Friday, September 22, 2023

On-Deck Interference, A Bunt HBP & Fair-Foul at Home

An on-deck batter interference in Chicago, batter hit by a pitch while attempting a bunt in Cincinnati and catcher pouncing on a fair ball over home plate in New York comprise a trio of umpire Ask CCS questions over the past week.

On-Deck Interference: Cubs batter Patrick Wisdom's foul fly ball near Chicago's third base dugout drew two Pirates, including third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes, who collided with Cubs on-deck batter Alexander Canario, who was trying to get out of the catcher's way but accidentally backed into the oncoming third baseman. After consultation, Crew Chief Alan Porter signaled batter Wisdom out for interference of his teammate Canario (who then came up to bat).

Official Baseball Rule 6.01(b), known as Fielder Right of Way, prescribes that, "The players, coaches or any member of a team at bat shall vacate any space (including both dugouts or bullpens) needed by a fielder who is attempting to field a batted or thrown ball." Whether intentional or not, an on-deck batter, dugout coach, etc. who hinders a fielder attempting to field a batted ball is guilty of interference, and the at-bat batter shall be called out for the interference of their teammate.

HBP During Bunt: Reds batter Luke Maile's attempted bunt ended unsuccessfully, as the pitched ball made contact with his hand coiled around the bat, either instead of or (more importantly) before contacting the bat. Play continued and Minnesota retired Maile at first base. Umpires went to Replay Review as the result of a Reds challenge and Replay HQ overturned the call, Crew Chief Marvin Hudson announcing that a dead ball strike would be charged to Maile for the ball hitting his hands first.

Fair or Foul at Home: Yankees batter-runner Gleyber Torres remained in the right-handed batter's box on a chopper at home plate as Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk waited for the batted ball to spin back toward home plate and into fair territory before fielding the ball and tagging Torres out.

OBR's diagram of home plate confirms that the base itself is entirely in fair territory, with the intersection of the two foul lines (which themselves are within fair territory too) located at the point of home plate.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Ask CCS Trio: On-Deck INT, Bunting Dead Ball K, Fair or Foul at Home


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