Saturday, May 14, 2022

Ask UEFL - Anderson Safe After Donaldson Pushes Runner Off Base

In a physical play that wound up clearing the benches, 3B Umpire Chris Guccione ruled White Sox baserunner Tim Anderson safe at third base during Chicago's game against New York Friday, as Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson appeared to push the runner off third base while making a tag.

This edition of Ask the UEFL answers the question of what happened, with references to the Official Baseball Rules' definition of oversliding ("the act of an offensive player when their slide to a base, other than when advancing from home to first base, is with such momentum that they lose contact with the base"), and, more importantly, the MLB Umpire Manual's interpretation of fielder-runner contact that results in the runner no longer touching the base.

According to MLBUM, "If in the judgment of an umpire, a runner is pushed or forced off a base by a fielder, intentionally or unintentionally, at which the runner would have otherwise been called safe, the umpire has the authority and discretion under the circumstances to return the runner to the base they were forced off following the conclusion of the play."

As such, because runner R3 Anderson slid headfirst in the direction of the left field foul pole and appeared to touch third base prior to Donaldson's tag, only for Anderson to then fall off the base to his left—a direction Anderson never slid in until Donaldson made contact with him—it can be concluded that Donaldson illegally pushed Anderson off the base and, thus, the remedy is to declare the runner safe.
Related PostReplay Rewind - Runner Pushed Off Base (6/25/18).

Note: This is not Obstruction, as Donaldson possessed the ball in his glove prior to blocking Anderson's path to the base. Were it obstruction, it would have been Type One (play being made on runner).


Post a Comment