Friday, May 10, 2013

Solution for Case Play 2013-04: Marte's Odd Glove Use

Group Case Play 2013-04 (Marte's Unorthodox Glove Use) is now final. Answer appears below.

To refresh, right-handed F7 attempted to field B1's batted ball with his glove held in his throwing (right) hand. With F7 unable to field the baseball, B1 ended up at third base with a triple. The question posed a scenario in which F7's glove, held but not worn in this position, made contact with the batted ball after B1 touched first base. The scenario specifically asked, "is such contact between a held glove and a batted ball legal?"

Marte's right hand/glove's attempted play.
Answer, Group Case Play 2013-04
In responding to this scenario, the group properly identified relevant OBR Rules 1.11, 1.14, 1.17 and 7.05(b). To review:

Rule 1.11: Specifies that (a)(1) "all players on a team shall wear uniforms identical in color..." Notably absent from the uniform is any reference to gloves or mitts, helmets, etc.
Rule 1.14: Allows each fielder (other than C or 1B, as in 1.12 and 1.13) "to use or wear a leather glove."
Rule 1.17: Specifies that playing equipment is comprised of mutually exclusive items, including uniforms and outfielders gloves, which are listed separately and distinctly.
Rule 7.05(b): Authorizes a three-base award "if a fielder deliberately touches a fair ball with his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its proper place on its person."
Rule 7.05(c): Authorizes a 3-base award "if a fielder deliberately throws his glove at and touches a fair ball."
Rule 7.05(b)-(e) Comment: Unique language provides the phrase, "thrown glove or detached cap or mask."

Accordingly, the glove is not part of the uniform. For instance, a batter does not wear a fielder's glove nor are all fielders' gloves mandated to be identical in color (1.11). Instead, a glove is clearly a piece of equipment (1.14, 1.17). That said, Rule 7.05(b) regarding deliberate touching with a cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its proper place on its person is inapplicable. Instead, Rule 7.05(c) governs contact with a glove and only authorizes a penalty if the glove is thrown at and touches a fair ball.

Rule 1.14 specifically authorizes each fielder "to use or wear" a glove. The method in which a glove may be used is not restricted nor are fielders mandated to actually wear gloves on the non-throwing hand. As such, F7 would be legally permitted to use his glove as long as he does not violate Rule 7.05(c) in throwing his glove at, and touching a fair ball. This is confirmed by Rule 7.05(b)-(e) Comment, wherein the phrase "thrown glove" precedes and is distinct from "detached cap or mask."

How scored? This play is legal, there is no call to make. The official scorer may credit F7 with an error pursuant to criteria established by Rule 10, though no infraction of the rules has occurred. Play on.

As an aside, had this been a case of a thrown glove touching a fair ball, the three-base award would be invoked from the time of touch, rather than the time of pitch. B1 would be entitled to home for a score (MLBUM).

Participants (+1) [Correct Respondents Underlined (+2)]: 2dub, bjweig01, Bob Abouy, BoredcravensBrett Whaley, BrooklynUmp, BT_Blue, bwburke94, Chris Silvestri, Chris Smith (RadioPearl)clawdad, cyclone14, DD4D, Furax01, gkiewitt, gregoryakochJesse Brown, Joe Gravina, Kevin Nichols, kickersrule, Marcus, Matt, NorthStarUmpire#2pamarloweRed @ss Ump, rgoldar2, RichMSN, RIumpinchief, SJR, toss 'em, Turducken, TXWrangler

Thank you to all participants (+1 to all, +2 to correct respondents)!


Lindsay said...

This ruling is wrong!! 3 base award from time of infraction. He wasn't using his glove in the PROPER PLACE ON HIS PERSON!! If he would of touched the ball with the glove it would be a 3 base award. Not using the glove proper. He isn't ambidextrous.

Lindsay said...

No where in the rules does it say anything about a glove being worn on a proper position! You're confusing gloves with masks...

Lindsay said...

On a batted ball detached equipment is from time of pitch Gloves are not the uniform and he didnt throw the glove to knock the ball down.

Lindsay said...

I don't know....where it says any part of the uniform, which a glove is part of, in its proper place. You must use and wear your uniform in the PROPER PLACE or way.

Lindsay said...

The glove is not part of the uniform. For instance, a fielding glove is not worn while at bat. A glove is equipment, similar to a bat except for defense not offense.

If a glove was part of a uniform, it would be subject to uniformity rules which would require all players on the team to wear the same color and style of glove. As we have seen many times, gloves vary greatly by manufacturer, style, color etc. Simply put, a glove is not a uniform piece.

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