Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Case Plays: Confusion After Carom Kicked Catch

This Case Play has been completed. Congratulations to UEFL League Members BT_Blue, cyclone14, hitit2me, kickersrule, majessa, MSN_UMP, nwsquid, RadioPearl, RichMSN, SJR, Three-Ballin', tt49, TXWrangler, Turducken, youthministeradam and fans BigMarc, Jason, MaestroBen, Nate, omgahokie & SJR for correctly answering the posted scenario. The correct response is:

B1 is out at the instant he passes R1 (7.08[h]), removing for the force out at second base on R1 at the instant B1 is declared out (Rule 2.00 [Force Play]). Therefore, R1 remains safe at first base and play continues with two out, R1 and B2 at the plate. This is not a double play.

Points Distribution
+1: BT_Blue, cyclone14, hitit2me, kickersrule, majessa, MSN_UMP, nwsquid, RadioPearl, RichMSN, Three-Ballin', tt49, TXWrangler, Turducken, youthministeradam

Thank you for participating in this Case Play and 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 (5/21/12 at 1:00AM). 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 and all relevant results of the play after applying your ruling. Though rules citation is not required, it is highly recommended and may save you points if your answer is not word-for-word.

Video: Nelson Cruz Ruled Out After Series of Odd Events During Rangers' Blowout Win Over Astros

Scenario: With one out and one on (R1), B1 hits a sinking line drive to F8, who traps the ball and fires back into the infield. While the ball is in flight back to F4, it is apparent that B1 has passed R1. After this fact, F4 catches the throw and tags second base. Who is out and how should play proceed? Did the umpires get this call right? The correct response is worth one point. As has been past practice, rules citation is highly recommended and may save you a point if your ruling isn't word-for-word.

Consult the UEFL Rules Book for further information regarding Rule 4-5 and Case Plays.


RadioPearl said...

It is not clear in the video what the final ruling was by the umpire crew, so I cannot comment as to whether or not they got it right. However, I'll try and explain what the ruling should have been.

A runner who illegally passes another is declared out and the ball remains live (7.08(h)). Since the batter-runner passed R1 prior to the ball reaching 2nd base, the force on R1 is removed (Rule 2.00 (Force Play) Comment). One out should be recorded on the play and R1 remains at 1st base.

Turducken said...

The runner is out.

Citation: 7.08(a)-2

SJR said...

B1 is out for passing R1 while R1 has not been declared out 7.08(h). B1's out removes the force on R1 so he must be tagged while off his base to be declared out. McClelland's crew got the call right.

RichMSN said...

The BR is out for passing R1 as soon as the passing occurs. 7.08(h). The ball remains live.

The rule book words could easily lead one to believe that the force should *not* be removed.

OBR (PRO) has a more restrictive rule (as written) than NCAA/FED. For OBR, the rule says that a force is removed whenever a following runner is "put out on a force play." The code is also very specific on defining a "reverse force double play" as being a double play where a force is removed if a following runner is put out via a force out.

In NFHS rules, the rule only requires that for a force to be removed, a following runner be "put out at a previous base." (2-29-3). NCAA rules are the same as the NFHS rules (8-5j Exc.).

However, there is a hole in trying to apply this specific rule to this situation -- the batter-runner can *never* technically be put out via a force since the play at first base is not a force play (it is specifically covered in 6.05j).

My conclusion is this: The force play is removed because there is no longer a batter-runner. A batter-runner is required to have a force play of any kind. No batter-runner, no force.

Jim Evans Annotated tells the story The annotated says this:

Professional Interpretation: A clear understanding of what constitutes a force play is essential. Force plays can only be initiated by the batter becoming a runner. Once the batter-runner is retired, all force plays are eliminated.

Two case plays are provided in the Annotated:

One out...the runner on first is running on the pitch. The batter hits a fly ball to right center. As the runner rounds second he sees his coach yelling for him to return to first. He retouches second and is headed for first when he passes the batter-runner going into second. The ball drops in and runners are standing on first and second. But..are these their legal bases? What's the call?

RULING: The batter-runner is out for passing a preceding runner. This removes the "force" and the original runner may stay at first.
Runner on first out. On the fly ball to right field...the runner tags as the batter-runner rounds first base and passes the runner still in contact with the base. The ball is dropped, the batter-runner advances safely to second as the bewildered runner remains on first. What's the call?

RULING: The batter-runner is declared out for passing the runner.. .the ball remains in play. Since the force has been removed, the runner may stay at first.

The umpires handled this correctly, even to the point of U1 announcing that the BR was out prior to a fielder tagging him. It also appears he quickly explained the ruling and possibly avoided having R1 step off the base in confusion.

Tiznownes said...

OBR 7.08: Any runner (including the batter-runner) is out when...
(h) He passes a preceding runner before such runner is out;...

In this case play and as referenced in the linked video clip, B1 is OUT the instant that he passes R1 (ball was live). Because the ball was an uncaught fair ball, the ball remains live and R1 is no longer forced to advance. Therefore, R1 is not out when F4 touches 2B while possessing the ball.

Play resumes with R1 at 1B and 2OUT (Batter Cruz became OUT #2 when he passed R1 Young)

-Three Ballin'

Nate said...

Umps got it right, but looked really foolish with all the talking afterwards. Not sure why this was so complicated.

Cruz is out as soon as he passes Young on the bases. That eliminates the force at second, so Young may remain at first or advance at his own risk.

cyclone14 said...

B1 is out for passing the preceding runner, R1 (Rule 7.08h). R1 is safe returning to first as the force is removed and so should not be declared out at second.

clement30 said...

Rule 7.08 (h): (Any runner is out when...) He passes a preceding runner before such runner is out
In this play, Cruz passes Young before Young is forced out at second base. Therefore, Young is forced out at second, Cruz is out for passing the runner, and both should be called out. This should be called a double play, if what I see in that video is correct. What we can not see, however, is if McClelland made a deceiving hand signal.

MSN_UMP said...

Rule 7.08(h): A runner is out when he passes a preceding runner before he is put out. In this play the BR passed R1. Upon this action, BR is out and the force is removed for R1. Tagging 2b in this play means nothing as there is no force. The only way the defense can putout R1 is if they tag him before he retreats to 1b or advances to 2b.

Anonymous said...

BR is out when he (completely) passes a preceding runner (R1 in this case). Once the BR is out, it removes the force from R1. Hence the force mechanic by F4 by stepping on 2N after receiving the throw from F8 does not constitute an out. R1 remains safe at 1B. B/R gets credit for a single, unless the muff by F& warrants an error.

Question: does the rule concerning an intentionally dropped line drive apply to outfielder. Let's say F9 is playing shallow since a weak hitting pitcher is batting with R1. Batter hits a line drive to F9 who intentionally muffs it. He throws to F3 who tags R1 who is standing on 1B. F3 then tags 1B before B/R arrives. It this a double play.

Comment: I presume Carlos Lee got credit for an unassisted put out since he as F3 was closest to B/R passing R1. Correct?

Anonymous said...

Under Rule 7.08(h) the runner is out when he passes the preceding runner before that runner is called out...Cruz passed R1 before 2nd base was tagged. Cruz being called out takes away the force of R1 to second so the umpires got the call correct.

Anonymous said...

The correct ruling is exactly what happened in the video. As soon as the batter passed the runner on 1st the batter is out which removes the force out. play should resume with 2 outs and R1 still on 1st base.


TXWrangler said...

The batter is out because he passed the runner who was on first base. However the runner at first base is NOT out and can decide if he wants to run to second or stay at first. If he decides to run to second and is tagged out, he's out, but if he remains at first base he's safe and play resumes.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Cruz be out simply because of one of two reasons:

1) He is out because he (as the batter-runner) passed Young (7.08.h)...

2) He started toward the dugout thinking he was out on the fly: "Runner believing he is called out on a tag at first or third base starts for the dugout and progresses a reasonable distance still indicating by his actions that he is out, shall be declared out for abandoning the bases. In the above two plays the runners are considered actually abandoning their base paths and are treated differently than the batter who struck out as described. APPROVED RULING OF 7.08.a - 7.08.2."

Jason Williams (

Arik said...

The umpires did get this play correct. Rule 7.08(h) of the Official Baseball Rules indicates that the batter-runner is out when "He passes a preceding runner before such runner is out". In this case the BR passes R1 before the force at second is made by F4. Thus removing the force at second due to the BR being called out under the above rule.

If the force had been made before the BR passes R1 and then, like Cruz does in the above video, does not go to first base and is tagged then he would be out as well. Making it a double play. (And thus the BR would not be out for passing R1 under 7.08h)

MaestroBen said...

I'll have a go, even though I'm not in the league.

Assuming that B1 passed R1 before second base was tagged, they got it right (7.08(h): "He passes a preceding runner before such runner is out"). B1 is out.

Now, on the slim chance (it certainly doesn't look like it from any of the video I've seen) that B1 didn't pass R1 until after second base was touched, they're both out. R1 is out for the force; B1 is out either on the tag, or if you want, for abandonment (7.08(a - 2)).

Big Marc said...

The video doesn't show when B1 passes R1. If the pass is before the tag of second was made, I really think there is no force at 2nd. It had to have happened before. R1 needed to be tagged.
B1 was out for passing R1, and I seen a tag of R1, so the ruling was correct.

youthministeradam said...

The batter-runner is out for passing R1 before R1 was put out at second base according to rule 7.08 (h). The ball is not immediately dead so R1 may be tagged out but is no longer forced out. If R1 is not tagged out play resumes with 2 outs and R1 on base.

Anonymous said...

The call and the result are correct. The batter-runner is out as per 7.08(h), removing the force and making the tag of second base irrelevant. The ball is live.

nwsquid said...

7.08h Runner is out when - He passes a preceding runner before such runner is out.

R1 advances at his own risk on the catch/no catch as per usual circumstances. Once the BR passes R1, and is out, the force to second is off of R1. A retouch of first is still necessary on a catch.

Anonymous said...

According to rule 7.08 (h) a runner is out when he passes a preceding runner before such runner is out, therefore in this application the Batter-Runner (B1) would be immediately called out.

By B1 being called out, this removes the force play on R1, therefore the runner must be tagged, not 2nd base as was intended. If the runner was on 1st base, he shall be declared safe.

According to the broadcasting team, it was clear that the umpire called no-catch on the play, therefore a situation calling for correctable errors should not apply.

In conclusion. I believe, pursuant to rule 7.05(h) that the Batter-Runner (B1) shall be called out immediately for passing the runner, and R1 shall be declared safe at 1st base as the force was removed.

Tiznownes said...

Tiznownes is "Three Ballin'"

May I have my point? =)

Lindsay said...


Anonymous said...

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