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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jun 03, 2012, 10:15pm
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obstruction??

I had a play in a little league game that I'm not sure I got right. Here's what happened. Runners on 1st & 2nd less then 2 outs. Batter hits a left center gap shot and while attempting to get to 3rd, the throw from the outfield got away from the 3rd baseman. The batter attempts to go home on the overthrow. The catcher (backing up the throw to 3rd) fields the overthrow and turns to run towards the plate. When he turns (to attempt to get back to the plate) he runs into one of the baserunners who had scored on the play and was walking towards the dugout. The distance between where the catcher fielded the ball and the plate was less then 15 feet. I believe it would have been a close play at the plate. Is this obstruction?
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Old Sun Jun 03, 2012, 10:43pm
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Definitely not obstruction. Obstruction is an act that prevents or hinders a base runner from running the bases.

This is interference.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2012, 07:05am
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INT by a retired/scored runner. The ball is dead, the runner being played on is out, and other runners (in this case, none) return to the last legally touched base. The OBR reference is 7.11.

Runs scoring prior to the interference would count.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2012, 10:33am
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You have your answer. I will add... PLEASE learn the difference between obstruction and interference before you step on a field again. Getting that wrong is a first sign that the umpire has no idea what they are doing - wouldn't want you to get that backward in front of a coach who knows what they are doing.
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Old Wed Jun 06, 2012, 02:33am
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Re:

I like this post.
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Old Wed Jun 06, 2012, 06:27am
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reported

reported
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Old Wed Jun 06, 2012, 11:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltjp View Post
Definitely not obstruction. Obstruction is an act that prevents or hinders a base runner from running the bases.

This is interference.
The catcher ran into the runner. The runner didn't do anything from what I read in the OP except was returning to his dugout. Why bail out a bad throw, and a klutzy catcher?
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Old Thu Jun 07, 2012, 08:16am
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Originally Posted by Steven Tyler View Post
The catcher ran into the runner. The runner didn't do anything from what I read in the OP except was returning to his dugout. Why bail out a bad throw, and a klutzy catcher?
Because the runner just happened to be in the one spot on the field where the klutzy catcher could run into him.
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Old Thu Jun 07, 2012, 12:28pm
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Originally Posted by thumpferee View Post
Because the runner just happened to be in the one spot on the field where the klutzy catcher could run into him.
That sounds like an excuse I got years ago from an umpire on a WP/PB. R3 and the pitcher gets one to the backstop. My batter stepped out of the box so the pitcher/catcher could make a play at the plate. Ball is rolling around the backstop, and R3 scores. Pitcher is late covering, and wouldn't have been close to making a play anyway. The catcher in desperation just pitches the ball toward the home plate area, and hits my batter square in the back. Umpire calls batter interference.

I walked down to ask what the deal was. He replied, "The ball hit him." I said, "I know that, but what did he do to interfere?" We repeated the same question and answer a few times.

When I finally got tired of his little cat and mouse charade, I finally told him I needed more detail than that. That's when he got pithy, and forfeited the game to the other team, even without an ejection in all of this. BTW-I wasn't impolite, or making a scene.

There's more to the story afterward, but I don't want to write a novel. However, the way I read the OP, it appears to me that the catcher caused the collision, not the runner.

The moral to my story is: The catcher in my scenario just threw the ball, and not even in the direction to where it needed to go anyway. The batter did nothing to interfere. He just happened to be in a spot where the catcher could randomly throw the ball anywhere, and still the call was incorrect. The same goes for the OP. The runner was doing what he supposed to do at that moment and time.

I would call interference in the OP if the scored runner actually did anything that intentionally caused the interference. I just don't see this as your garden variety interference.
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Old Thu Jun 07, 2012, 12:41pm
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Originally Posted by Steven Tyler View Post
I would call interference in the OP if the scored runner actually did anything that intentionally caused the interference. I just don't see this as your garden variety interference.
The problem is that the rules don't back up this interpretation. The scored runner (offensive teammate) MUST be out of the way. You could decide not to call interference on him if the catcher appeared to hit him on purpose ... but that didn't sound to be the case. Intent is not required on such a play - the scored runner is required to move himself completely out of the way.
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Old Thu Jun 07, 2012, 12:51pm
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Originally Posted by mbcrowder View Post
The problem is that the rules don't back up this interpretation. The scored runner (offensive teammate) MUST be out of the way. You could decide not to call interference on him if the catcher appeared to hit him on purpose ... but that didn't sound to be the case. Intent is not required on such a play - the scored runner is required to move himself completely out of the way.
I've never seen an interpretation for this certain play.
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Old Thu Jun 07, 2012, 02:59pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Tyler View Post
That sounds like an excuse I got years ago from an umpire on a WP/PB. R3 and the pitcher gets one to the backstop. My batter stepped out of the box so the pitcher/catcher could make a play at the plate. Ball is rolling around the backstop, and R3 scores. Pitcher is late covering, and wouldn't have been close to making a play anyway. The catcher in desperation just pitches the ball toward the home plate area, and hits my batter square in the back. Umpire calls batter interference.

I walked down to ask what the deal was. He replied, "The ball hit him." I said, "I know that, but what did he do to interfere?" We repeated the same question and answer a few times.

When I finally got tired of his little cat and mouse charade, I finally told him I needed more detail than that. That's when he got pithy, and forfeited the game to the other team, even without an ejection in all of this. BTW-I wasn't impolite, or making a scene.

There's more to the story afterward, but I don't want to write a novel. However, the way I read the OP, it appears to me that the catcher caused the collision, not the runner.

The moral to my story is: The catcher in my scenario just threw the ball, and not even in the direction to where it needed to go anyway. The batter did nothing to interfere. He just happened to be in a spot where the catcher could randomly throw the ball anywhere, and still the call was incorrect. The same goes for the OP. The runner was doing what he supposed to do at that moment and time.

I would call interference in the OP if the scored runner actually did anything that intentionally caused the interference. I just don't see this as your garden variety interference.
I would be interested to hear the point of view of the umpire in this situation. BTW, I didn't realize you are a coach.
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Old Thu Jun 07, 2012, 10:40pm
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Originally Posted by RPatrino View Post
I would be interested to hear the point of view of the umpire in this situation. BTW, I didn't realize you are a coach.
A little over twenty years removed. I still work with a couple of select teams on a very interim basis before the season starts.
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Old Fri Jun 08, 2012, 08:38am
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In this play the catcher appeared to have NO idea the runner (returning to the dugout) was in the area. He (the catcher) was focused on playing the errant throw, turned to run towards the plate and thats where contact occured. Imo, it was unintentional contact but as I have understood the rule as a 10+ year coach and 2+ year umpire, I thought the enforcement of calling the baserunner out was the correct ruling. I may have used the incorrect termoligy (obs. vs. Int.) but it sounds as if by the letter of the rule I got it right.
It was an unusual play whice is why I posted it on here. I knew I would get some help, either positive or negative, but help none the less.
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Old Fri Jun 08, 2012, 08:46am
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Originally Posted by legend View Post
I may have used the incorrect termoligy (obs. vs. Int.) but it sounds as if by the letter of the rule I got it right.
It was an unusual play whice is why I posted it on here. I knew I would get some help, either positive or negative, but help none the less.
That's a feeble takeaway for a novice umpire. You need not only to be right, but to be right for the right reasons and be able to explain why you are right.

You were lucky this time. Better to be good.
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