Batter and runners think it’s ball 4

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Jul 31, 2019
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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.
So how is that different than the defense being responsible for knowing the count on a ball 3 situation where the home plate and base runners try to advance?
 
May 29, 2015
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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?

Depends on what you are saying. You added some “dangerous words” there.

The reaction of a batter-runner automatically running on third strike is expressly allowed in the rules. This is acknowledging that batters should be taught to run.

However, you said “trying to draw a throw” which now becomes similar to the OP situation where you have interference.

How do you know the difference? That’s what we’re discussing. 🤷‍♂️
 
May 29, 2015
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So how is that different than the defense being responsible for knowing the count on a ball 3 situation where the home plate and base runners try to advance?
I know I’m double-dipping, but one situation is expressly “excused” in the rule book. Anything else could be a deliberate intent to interfere or just an accident.
 
Jul 31, 2019
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Ok, so I think its fair to say, it all comes down to if the act is viewed as deliberate. Other than coaches being dumb enough to high five each other after it, not sure that it would ever be called.
 
Jun 6, 2016
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Chicago
OK, would like everyone to weigh in on this:

Catcher intentionally dropping a third strike in situations where there is no dropped third to bait the runners into trying to advance? Legal? Bush league? Let's assume it's an age/level where players should be aware of the rule.

This idea came to me after a play last year where we had 1 out, bases loaded. My catcher legitimately did not catch the third strike, all their runners (and the batter) took off. Catcher just tagged the runner coming home, who didn't really even try to avoid it since she assumed she had to run anyway.

For this to work as a called play, the catcher would have to be real smooth about the drop so it doesn't look obvious (like an infielder intentionally dropping a pop-up). I can't think of how it would be illegal, though I could see some thinking it's a cheap move.

I have never executed this as a called play, but I do kind of want to try it.
 
Aug 12, 2014
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OK, would like everyone to weigh in on this:

Catcher intentionally dropping a third strike in situations where there is no dropped third to bait the runners into trying to advance? Legal? Bush league? Let's assume it's an age/level where players should be aware of the rule.

It seems like it's completely legal, I have no idea why it wouldn't be. I would also say it's totally bush league, but I think trick plays in general are bush league, like the previously mentioned "throw the ball to the pitcher and have the fielders act like the ball is in the outfield" play.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,638
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Chicago
It seems like it's completely legal, I have no idea why it wouldn't be. I would also say it's totally bush league, but I think trick plays in general are bush league, like the previously mentioned "throw the ball to the pitcher and have the fielders act like the ball is in the outfield" play.

I go back and forth, but I think my standard (which admittedly is subjective and arbitrary) is "Should the players being tricked know better?"

If you're pulling the hidden ball trick on a Major League player, well, that's on him. If you trick an 8 year old, good for you, you tricked an 8 year old, you jerk.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,638
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Chicago
My standard is basically "is it naturally occurring in the game or is it manufactured to get a cheap out or cheap base advancement?"

I get it, but do you think there's no place for outsmarting the opponent? Is it not fair to expect players (of a certain age) to be paying attention?

If in the WCWS, someone did the "pretend throw went into the outfield" trick and it worked, I think most people would rightly say the runner (and base coaches) need to do their jobs better.

I also think "naturally occurring" is a bit nebulous. Is it wrong for an OF to deke a runner by putting her glove up like she's going to catch a little liner when she knows it's dropping? That could get the runner to freeze just long enough to get her out. Is that "naturally occurring"?

Are all the stupid games people play during timed games "naturally occurring"? I'd argue all that stuff is way worse than the on-field tricks meant to take extra bases/get extra outs.
 

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