Game Ending Faux Pas
In this minor league game, the score is tied in the bottom of the ninth. The team at bat has runners on first and third and two outs. The batter hits safely to center field. The runner on third crosses the plate while the runner who was on first base thinks the game is over and retreats toward first base without ever touching second base-his forced base. But the defensive team never appeals the potential inning-ending force out at second base and the home team wins the game.
- There are two major mistakes in this play. The runner on first, who was forced to go to second, never reached second base. And the defensive team never appealed what should have been the inning-ending force out. Once all infielders left fair territory, they lost their right to appeal. And why didn’t the first base coach correct the runner’s irresponsible actions?
- When the runner who was on first retreated, it appeared he was passed by the batter-runner. This we can’t see because of the flickering celebratory lights. But an individual who was in the park said that the batter-runner never passed the runner on first.
- If the batter-runner passed the runner on first, the batter-runner would be the third out, but it would not affect the run scoring because the inning would not end in a force out. This would be an unusual example of a “Time Play.”
- Credit the umpires for remaining on the field until all infielders left fair territory. Once all infielders leave fair territory, the defensive team loses the right to appeal.
Rules consultant/analyst: Angels, D’backs, Dodgers, Nationals, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Rangers, Royals, Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Bally Sports, YES, and NBC Sports Chicago.