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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 09:33am
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Can "FOUL" be made "FAIR"?

Hey Everyone,

Last year I was apart of a baseball tourn. here in NJ. I was watching a Legion "level" game where there was a dispute about fair vs. foul. Let me set it up for you:

R2 and R1, 1 out, for arguements sake a 2-2 count on the BR. BU in position "C". BR hits a shot down the 3rd baseline, hits the bag - makes a weird angle into fair territory. No call (at this point) but the BU points towards center field. (i was assume to signal fair)

As the ball lays in center field as F8 tries to recover it, R2 lands on 3rd, R1 lands on 2nd and BR is just about to hit first as we hear..."FOUL" from the PU.

The coach argues and the BU is telling his partner.. Its Fair!.... The PU says I'm running the game and I called it Foul, once it is foul, it is foul. Send the players back. As the BU was sending them back the coach called the tourn. director over and he placed the runners back on their bases that they "would have obtained".

I.e. changed a "FOUL" call to "FAIR"...

1) What would you do?
2) If a situation like this happens... can you keep the runners at their bases or once you call FOUL, do you die with that call?
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 09:59am
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Fair or Foul?

It's the PU call to the bag, past the bag it the BU calls. In this case, if ball it's bag, PU as call.
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 10:04am
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In a perfect world, the PU overruling the BU should not even be an issue here.

No way in hell is that the BU's "fair/foul" call from "C" position.

Coupled with the PU's telling his partner, loud enough for the game participants to hear him, that, "I'm running the game and I called it foul", leads me to believe that this crew had some problems from the get-go.
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 10:12am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle George
It's the PU call to the bag, past the bag it the BU calls. In this case, if ball it's bag, PU as call.
Actually, with BU in position C, as was stated in the OP, PU has ALL fair/foul responsibility. So in my opinion, it's the PU that should be upset with his partner, not the other way around.

As far as changing the call on the field, in the 2-man system, this is PU's call. He must have seen the ball become foul. Otherwise, why in the world would he declair a ball that is resting in center field foul? I admit that this would be a tough sell, but he must have seen it become foul.

As far as the TD becoming involved with this play.... not on my watch. That would defintely be the last time I work a game in a tournament being run by him.
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 10:12am
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In addition to what Bretman has said, the Tournament Director has absolutely no business putting any runners anywhere.

If the coach wants to file a protest, no he can become involved, otherwise stay off my field.
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 10:23am
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"He must have seen the ball become foul"

Play description: "BR hits a shot down the 3rd baseline, hits the bag . ."


Hitting the bag makes it fair - period. PU must have really bad vision or needs a rules refresher.
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 10:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Ives
"He must have seen the ball become foul"

Play description: "BR hits a shot down the 3rd baseline, hits the bag . ."


Hitting the bag makes it fair - period. PU must have really bad vision or needs a rules refresher.
I guess I didn't make my point correctly. I was inferring that it's possible PU saw foul and the coach and PAT may be mistaken in thinking it hit the bag.

I agree that if it did in fact hit the bag, it's fair- period.
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 10:34am
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I see that several here have completely missed the point.

Yeah, this is PU's call. But PU's ego doesn't put him in position to make an incorrect ruling. And while TD probably handled this poorly, the TD certainly does have a responsibility to fixing PROTESTABLE situations.

The only way TD's actions are correct is if the coach protested (which is possible, although also handled wrong), AND the PU said he saw the ball hit the bag first and that was his reason for ruling it foul (thus making the whole thing a protestable rules misinterpretation, and not a judgement call).

If I was BU in a sitch like this, when PU yelled, "FOUL", I'd have approached him, away from coaches, and asked him what he saw. If it was even remotely a judgement thing (which would have to include him not seeing the ball hit the bag), play on - foul ball, and start herding the inevitable assitants away from PU while the head coach goes ballistic on him. However, if PU admits seeing the ball hit the bag, I'd remind him that by definition that makes it fair, and WE (meaning he) had an obligation to fix the situation. Then let HIM reverse the call and deal with the OTHER manager.
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 10:37am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Ives
Hitting the bag makes it fair - period.


Not always true. The ball may have hit something (such as a fielder) in foul territory before it hit the bag, that may be the reason for the strange bounce and the ball ending up in center field. Just because it hit the bag, it is not a fair ball - period. It appears from the OP that someone may have screwed the pooch on this one, but I was not there, and I don't think you were either, so don't throw out blanket statements. My issue is with the BU apparently calling a ball fair from the C position. If the PU kicked it, you gotta live with it, bring the BR back, runners return, and circle the wagons....someone is headed to the bus.
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 10:48am
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Quote:
The coach argues and the BU is telling his partner.. Its Fair!.... The PU says I'm running the game and I called it Foul, once it is foul, it is foul. Send the players back. As the BU was sending them back the coach called the tourn. director over and he placed the runners back on their bases that they "would have obtained".

I.e. changed a "FOUL" call to "FAIR"...

1) What would you do?
2) If a situation like this happens... can you keep the runners at their bases or once you call FOUL, do you die with that call?
[/QUOTE]

In OBR based leagues a FOUL call can be changed to FAIR. We saw this last year in a PRO game and Andy Konar LL's chief umpire changed a FOUL call to FAIR in a LLWS game some years back.

You asked what would I do. Do you mean what would I do if I were the BU? I have made my share of mistakes in my umpiring career, but not the one you described. It's a no brainer when the ball hits either the first / 3rd base bag, so i will answer from the BU's perspective. If I were the PU and my partner did say to me "Hey Pete what's up" I would change the call and take the heat. In this case not to much because everyone reacted as if the ball were Fair anyhow.

One of the Cardinal rules of umpiring. When you need to discuss something with your partner Do it away from the coach In other words I would instruct the coach to stay away until I had time to discuss the situation with my partner. The BU should have kept his mouth shut in front of the coach.

Even though I was in position "C" and the Fair/ Foul call is not my call, I would say to my partner. Joe, the ball hit the bag. Were you looking at some GLM while the play was in progress. I would also say that We will not get a lot of heat if we indeed change the call, because the players reacted as if in fact the ball were Fair.

You as BU can state your point, but ultimately it's the PU's call.

As far as the TD over-turning a call on the Field - NO WAY. The TD has no business over-turning calls on the field. If the manager filed a protest, then the TD would get involved as far as whatever protest procedures are established for that league.

NOTE: If the aforementioned happened in a FED game, the FOUL call would stands no matter who didn't like it.

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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 11:36am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTex
Not always true. The ball may have hit something (such as a fielder) in foul territory before it hit the bag, that may be the reason for the strange bounce and the ball ending up in center field. Just because it hit the bag, it is not a fair ball - period. It appears from the OP that someone may have screwed the pooch on this one, but I was not there, and I don't think you were either, so don't throw out blanket statements. My issue is with the BU apparently calling a ball fair from the C position. If the PU kicked it, you gotta live with it, bring the BR back, runners return, and circle the wagons....someone is headed to the bus.
The description was "hit a shot - hit the bag". I really think if the ball hit someone in foul territory the original poster wouldn't have even posted the question.
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 11:43am
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This is a protestable situation, as the call is not judgement, its a rule. Ball hits bag = fair.

Why is BU pointing? Its not his call, if that's what he's doing. PU should be pointing 'fair'.

RE: This 'blanket statement' stuff....give us a break. We can only go with what the OP said....if he said, 'hits shot, ball hits bag' then you gotta assume it went straight to the bag, so its fair. This 'oh, but I can think up 15,000 other situations the OP never mentioned where it wouldn't be xxxxx' is ridiculous.
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 11:56am
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Well, I agree that the BU had no business pointing and that the PU has the ball all the way down the line. I am of the opinion that the PU is probably of LL-rookie caliber who thinks that the ball hitting the bag is foul (maybe it hit the foul side of the bag ).

As far as a TD walking on the field, when a TD walks on the field I ask him politely to leave. If he doesn't, my partner/partners and I leave and the game is done! The jerk only gets one shot and we always agree to this before we take the field.
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 12:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTex
Not always true. The ball may have hit something (such as a fielder) in foul territory before it hit the bag, that may be the reason for the strange bounce and the ball ending up in center field. Just because it hit the bag, it is not a fair ball - period. It appears from the OP that someone may have screwed the pooch on this one, but I was not there, and I don't think you were either, so don't throw out blanket statements. My issue is with the BU apparently calling a ball fair from the C position. If the PU kicked it, you gotta live with it, bring the BR back, runners return, and circle the wagons....someone is headed to the bus.
What???? Read the original post again....... If the ball, unobstructed by any fielder in foul territory (what was the fielder doing standing in foul territory?), hits the base (as described in the OP) then it's fair.....period! Spread out the blanket.

Unless an alien abducted the ball, dropped it in on the base and it then rolled into center field. In this situation Rule 13-1-1 clearly states that this is a "do over".
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Old Tue Feb 20, 2007, 12:03pm
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To Clarify:

The ball hit the bag from a line shot, it did not hit anything before it nor would it have been viewed as a “foul ball” if so.

I did not want to get into this but… let me describe him to you... the pu wore a backwards cap, wore an inside protector – outside and kakis shorts.

He told me that he called it foul because it was so. He couldn’t give me an explanation and then proceeded to rant to be about his inadequate partner and why would he be on the 3rd base side of the diamond.(I know this from being his partner for the next game)

So its not what I thought I saw, it was what happened.
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Last edited by PAT THE REF; Tue Feb 20, 2007 at 12:08pm.
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