Player in On-Deck Circle Called for Interference
The rules book states that the next player up must be in the on-deck circle and that this is the only player who should be there – one player at a time. The on-deck batter is considered an “offensive teammate.” Offensive teammates must try to avoid a fielder trying to field. In most cases an offensive teammate who does not try to avoid contact with a fielder will be called for interference.
This is a judgement play for the umpire. The key phrase in the rule is “blatantly and avoidably hinders a fielder’s try to field…”
A dugout is dead ball territory; however, offensive team personnel must avoid a fielder trying to catch near their dugout.
Real Game Situations
Example Play #1 (Jaska Roder Rules of Baseball)
The 0-1 pitch goes wild past the catcher, and the batter stands back to signal his teammate to run home. The ball ricochets sharply off the backstop, and the catcher is able to retrieve it quickly, and tries to throw R3 out at home. The batter, seeing that his teammate may now be thrown out, returns to the vicinity of the plate and knocks down the throw just as the pitcher is about to receive it: the runner is out, unless there were two outs, in which case the batter is called out and the run does not count.
Example Play #2 (Jaska Roder Rules of Baseball)
A runner passes home plate but fails to touch it. The on-deck batter sees the miss of the plate and also sees that the ball is approaching. He grabs the runner and pushes him down onto home plate just before the catcher receives the throw: interference. The runner is out and his run does not count.
Example Play #3
With bases loaded a pitch eludes the catcher and rolls toward the on-deck batter. The runners each advance one base as the catcher pursues the ball. However, the on-deck batter reaches down and pick up the live ball before the catcher can get to it: interference without a play being made. The ball is dead and the runners are restricted to their one-base advance.