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Old Sat Dec 25, 2004, 09:34pm
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Here's another problem I'd like comments on before I ship off the BRD:

Play: R1 leaves early on a caught fly ball and is between second and third when the throw to first goes dead.

The usual interpretation is: He gets two bases measured from his original base. He goes to third. OBR: When a runner is forced to return to a base after a catch, he must retouch his original base before receiving his award, which is measured from his original base. (7.05i CMT 2)

Pretty standard stuff. J/R puts it this way: "If a runner has obviously left early or failed to retouch his base, his attained base at the time of the throw is not used to measure the award. Rather, his award is measured from his occupied base — where he was at the time of the pitch." (non-italicized explication [standard pro interpretation], p. 57)

Now comes this from the MLBUM:

When a runner leaves his base early and is beyond a succeeding base at the time of a throw that goes dead, he will be awarded two bases measured from the TOT. If he retouches his original base, he will receive two bases from the TOP. (5.10)

Here's the relevant MLBUM ruling to the play in question:

The umpire will initially award R1 home (two bases from his position at the time of the throw). But if the runner retouches first, the award becomes two bases from the time of the pitch. If after the ball becomes dead the runner touches third before returning to first, he is subject to appeal.

==========

Ok, what do you think?
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Old Sat Dec 25, 2004, 11:00pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Here's the relevant MLBUM ruling to the play in question:

The umpire will initially award R1 home (two bases from his position at the time of the throw). But if the runner retouches first, the award becomes two bases from the time of the pitch. If after the ball becomes dead the runner touches third before returning to first, he is subject to appeal.

==========

Ok, what do you think?
We've hashed this play around before (it always brings disagreement). I thought if he touches 3B after the ball has become dead, then he CAN'T return to retouch 1B. If they appeal, he is OUT, if they don't, he stays at 3B. OBR 7.10 b Approved Ruling
If R1 does not toucn 3B after the ball becomes dead, then he can retouch 1B when taking his award. J/R
I have never heard this MLBUM ruling where you award home then change it when runner retouches 1B. Is it new?
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Old Sat Dec 25, 2004, 11:14pm
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Remember, a manager has to think "overall" as he is half offense/half defense.

I think only awarding 3B is equivalent to having the umpires announce that there is a retouch rquirement, thus an appeal opportunity. As the rules require the defense to recognize and make an appeal, this is contrary to the spirit of the rules. Therefore the initial award of home is proper.

I also think that the runner should still forfeit his opportunity to go back if he touches the next base after the ball goes into DBT. However, the MLBUM ruling is silent as to this play, so it doesn't directly address the situation. It needs to be asked.
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Old Sun Dec 26, 2004, 03:36am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Here's another problem I'd like comments on before I ship off the BRD:

Pretty standard stuff. J/R puts it this way: "If a runner has obviously left early or failed to retouch his base, his attained base at the time of the throw is not used to measure the award. Rather, his award is measured from his occupied base — where he was at the time of the pitch." (non-italicized explication [standard pro interpretation], p. 57)

The 2004 version of J/R seems to replace the sentence: "Rather, his award...." with the similar wording "Hence, such runner's occupied base (from which the award would originate) is the time-of pitch (or retouch) base (see example 9 below).

"Example 9 :
R1, one out, hit and run. The stealing runner, believing there are two outs, continues toward third base after a fly ball is batted to right field. The right fielder catches the ball, but his throw to first gets by and rolls into a dugout: even though R1 is past second at TOT, first base is acknowledged as the occupied base a TOT, and R1 is awarded third base."

Page 57 is in the multi-base award section. Now check out an example on page 71 in the appeals section:

"Once a batted ball is caught, a runner is vulnerable to a retouch appeal if
(1) he has not retouched. Hence, a runner is out if the retouch appeal precedes the retouch.

(2) he has failed to retouch, the ball becomes dead and he then proceeds to touch or pass an advance base.

EG: R1, one out. R1, thinking there are two outs, continues running past second base as the batter's fly ball goes toward the right fielder. The right fielder catches the ball and throws toward first for an appeal of R1's failure to retouch. R1 is standing between second and third when the right fielder's throw goes out of play: if R1 does not proceed to touch third base after the ball has become dead, he can return to touch first base, second base and third base in accepting his award."

1. The two examples are essentially the same, yet the stated or implied results are different. I consider J/R to be inconsistent in this case. (It also seems odd that they illustrate a rule with a negative example.)

2. To my eye, the ruling of the second example matches the MLBUM ruling.

3. I have little doubt that the MLBUM shows the correct ruling: it matches how I read the rules.

4. But the J/R pg 57 award saves time and and seems so practical. At the MLB level, you can either award third directly, or carry out a charade in which the runner ends up at third. No MLB coach will allow his runner to mistakenly go to home-- if the failure to retouch is "obvious." And I'm having trouble envisioning a non-obvious failure to retouch situation in which a runner is past second at the moment the ball goes dead following the catch of a fly ball.

5. In a game played at less than 90 feet, an umpire should follow pg 57, 'cause the players surely won't know the rules regarding awards, and will unhesitantly accept the voice of authority-- and the initial award. It's going to be ugly if a a successful appeal follows.

So I think the MLBUM ruling confirms that the award is by rule 2 bases from TOT, however the runner is subject to appeal if he accepts the award. Viewed practically, it shouldn't be neccessary to oblige the runner to actually return to first. At the professional level, given that action is relaxed during a dead ball, the offense, defense, and even a few fans will have time to realize that the runner is going to end up at third. There is minimal possibility of a base running error or the defense only recognizing the failure to retouch through an award of third base. Of course, in some other situation, in which the failure to retouch isn't obvious, the award needs to be two bases from TOT.

Dave Reed
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Old Sun Dec 26, 2004, 03:51am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Reed
Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Here's another problem I'd like comments on before I ship off the BRD:

Pretty standard stuff. J/R puts it this way: "If a runner has obviously left early or failed to retouch his base, his attained base at the time of the throw is not used to measure the award. Rather, his award is measured from his occupied base — where he was at the time of the pitch." (non-italicized explication [standard pro interpretation], p. 57)

The 2004 version of J/R seems to replace the sentence: "Rather, his award...." with the similar wording "Hence, such runner's occupied base (from which the award would originate) is the time-of pitch (or retouch) base (see example 9 below).

"Example 9 :
R1, one out, hit and run. The stealing runner, believing there are two outs, continues toward third base after a fly ball is batted to right field. The right fielder catches the ball, but his throw to first gets by and rolls into a dugout: even though R1 is past second at TOT, first base is acknowledged as the occupied base a TOT, and R1 is awarded third base."

Page 57 is in the multi-base award section. Now check out an example on page 71 in the appeals section:

"Once a batted ball is caught, a runner is vulnerable to a retouch appeal if
(1) he has not retouched. Hence, a runner is out if the retouch appeal precedes the retouch.

(2) he has failed to retouch, the ball becomes dead and he then proceeds to touch or pass an advance base.

EG: R1, one out. R1, thinking there are two outs, continues running past second base as the batter's fly ball goes toward the right fielder. The right fielder catches the ball and throws toward first for an appeal of R1's failure to retouch. R1 is standing between second and third when the right fielder's throw goes out of play: if R1 does not proceed to touch third base after the ball has become dead, he can return to touch first base, second base and third base in accepting his award."

1. The two examples are essentially the same, yet the stated or implied results are different. I consider J/R to be inconsistent in this case. (It also seems odd that they illustrate a rule with a negative example.)

2. To my eye, the ruling of the second example matches the MLBUM ruling.

3. I have little doubt that the MLBUM shows the correct ruling: it matches how I read the rules.

4. But the J/R pg 57 award saves time and and seems so practical. At the MLB level, you can either award third directly, or carry out a charade in which the runner ends up at third. No MLB coach will allow his runner to mistakenly go to home-- if the failure to retouch is "obvious." And I'm having trouble envisioning a non-obvious failure to retouch situation in which a runner is past second at the moment the ball goes dead following the catch of a fly ball.

5. In a game played at less than 90 feet, an umpire should follow pg 57, 'cause the players surely won't know the rules regarding awards, and will unhesitantly accept the voice of authority-- and the initial award. It's going to be ugly if a a successful appeal follows.

So I think the MLBUM ruling confirms that the award is by rule 2 bases from TOT, however the runner is subject to appeal if he accepts the award. Viewed practically, it shouldn't be neccessary to oblige the runner to actually return to first. At the professional level, given that action is relaxed during a dead ball, the offense, defense, and even a few fans will have time to realize that the runner is going to end up at third. There is minimal possibility of a base running error or the defense only recognizing the failure to retouch through an award of third base. Of course, in some other situation, in which the failure to retouch isn't obvious, the award needs to be two bases from TOT.

Dave Reed
Sorry to rain on your parade, but Rick says "No." The award is always from TOP when the runner leaves obviously.

Play: Speedy R1 tags on a fly ball to deepest right center field. When F9 falls down, he heads for third. He touches second, after which the fielder launches a throw that goes dead. This award will be time of the throw, and the runner will be awarded home. He MAY have left early, but he wasn't off with the pitch (obviously).

See the difference?

All the material about being vulnerable to appeal is not in question.

I guess I didn't make myself clear: The MLBUM simply says: If the runner is past second, award him home. "You - home plate!" In 50 plus years I never saw or heard of that.

You tell that to someone in an MSBL game, he goes home, they appeal, you call him out? I hope you have good insurance.
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Old Sun Dec 26, 2004, 10:06am
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I agree with Carl the MLBUM ruling makes new law, and in my opinion it is bad law, in that it so obviously contradicts the established "case law" from decades of prior practice. It explicitly contradicts the ruling given in the PBUC Manual, and recommends an umpiring practice - revising a base award in mid-play - that is guaranteed to look confusing and awkward in practice.

While I think the MLBUM is a great resource that resolves a number of legitimate ambiguities and rules debates that have raged for years (e.g., it definitively resolves the proper ruling for a runner hit by a batted ball in all cases), in this particular case I think the MLBUM ruling has needlessly introduced a glaring inconsistency with other published authorities on an issue that wasn't controversial in the first place. They went and fixed something that wasn't broke. Sheesh.
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Old Sun Dec 26, 2004, 11:35am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Here's the relevant MLBUM ruling to the play in question:

The umpire will initially award R1 home (two bases from his position at the time of the throw). But if the runner retouches first, the award becomes two bases from the time of the pitch. If after the ball becomes dead the runner touches third before returning to first, he is subject to appeal.

==========

I still have a few questions not answered yet.
In the above explanation, does it specify if the runner has left early on the pitch (hit and run) or just left early after the ball is batted? Does it matter? I understand Carl's explanation of this but I don't recall ruling differently in each case. Maybe that's the whole point , there are now two different ways to rule depending.
Also, the last sentence is contrary to OBR in that R1 is retouching 1B when he has reached 3B after the ball has become dead. How is this allowed? Also, isn't R1 subject to appeal no matter which base he now occupies (except 1B of course)? I guess I'm not sure why they need to state that R1 is subject to appeal here (of course he is, right?).
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Old Sun Dec 26, 2004, 12:49pm
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When I joined this board several years ago, I raised this question and practically started World War III:

R1, no outs. BR blasts a ball to deep center, and F8 makes a diving catch near the fence. R1 returned to 1B to tag up, but we notice that he left 1B just before the catch. However, everybody in the park seems to have been watching F8, and we don't hear a peep about R1's error. R1 slides into 3B, and the throw gets through and into DBT.

It seemed to me that awarding only 3B would be tantamount to announcing to the world that R1 had left 1B too soon, so I asked whether we shouldn't award home and leave it to the defense to appeal (and to R1 to correct his error). Heated discussion followed, with some people claiming that leaving too soon is leaving too soon, that we weren't supposed to try to judge whether the error was obvious or not. In fact, though Papa C and freix and seemingly all the regulars got involved, I'm surprised that nobody cited the PBUC or the J/R. Or maybe I'm not remembering accurately.

I don't think the matter was resolved, but I came away from the board thinking that the key would be whether R1 has initiated a return. If he has, we award from TOP (3B). If he simply stands on 3B and looks at us, we award TOT (home).

So it seemed that we should make the award based on what the runner was doing. Even in the case of an obvious error, if R1 did not initiate a return, we would still award home. If the error was indeed obvious, the defense would appeal. If they missed the error, too bad for them. We didn't get into what happens if we award home and then R1 returns to correct his error.

Personally, I like the MLBUM ruling. It covers all cases, regardless of what R1 does or what the defense is doing. It does not require that we determine whether R1 has initiated a return, only whether he actually touches 1B. I wouldn't have any problem awarding home and then changing the award to 3B.
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Old Sun Dec 26, 2004, 02:12pm
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Incidentally, where can I get the MLBUM? None of the usual sources seem to have it.
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Old Sun Dec 26, 2004, 02:44pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by nine01c
Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Here's the relevant MLBUM ruling to the play in question:

The umpire will initially award R1 home (two bases from his position at the time of the throw). But if the runner retouches first, the award becomes two bases from the time of the pitch. If after the ball becomes dead the runner touches third before returning to first, he is subject to appeal.

==========

I still have a few questions not answered yet.
In the above explanation, does it specify if the runner has left early on the pitch (hit and run) or just left early after the ball is batted? Does it matter? I understand Carl's explanation of this but I don't recall ruling differently in each case. Maybe that's the whole point , there are now two different ways to rule depending.
Also, the last sentence is contrary to OBR in that R1 is retouching 1B when he has reached 3B after the ball has become dead. How is this allowed? Also, isn't R1 subject to appeal no matter which base he now occupies (except 1B of course)? I guess I'm not sure why they need to state that R1 is subject to appeal here (of course he is, right?).
First, here's the MLBUM play: "Runner on first, one out. Batter flies out to right field for second out. However, runner on first thought there were two out and is between second and third when the ball is caught. Right fielder's throw to first is wild and goes into the dugout. Runner is between second and third when the wild throw is made."

It doesn't matter whether the runner left on the pitch or on the batted ball. What matters is whether he tagged and left early or just left early.

Concerning the other problem: I'm sure this has been explained before, but I'll give it another try.

OBR rule 7.10 AR 2 is no longer enforced in professional baseball!

Rather, they simply measure it differently now.

Runner is between second and third and left first too soon. Ball goes dead and he is still between second and third. The runner has advanced and touched a base beyond the "missed" bases, that is, the one he left early. So, technically the casebook (italicized print) comment in the rule book says he is subject to appeal.

But the new casebook (MLBUM and PBYC agree) reads that the runner must advance and touch a base AFTER the ball goes dead before he is subject to appeal.

That's the meaning of the last part of my synopsis of the MLBUM ruling: If R1 (ball is now dead) touches third, he may not return to touch first and will be called out on appeal. (PBUC 3.11 Play 2)

I hope this makes it clear.
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Old Sun Dec 26, 2004, 05:19pm
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Carl:

Thanks for the clarification. No, the "new" casebook ruling had never been explained to me before.
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Old Mon Dec 27, 2004, 01:43am
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Quote:
"You - home plate!" In 50 plus years I never saw or heard of that. You tell that to someone in an MSBL game, he goes home, they appeal, you call him out? I hope you have good insurance.
Carl,
How is it different if we change the wording to "You - third base!"? You tell that to someone in an MSBL game, he goes to third, they appeal, you call him out?

Seems to me that the need for insurance isn't driven by which base is awarded, but rather by the awkwardness of seemingly directing a runner to an advance base and then calling him out. I realize that tension is increased if a putative run is taken off the board, but the principle of negating an award on appeal is the same whether the award is to third or to home. If we were really interested in reducing aggravation amongst the participants, then for an obvious left early situation, the award should be to third without possibility of appeal. I wouldn't be thunderstruck if FED adopted an interpretation similar to this in the future.

I think that the practice of the last 50 years is less optimal than the new ruling when viewed in the light of the printed rules or some hypothetical framework of self-consistent rules. But I also agree that the new ruling fixes something that isn't very broken.

Dave Reed
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Old Mon Dec 27, 2004, 02:24am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Reed
Quote:
"You - home plate!" In 50 plus years I never saw or heard of that. You tell that to someone in an MSBL game, he goes home, they appeal, you call him out? I hope you have good insurance.
Carl,
How is it different if we change the wording to "You - third base!"? You tell that to someone in an MSBL game, he goes to third, they appeal, you call him out?

Seems to me that the need for insurance isn't driven by which base is awarded, but rather by the awkwardness of seemingly directing a runner to an advance base and then calling him out. I realize that tension is increased if a putative run is taken off the board, but the principle of negating an award on appeal is the same whether the award is to third or to home. If we were really interested in reducing aggravation amongst the participants, then for an obvious left early situation, the award should be to third without possibility of appeal. I wouldn't be thunderstruck if FED adopted an interpretation similar to this in the future.

I think that the practice of the last 50 years is less optimal than the new ruling when viewed in the light of the printed rules or some hypothetical framework of self-consistent rules. But I also agree that the new ruling fixes something that isn't very broken.

Dave Reed
I would be thunderstruck if any umpire who calls games where the players shave adopted this "interpretation." Not even Old Smitty would do something so silly.

It's been my experience over 50 years (though that doesn't seem to carry any weight) that a runner who left early recognizes that when you award him the NEXT base. (He's at second and will wind up on third.) I cannot remember an adult player who did not return to retouch first. His coach has been screaming for him to return since the ball was hit. Now the umpire says: "Go home!" Something unusual must have happened, Bubba will think, and touch third before the coach can get his attention. He is now a dead duck.

Of course, I've never turned to a runner who left first early (and would receive third) and said: "You - home." I've always wanted to be well enough to do "one more year."
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Old Wed Dec 29, 2004, 11:59am
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I always thought that base awards were from the last LEGALLY occupied base. If someone leaves a base too soon and advances, he does not legally occupy the next base and is subject to being called out on appeal. Evidently either I was taught incorrectly at umpire school or the times they are a-changin'. Looks like that continuing education thing I've heard so much about is valid after all...
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Old Wed Dec 29, 2004, 12:08pm
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If someone leaves a base too soon and advances, he does not legally occupy the next base and is subject to being called out on appeal.

Yes, he can be out on appeal, but for the purposes of awards, he does legally occupy the next base. He also legally occupied the base he left too soon or missed.

Maybe somebody can list the ways in which a runner can illegally occupy a base. All I can think of offhand is that a runner cannot legally occupy a base if a preceding runner is already legally occupying it.
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