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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 06:15am
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2 violations on one play.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...02226258&hl=en

For the sake of argument, assume the B/R was obstructed (type B) on his way to 2nd, causing him to return to 1st.

My questions:

1. Is it assistance by a coach (INT) when the runner derives no benefit from the physical contact?

2. Can the umpire ignore the INT by the coach in "imposing such penalties, if any, as in his judgment will nullify the act of obstruction?" 7.06 (b)

IMO, the whole mess is directly attributable to the OBS. I have a hard time penalizing the offense for the subsequent and meaningless INT. Without the OBS, B/R would have been standing on 2nd base.
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 06:43am
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Dash and I discussed this for a few posts on another board.

Here is my take (what I posted on the other board):

What a third-world play!

First, this should be obvious, but there is no interference by the B/R on F9's throw home. For there to be interference on a thrown ball, the B/R would have had to intentionally interfere.

At that point, I, as the base umpire, would have been signaling "safe" and saying "that's nothing!"

Then, B/R runs into (I think) F3. Under OBR the ball remains live because we have obstruction without a play. I, as base umpire, would yell, "that's obstruction," and let the play continue.

Then, last but not least, B/R runs back to first base after being stopped by the obstruction. Then the ball gets by F2, and the first base coach physically pushes B/R toward second base. This is coach's interference pursuant to rule 7.09 (i). The penalty for this is that the runner is out, but the ball remains alive.

I would now call the B/R "out".

IMHO, just because a runner is obstructed, does not mean a coach can physically assist him. If he could, IMO, this would be in the rule book. And the rulebook does allow for exceptions to the rules due to obstruction.(For instance, it says in the rulebook that if a runner misses a base because of obstruction, he shall not be out on appeal for missing the base).

IMO, if the rules drafters wanted to allow coaches to be able to assist obstructed runners, they would have put in rule 7.09i, "a runner shall not be out as a result of a coach assisting him after he has been obstructed," or something like that.

Thus, I have B/R "out" at the end of this play.

In the end, Dash disagreed with my analysis and we agreed to disagree.
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 07:07am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawump
In the end, Dash disagreed with my analysis and we agreed to disagree.
Lawump, I agree with most of your analyses, specifically:
1. No INT on B/R
2. OBS on F3
3. Let the play finish (no immediate dead ball on the INT by the coach)

The only thing bugging me is enforcing the coach's INT.
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 07:15am
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I agree with Lawump on this play.

What's awarded is the "right to advance without being put out by the defense." The offense must still run the bases legally.

I suppose it's possible (I didn't re-watch the play) that the defense had the ball at the time of the coach's assistance. So, we could make the argument that the ball was then dead (for the obs award) and there wasn't any assistance.
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 07:15am
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The award of 2B to BR on the OBS does not magically remove the obligation to run the bases properly. Coach's INT should still be called and enforced. When multiple violations occur, penalize them in the order in which they occur.

Think of it this way: imagine that BR was obstructed and missed 1B, and we're going to protect him to 2B. Are you going to say, "well, he wouldn't have missed first base except for the OBS, so I'm going to deny the appeal." That would be wrong, and it would be wrong because all runners must still run the bases correctly even if they're obstructed.

I'm with lawump on this one. Good call, btw: the ball remains LIVE after coach's INT.
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 07:23am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbyron

Think of it this way: imagine that BR was obstructed and missed 1B, and we're going to protect him to 2B. Are you going to say, "well, he wouldn't have missed first base except for the OBS, so I'm going to deny the appeal." That would be wrong, and it would be wrong because all runners must still run the bases correctly even if they're obstructed.
This came up at the Jim Evans Liberty Classic clinic last Nov. The runner was obstructed rounding 3rd, causing him to miss the base. The runner was awarded home but never touched 3rd. I asked if the runner would be out on appeal, since the base award does not relieve the runner of other baserunning obligations. Jim's ruling: deny the appeal - the OBS caused the miss of the base.
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 07:31am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dash_riprock
The runner was obstructed rounding 3rd, causing him to miss the base.
I agree. But, there's a difference between the obstruction CAUSING the runner to miss a base, and obstruction, followed by the runner missing the base.

In the OP, the obstruction didn't CAUSE the coach's assistance. You might envision a similar play where contact between F5 and R2 causes the runner to contact the third-base coach. The assistance might be ignored in this play.
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 07:56am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jenkins

In the OP, the obstruction didn't CAUSE the coach's assistance. You might envision a similar play where contact between F5 and R2 causes the runner to contact the third-base coach. The assistance might be ignored in this play.
That wouldn't be assistance, although I understand your point.

The Evans ruling permitted the umpire to ignore the baserunning infraction (by denying the appeal), based on the circumstances of the violation. Is there no wiggle-room here? After all, the OBS had a significant bearing on the play, the INT had none.
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 09:36am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dash_riprock
That wouldn't be assistance, although I understand your point.

The Evans ruling permitted the umpire to ignore the baserunning infraction (by denying the appeal), based on the circumstances of the violation. Is there no wiggle-room here? After all, the OBS had a significant bearing on the play, the INT had none.
Dash,

The only circumstance that the Evans ruling permitted is that the umpire could ignore the infraction (missed base) if the obstruction CAUSED the missed base. If the OBS causes the runner to miss the base...then he is not subject to being called out on appeal. (As I pointed out in the thread on the other site). If the OBS does NOT cause the runner to miss the base, then he is subject to being called out on appeal.

Let's change the facts from what happened in the video that you posted in the first post in this thread. Let's say the ball REALLY got away from F2 and that AFTER being obstructed by F3, the B/R attempted to go to third base (instead of going back to first base as he did in the video). Then, let's say that the B/R missed second base on the way to third base.

In this case, the B/R would be liable to being called out on appeal. The obstruction occurred 60 to 45 feet away from second base (between first and second). Under my scenario, the obstruction had nothing to do with the B/R missing second base.

Now, back to the original facts: By analogy (since you've raised this as a possibility) the obstruction did not cause the base coach to physically assist the runner. Thus, B/R has to be out, ball remains live.

I know it feels, to some, "wrong" to call a runner out on this play when the defense obstructed. But this feeling is wrong. BOTH teams committed a violation. Are we going to reward the offense just because the defense committed their violation first?
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 09:38am
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It depends on what you mean by wiggle room. Where the OBS causes the runner to violate, then it makes sense to ignore the violation. The runner's violation would NOT have happened (we assume) without the defensive infraction.

On the other hand, if the runner's violation merely FOLLOWS (is NOT caused by) the OBS, then penalize both.

In the video, the coach's INT is independent and not caused by the OBS, so penalize it. The general principle remains: runners must run the bases correctly, even if hindered illegally by the defense.

[If I may say so, this discussion is getting a little metaphysical -- I'll throw something at whoever asks about Hume's Problem. ]
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 09:57am
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Personally, I would rule as follows:

OBS awarded to the BR, giving him second base.

And that's it.

I don't think the push from the base coach was significant enough to warrant calling BR out. From what I understand, "physically helping" is like picking up a guy who fell, or something like that.
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 10:16am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawump
Let's change the facts from what happened in the video that you posted in the first post in this thread. Let's say the ball REALLY got away from F2 and that AFTER being obstructed by F3, the B/R attempted to go to third base (instead of going back to first base as he did in the video). Then, let's say that the B/R missed second base on the way to third base.

In this case, the B/R would be liable to being called out on appeal. The obstruction occurred 60 to 45 feet away from second base (between first and second). Under my scenario, the obstruction had nothing to do with the B/R missing second base.
I'm with you all the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lawump
Now, back to the original facts: By analogy (since you've raised this as a possibility) the obstruction did not cause the base coach to physically assist the runner. Thus, B/R has to be out, ball remains live.

I know it feels, to some, "wrong" to call a runner out on this play when the defense obstructed. But this feeling is wrong. BOTH teams committed a violation. Are we going to reward the offense just because the defense committed their violation first?
The problem is, you can't enforce both penalties. If you enforce the INT, the OBS is effectively ignored. Isn't that rewarding the defense?

How about this angle - the shove by the coach was not assistance since the runner did not benefit from it and the defense was not disadvantaged by it. Contact by a coach does not, by itself, constitute assistance. It is not INT if a coach "high-fives" the B/R on a home run trot, but it sure is if he pulls him back to touch a missed base (unless the B/R is Mark McGwire). I think you will agree that the alleged INT had absolutely no effect on this play. How was the runner assisted?

Take this a step further, and have the B/R advance to 2nd after being shoved off the base. NOW I can see enforcing the INT, but it still results in ignoring the OBS. It still bothers me a little (because the B/R would be called out for being assisted to a base which he would have been awarded for the OBS), but just a little.
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 11:08am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dash_riprock
How about this angle - the shove by the coach was not assistance since the runner did not benefit from it and the defense was not disadvantaged by it. Contact by a coach does not, by itself, constitute assistance. It is not INT if a coach "high-fives" the B/R on a home run trot, but it sure is if he pulls him back to touch a missed base (unless the B/R is Mark McGwire). I think you will agree that the alleged INT had absolutely no effect on this play. How was the runner assisted?

Take this a step further, and have the B/R advance to 2nd after being shoved off the base. NOW I can see enforcing the INT, but it still results in ignoring the OBS. It still bothers me a little (because the B/R would be called out for being assisted to a base which he would have been awarded for the OBS), but just a little.
I could buy this logic. It seems there is enough leeway in 7.09h to allow the ignoring of the contact.

The rule states. "In the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving third base or first base."

In this specific instance, the runner acquired 1st base on his own, without any assistance by the coach. The coach's contact was a push toward the next base. At the end of the play, the runner was still on first and, from what can be seen, the shove toward 2nd base did not influence the play in any way. I would argue the coach did not assist the runner "in returning to or leaving... first base".

Had the coaches contact been a pull rather than a push, I would definitely call the assistance regardless of the obstruction. Had the push and resulting aborted break toward 2nd resulted in any further action, I would very likely call the assistance.

Are Dash and I too far out on the limb?
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 11:54am
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Dash, Sorry, gotta disagree

Two wrongs don't make a right here.

A. The second we have OBS on F3, from what I see on the play IMO I am going to move the BR to 2B.
B. He returns because he has no idea what he is going to get, which is fine, he was offended by F3.
C. But everything has to change when the BR gets an unfair advantage not allowed by the rules when the 1B coach shoves him physically to 2B.

The second the coach put his hands on the BR to assist him, he broke a rule. It has to be enforced. There is no insulation from any rules violation penalty because someone did something to you.

If it was FB, we would offsetting fouls, in hoops it's a false double foul, in soccer you would have a drop ball to restart play. In Baseball, there is no way to balance each sides violations, you have to enforce both of them.
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Old Mon Apr 07, 2008, 12:00pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkumpire
Two wrongs don't make a right here.

A. The second we have OBS on F3, from what I see on the play IMO I am going to move the BR to 2B.
B. He returns because he has no idea what he is going to get, which is fine, he was offended by F3.
C. But everything has to change when the BR gets an unfair advantage not allowed by the rules when the 1B coach shoves him physically to 2B.


In Baseball, there is no way to balance each sides violations, you have to enforce both of them.
But, that is not the way it is commonly practiced at the MiLB and MLB levels. I have seen this play happen and asked the umpires why the INT was not enforced. Their answer, paraphrased was "There would have been no INT absent the OBS. Enforce the OBS." Perhaps they have information we don't have.
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Last edited by GarthB; Mon Apr 07, 2008 at 12:05pm.
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