Friday, November 15, 2019

Teachable - Triple Touch & Tag Tasks

Tmac takes us to Baltimore in this Teachable Moment as Orioles batter Rio Ruiz's triple down the right field line led to touch & tag responsibilities for 1B Umpire Jeremie Rehak, U2 Alfonso Marquez, and U3 Dan Bellino, whose safe call was challenged and upheld via Replay Review.

On Ruiz's line drive down the line, 1B Umpire Rehak signaled the ball fair and, while maintaining awareness of the bounding ball's location, pivoted back toward the infield to observe batter-runner Ruiz's base touch at first base.

Meanwhile, 2B Umpire Marquez prepared to take Ruiz through second base, setting up on the outside of the base to observe the base touch and stay out of the runner's way. Because runners generally cut the inside corner while rounding the bases, Rehak and Marquez knew that the most likely part of the base to observe would be that closest to the pitcher's mound.

Runners don't always touch their bases.
Standing on the outside of the base is a great place from which to observe this specific touch while staying out of the players' (runner/fielder) way. Yet unless the defense appeals the base touch, an umpire's work in observing the runner's legality will largely go unnoticed.

3B Umpire Bellino takes the sliding play at third base by setting up in a keyhole angle in line with the runner's path toward the base. By positioning himself in this manner, Bellino spots the daylight (or, nightlight) between the runner's body and fielder's glove, thus enabling him to spy a potential swipe tag or miss.

In this case, the swipe tag is missed, Bellino's safe call is upheld as communicated by Crew Chief Larry Vanover, and all four umpires on the field complete their responsibilities without fanfare: Rehak's fair/foul and base touch, Marquez's base touch, Bellino's tag play, and Vanover's ability to don and remove a Replay Review headset.

This Tmac's Teachable Moment was sponsored by Umpire Placement Course (

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Teachable - Touch & Tag Plays with Rehak, Marquez & Bellino (CCS)


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