Thread: Sliding?
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Old Tue Apr 16, 2002, 08:31am
greymule greymule is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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Though it's the wrong call, so many umpires call practically any collision at home an out that many people become incensed when somebody makes the correct call. How many people took the PU to task in the game you mentioned? I can't count the times that fans and coaches--even at higher levels--have told me "the runner has to slide!" I even had a men's slow pitch team in my face because, even though there was no contact, a runner scored standing up AFTER the ball got past the catcher. I think this stems from the common belief that the rules must have been set up so that no one can possibly get hurt, that any crash must be a violation of some kind. Sort of like the people who figure that since the government inspects and regulates everything, any food you buy must be OK, any appliance must be safe no matter how you operate it, any car can be pushed to any limits.

Some rec leagues, unaware of the potential consequences, have a "must slide" rule, too. The local 12-and-under boys' league instituted a rule that runners must slide on "close plays" (no definition) and always on a "steal" of home. The interpret this to mean that, should a ball get away from the catcher and roll to the screen, even with no one covering home plate and no play on the runner--even if the runner is walking the last few steps to the plate with no one near--the runner must still slide. They call him out if he doesn't. How to teach kids baseball.
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