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Old Tue May 20, 2003, 01:16pm
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Question

Had a play earlier this season on which I would like to get some input from this knowledgeable crowd....

Runner is coming into 3rd requiring a tag. I'm the BU and am positioned about 5 feet inside the foul line looking through the base toward left field (excellent positioning!) The ball gets there well before the runner so the runner changes directions. I move back towards 2nd with him. My partner comes up from the plate yelling "I got this end Tony." Pickle/hot-box/run-down ensues.

I maintain a position fairly even with the runner. Defense is not great. Runner is returning towards 3rd probably about 15 feet from the base and nearly even with the defender. Throw from 2nd is probably 6 feet outside the diamond. Fielder catches the throw and swings his left hand from where the ball was caught across his body towards the runner. Runner, to avoid the tag, throws his feet and body inside the diamond, to the left and comes to rest with his feet in foul territory towards home, his belly-button on the foul line, and his right hand about 6-8 inches short of 3rd base toward home. He scrammbles and gets his hand on base.

I have dropped in behind the runner and am now looking almost directly down the baseline from 2nd to 3rd. I'm thinking 'out of the baseline' and actually have put my hands in a position to emphasize that call (both hands to my right with palms ready to push left). I remember my partner though and hesitate slightly because he has this end of the play. I hear him (from about 15 feet down the line) state and then ask, "I got no tag. Tony, you got a tag?" I responded "No he didn't tag him." And before we can have any further discussion he has yelled "SAFE!"

I held my tongue and headed back to the "C" position.

The only heat we took was from one grandparent fan setting behind home plate (150 feet away) yelling that he was out of the baseline. It was a pretty childish response on his part but given who it was I couldn't have expected anything else.

Did I do this right? The runner did not take a step out of his basepath but he did leap away from the basepath landing where he couldn't quite reach the base. I protected my partner by not adding any further discussion after his safe call... and not adding any confusion by reversing the call.

The action was close enough to legal, and illegal, that I wasn't willing to push it either way. And I don't think we would have gotten any flack from either coach if the call had went the other way, had I more quickly yelled that the runner was out of the baseline.

Who has thoughts on this play or a similar conundrum?

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Old Tue May 20, 2003, 01:43pm
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out of the baseline...

tony,
i think you got it right. i like to compare this play to a steal of second.

how many times have you seen the runner know he will be thrown out, and try to slide just out of the reach of the bag and the tag, only to lunge at the back of the bag after the swipe tag has been put down?

if i were the coach, and you called him out of the baseline, i would have had a problem. you get in less trouble letting that play go.

As Wendlestedt once told us, "Don't go lookin' for boogers!"
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Old Tue May 20, 2003, 02:47pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by DownTownTonyBrown

Who has thoughts on this play or a similar conundrum?

In the same vein as IIITBTSB, IIITROTBNTB (...Run Outside The Baseline Near The Base)
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Old Tue May 20, 2003, 03:03pm
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Tony,

Trying to stick closely to your play I offer the following:

Rather than pick apart any of your post I think we should review the "pickle" play "with help".

It looks like your crew handled the play about 95% correct.

I say 95% probably because of how you wrote the post rather than the play itself.

1) We know that the ultimate test is for both umpires to team up on the "pickle" play. Again, I do not care if you say "I got this end!" or "I got this half!" -- at least you're communicating.

2) As we know from previous posts a base runner establishes his own base path during the play. We also know that the baseline is then 6' "wide". We recognize that a player can take even a couple of steps and still not be out of the (newly established) baseline.

3) We know that as a player ends his quest and reaches a base there is no way he can be out of the baseline, if he is anywhere near the base. (i.e. if he was too far away I would hope a tag could be easily applied). Bob Jenkins has nailed this part of the play.

4) We know from experience that the umpire "facing the play" (again sorry, i.e. the umpire which is located to where the play is coming) will make the final "safe" or "out" call.

5) We also know (here comes your -5%) that neither umpire should "chase" the play. Once both ends are covered you keep the play between you but never get too close that it appears that if you were handed a glove you could join the fray. By your post I think maybe you chased????

6) Last we know that you did correct by "holding your tongue" . . . the call "out of the baseline" is a call that is reserved for a clearly violated action NOT invasive in action. I am not saying "Make the Expected Call" but I am saying that the violation would have to be obvious to everyone before it is called.

So Tony, your instincts did great in letting the play happen and staying clear.

Good job.

Tee
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Old Tue May 20, 2003, 03:21pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by bob jenkins


In the same vein as IIITBTSB, IIITROTBNTB (...Run Outside The Baseline Near The Base)

I would agree with this only if saying that "near the base" is about 5 ft. of the base. I'm not going to allow a runner to exceed that in running around in BFE and outside that limit. If that's the case, everyone indeed saw the runner leave the basepath in his attempt to avoid being tagged.

While I'll allow a little extra space when near the base, there are still limits. The fielder shouldn't have to worry about chasing this guy around the base while others may still be attempting advance abd could need to be played on.

Stretch the limits near the base---don't ignore them.


Just my opinion,

Freix
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Old Wed May 21, 2003, 05:54am
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Tim C did a fine job analyzing the play. I would agree with each point. Sounds like some pretty good baserunning to me.
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Old Wed May 21, 2003, 11:32am
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Home plate

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim C
Is a greater "leeway" extended if home plate is involved?

It just seems to me that I have seen a much larger allowance when say, the plate is missed and the tag is missed, and the catcher/base runner "dance" begins.

Tee
Yes, there is greater leeway at home plate. A runner can miss home and walk 50 feet away to the dugout. He can then return and touch home as long as he has not entered the dugout (which would be abandoning his effort).

The "dance" can go on as long as the runner is trying to reach the plate.
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Old Thu May 22, 2003, 08:48am
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Re: Steve,

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim C
Is a greater "leeway" extended if home plate is involved?

It just seems to me that I have seen a much larger allowance when say, the plate is missed and the tag is missed, and the catcher/base runner "dance" begins.

Tee
I have greater leeway during the slide and the runner's attempt to tag the plate/base. However, I don't have a greater leeway when the "dance" begins. When on his feet and attempting to avoid a tag during his attempt to reach a base, if the runner "dances" around a tag, then I'll make him adhere to the the basepath rule. While he is dancing it's an obvious attempt to avoid---and to continue to avoid---the fielder's tag. During a slide attempt, it's certainly an attempt to avoid a tag, but it's generally a single move of the slide where he merely misses the base.

Whle tucktheump speaks of the runner leaving the plate and then returning, that action should not be confused with the definite action of attempting to avoid a tag. Such a player leaving the plate would become subject to appeal----even if he should attempt a later return to the plate. If the catcher attempts to tag him during his return to the plate, the runner is still subject to maintaining his path directly to the plate when played upon. Nothing has changed regarding maintaining his basepath during a tag attempt.


Freix
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