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Old Sun Jul 11, 2010, 09:50pm
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coach told him to "block" the base‏

All, I had to share this with you....

Today I was an umpire for a 11-yr old "Rec" all-star tourney. In a close play at 3rd base team "A"s 3rd baseman put down his leg to block the sliding runner from team "B" as he took the throw. My partner the base umpire called the runner out because he slid into the 3rd baseman's leg and he never touched the base.

Needless to say team "B"s coach was angry that obstruction wasn't called. We assured him that this play was legal and his player was out. Next half inning team "B"s coach instructed his 3rd baseman to "block" the base if team "A" tries to steal 3rd.

Team "A" runner on 2nd base breaks for 3rd base to steal it. Team "B" 3rd baseman sets up like a good football offensive lineman (hands inside; elbows out) about 8-ft from 3rd base and proceeds to set the oncoming runner on his "keester" as he approaches 3rd base. OMG!!!WTF!!!

My partner and I quickly killed the play and quickly restored order. I can still see in my mind the stunned runner on his butt and the 3rd baseman who was very proud of his great block!! Team "B"s manager was stunned by his 3rd baseman's action. Team "A"s coaches anger settled quickly, nobody hurt.

Partner and I assessed the situation. We ejected nobody, warned everybody. My reason for not ejecting the 3rd baseman came from personal experience when coaching "youngsters". They sometimes mis-interpret your instructions and do something REALLY stupid. That is what happened in this incident.

THANKFULLY, The game finished without incident in a very harmonious atmosphere. This is a play I will never forget.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jul 11, 2010, 09:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kheisner View Post
All, I had to share this with you....

Today I was an umpire for a 11-yr old "Rec" all-star tourney. In a close play at 3rd base team "A"s 3rd baseman put down his leg to block the sliding runner from team "B" as he took the throw. My partner the base umpire called the runner out because he slid into the 3rd baseman's leg and he never touched the base.

Needless to say team "B"s coach was angry that obstruction wasn't called. We assured him that this play was legal and his player was out.
Oh, boy. What ruleset?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kheisner View Post
Next half inning team "B"s coach instructed his 3rd baseman to "block" the base if team "A" tries to steal 3rd.

Team "A" runner on 2nd base breaks for 3rd base to steal it. Team "B" 3rd baseman sets up like a good football offensive lineman (hands inside; elbows out) about 8-ft from 3rd base and proceeds to set the oncoming runner on his "keester" as he approaches 3rd base. OMG!!!WTF!!!

My partner and I quickly killed the play and quickly restored order. I can still see in my mind the stunned runner on his butt and the 3rd baseman who was very proud of his great block!! Team "B"s manager was stunned by his 3rd baseman's action. Team "A"s coaches anger settled quickly, nobody hurt.

Partner and I assessed the situation. We ejected nobody, warned everybody. My reason for not ejecting the 3rd baseman came from personal experience when coaching "youngsters".
You kicked the hell out of this one.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jul 11, 2010, 10:15pm
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Oh, boy. What ruleset?

PONY/OBR....why do you ask? I'd called it the same in Fed


You kicked the hell out of this one.

HTBT.....
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jul 11, 2010, 10:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kheisner View Post
Oh, boy. What ruleset?

PONY/OBR....why do you ask? I'd called it the same in Fed
Really? In FED you would allow a fielder, without possession of the ball, deny a runner access to a bag?
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Old Sun Jul 11, 2010, 10:52pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kheisner View Post
PONY/OBR....why do you ask? I'd called it the same in Fed.
You'd be dead wrong in FED. 100% OBS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kheisner View Post
HTBT.....
No, you don't. Your description says it all.
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Last edited by Matt; Sun Jul 11, 2010 at 10:55pm.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 12, 2010, 06:53am
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In general, MC is of course a judgment call. I can envision a play where a little runner (remember, these kids are 11U) bounces off a chunky F5 who is firmly planted. Hard to call MC there.

OTOH, I can envision a play (which sounds like the OP) where F5 goes and gets the runner and knocks him on his butt. I'm all for instructional umpiring up to a certain level, but even 11U kids know that's not baseball.

Whether his coach goes too depends on the first words out of his mouth. If it's "Bobby, what the heck are you doing?" he might stay; if it's "Attaboy, Bobby!" buh-bye.
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Old Mon Jul 12, 2010, 08:03am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kheisner View Post
Partner and I assessed the situation. We ejected nobody, warned everybody. My reason for not ejecting the 3rd baseman came from personal experience when coaching "youngsters". They sometimes mis-interpret your instructions and do something REALLY stupid. That is what happened in this incident.
I really hope that as you progress as an official, your reputation is based more upon your ability to apply the rules fairly, when applicable. Rather than just being a "Nice Guy". So ends the lesson.
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Old Mon Jul 12, 2010, 08:20am
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Sometimes a player will learn from a warning...but they almost always learn when they get ejected for doing something stupid. If you want to teach, enforce the rule properly when the game is being played and leave the coaching to the coaches.

I also understand the educational piece for young kids, but as an official, the more you "teach" on the diamond, IMO you're penalizing the good coaches for teaching their kids properly the first time at practices before it happens on the field. I agree, it is a fine line the younger you go, but I used to try and "help" the kids when I did kiddie ball, and I found that it actually got me in more trouble than it probably helped the player. Now, for the most part, if I see it, I call it and if it's a problem it gives the coach and players something to work on at practice.

YMMV
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Old Mon Jul 12, 2010, 08:57am
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All,
This 3rd baseman was on a lower level "Rec" team. If this had been a travel team or even an older team I would've ejected him and the coach IMMEDIATELY! HTBT, nobody cheered this kid for making a good play. He stood there proudly because he thought he had "blocked" 3rd base real well like coach told him to. The catcher never threw the ball to third.

Nobody hurt....The 3rd baseman got the worst end of the deal R2 hit him pretty good with his helmet running with his head slightly down. The stunned look on everybody's face was priceless. HTBT; It was borderline hilarious. I wish there was a video because I just couldn't believe what I was seeing.

As far as the obstruction ON THE ORIGINAL PLAY; situation was.....3rd baseman, ball in glove, leg going down, tag going down to runner, runner sliding into base....all at the same time. Runner probably would've been safe if the leg didn't block the base because he would've been under the tag. I've never seen this called obstruction. If a catcher makes this play at home, it is called a great play by the catcher. Why should it be different at any other base?

Let me know if I am wrong. My partner made the call. I would've called the same. I don't believe this is call that can be appealed. Your thoughts are appreciated. (Of course I will give consideration to the source)
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Old Mon Jul 12, 2010, 11:31am
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Good points, I'll just trust you on the no call on the MC
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Old Mon Jul 12, 2010, 11:36am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kheisner View Post
All,
This 3rd baseman was on a lower level "Rec" team. If this had been a travel team or even an older team I would've ejected him and the coach IMMEDIATELY! HTBT, nobody cheered this kid for making a good play. He stood there proudly because he thought he had "blocked" 3rd base real well like coach told him to. The catcher never threw the ball to third.

Nobody hurt....The 3rd baseman got the worst end of the deal R2 hit him pretty good with his helmet running with his head slightly down. The stunned look on everybody's face was priceless. HTBT; It was borderline hilarious. I wish there was a video because I just couldn't believe what I was seeing.

As far as the obstruction ON THE ORIGINAL PLAY; situation was.....3rd baseman, ball in glove, leg going down, tag going down to runner, runner sliding into base....all at the same time. Runner probably would've been safe if the leg didn't block the base because he would've been under the tag. I've never seen this called obstruction. If a catcher makes this play at home, it is called a great play by the catcher. Why should it be different at any other base?

Let me know if I am wrong. My partner made the call. I would've called the same. I don't believe this is call that can be appealed. Your thoughts are appreciated. (Of course I will give consideration to the source)
Why would you even type the sentence having to do with whether it can be appealed. What kind of calls do you think can be appealed?
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Old Mon Jul 12, 2010, 12:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kheisner View Post
In a close play at 3rd base team "A"s 3rd baseman put down his leg to block the sliding runner from team "B" as he took the throw.
Based on THIS, the above posters (and I) would have obstruction. You can't "block the sliding runner" AS you take the throw. As described (the first time), this is obstruction. 100% of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kheisner View Post
As far as the obstruction ON THE ORIGINAL PLAY; situation was.....3rd baseman, ball in glove, leg going down, tag going down to runner, runner sliding into base....all at the same time. Runner probably would've been safe if the leg didn't block the base because he would've been under the tag. I've never seen this called obstruction. If a catcher makes this play at home, it is called a great play by the catcher. Why should it be different at any other base?
The deal here is that you've now changed the situation. The umpire has to judge one thing - did the fielder impede the progress of the runner without possession of the ball. In the original post, heck yes. In this, a little greyer. There's no "all at the same time". At some point - the runner was impeded. This point could have been the moment of contact... but it COULD have been earlier if the runner changed direction, slowed, etc. At THAT point, did the fielder have the ball. That simple.

And without piling on ... I too believe you kicked the handling of the MC (and just because you "lose" the contact because the runner was bigger than you does not mean you didn't create malicious contact.) He should have been gone. Don't be nice just because you feel bad for the kid or think it was not his fault. Regardless of level, time of year, experience, whatever.
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Old Mon Jul 12, 2010, 01:58pm
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Thanks guys......I too now agree I should've ejected the "blocker". I'll know better next, no matter what....it was MC and he NEEDED to be ejected. I was very lucky nothing more happened. I shouldn't have let this player's stupidity make me deviate from the rules of play.

Yes, obstruction if leg is down before he gets the ball. I used to coach and my players were constantly guilty of these types obstruction at ALL bases......not once was it called. However they all quickly learned to quit it when they started playing with steel spikes......
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Old Mon Jul 12, 2010, 02:01pm
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Originally Posted by mbcrowder View Post
Based on THIS, the above posters (and I) would have obstruction. You can't "block the sliding runner" AS you take the throw. As described (the first time), this is obstruction. 100% of the time.
Not true in all codes: in OBR the fielder can block the base if a play is "imminent."
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Old Mon Jul 12, 2010, 02:10pm
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Originally Posted by mbyron View Post
Not true in all codes: in OBR the fielder can block the base if a play is "imminent."
Point taken.
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