Batter and runners think it’s ball 4

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Jan 30, 2019
40
8
Don't get me wrong, I'm not supporting the tactic, I just don't believe there is a rule that would provide the umpire the ability to return the runners.
Most actually do have something like that. You will have to look in the Umpire Section of each rule book. They specify the duties and powers of the umpire. Most are written like USA "The plate umpire shall have the authority to make decision on any situations not specifically covered in these rules." Only difference is who is responsible. For example, the USA and NFHS give the plate umpire a little more authority, while NCAA every umpire is the same when applying these things.

So can the umpire return the baserunners and eject the coach/player if deemed unsportsmanlike, yes absolutely. Since, this type of interference is not directly covered in the rule book. However, before that call is made, I would have to absolutely sure the intent behind the play. I do not remember who, but someone mentioned the coaches jumping up and down and high fiving immediately after this happened. In that case yes, I would probably send the runners back and warn the batter and coaches, since it was deliberate. If I think it is just a batter that lost the count and ran down, then I would simply call the runner back, in this case time would probably be called, so all runners would be going back to last base legally touched anyway.
 
May 29, 2015
3,697
113
Don't get me wrong, I'm not supporting the tactic, I just don't believe there is a rule that would provide the umpire the ability to return the runners.
In which case? The fake overthrow or the batter runner trying to draw a throw?

In (a), no there is not. In (b), there is, but you have to make the big call. You cannot just “negate it” and say “don’t do it again.”
 
May 29, 2015
3,697
113
Most actually do have something like that. You will have to look in the Umpire Section of each rule book. They specify the duties and powers of the umpire. Most are written like USA "The plate umpire shall have the authority to make decision on any situations not specifically covered in these rules." Only difference is who is responsible. For example, the USA and NFHS give the plate umpire a little more authority, while NCAA every umpire is the same when applying these things.

So can the umpire return the baserunners and eject the coach/player if deemed unsportsmanlike, yes absolutely. Since, this type of interference is not directly covered in the rule book. However, before that call is made, I would have to absolutely sure the intent behind the play. I do not remember who, but someone mentioned the coaches jumping up and down and high fiving immediately after this happened. In that case yes, I would probably send the runners back and warn the batter and coaches, since it was deliberate. If I think it is just a batter that lost the count and ran down, then I would simply call the runner back, in this case time would probably be called, so all runners would be going back to last base legally touched anyway.

That provision gives us the authority to rule on unusual matters, not to make up our own rules. We should use the existing rules and situations to inform our decisions, not just do what we feel is right.

The only way you are bringing the runners back is by ruling interference, calling the batter out, and issuing warnings if not ejections. You cannot just arbitrarily put the runners back.
 
Jan 30, 2019
40
8
That provision gives us the authority to rule on unusual matters, not to make up our own rules. We should use the existing rules and situations to inform our decisions, not just do what we feel is right.

The only way you are bringing the runners back is by ruling interference, calling the batter out, and issuing warnings if not ejections. You cannot just arbitrarily put the runners back.
Yes, I agree and I do not see this as making up a rule and this rule applies. What existing rule would you use for a batter running to first on ball 3, intentionally, to allow a runner in front of them to advance. Remember they are not a batter runner as they have not yet completed their at bat. It is the same reason why we can call a batter back if they go in the dug-out if they think it is strike 3 when it is strike 2. Abandonment only applies to runners and the batter runner. This is still a batter.

I would also say this is an unusual situation because I have never seen a coach intentionally tell a batter to walk on ball 3 so the runners can advance.

Marriad stated in post 7 & 9 that it happened in a HS game and the coaches were celebrating and then the umpires got together and ruled interference on the batter, she was out and the runners returned, which is what I stated. I assumed most people knew that inference = out when it is committed by the offense.

I probably did a poor job in separating the 2 instances of accidental and intentional walk to 1st on anything other than ball 4. So here it is.

Intentional - must be 100% sure it is intentional - batter out for interference and runners return to base at time of pitch. Warning and possible ejection to head coach and batter.

Accidental - Return batter to box, once time is called after all play has ceased, the play(s) stand. I did a poor job of wording this prior.

It all applied to the batter going to 1st when not entitled to. The play on the fake overthrow is completely legal and I wouldn't invoke the rule quoted above for that instance. If the runners advance then good on them, they beat the fake, if there is an out then good on the defense for executing their trick play.
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,727
113
So, now I am curious. If you have a runner on 1B, with less then 2 outs and there is a dropped 3rd strike. If the hitter runs to 1B trying to draw a throw, is that the same thing?
The defense is responsible for knowing the situation and making the appropriate play. If there are less than 2 outs and the batter runs on a dropped 3rd strike the defense should know there is no possible play to be made and not throw the ball.
 
May 31, 2018
225
43
Allen TX
We had the reverse happen in HS playoffs this year.

Runners on 1B (BR2) and 2B (BR1) (1 out). Scoreboard incorrectly shows a 2-2 count, but Batter knows it is a full count. Ball 4 arrives and Batter trots to 1B. BR1 and BR2 start to advance. Catcher throws to 3B. BR1 is a smart baserunner and luckily returns to 2B. BR2 also returns to base (1B). Batter is also standing on 1B telling BR2 to go. Eventually Ump calls batter back to resume AB with a now full count. This is incorrect. Coach questions the count, and the 3 ump crew convene. Both base umps were not tracking balls/strikes. Plate ump calls it full count. Unfortunately, the AB continued and led to a FC out. Plate ump 100% miscounted.
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,727
113
We had the reverse happen in HS playoffs this year.

Runners on 1B (BR2) and 2B (BR1) (1 out). Scoreboard incorrectly shows a 2-2 count, but Batter knows it is a full count. Ball 4 arrives and Batter trots to 1B. BR1 and BR2 start to advance. Catcher throws to 3B. BR1 is a smart baserunner and luckily returns to 2B. BR2 also returns to base (1B). Batter is also standing on 1B telling BR2 to go. Eventually Ump calls batter back to resume AB with a now full count. This is incorrect. Coach questions the count, and the 3 ump crew convene. Both base umps were not tracking balls/strikes. Plate ump calls it full count. Unfortunately, the AB continued and led to a FC out. Plate ump 100% miscounted.
What did home book show as count? Home book has official scorekeeping.
 
Mar 1, 2013
393
43
Sometimes a lot happens and I forget if I had advanced the wheel (passed ball, steal attempt, throw down, etc.). If working solo, I usually verify with the home book if I am unsure. It happens.
 

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