The Yankees-Royals game on Tuesday night ended with a running out of the baseline/DP. With one out and Chris Carter on first base, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a ground ball to second baseman Whit Merrifield, who made progress toward Carter after fielding the ball. The moment Merrifield ran in the direction of Carter, his baseline was restricted.
Second base umpire Roberto Ortiz called Carter out for running out of the baseline. Merrifield threw to first for the game-ending double play.
If you freeze frame the play, locate where Carter was the moment Merrifield showed intent to tag by moving toward Carter. At that point Carter would have 3- feet in either direction. It was a close call but I think a good one. When an umpire has to determine an imaginary line in feet, it certainly is not an exact science.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi wasn’t happy about the call that was not reviewable. “[Carter’s] in the dirt. It’s just a poor call,” Girardi said. “It’s frustrating. It’s going to be two outs in that situation, but you still have a chance.”
To view this play, click on the link below.
- Offensively, if the runner is anticipating a tag he should gain reasonable distance from the fielder to allow for the 3-foot restriction.
- Defensively, the fielder should demonstrate some type of intent to tag ASAP. Running toward the runner is good enough.
- In my opinion the best way to review running out of the baseline plays is to freeze frame, clip-by-clip, from the point the fielder with the ball makes progress toward the runner. Make a line where the runner is the moment the fielder begins to make progress and judge whether or not the runner violated his allowed 3-feet. It might be as good idea to teach your players the 3-foot rule by using the freeze frame method with them. I think TV stations should do this for the fans.