Thursday, July 21, 2011

Case Plays: Right of Way

This Case Play has been completed. Congratulations to UEFL League Members cyclone14, RichMSN, clement30, and kickersrule, and new UEFL'ers UIC FGF and Bluecoral5, for correctly answering at least one part of the posted scenario. The correct response is:

(a) B1, R1, and R2 are each awarded two bases from the time of the pitch. This results in R2 scoring, R1 being awarded 3B and B1 being awarded 2B. The score is 7-4 with 2 outs. Rule 7.05(g).
(b-1) Bases are awarded as in (a). Once the appeal is properly made, B1 may be declared out, which ends the top half of the inning and negates the run. The score is 6-4 in the middle of the 11th inning. Rules 7.10(b), 7.12, 7.05(i) Comment, and 4.09(a)(2).
(b-2) It is possible to declare obstruction if one judges the fielder is no longer in the act of fielding when contact is made. If obstruction has been declared, it is Rule 7.06(a) ("Type A") Obstruction because the batter-runner has not yet touched first base at the time of obstruction. The ball is immediately dead, and most likely, bases are awarded as in (a). Once the appeal is properly made, B1 may be declared out, which carries the same result as in (b-1). If the umpire judges the obstruction as particularly violent or flagrant, B1 may also be declared safe and the appeal denied, under Rule 9.01(c). Rules 2.00 (Obstruction) Comment, 7.06(a), 7.06(a) Comment, 9.01(c).

3 Point Added to:
cyclone14, who is now tied for 7th place in the UEFL with 17 points. (a, b-1, c)
RichMSN, who is now tied for 7th place in the UEFL with 17 points. (a, b-1, c)
UIC FGF, who is now tied for 28th place in the UEFL with 3 points. (a, b-1, c)
Bluecoral5, who is now tied for 28th place in the UEFL with 3 points. (a, b-1, c)
Anonymous 2 (a, b-2, c)

2 points Added to:
kickersrule, who is now tied for 5th place in the UEFL with 18 points. (a, b-1)
clement30, who is now in 27th place in the UEFL with 4 points. (a, c)

1 point Added to:
Anonymous 1 (b-2)

Thank you for participating in this Case Play and congratulations to all participants, who responded with at least partial correctness. Stay tuned for further Case Plays. The original Case Play post has been reproduced below.

Pursuant to UEFL Rule 4.f., this Case Play is open for 48 hours from the time of this post (7/19/11 at 11:15AM). During this time, all Case Play responses will remain in moderation (screened or invisible) until the 48 hour submission period is closed. To receive full point(s) credit, you must answer the following scenario correctly, including any relevant MLB Rule(s) and all relevant results of the play after applying said rule(s).

Video: Collision at 1st Base

Using the Official Baseball Rules (OBR), please answer the following scenario:

As in the video above, with the visiting team leading 6-4, there are two out and two on in the top of the 11th inning. B1 hits a slow roller to F1, who turns and throws high to F3, who must jump in an attempt to catch the ball. The throw is too high for the leaping F3 and the ball sails over his head as B1 collides with the airborne fielder at the first base bag. (Per the video, consider if we have an interference/obstruction call to make.) Next is where this Case Play differs from the video: the ball bounces into the spectator area behind the first base dugout. Assuming B1 never touches the first base bag during this sequence, answer the following... (a) How shall play resume (if applicable), assuming the defense doesn't notice B1 missed first base? How many outs are there, what is the score, and where are the runners (if applicable)? (b) How shall play resume (if applicable), assuming the defense does notice B1 missed first base and acts appropriately (is this even necessary?)? How many outs are there, what is the score, and where are the runners (if applicable)? (c) Cite your rules for both parts a & b. You may cite your rules directly within your (a) and (b) responses or separately in (c). (1 pt for [a], 1 pt for [b], 1 pt for [c])

Consult the UEFL Rulesbook for further information regarding Rule 4.f and Case Plays.


Anonymous said...

I realize as a non-UEFL member I have no standing in this question -- but I thought you might want to provide more information in the scenario.

Stating "there are two out and two on.." isn't specific enough to enable accurate rulings on runner placement. Where are the runners?

Lindsay said...

As in the video above, the runners are R1 and R2. UEFL Case Plays often reference video clips to illustrate scenarios or actions (as is the case here).

Anonymous said...

This is kickersrule since I havent been able to sign in for about 2 months now. In a) all runners are awarded 2 bases at the time of the throw. the batter would get 2nd base and the run would score. Im not sure if there was another runner on base but he would get 3rd if there was one. score is 7-4 with 2 outs.

In b) batter is out if the defense has a proper apeal. 3 outs. run doesnt score.

c) I dont care what rule it is in the rule book as long as I am right I dont feel like looking it up.

clement30 said...

(a) The play shall go on like any appeal play would, the runner being sent to the proper base assuming that he had touched first, then, if the defense noticed, he would be out on appeal.
(b) Play shall resume with the a new baseball being put into play, and if on proper appeal, the 1B Umpire decides the runner missed first, he shall be ruled out. The run scores, and on the out of play ball, the runner colliding is moved to second if the umpire adjudicates that no interference took place on the play. In fact, with McCutchen running on the inside of the lane, he should be ruled OUT on account of interfering with the throw, and each other runner should return to their base at the time of the interference (since the runner on third was half way home, he would have to return to third).
(c) In the case that no interference is called, rule 5.02 would apply to a new ball being put into play before an appeal may be made.
Ref rule 6.05 (k) if interference was called for running inside the lane while a throw was made and interfering with the play. Rule 7.08 (b) deals directly with interference.
Also Rule 7.09 (k) states: PENALTY FOR INTERFERENCE: The runner is out and the ball is dead. Therefore the runner would have to return to third base.

Anonymous said...

It would be obstruction if the ball was past the fielder when the collision occured. You cannot be called out on appeal if obstruction caused you to miss the bag. Runner would be awarded 2nd base.

Anonymous said...

If the ball were thrown out of play, the award would be two bases time of the pitch; R2 would score, R1 would be awarded third, and the BR would be awarded second. As soon as the ball passes the fielder, he is no longer in the act of fielding the ball. When the collision occurs, obstruction should be called. Since no play is immediately being made on the BR, the ball remains in play (until the ball leaves play) and the runners are placed where they would have reached had the obstruction not occurred (See above). The rules state that an umpire may do whatever, in their judgment, nullifies that act of obstruction. Had the obstruction not occurred, they could say that the BR would have touched first base. If the appeal is made (even if the BR never actually touches first base), the umpire would call him safe.
Rule references:
Def. of Obstruction
7.06 (b)

I attended the Wendlestedt School this last year, and this is what we were instructed to do in these types of situations.

Jeremy Dircks said...

I would like to remind everyone that the video is the basis for case plays. However, the video isn't the end all, be all. The situation in the case play won't be exactly what happened for challenge's sake. But remember, case plays are hypotheticals, so assumptions in the hypothetical must be made.

Anonymous said...

Great question! I'm crunching the numbers right now, and the wheels are in motion. This is a great post, on a great site!

UIC FGF said...

A:In my judgement there was neither obstruction or interference on this play. (others may see it differently). As this was the first play by an infielder and the ball was thrown out of play this is the end result.
Score is now 7-4, still 2 outs, runners on third and second.The ball is dead until the pate umpire signals the ball back into play.

B:The runners will be placed on second and third as per the awarded bases for the ball being throwmn out of play. When the umpire puts the ball back into play the defense can then appeal that the batter- runner (now on second base) missed first base. Upon proper appeal and the runner being declared out by the 1st base umpire, the run will be disallowed as no run can score when the third out of an inning is recorded by the runner being forced out a base. The score is 6-4, three outs inning over.
C: Rules that apply are as follows:
2.0 Obstruction (definition)
2.0 Interference (definition)

Rule 7.05(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. For
example: batter hits a ground ball which an infielder throws into the stands but the batter-runner missed
first base. He may be called out on appeal for missing first base after the ball is put in play even though
he was “awarded” second base.
If a runner is forced to return to a base after a catch, he must retouch his original base even though,
because of some ground rule or other rule, he is awarded additional bases. He may retouch while the ball
is dead and the award is then made from his original base.

Rule 7.10 to 7.11
Any appeal under this rule must be made before the next pitch, or any play or
attempted play. If the violation occurs during a play which ends a half-inning, the
appeal must be made before the defensive team leaves the field.
An appeal is not to be interpreted as a play or an attempted play.
Successive appeals may not be made on a runner at the same base. If the defensive
team on its first appeal errs, a request for a second appeal on the same runner at the
same base shall not be allowed by the umpire. (Intended meaning of the word “err”
is that the defensive team in making an appeal threw the ball out of play. For
example, if the pitcher threw to first base to appeal and threw the ball into the
stands, no second appeal would be allowed.)
Appeal plays may require an umpire to recognize an apparent “fourth out.” If the
third out is made during a play in which an appeal play is sustained on another
runner, the appeal play decision takes precedence in determining the out. If there is
more than one appeal during a play that ends a half-inning, the defense may elect to
take the out that gives it the advantage. For the purpose of this rule, the defensive
team has “left the field” when the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory on
their way to the bench or clubhouse.

7.12 Unless two are out, the status of a following runner is not affected by a preceding
runner’s failure to touch or retouch a base. If, upon appeal, the preceding runner is the third
out, no runners following him shall score. If such third out is the result of a force play,
neither preceding nor following runners shall score.

cyclone14 said...

a) with incidental contact, assuming the runner was running in a legal position and the fielder was in the act of catching the thrown ball, there is no obstruction/interference call to make. The BR would be awarded 2nd base, and each other runner 2 bases from the start of the play. There would still be 2 out.
b) If the defence correctly appeals missed first base after 2nd base has been awarded, that would be the third out of the inning on the BR force at first, and no runs would score
c) 7.09, 7.10b, 7.12

Bluecoral5 said...

Part A: Play resumes in the top of the 11th with runners on 2nd and 3rd and two outs. The score is 7-4. Rule 7.05 (g)

Part B: The pitcher must stand with the ball on the rubber and the home plate umpire signals the ball in play. The pitcher may step and throw directly to first for an appeal play. When the umpire calls the batter runner out on appeal for the third out, no runs score. The score remains 6-4 going into the bottom of the 11th. Rules 7.10 (b) and rule 4.09 comment approved ruling.


Anonymous said...

BR touched 1b; watch the video

Anonymous said...

From RichMSN:

Not obstruction. A fielder has the right to move into a position to field a thrown baseball (2.00 Obstruction and comment). Not interference, either. While it's possible that the BR in the video was outside the running lane, the throw wasn't a quality throw and running lane interference would not be called on this play. Merely a train wreck.

(a) 2 bases from the time of the pitch. Award R2 home, R1 third, B1 second. 7-4 game, 2 outs, new batter.

(b) The award is the same. Once a new baseball is put in play by the plate umpire, the defense can appeal the miss of first base. Since the third out is on the batter-runner before reaching first base, no runs score. Still 6-4, inning over.

(c) In part (a), no obstruction by 2.00 Obstruction and comment and no interference (6.05 (k)) since he's not interfering with taking a throw at first base since the throw wasn't a quality throw. In part B, 4.09(a) says that no run can score if the third out was by the batter-runner at first base. 7.05(g) for the base awards (2 bases from the time of the pitch, first play by an infielder).

Anonymous said...

I have a question regarding umpiring. Last night in the bottom of the 9th inning, Sam Fuld struck out looking against Mariano Rivera, on a pitch that looked to be outside. The Yankees announcer on YES (Ken Singleton, I believe) said that it was a case of seniority, that the umpire gave the call to Mariano because he is Mariano and not to Sam Fuld because he is relatively new. The pitch chart is here:
My question is whether umpires will actually give close calls like this on purpose, or at least be more likely to give close calls to premier pitchers? Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I know at least in the NBA, they try to keep the superstars like Lebron, Kobe, etc., in the midst of the game, so they tend to get the benefit of calls there. I don't know if MLB has that same philosophy, but in terms of officiating in the NBA at least, I think their uniform change from black & white stripes to grey jerseys was very symbolic.

Anonymous said...

From zm1283:

I agree 100% with RichMSN.

The B/R still has to touch first base even though the ball was thrown into DBT. The appeal is allowed just like any other appeal. Once the ball is made live, the defense can appeal the B/R missing first base.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to post the definition of Obstruction for the sake of RichMSN and those who agree that a collision between the runner and a fielder which the ball has passed, is nothing.

Anonymous said...


I think you need to learn how obstruction is called. A player is allowed to move into a runner's path when needed to field a thrown ball and is not required or expected to disappear just because a throw is wild. This is a train wreck, nothing more.

Other levels of baseball treat this differently, but this is MLB played under professional rules.

Lindsay said...

OBR defines Obstruction as "the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner" (Rule 2.00 - OBSTRUCTION).

OBR further clarifies "in the act of fielding the ball" as it relates to a scenario in which the ball has passed a fielder: "After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the “act of fielding” the ball." (Rule 2.00 [Obstruction] Comment).

However, "It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball," and the rules do not specifically refer to an airborne fielder (for instance, sports such as football or basketball offer protections to airborne players, such as an airborne shooter who may draw a shooting foul while in the air, even after having released the ball on a try). This allows the invocation of Rule 9.01(c) ["Elastic Clause"], and combed with Rule 2.00 (Obstruction) Comment's specification of "act of the fielding the ball" as a judgement call and not a rules issue, Rule 9.02(a) is invoked "Any umpire's decision which involves judgment... is final."

This is why the correct response to part (b) is broken into (b-1) and (b-2): it is possible to declare incidental contact (b-1) and it is also possible to declare obstruction (b-2), based on one's own judgment, not proscribed by rule. Case plays are not meant to test judgment as they are to test rules knowledge and application.

Anonymous said...

You use an NBA player, in the act of shooting, as example for obstruction? Seriously? That's a bad analogy. Why not use a MLB player in the scenario? Your quality of correctness is incorrect, and your example has been denied.

Anonymous said...

Clearly someone *cough cough Anonymous 1046 cough cough* doesn't understand metaphor.

Jack_1B Ump said...

@Anonymous 10:46 & Anonymous 10:53, I think it's more the point that MLB doesn't have a rule about fielders who jump in regards to obstruction and that's why you have to go to 9.01(c), while in basketball & football, the rules are very straightforward in regards to receivers or shooters. I think the comparison is that in baseball, the umpire has to use his own interpretation a hell of a lot more than in basketball, and THAT'S why there are multiple correct answers to the question about this play.

In basketball, there is only one correct answer (it's a foul), but in baseball, there are two (it's incidental or a foul, depending on interpretations & judgement). I just think the MLB rule book isn't all that specific about these things, and that's what causes confusion and multiple answers. When it comes to rules, baseball is more flexible while the other sports seem to be more strict & established.

Anonymous said...

Good point Jack. The act of shooting is still a bad example. However it's not a wrong example. It just doesn't metaphorically explain the MLB play. Whereas in basket ball all the action is with the ball, scoring included. The attention is always on the ball, with close attention paid to a direct line from the ball to the basket. That type of scenario creates very similar and consistent plays. There's only one way to the hoop, it's a direct line, no matter where the ball is. In baseball the scoring parameters are so vast, I will not mention them, except to say the ball need not be with the scoring player. A player can run 90ft to score or 360ft to score. Then if you consider where the fielders are on just those to plays, you mite need a super computer to figure out all the different possibilities. This is why you must have a fundamental rule, and then the umpire must use his own judgement of quality of correctness, cough, cough. The NBA example may be worse than bad.

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