Blog

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…

Follow Through Interference

Pro rules have nary a reference to follow through interference. Instead, it is referred to as “back swing” interference. The golfing world knows the difference. Follow through vs. back swing The follow through is the continuing movement of the bat after the ball is struck or missed – the completion of the swinging motion. The…

Rule of the Week: Runner’s Lane

  Runner’s Lane The purpose of the three-foot wide lane (aka 45’ lane) along the last half of the distance between home and first base in foul territory is widely misunderstood. It only applies when the ball is being thrown to first base from the area of the plate (roughly from behind the runner), and…

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….

Rule of the Week – Catcher Interference Won’t Always Stop the Show

How should an umpire respond to catcher interference? Watch the video!   This week we’re discussing catcher interference. Catcher interference is when a batter swings and touches the catcher’s glove. The umpire points and calls out, “that’s catcher interference” – but the ball remains alive and the play develops! If the batter gets a base…

The World Baseball Classic Rules Worth Knowing

The World Baseball Classic begins Monday, March 6, so it is time for us to understand the rules, at least the important ones. Since the WBC is a product of close cooperation and negotiation between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, there are plenty of rules for everyone. Most of the “non-game” rules…

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