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No, this is a live ball and play should continue. It’s the same as if a fielder throws a ball which ricochets off a runner.OBR 6.02. (a) 7 – It is a balk when the pitcher makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch while he’s not touching the pitcher’s plate.
Thus, it must be adjudged whether his throwing motion is “naturally associated with his pitch”. This most commonly occurs with a suicide squeeze, and the pitcher steps off quickly and then throws home to retire the runner. This is generally considered NOT a natural pitching motion as all parties involved are usually aware that it is an attempt to throw out the runner from third. However, if the pitcher steps back, but then throws in a manner similar to his pitching motion, it could be called a balk.In OBR, the penalty is much more forgiving as the rule is simply to call time and return the runner to his original base as of the time of pitch, if applicable. However, in NFHS, if the runner is stealing on the play and follow through interference occurs then it is considered batter’s interference and the batter is called out with the runner being returned to his original base. If the pitch results in strike three, the same ruling applies in OBR, just send the runner back to 1st. However, in NFHS a strike three would cause the batter to be out, and the runner would also then be called out on the batter’s interference. Note: In NFHS, if the runner is not stealing on the pitch, then the rule is the same as OBR and no batter’s interference is called. Time would be called so as to prevent the runner from advancing on continuous action.The stretch position is when the pitcher is bending over taking signs from the catcher with his hands separated and one of them down at his side prior to coming to the set position where he brings his hands together and comes to a discernable stop. At this moment, he now has the permission to pitch the ball. Since these motions connect with each other, the terms have been used interchangeably by some.The 1975 World Series is infamous for an umpire term called “tangle untangle” wherein the batter came out of the box and collided with the catcher. This is purely a judgement call where it must be determined the severity of the collision and who is in most violation. If the catcher shoves the batter to the ground, it is obstruction. If the batter shoves the catcher to the ground, it is interference. If they just bump each other both doing what they are supposed to be doing and no one gains an advantage, you may see the umpire give the “safe” signal indicating he has determined this to be “tangle untangle” and everyone should play on.For this reason, the runner’s lane does not begin until 45 feet down the base path. This gives the runner plenty of time to adjust his path out of the box and run legally the last half of the way to first base. If he chooses to not correct his path, he is subject to being called out for runner’s lane interference.Once the pitcher separates his hands, he has committed himself to pitch. Stepping off the rubber alleviates his obligation to pitch as he is now an infielder. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If the pitcher clearly separates, and then decides to step off, it is a balk. If the pitcher starts to step, but before he completes his step he separates his hands, he’s fine. If he does it at the same time, the umpire should provide some leniency.
OBR rule 6.02 (a) comment: Umpires should bear in mind that the purpose of the balk rule is to prevent the pitcher from deliberately deceiving the base runner. If there is doubt in the umpire’s mind, the “intent” of the pitcher should govern.No. There is a section of the OBR book Rule 6.01 (d) titled “unintentional interference” which details that various personnel legally allowed on the field who are attempting to get out of the way of a live ball do not create interference when struck by a ball or impeding a fielder. The ball is live and all should play on. If those same personnel, intentionally pick up a ball or interfere, the ball is immediately dead and the umpire will impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of the interference.
Spectator interference does not allow play to continue and is always an immediate dead ball.
Each act is adjudged separately on their own merits, however, they can also be connected. In your example, if the lead runner stopped running as a result of the obstruction and the trailing runner could have achieved third but stopped at second base because he saw the runner in front of him return to third because of the obstruction, the umpire could grant the lead runner home plate and the batter runner third. However, if the batter runner was obstructed rounding 1st and the lead runner was obstructed rounding third and subsequently thrown out on a close play at home. Time would be called, and the runner from third would be awarded home, and the batter runner would be awarded second.a pitcher may legally speed up his delivery. It is a pitch, and can be contacted by the batter. The catcher must wait until the pitch has passed the plate before he can catch it or be subject to catcher’s interference in which the stealing runner would score and the batter would be awarded first base.Nothing. The player is by definition still safe as he has passed or acquired home plate. The defense has the obligation to properly appeal the missed base upon which the umpire can signal the runner out.The NFHS book creates a penalty for stepping out of the box. The penalty is that you call a pitched ball a strike regardless of location. One foot out of the box, one strike. Two feet out of the box, two strikes. The ball is allowed to be pitched and is live while in flight. Anytime a pitched ball hits a batter, it becomes an immediate dead ball. Thus, you kill the play because of the HBP, but you don’t award the HBP penalty nor call the pitch based on it’s merits regarding it’s location to the strike zone. It becomes a strike or two, and the batter remains if permitted by the advancement of the count.
- September 8, 2020 at 10:38 am
- in reply to: What happens if there is more than one obstruction violation in one play?