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Old Tue Jun 13, 2006, 11:24am
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Question Foul ball/batter squared

American Legion game yesterday using FED rules. Runners on 1st and 2nd, 0 out, 0-2 on the batter. Batter squares to bunt, and the pitch is right at his chest. The ball hits the bat, then the batter, then rolls into fair territory.

We have a dead ball/foul ball, count remains 0-2, because the batter did not attempt to bunt the ball, even though the pitch hit the bat. The batter was trying to get out of the way of the pitch.

Did we do right?
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Old Tue Jun 13, 2006, 11:39am
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TriggerMN,

Good call, Blue!

Did you, by any chance, have the opportunity for an engaging conversation with either/both coaches as a result of your proper call?

Also, this is somewhat off-topic, but I had thought American Legion allowed leagues to choose between FED & OBR for "non-tournament play". I recently had occasion to look at the American Legion rules and couldn't find this. Could you clarify?

Thanks.

JM
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Old Tue Jun 13, 2006, 11:58am
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CoachJM:

The National Director of American Legion Baseball has clearly declared that any game played under any rules other than the OBR modified American Legion Rules ARE NOT American Legion games.

In my neck of the woods the local American Legion Director informed teams that if they did not play Modified American Legion Rules they would not be eligible for Legion Playoffs.

The coaches in the PDX area said "fine" and notified the American Legion they were all dropping from AL play.

American Legion local officials then went back to last year's rule that the local teams could play Federation Rules UNTIL playoffs then they were required to play AL modified.

So the long answer to your question is that several areas in the US play what they call "American Legion" under Federation Rules. These same teams select to make a "last second" change and play American Legion Rules during playoffs.

Regards,
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Old Tue Jun 13, 2006, 12:06pm
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Tim,

Thanks for clarifying.

John
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Old Tue Jun 13, 2006, 12:46pm
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what do you mean it doesn't matter? of course it matters. a bunt, by definition, must be intentionally met. if there is no intent (i.e. attempting to get out of the way) there is no bunt.
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Old Tue Jun 13, 2006, 01:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWL
If he had squared and the ball hit the bat, that should have been strike three foul ball batter out. It doesn't matter if he was trying to get out of the way or not. If he pulled the bat back, then it is just a foul ball.
PWL,

I'm kind of breaking my own rules here, but, hey, nobody's perfect and I felt compelled to ask.

Did you receive your training at the Smith (nee Charles) or the Watterson school of umpiring?

JM
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Old Tue Jun 13, 2006, 02:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWL
Please explain your defininition of a bunt.

That is what I was trying to convay is my previous post.

I was saying as long as he had the bat down and in the bunt position and the ball hit the bat it was a foul ball and strike three. If he was attempting to vacant the batter's box and pulling the bat back and making no attempt at a bunt, I would have a foul ball.

Holding the bat down in the bunt position doesn't constitute an attempt in and of itself. So, if he holds the bat still or pulls it back, it's a foul ball and cannot be called a third strike.


Tim.
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Old Tue Jun 13, 2006, 03:40pm
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A bunt requires intent, and intent requires the judgement of an umpire. If a batter holds his bat still over the plate, in the zone and a ball makes contact with it, I've got intent. If the batter has two strikes and that ball ends up foul, I've got an out.

If the pitch was at a batter and the ball makes contact with the bat, I don't generally have intent and this sounds like a plain old foul ball.

Now, you have to dig deep and pull out some judgement here. I have seen a batter, with a pitch straight at him, still try and bunt it. You've got to decide if he intentionally put his bat into the path of that ball.
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Old Tue Jun 13, 2006, 03:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWL
Yeah, if the ball doesn't hit the bat. How many times have you seen a pitch go over a batters head and hit his bat. He didn't offer or swing, but it is still a strike nonetheless.
Sure, it's a strike. It just can't be strike three. If it happens as you've described 5 times in a row the most you will have is two strikes


Quote:
Originally Posted by PWL
So in actually in what your saying, if a batter squared and stands still and motionless, doesn't offer at the ball, and the ball hits any part of his bat with two strikes, we have a foul ball. Very interesting.
Pretty much that's exactly what I'm saying. You have to judge that the batter offered at the pitch. If he just holds the bat out over the plate without making any attempt to strike at the ball and the ball hits the bat and goes foul, that's all it is. A foul ball, and no more than strike two.


Tim.
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Old Tue Jun 13, 2006, 04:41pm
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Smile Short and to the point

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachJM
PWL,

I'm kind of breaking my own rules here, but, hey, nobody's perfect and I felt compelled to ask.

Did you receive your training at the Smith (nee Charles) or the Watterson school of umpiring?

JM
I like it. The new Coach JM shouldn't care what the other UMPS think.
Buying the book, reading the book, using the book, all good.
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Old Tue Jun 13, 2006, 05:45pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriggerMN
American Legion game yesterday using FED rules. Runners on 1st and 2nd, 0 out, 0-2 on the batter. Batter squares to bunt, and the pitch is right at his chest. The ball hits the bat, then the batter, then rolls into fair territory.

We have a dead ball/foul ball, count remains 0-2, because the batter did not attempt to bunt the ball, even though the pitch hit the bat. The batter was trying to get out of the way of the pitch.

Did we do right?
If, in your opinion, he was not trying to bunt the ball when it hit the bat then good call. If I only read your first paragraph I would say "not enough info", but your second paragraph says "because the batter did not attempt to bunt the ball". If that's your opinion then he wasn't bunting so it's just a foul ball.
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