September 8, 2021

Batter Goes Deep then Fight Breaks Out During HR Trot

Which rules to apply?

Batter Goes Deep then Fight Breaks Out During HR Trot

What rules experts say about this play:

  1. Ramos has an automatic four-base award because of the home run.
  2. Walton, the Tacoma shortstop, confronted Ramos between second and third. In my opinion the confrontation led to Walton hindering or impeding Ramos’ advance around the bases.
  3. Therefore, I would rule Type 2 obstruction on Walton because the obstruction occurred without a play being made on the runner.
  4. In such a situation umpires attempt to determine the first team to offend. I think it’s clear that Walton initiated the skirmish when he confronted Ramos.
  5. Ramos flung his batting helmet at Walton after he was confronted.

In my opinion, even though Ramos did not touch second and third, the umpires were within their rights to award Ramos the four bases or home run because those are bases he would have reached had there been no obstruction.

6.. Because of the circumstances, I don’t think it would be necessary for Ramos to touch third and home.

As for the ejections of the players involved in the fight, the disqualification doesn’t occur until there is no further action.

  1. The rules used in this situation would be: 6.01 (h) (2) Type 2 obstruction…Walton obstructed Ramos without a play being directly made on him because of the dead ball home run; 6.04 (a) unsportsmanlike conduct that led to multiple ejections; 8.01 (c) umpires are allowed to rule on any point not specifically covered in the rules. This would give the umpires the right to allow Ramos’s home run to count disregarding his touch of third and home because of the circumstances.

I would eject both players, My options on the batter runner- dead ball because of home run so I could allow the team to put in a substitute and allow the home run to finish running the bases and I would likely do this if I felt defense started fight or every home run would turn into a fight if it could stop the run. I guess I could also choose to call the batter runner out for abandoning if I thought the fight was totally his fault. Crazy stuff like this does not have a good answer. 



My first read on Stan’s comment was ‘that’s kind of a cop out’… then I thought ‘No, no it’s not.’ Actually, it’s a, IMHO, good answer to a ‘shitstorm’. There is NO way an ump can truly unravel something like this. It would not take too many calls like Stan is advocating for before the league put a stop to this nonsense.

Stan Dyer

It was difficult to tell if the shortstop said anything to the batter/runner as he passed, even though it is easy to see they exchanged words. From the video, it’s not easy to see who started the melee. It is, however, easy to see what happened after that.

I would eject both players. Then I would eject every player who came out of the dugout, and any coach who was not trying to break up the fight, but was actively involved. If the team at bat had any players left, I would allow that team to enter a substitute to finish touching the bases, and resume the game from there, assuming both teams still had enough players to continue playing. If one or both teams did not have enough players, I would call a forfeit, and let the league figure it out.

Have a question or comment for one of our experts?

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.