Saturday, May 8, 2021

Royals' Runners Passing Replay Stands on Tag Attempt

Royals Manager Mike Matheny unsuccessfully challenged 3B Umpire David Rackley's runners passing no-call Friday night in Kansas City as catcher Salvador Perez ran White Sox runner R3 Zack Collins back to and past third base, into left field, as trail runner R2 Billy Hamilton stood on third base, in rare case where being "too good" at one's job might have cost Kansas City an extra out.

The Play: With one out and two on (R2, R3) in the 7th inning of a 3-0 game, Chicago batter Nick Madrigal hit a ground ball to Kansas City shortstop Nick Madrigal, who threw to catcher Perez as White Sox R3 Collins ran toward home plate and R2 Hamilton advanced to third base. Perez ran Collins back to third base where Hamilton was standing and as Perez attempted to tag Collins, Collins ran past the base and up the left field line.

The Call
: 3B Umpire David Rackley signaled Hamilton safe at third base after a collision with Perez and then signaled Collins out for abandoning his effort to run the bases.

The Challenge: Matheny challenged Rackley's runner's passing no-call, asserting that Hamilton (the trailing runner) should have been declared out when Collins (the lead/preceding runner) ran past third base and into left field.

The Rule: A very similar play occurred during Spring Training 2021 when 3B Umpire Sam Holbrook called Tampa Bay's Nathan Lukes (trailing runner) out for passing Vidal Brujan (lead runner). Official Baseball Rule 5.09(b)(9) states that a runner is out when they pass a preceding runner: "A runner may be deemed to have passed a preceding (i.e., lead) runner based on their actions or the actions of a preceding runner." For abandonment, a runner is out pursuant to OBR 5.09(b)(2) when the runner leaves the base path, "obviously abandoning their effort to touch the next base." Finally, though this did not occur here, if two runners are in contact with a base at the same time, OBR 5.06(a)(2) states, "the following runner shall be out when tagged and the preceding runner is entitled to the base, unless [it is a force play and the trailing runner is forced to advance; in this situation, the preceding/lead runner is out when tagged]."

As we previously discussed, the abandonment rule means that it is simply not possible for a lead runner in this situation to be out for abandonment until said runner returns to and runs past the base, thus causing a passing situation to occur. In other words, the runner must demonstrate their abandonment through actions, such as running up the left field line well past third base and the only way to do that is to cause the trail runner to be guilty of passing the lead runner prior to the abandonment.

The Replay Review & Result: Thus, the CWS-KC play had all the makings of a double play for passing and abandonment, if not for one crucial piece: catcher Salvy Perez's tag attempt. If Perez was able to tag Collins prior to Collins returning to third base, Collins would be out at the moment of the tag and thus Hamilton would be unable to pass him. Because the Replay Official could not definitively determine whether a tag actually occurred, Rackley's call (abandonment, no passing) stood and Hamilton remained at third base.

This is one situation where Perez's hustle might have actually hurt his team; if Perez didn't attempt to tag Collins, all else equal, Hamilton would have been out for passing followed shortly by Collins being declared out for abandonment: an inning-ending double play.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Royals Lose Out on DP Because Salvy Perez is Too Good - A Review (KC/CCS)


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