A batted ground ball is headed down the third baseline. It is rolling in foul territory, but will definitely come to rest over fair territory. Before the third baseman can field it, the third base coach reaches down and picks it up the ball just before it gets to fair territory. There was no possible play on the batter-runner, who is making no attempt to go to second base. Anyone know the answer to this?
This is interference. Batter/Runner is ruled out, and any other runners return. Offensive team members (including base coaches, the on deck batter, bullpen personnel in on-field bullpens, etc.) must vacate any area needed for the defense to field a ball, and may not do anything which hinders the fielder’s attempt to field the ball. The fact that there was “no possible play” is irrelevant – the coach hindered the fielder’s ability to field a batted ball. See OBR 6.01 (b) for reference.
If the ball was obviously foul with no chance of being caught, you would have nothing. Since this batted ball had a chance to become fair and be fielded, it is interference. The offense is also prohibited from intentionally deflecting the course of a foul ball which has the chance to become fair.