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Messages for Baseball Rules that are rare but sometimes happen even in our league

Comment Posted by Dave (Remnants) Jun 08, 2014 10:22 PM

I think most or all of these situations have come up at one time or the other, so here are the official rules: Not necessarily our TAL rules, but I believe none of them are covered in our TAL official rule book (correct me if I'm wrong here.)

1 - Batter turning left after overrunning 1st base: In the Majors it is the 1st base umpire's judgement as to whether there was an attempt made to advance to 2nd. I think in our league, given self umpiring, the attempt must be obvious (ie: a head fake or stutter step would not be enough, but two steps toward 2nd should be considered an attempt .. of course, the umpire can use their own judgement, or confer with the captains to explain what they saw and let the captains make a call based on good baseball judgement.

2 - two (or more) people on one base: The 'lead' runner has the right to the base, other runners on that base are 'in play' and can be tagged for an out ... except of course if the lead runner is subject to a force out, then instead of tagging the 2nd/3rd/4th person on the base you can 'tag' the next base and the lead runner is out (which leads to the very rare case with runners on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and the batter gets a hit ... all runners advance except the person on 3rd ... all base runners end up on third ... the options are: 1) fielder tags all four people on 3rd base. All are out except the lead runner (but as there are four people on the base and three of them are now out it doesn't make much difference.) 2: Tag home plate and the lead runner is out; throw to third where the last two runners are tagged for outs, leaving only the person running from 2nd to 3rd as safe (but again since there are three outs so the difference is only one of how to score the outs.)

3 - Home plate is fair territoriality: If the batted ball hits home plate and stays fair it is a fair ball. If it lands on home plate and stays there it is a fair ball.

4 - Batting out of turn: Three scenarios (modified slight to take into account our 4 pitch rules:

a) Mistake is noticed while the out-of-turn batter is at bat: Proper batter simply takes the place of the out-of-turn batter and inherits the pitch count.

b) Mistake is noticed after the improper batter finishes their turn at bat but before the first pitch to the next batter: The "proper" batter is declared out for missing their turn at bat, the improper batters at-bat is nullified (any runners that advance during that nullified at-bat returns to their bases as they were before the at-bat started and any outs during that turn at-bat are also nullified) and the batter scheduled after the proper batter goes to bat (and yes, that could well be the same batter that just finished their out-of-turn at-bat get up and bats again.)

c) Mistake is noticed after the improper batter finishes their turn at bat AND the next batter has one pitch: The improper batter becomes a “legalized improper batter”, the next person up in the line up after this new “legalized improper batter" becomes the current proper batter, and the game continues without penalty to the batting team Note: if the out of turn batter is several batting positions down the line up from the proper position, then this could indeed mean that several batters will be skipped and miss their turn at bat. This also means that there could be a combination of case c and a happen together: ie: batter 3 is suppose to be up, but batter 4 gets up instead. Batter 4 gets a hit, now batter 3 gets up. Batter three takes one pitch and then the mistake is noticed. Batter 4 becomes the "legalized improper batter", and batter 5 now becomes the proper batter ... meaning batter 3 sits down, batter 5 takes batter 3's place and continues the at-bat with one pitch against them.

5 - Bases taken on throws out of play: If it is the first throw by an infielder on the play, then it is two bases from where the runners were at the time of the pitch (ie: if you were standing at first at the time of the pitch then you are awarded 2 bases and go to 3rd base) In all other cases, throws from outfielders, 2nd throw by an infielder (ie: attempted double plays) then the award is 2 bases from the last attained base at the time of the throw (ie: not the base you were going to plus one, but usually effectively the same thing) so if you were at first at the time of the pitch and the batter hits the ball to the SS. And for whatever reason the SS doesn't throw the ball to first until after you have passed second and are on your way to third, and the ball is thrown out of play, you are still only awarded 3rd base as in this case (the first throw by an infielder on the play ) you are awarded 2 bases from where you were positioned at the time if the pitch. Now, let's suppose the SS attempts a double play but you beat the throw to 2nd (making you safe) and the 2nd baseman throws the ball out of play attempting the out at first, then you are awarded home since you had attained 2nd already at the time of the 2nd throw of the play thrown by the 2nd baseman.

6 - Runner missing bases: Runner must return to a missed base by reversing their path and touching all bases back to the base they missed (ie: if they missed first base and are on third, they must retrace their steps by returning to second, then first ... if the ball is dead (thrown out of play or in our case, back to the pitcher, and the runner has touched the next base after the one they missed, then the runner can not return to the missed base and will be called out on appeal for a missed base (ie: I get a hit, but miss tagging first base, and run on to second and touch it. The ball is thrown back to the pitcher( the ball is dead.) If I now realize that I didn't touch 1st base, at this point I can not return to first and tag it. If the defensive team appeals a missed base and wins the appeal I am called out .. had the ball not been thrown to the pitcher I would have been legally able to attempt to return to first. In this case I'm not sure how it would play out if the ball were thrown back to the pitcher while I was in the process of attempting to return to 1st, but I suspect that since the rule only states "If the ball is dead and the runner has touched the next base beyond the missed base, the runner may not return to touch the missed base", and there is no mention as to how, or the timing of when the ball was called dead, as it is usually the case with baseball rules, if the rule doesn't state an exception then there is no exception, so I would be called out for attempting to return to first when I was not allowed to do so (after touching the next base and the ball called dead.)

7 - Runner hit by a batted ball in fair territory: The runner is out, even if on the base. Bases are fair territory no different than any other fair territory.

Exception 1: If the ball has passed an infielder and no other infielder had a chance to make a play, then hits the runner, then the runner is NOT called out (ie: Runner on first, the first baseman is playing in front of the baseline ... the ball is hit toward the first baseman but goes by the first base man and hits the base runner. There are no other infielders in a position behind the runner's path reasonably able to make a play on the ball. The runner is NOT called out and play continues.

Exception 2: If the batted ball is an infield fly and hits the runner while standing on a base, the runner is not called out.

8 - Scoring runs on an out called for not tagging up on a fly ball: If the batter hits a fly ball and any base runner does not tag up and advances toward another base, this is not a 'force out'. Ie: Until the defence tags the base that not "tagged up" on, or the runner, and the third out is made, then any runs scored in the mean time are scored as valid runs.

9 - a runner that missed a base to which there was a force play for the third out is still a forced out on a successful appeal to a missed out. ie: two outs, bases loaded, and you hit an inside the park homerun, but you fail to step on first base. The defence tags first (or you) and appeals the missed first base and wins the appeal. Since first base was a 'forced base' for the third out, then no runs are scored.

10 - Bounced pitch: A pitch that bounces before the plate can still be hit or attempted to be hit and is considered a legal pitch.

11 - Fielder catches the ball in foul territory with both feet in fair territory: The ball is considered a foul. The judgement is made by the location of the ball in relation to the field when it touches the player and not the location of the fielder.


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