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Old Sat Aug 01, 2009, 08:35pm
TussAgee11 TussAgee11 is offline
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Originally Posted by sodapop View Post
Answering them quickly would be greatly appreciated!

1 - When and why can the catcher hit (bodycheck) the runner coming to the home base?

2 - What's the difference between stepping up on a base and tagging the runner (touching him to eliminate him)? Why do sometimes they just step up on the base before the runner arrives and he's out, and why does sometimes they have to either wait until he comes and touches the glove while sliding or to run after him and touch him?

3 - What's the difference between a contact and a power hit?

4 - Can someone BRIEFLY explain the difference between a Change-Up, a Fastball, a Slider and a Curveball?

5 - Can a runner steal a base before the pitcher and the batter are in the "ready" stance? By ready stance I mean the batter ready to hit, the pitcher ready to throw, and the catcher crouched. And is there an amount of seconds between the transition of the non-ready and the ready-stance? Is it like 3 or 5 seconds? Or do they just wait until either the pitcher or batter are ready?

6 - If a player catches the ball before it lands (after it being hit by the batter), we know that the batter will be out. But will other runners on other bases be out too, or just the batter?

7 - When can we effectively use a blunt? Sometimes I hear commentators saying: "Oh now < insert name > will obviously try for the blunt". How do they know? Is there a specific game situation where blunting becomes necessary?

Thanks, I know that's a lot but I just want to get used to it!
I'm guessing you are from Quebec... so I think you're being genuine. I'll give you some quick responses as a fellow fan, not from an umpire - I'm assuming you are talking about MLB

1) If the catcher has the ball, any contact at the plate is legal. The catcher is allowed to use his body to block the plate if a play is about to occur. If no play, then he needs to just let the runner score.

2) If there is a "force" all a fielder needs to do is touch the base with his foot. If there is not a force, the runner must be tagged. A force happens when a runner must try to advance because the batter has hit the ball, and the runner has to run because his place on the base is needed by a runner behind him.

3) This isn't really a rule, but players who hit for contact are just trying to get the ball in play, while power hitters typically try to hit the ball far. Depends on who the batter is. Bigger hitters try to hit it farther, typically, while faster hitters try to get it in play and make it to first.

4) A fastball is a pitch that is thrown as hard as possible. A change up is a pitch that goes slower and tries to fool the batter (its a change from normal speed). A curveball is a pitch that the pitcher puts spin on so the ball curves as it comes to the plate. A slider is thrown a bit differently then a curveball - basically a harder curveball that moves left and right more than up and down.

5) Any time the ball is in play, a runner may try to advance. The ball is out of play on foul balls and any time the umpire decides to stop play for whatever reason (perhaps to change the ball).

6) Only the batter is out. All runners must return to where they were before the hit before trying to run.

7) Bunting is a technique used by fast players to try to reach 1st base rather than swinging at the ball. Its also used when teams decide to advance a runner to another base and allow the defense to get the batter out. This is called a "sacrifice". Particularly good when you are down by just one run, and want to get a runner closer to home plate rather than try to get another hit and risk an out.

Keep watching the game with another fan, as others said. You'll learn more and more as you watch more and more games. Lastly, since this an umpire forum, you'll find that people here generally talk about very specific rules or how umpires run the game. Another site's message boards like or any other sports site for fans may prove to be useful for yourself to learn more about how fans view baseball

Enjoy the game, nothing else like it.
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