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Old Thu May 08, 2003, 02:00pm
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Can I get some comments from out there on your criteria for calling a runner or batter out for batter interference?

Example: R1 on 2nd. Attempts steal of 3rd as ball is being delivered. Right-handed batter takes the pitch and the catcher receives the ball and contacts the batter as he comes up to make the throw to third. Since the batter can't disappear and did nothing intentional, I would think that to be no interference.

Now take the same situation. The batter swings at the pitch and in doing so, is off-balance enough that he (unintentionally) winds up in the path of the catcher who is trying to make a throw to third. Is this case any different?

Any other guidelines that I can use to assess the situation?


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Old Thu May 08, 2003, 03:02pm
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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If the batter takes the pitch, he should simply stand normally in the batter's box. You're right. He can't disappear. But he shouldn't do anything else, including duck.

If he swings, you'll know it when he moves so as to get in the catcher's way. You'll see it when he swings at an outside pitch and steps across the plate as if he couldn't help it. You'll see it when he acts as if his swing carried him forward, too. I batted a million times. How many times did my swing carry me out of the box? Zero. How about you?
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Old Thu May 08, 2003, 04:12pm
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 2,716
Just remember, a batter does NOT have to get out of the way IMMEDIATLY after the pitch. But he/she can't get in the way.

Rule FED:7.3.5.c "make any other movement which hinders actions at home plate or the catcher's attempt to play on a runner".

I don't have my OBR and NCAA Rule book in front of me and I don't believe they are that different however, please note, the word "intentional" does not appear in the ruleing. Return the runner and send the batter back to the dugout.

IMO that batter interference is not called enough however, I can understand because it is a delayed dead ball and some umpires figure that if the catcher gets the throw off, then it is ok. But found out that it was one more legal out closer to the end of the game. So make the call.
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