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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 12:09pm
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Brain Teaser question

greymule asked a great question and I butted in and answered it out-of-turn. Hey, does that mean I batted out of order? Does that make the person who should've answered it, out? Shouldn't the "proper" answerer be blamed for the infraction?

Anyway, I'm riddled with guilt for ruining the game.

So, to make amends, I'll come up with another question. Anybody can answer it.

Scenario:

Lineup cards have been exchanged and the game is about to begin. The home team takes the field. The home team's lineup indicates their intention to make use of the DP/FLEX provision. The FLEX player is listed in the 10th spot and is designated as the pitcher.

The game begins and the leadoff batter gets a base-on-balls.

The next batter hits a sharp comebacker to the pitcher, who astutely whirls and fires to 2nd. They turn a double play!

At the conclusion of the play, the offensive manager requests time and wants to speak to you, the PU. He is carrying a lineup card and has a befuddled look on his face.

Offensive manager: "Hey, the player they have listed as their pitcher is not pitching? Isn't that illegal?"

That's the extent of his comment. He is asking you.

Isn't that illegal?

You get out your lineup card to see what is going on. Sure enough, the player who is pitching is actually indicated as the "2B" on the lineup.

Then who in the heck is playing 2B? It's the DP!

Then where in the hell is the FLEX (who was the designated pitcher in the lineup)? She's sitting on the bench!

You take a deep breath and shake your head.

Offensive manager, "Can they do that - not use the player they put down as their starting pitcher?"

* * *

However you choose to answer, make sure you make it clear which system of rules you are using for the basis of your answer. (ASA, NFHS, ...)

Add details! What would you actually tell this manager? How would you handle this?

Good luck!

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

Last edited by David Emerling; Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 12:11pm.
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 01:08pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Emerling
Scenario:

Lineup cards have been exchanged and the game is about to begin. The home team takes the field. The home team's lineup indicates their intention to make use of the DP/FLEX provision. The FLEX player is listed in the 10th spot and is designated as the pitcher.

The game begins and the leadoff batter gets a base-on-balls.

The next batter hits a sharp comebacker to the pitcher, who astutely whirls and fires to 2nd. They turn a double play!

At the conclusion of the play, the offensive manager requests time and wants to speak to you, the PU. He is carrying a lineup card and has a befuddled look on his face.

Offensive manager: "Hey, the player they have listed as their pitcher is not pitching? Isn't that illegal?"

That's the extent of his comment. He is asking you.

Isn't that illegal?

You get out your lineup card to see what is going on. Sure enough, the player who is pitching is actually indicated as the "2B" on the lineup.

Then who in the heck is playing 2B? It's the DP!

Then where in the hell is the FLEX (who was the designated pitcher in the lineup)? She's sitting on the bench!

You take a deep breath and shake your head.

Offensive manager, "Can they do that - not use the player they put down as their starting pitcher?"
Speaking ASA

Absolutely! As long as the DC reported that change prior to the batted ball.

The defensive designation on a line-up card is relevant only as it pertains to the use of a CR for the team who bats in the top half of the first inning.

The FLEX is now out of the game and has a re-entry available. So, as the PU there are two possibilities.

1. The defense's coach announced the DP for the FLEX change (required as noted in RS.15.L) at the top of the inning and you inform the coach that this is a legal substitute (assuming you forgot to record it on your card. Shouldn't happen, but it does), or

2. You realized the defense failed to report the change. Now the DP is considered an unreported substitute. In accordance with 4.6.C.8:

a. The DP is disqualified and must be replaced with a legal substitute or the Flex must re-enter the game in the DP's position;

b. The offense has the option to take the result of the play (not likely) or return the last batter to the box, assume the count as it stood prior to the last pitch and all runners return to the last base occupied prior to the play.
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 01:30pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
Speaking ASA

b. The offense has the option to take the result of the play (not likely) or return the last batter to the box, assume the count as it stood prior to the last pitch and all runners return to the last base occupied prior to the play.
Under ASA this will depend upon whether the unreported sub, second base, was involved with the double play.

If the double play was completed by the shortstop and first base then R 4.6.8 would not apply. Inthat case I would let the play stand, but I would still disqualify the unreported sub.
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 02:24pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGKBLUE
Under ASA this will depend upon whether the unreported sub, second base, was involved with the double play.

If the double play was completed by the shortstop and first base then R 4.6.8 would not apply. In that case I would let the play stand, but I would still disqualify the unreported sub.
OK, good point. Let's say it was a 1-6-3 double play. I didn't think that question would come up so soon.

I'm wondering if rule 4.6.D applies: "The pitcher is not required to pitch until the first batter faced completes their time at bat or the side is retired."

Hmm...

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 02:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
Speaking ASA

1. The defense's coach announced the DP for the FLEX change (required as noted in RS.15.L) at the top of the inning and you inform the coach that this is a legal substitute (assuming you forgot to record it on your card. Shouldn't happen, but it does)
Nope! This is all news to the PU.

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 03:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Emerling
Nope! This is all news to the PU.

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
Which is why there is a #2.
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 03:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGKBLUE
Under ASA this will depend upon whether the unreported sub, second base, was involved with the double play.

If the double play was completed by the shortstop and first base then R 4.6.8 would not apply. Inthat case I would let the play stand, but I would still disqualify the unreported sub.
From the original post: fires to 2nd. They turn a double play.

Since the base cannot catch the ball , I read this as being F4. Otherwise, I agree, if the offending player is not part of the play, all play stands and no options are given.
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 04:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
From the original post: fires to 2nd. They turn a double play.

Since the base cannot catch the ball , I read this as being F4. Otherwise, I agree, if the offending player is not part of the play, all play stands and no options are given.
You're right. But that wording was not intended to imply F4 - but I can see where you could conclude that. The intent was to leave it vague as to who handled the ball.

Actually this is not my question. It was at a rules clinic. Some information was purposely left out of the scenario that might be required to rule properly.

The students were expected to gather the pertinent information and then answer it.

You've guys have already hit upon two important pieces of information:

1) Did the defensive coach inform the PU of any substitutions?
ANSWER: No

2) Did F4 handle the ball on the double play?
ANSWER: No

But is there anything else that is important?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 08:33pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Emerling
OK, good point. Let's say it was a 1-6-3 double play. I didn't think that question would come up so soon.

I'm wondering if rule 4.6.D applies: "The pitcher is not required to pitch until the first batter faced completes their time at bat or the side is retired."

Hmm...

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
After all the year of umpiring, I still do not understand what this means.

The statement is very vague and ambigious.
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 08:50pm
JEL JEL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGKBLUE
After all the year of umpiring, I still do not understand what this means.

The statement is very vague and ambigious.

Not really. It just means if the defense wants to replace the pitcher during the first (faced) batters at bat, they may.

In some rulesets (mostly little ball) the pitcher is required to face at least one batter until their time at bat is complete, injuries to the pitcher excluded.
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 09:26pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEL
Not really. It just means if the defense wants to replace the pitcher during the first (faced) batters at bat, they may.

In some rulesets (mostly little ball) the pitcher is required to face at least one batter until their time at bat is complete, injuries to the pitcher excluded.
I agree with MGKBLUE, it is very poorly worded.

If it means what you're saying it means, then it would be much better to say it more like you said it.

"The pitcher is not required to pitch ..."


Huh?

Then when is the pitcher required to pitch?

"...until the first batter faced completes their time at bat..."

How is the batter going to complete their time at bat unless the pitcher pitches? But the pitcher doesn't have to pitch until the batter completes their turn at bat.

[head exploding!]

Oh, I know what they're trying to say. There must be at least a dozen different ways to intelligently convey the thought. Their chosen words wouldn't have made the list.

The point is this: Does the player listed on the lineup as the pitcher have any requirement to face the first batter? And if she doesn't, are there any repercussions?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

Last edited by David Emerling; Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 09:33pm.
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 09:48pm
JEL JEL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Emerling
I agree with MGKBLUE, it is very poorly worded.

If it means what you're saying it means, then it would be much better to say it more like you said it.

"The pitcher is not required to pitch ..."


Huh?

Then when is the pitcher required to pitch?

"...until the first batter faced completes their time at bat..."

How is the batter going to complete their time at bat unless the pitcher pitches? But the pitcher doesn't have to pitch until the batter completes their turn at bat.

[head exploding!]

Oh, I know what they're trying to say. There must be at least a dozen different ways to intelligently convey the thought. Their chosen words wouldn't have made the list.

The point is this: Does the player listed on the lineup as the pitcher have any requirement to face the first batter? And if she doesn't, are there any repercussions?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

Of all the rules that befuddle the mind (or mindless as it may be), this at least for me ain't one of them. This is under the "substitution" section. If a defensive coach wants to make the change, he is allowed to do so.

The offensive coach may try and say "she has to pitch to at least one batter."

The ruling the is "No coach, The pitcher is not required to pitch until the first batter faced completes their time at bat"

I dunno, that seems pretty simple to me.


>>>The point is this: Does the player listed on the lineup as the pitcher have any requirement to face the first batter? And if she doesn't, are there any repercussions?<<<

The answer is no, and no.
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 10:14pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGKBLUE
After all the year of umpiring, I still do not understand what this means.

The statement is very vague and ambigious.
No, it is not. Could it be worded better? Maybe, but I think it is clear enough. To me, actually quite simple if you read the full sentence.

It is a true statement. The pitcher is not REQUIRED to pitch until the first batter COMPLETES their time at bat or the side has been retired.

This is what makes good umpires mediocre as it pertains to the rules. Somebody trying to "out think" the rules often results in an umpire questioning themselves on the field and that isn't a good place for that to happen.

Of course, this is JMHO
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Old Sat Sep 01, 2007, 10:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
No, it is not. Could it be worded better? Maybe, but I think it is clear enough. To me, actually quite simple if you read the full sentence.

It is a true statement. The pitcher is not REQUIRED to pitch until the first batter COMPLETES their time at bat or the side has been retired.

This is what makes good umpires mediocre as it pertains to the rules. Somebody trying to "out think" the rules often results in an umpire questioning themselves on the field and that isn't a good place for that to happen.

Of course, this is JMHO
OK, then let's walk through this:

While an inning is progress and a new batter is coming to the plate, the defense requests time to change pitchers. Let's call the original pitcher, Pitcher A, and the reliever is Pitcher B. Any subsequent reliever would be Pitcher C.

Scenario #1: Pitcher B takes her warm-up tosses and the coach changes his mind. On second thought, he doesn't want Pitcher B to pitch. Her warm-up tosses looked terrible. She's not injured or anything. He just wants to bring Pitcher A back in. Or maybe Pitcher C.

Can he do that?

Scenario #2: Pitcher B is now pitching to the next batter. The first two pitches are in the dirt. The coach is not impressed. He wants to substitute and have Pitcher C finish pitching to the current batter.

Can he do that?

Scenario #3: Pitcher B walks the first batter she faces. The coach wants to change pitchers. According the rule "The pitcher is not required to pitch until the first batter faced completes their time at bat..." OK, now that first batter has completed their time at bat - she walked. Does that mean that Pitcher B is now required to pitch? I mean, isn't that what the rule says?

To say the rule could be worded better is a gross understatement. It is horribly worded! The mere fact that we're even talking about, what should be, an elementary substitution rule speaks volumes.

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
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Old Sun Sep 02, 2007, 09:46am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Emerling
OK, then let's walk through this:

While an inning is progress and a new batter is coming to the plate, the defense requests time to change pitchers. Let's call the original pitcher, Pitcher A, and the reliever is Pitcher B. Any subsequent reliever would be Pitcher C.

Scenario #1: Pitcher B takes her warm-up tosses and the coach changes his mind. On second thought, he doesn't want Pitcher B to pitch. Her warm-up tosses looked terrible. She's not injured or anything. He just wants to bring Pitcher A back in. Or maybe Pitcher C.

Can he do that?
Yes, he can. That is covered by the rule in question.

Quote:
Scenario #2: Pitcher B is now pitching to the next batter. The first two pitches are in the dirt. The coach is not impressed. He wants to substitute and have Pitcher C finish pitching to the current batter.

Can he do that?
Same question, same answer.

Quote:
Scenario #3: Pitcher B walks the first batter she faces. The coach wants to change pitchers. According the rule "The pitcher is not required to pitch until the first batter faced completes their time at bat..." OK, now that first batter has completed their time at bat - she walked. Does that mean that Pitcher B is now required to pitch? I mean, isn't that what the rule says?
Absolutely not.

Quote:
To say the rule could be worded better is a gross understatement. It is horribly worded! The mere fact that we're even talking about, what should be, an elementary substitution rule speaks volumes.
No, what this discussion is showing is that you are having a hard time comprehending a simple softball rule. It is an elementary substitution rule and your refusal to accept it speaks volumes. WTF is so hard to understand that a pitcher is no different from any other player on the team when it comes to substitutions or defensive positioning?

To answer your question on the front page, this discussion proves the answer is YES, softball really is that different and you prove it often.
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