|Belt runs past second base on his way to first.|
After 2B Umpire Dan Iassogna ruled Belt safe on appeal, Pittsburgh filed a challenge and Iassogna's call was overturned via Replay Review, Belt ruled out at second base for having failed to fulfill his OBR 5.06(b)(1) responsibility.
Related (More about 5.06): Rare Real-Time Appeal Retires Runner over Retouch Rule (6/15/17).
With replays indicating Belt kept a foot on the second base bag before beginning his sprint back toward first base, the question, naturally, is when is a runner considered to have passed a base, and when is a runner considered to have legally retouched it?
Fortunately, the MLB Umpire Manual specifies an interpretation for this part of "passing a base":
A runner is considered to have passed a base if he has both feet on the ground beyond the back edge of the base or beyond the edge of the base in the direction to which he is advancing.
|Interpretations Diagram: Past vs Prior.|
The accompanying "past or prior" diagram is the accepted interpretation for all situations where a determination is to be made as to whether a runner has passed a base, such as base award plays (e.g., Type B Obstruction or a forced-to-advance play [e.g., a walk]) or scoring decisions.
*Grammatical note: "Past" is used as a preposition, part of the phrasal "run past" verb, as in, "he ran past the base." The past tense verb is "passed," as in, "he passed the base."
|Gibson observes the race to first base.|
The relevant MLBUM interpretation states that, "A runner does not acquire the right to an unoccupied base on an attempt to retire the runner until he touches it before he is put out."
In 2016, first baseman Hanley Ramirez tagged batter-runner Nelson Cruz, who similarly missed first base during a tag avoidance maneuver, affirmed as a real-time appeal out by 1B Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.
Another exception is home plate, as there is no base past home plate which the runner may advance: a runner never truly "passes" home plate—he just forfeits the right to retouch it upon entry into the dugout. If both the fielder and runner miss their touches (the fielder misses his tag of the runner, and the runner misses home plate), no signal shall be given and no appeal permitted (for the aforementioned "a runner never truly 'passes' home plate" reason); the fielder must tag the runner to retire him (unless the runner begins to exit the field, in which case, an appeal is authorized in order to eliminate a "catcher chasing the runner" situation). This doesn't apply, naturally, to a force play, where simply tagging home plate will retire the runner.
Video via "Read More" >