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Old Mon Mar 21, 2005, 04:19pm
DownTownTonyBrown DownTownTonyBrown is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,474
Originally posted by debeau
The players throwing the ball back to the base are doing so because they know the runner had left before the ball was first touched and that the runner cant do this .
I have chatted with numerous players and coaches after the game as to this and all were unaware that it was an appeal .Logically we cant give an out if the players dont know that it is an appeal play even though you think that the act of throwing the ball back is enough .
It seems like last year, or perhaps the year before, we had a long discussion about "inadvertant" appeals. Perhaps you have been confused. What you are saying now (I wouldn't stop at calling it 'semantics,' blatantly) is wrong.

By inadvertant appeal, and I don't remember the words we used, I mean for example:
Fly ball to outfield
Runner leaves early - umpire notices but no one else apparently does (no one says anything)
Ball is caught and thrown back towards the infield
Running action has stopped
First baseman collects the ball and inadvertantly steps on 1st as she throws ball back to pitcher
Umpire screams "Runner is out. She left the base too soon."
Everyone goes "WHAT???"

You are correct if this is the situation you are trying to explain. This is not a proper appeal. The umpire should remain quiet and wait for an appropriate verbal appeal. The players are responsible for knowing the situation. If they don't know, you don't make the call.

But our contention, and it should be yours also, is that if the defensive team is aware of the situation and delivers the ball back to first base because of that awareness, THEY HAVE MADE A PROPER APPEAL. And you should rule on it appropriately. And they show their awareness by intentionally delivering the ball back to 1st or by F3 collecting the ball and standing on 1st and looking to you for the obvious call.

If you stand there and act ignorant, you have a poor game sense. Additionally, by ignoring them you may be dissuading them from even making a proper appeal. They might think you didn't see it and then they won't even make the effort to ask.

If the throw to 1st base is at the same time as the runner is attempting to return, this is absolutely not an appeal play. This is purely a judgement call - did the ball beat the runner, and requires an immediate call.

Hope this helps!
"There are no superstar calls. We don't root for certain teams. We don't cheat. But sometimes we just miss calls." - Joe Crawford
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