put out "does not relieve [a runner] of the responsibility..." For example, a batter-runner who hits a home run must still touch all bases in order. If a base is missed, the defense may appeal when the ball next becomes live. However, does this responsibility extend to other baserunning obligations, such as passing or abandonment?
|Abandonment may occur during a home run.|
For example, with one out and the bases loaded, B1 hits a game-winning home run, and runs across the field to celebrate before the winning run crosses home plate (for simplicity's sake, assume B1 already touched first base). B1's run will not count, as B1 never legally touched home plate and therefore will be declared out for abandonment, even though this action occurs when the ball is dead. The winning run thus will score with two outs.
|A passing runners play from earlier in 2016.|
Similarly, Orioles batter Javy Lopez was declared out by 2B Umpire Gerry Davis for passing baserunner Miguel Tejada during a 2006 non-home run in Baltimore, while Robin Ventura hit a grand slam single during the 1999 NLCS after failing to legally run the bases during a dead ball. Naturally, the umpire may reverse the passing if doing so will nullify the defense's illegal act (for instance, passing may be reversed/cancelled/nullified if the defense has obstructed the offense, for instance by face guarding, jockeying, or improperly blocking R1's view, and doing so will nullify the obstruction).
|F4 is closest to the passing & gets the putout.|
Retrosheet.org has a list of notable Passing Runners situations that have occurred over the years, including several instances of batters and runners being declared out for passing that occurred during a dead ball.
NFHS vs NCAA vs OBR: All codes agree, passing can occur during a dead ball. However, only NFHS does not treat runner passing during a dead ball as a time play. PLAY: With two outs and two on, B1 hits a home run. After R3 scores, B1 passes R1 on the bases. Undeterred, R1 completes his HR trot and touches home plate. RULING: In NFHS, R3 & R1's runs both count. In NCAA & OBR, only R3's run counts due to the timing of the third out. NOTE: If the bases are loaded with two outs and B1 walks on a 3-2 pitch, after which R1 passes R2, then R3's run shall count whether or not he touched home plate prior to the third out, since he was forced home.
Official Baseball Rules Library
OBR 5.05(a)(6): "A fair ball, after touching the ground, bounds into the stands, or passes through, over or under a fence, or through or under a scoreboard, or through or under shrubbery, or vines on the fence, in which case the batter and the runners shall be entitled to advance two bases."
5.06(b)(4)(I) Comment: "The fact a runner is awarded a base or bases without liability to be put out does not relieve him of the responsibility to touch the base he is awarded and all intervening bases."
Rule 5.06(c): "While the ball is dead no player may be put out, no bases may be run and no runs may be scored, except that runners may advance one or more bases as the result of acts which occurred while the ball was alive (such as, but not limited to a balk, an overthrow, interference, or a home run or other fair ball hit out of the playing field)."
OBR 5.09(b)(9): "Any runner is out when—He passes a preceding runner before such runner is out."
OBR 5.09(b)(9) Comment: "A runner may be deemed to have passed a preceding (i.e., lead) runner based on his actions or the actions of a preceding runner."
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Alternate Link: After hitting a confusing bounce into the stands, Saladino passes Garcia (CWS)