Can a Runner Continue to Run the Bases After He is Put Out?
Most of the time when a runner is put out on the base paths, he turns and heads towards his dugout. But what happens if the “put out” runner continues to run the bases as if he believes he is still active and in play? Perhaps one of the defensive players doesn’t realize that he is out and makes a wild throw while trying to put him out (a second time)?
Is this interference?
This play happened recently in a professional game in the California League (A) between the Modesto Nuts and the Cucamonga Quakes. We turn to Rich Marazzi for an interpretation to this interesting play.
by Rich Marazzi
The following play occurred in the Class A California League in 2017, between the Modesto Nuts and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. With the bases loaded and one out, the Quakes’ batter hit a ground ball over the third base bag that was fielded by the third baseman who stepped on third and threw in the dirt past first base. The runner, who was on second at the start of play, was forced out at third but continued home. The first basemen tracked the ball down in foul territory and fired home wildly allowing the other runners to advance.
Would you call runner interference on the runner who continued to run after he was called out? Would you call the runner out for unsportsmanlike actions?
The answer to both questions is “no.”
The onus is on the defense not to play that runner because he was already put out.
Rule 6.01 (a) (5) reads, “It is interference by a batter or a runner when any batter or runner or who has just been put out, or any runner who has just scored, hinders or impedes any following play made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate. If the batter or runner continues to advance after he has been put out, he shall not by that act alone be considered as confusing, hindering or impeding the fielders.
In certain situations, I always thought it would be smart Ruleball to have a batter or runner advance after he has been retired. If the defensive team makes an errant throw, this would benefit the offensive team. This situation often arises with a runner at first base and less than two outs. The batter strikes out and the ball gets by the catcher a few feet allowing the runner on first to advance to second. If the batter-runner attempts to run to first base and the catcher makes a wild throw to first base and the ball goes into the outfield, the runner on first might advance further.
Another scenario involves the 6-4-3 DP attempt with runners on first and second or the bases loaded and less than two outs. The runner on first after he is erased at second base continues to run to third. The first baseman after receiving the throw from the shortstop, throws to third in an attempt to put out the runner who is already out and tosses the ball into dead ball territory allowing his team to score one or more runs.