Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Teachable - Base Touch with MiLB Runner Missing HP

This Tmac's Teachable Moment spies a minor league batter-runner who failed to touch home plate after a HR during the Class-A Carolina League playoffs and HP Umpire Steven Jaschinski, who spotted the infraction when Fayetteville Woodpeckers 2B Miguelangel Sierra broke up Down East Wood Ducks pitcher Sal Mendez's no-hitter with a fifth-inning fly ball over the outfield wall at SEGRA Stadium.

As the batter-runner rounded third base and trotted toward home, he leapt in the air during his final stride and, in doing so, jumped over and past home plate in celebration without physically touching the base.

HP Umpire Jaschinski's eyes were trained directly at the modified 17-inch-wide pentagon and Down East catcher Sam Huff presumably noticed the flubbed footwork as well, as the defense executed an appeal on the runner's non-touch of home after Jaschinski put the ball in play, resulting in an out and downgrading the batter-runner's home run to a triple (still breaking up the no-no, but preserving the shutout).

Umpires should ensure the appeal is proper.
It's important for our umpire-in-chief, in addition to watching for the base touch (or lack thereof) to know when the ball is dead vs alive (Jaschinski clearly indicates the dead ball becoming live again by signaling "Play!") and to wait for the pitcher to engage the mound with a new baseball before putting the ball back in play. Once the ball is live again, the pitcher must legally disengage the rubber (lest (s)he balk [if there are runner[s]] or throw an actual pitch and lose the right to appeal) and cause the base-to-be-appealed to be tagged.

In this case (in most cases), F1 Mendez threw to F2 Huff, who stepped on home plate...but a pitcher could also theoretically run with the ball and touch his own foot to the base instead...maybe for scoring purposes, a pitcher hypothetically wants the single-game putout record for pitchers? Always expect the unexpected.

Finally, after selling his call and speaking with the offense's manager (the third base coach in this MiLB game), Jaschinski makes it excruciatingly clear what has happened by motioning to the press box that the run does not count.

This Tmac's Teachable Moments analysis is brought to you by Umpire Placement Course.
Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Two-Minute Teachable analysis of a missed base touch appeal play (CCS)


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