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Old Sun Feb 26, 2017, 07:18pm
AtlUmpSteve AtlUmpSteve is offline
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Location: Woodstock, GA; Atlanta area
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
Except according to a recent USA case play or clarification it is still a pitched ball until it is controlled by the catcher.

Not too long ago there was a play presented about a pitched ball that gets away from the catcher and knocked up the baseline. As the catcher is attempting to retrieve it, they knock the ball into the dugout. According to the ruling it is not treated the same as a thrown ball, it is still a pitched ball and would only be a 1 base award from the time of the pitch.
Reasonable point, but not definitively the same. When it comes to awarded bases, the question/issue is "what caused the ball to be blocked or out of play"? What impetus created the dead ball? Was it the pitch, a thrown ball, a batted ball, or a new and or secondary impetus that resulted in the dead ball, and/or was the secondary impetus accidental or intentional?

I believe we can (and must) differentiate between a ball that was pitched and then left the field of play, a ball that was pitched and subsequently mishandled (muffed would be the equivalent football term, if that helps) without any intent beyond an effort to retrieve and left the field of play, and a ball that was pitched, controlled, and then control was lost (fumbled would be the equivalent football term) with the ball leaving the field of play. I don't see that the the second or last extended the life of the "pitch"; just that any subsequent award may be affected by the actions after the pitch was no longer a pitch, if that has bearing on the causation of the dead ball.

Referring to football, as it were. When a punt is muffed, the punt still ended when muffed; but unless recovered by the kicking team in bounds, the ball is placed as if the punt hadn't ended!! That doesn't extend the punt, it just describes the enforcement. When the punt is caught by the receiving team, and THEN fumbled, the punt still ended when caught, and subsequent action may have different results than the muff.

Maybe you aren't a football guy; and I'm more than a decade out of officiating that game, so my verbiage and example may be off, flying by the seat of my pants. But my point is the same. There are instances where subsequent action may result the same as if a pitched ball that isn't (anymore) were still a pitch; but that only directs the subsequent enforcement, doesn't make it still a pitch, just tells you to treat it as if it were still a pitch.
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