Author: Rules Desk

What You Don’t Know About the Hidden Ball Trick

One of baseball’s rarest plays, the hidden ball trick, is simultaneously gratifying and embarrassing. If you’re the fielder who pulls off this bit of defensive magic, it becomes one of the more satisfying moments of the season. If you’re the embarrassed runner, well, there is no hole deep enough to hide from the humiliation of…

Rule of the Week: Safe or Out?

Ouch! Runner Struck by Batted Ball While Standing on Base You can trip up some smart baseball people with this basic rule about baserunning. Most people believe that if a runner is standing on a base that belongs to him, he is safe from being put out. Not so. A base is not a safe…

The Wackiest Triple Play Ever?

The Red Sox were the victims of a crazy triple play in Boston on May 2, 2017 when the Orioles turned three on a pop up to shallow left field. Once you have seen the play, you might come to your own conclusion as to whether the pop fly hit by Jackie Bradley, Jr. should…

Rule of the Week: Who’s Your First Baseman?

Cubs Manager Joe Madden is known as a free spirit: innovative and not afraid to experiment. There is no better example of this than the unique defensive configuration he employs when the Cubs are expecting a sacrifice bunt. It has happened three times so far this season – most recently in the bottom of the…

Red Sox’s Pedroia Spiked, Slide Rule Controversy – Again!

Manny Machado’s take out slide of Dustin Pedroia last week has stirred the cauldron of controversy that fingers MLB’s slide rule as the culprit. Pedroia is convinced Machado meant no harm with the spikes high, straight leg slide that forced him from the game and into an MRI machine. Don’t tell that to Boston’s Matt…

Strange Play Special Report: Ball Sticks to Catcher’s Protector

Baseball Fans Bewildered The Chicago Cubs started a 7th inning, three-run rally vs the Cardinals in a most unusual way on April 6, 2017. The Cubs Matt Szczur swung and missed on a pitch in the dirt for strike three. Aware that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina did not cleanly catch the ball, Szczur headed to…

Rule of the Week: When can a switch-hitter switch sides at the plate?

Last week we talked about switch-pitchers. This week, we’ll discuss a much more common phenomenon: the switch-hitter. When can a switch-hitter switch sides at the plate? Whenever he wants to! Unlike the pitcher, the batter can switch continuously from the left to the right side of the plate during the same at-bat. However, there is…

Rule of the Week: Switch-Pitchers

You probably know at least one left-handed person. One out of every ten people is left-handed…and only 1% of the population is truly ambidextrous. In the Major Leagues, however, the numbers are a little different: off the top of your head, you can probably name several leftys easily. After all, more than 25% of the…

Rule of the Week: Baseball Lifespan

Hold a baseball in your hand. Feel its solid weight and smooth surface. Count its 108 careful stitches. Major League baseballs are hand-sewn in Costa Rica at a Rawlings factory that produces millions of baseballs a year. What happens to those baseballs? “The ball,” Rule 3.01 proclaims, “shall be a sphere formed by yarn wound…

Rule of the Week: Batter Abandonment – When A Batter Is Called Out For Desertion

Your favorite player swings and misses. “Strike three,” signals the umpire. While the disgusted batter drops his head and walks dejectedly back towards his dugout, a fan yells, “Run! He dropped the ball!” The batter now takes off in a half sprint to first base. Too late, the home plate umpire has already signaled out….

Don't strike out!

Become a part of the largest baseball rules community in the world!

Get free access to baseball forums, rules analysis and exclusive email content from current and former Major League Baseball players and umpires.