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Our Rule of the Week Series.

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Fielder Throws Glove at Batted Ball

When a fielder throws his glove at a batted ball, it is a violation of baseball rule, 5.06(4)(C), the detached equipment rule. There is no penalty if the glove does not make contact with the ball but if the glove makes contact, all runners, including the batter runner are awarded three bases. This video examines the rule and shows several examples of cases where fielders tossed their glove at batted balls. MLB Umpire explains the nuances of this rule in a short, informative video.

Special Report:
Lineup Snafu Mets Bat Out of Turn

The Mets batted out of turn when they played the Reds May 9, 2018. Manager, Mickey Callaway, claimed it was an administrative error that cause the lineup in the dugout to be different than the one given to the umpires. Confusion reigned and we all get a lesson in the baseball rules surrounding batting out of order.

Red Sox Catcher Nabbed on Detached Equipment Rule

Baseball gloves are made for scooping baseballs. Catcher’s masks are made for protection. So, don’t confuse the two. When Red Sox catcher, Christian Vazquez, scooped a pitch with his mask he violated a simple but lesser known baseball rule that governs detached equipment. The infraction allowed two runners to move up one base. The detached equipment rule has many layers. This video explains what happens when a catcher uses detached equipment to field a pitched ball. MLB Umpire, Ted Barrett explains in clear terms so that you will never be confused again.

Is it Legal to Step on Home Plate?

Most players and coaches believe that if a batter steps on home plate he should be automatically called out. The Official Baseball Rules makes no reference to stepping on home plate. It says a batter is out if he makes contact with a pitch while one or both of his feet are on the ground entirely outside of the batters box. This video explains the rule and offers some great coaching tips, too.

Illegally Batted Ball

A batter is not automatically out when he swings at a pitch while out of the batter’s box. However, if he makes contact with the pitch while he has one or both feet completely out of the box, he is to be called out. Umpires should watch for this infraction during a hit and run play and when a batter attempts to hit a pitch during an intentional walk.

Are Laces Part of the Glove?

When a fielder tags a runner with his glove but only the laces of the glove make contact with the runner, is that a legal tag? Most people don’t this rule but it is clearly defined in the official baseball rulebook. This video shows a MLB play where the laces might have touched the runner.

Benintendi Baseline Call Preserves No-Hitter

Andrew Benintendi was ruled (official review) to have run out of the baseline and was called out in a game on April 21, 2018, when the Red Sox were visiting the Oakland A’s. The out call preserved the no-hitter by Sean Manaea. Was this the right call? This video reviews the play and the correct rule interpretation.

Evan Gattis Abandonment Causes Triple Play

When a runner gives up his efforts to advance to the next base he can be ruled out for abandonment. Evan Gattis of the Houston Astros forgot how many outs there were in a game against the Mariners, April 19, 2018, and jogged back to the dugout even though he was safe at first. What resulted was a triple play.

The Real Strike Zone Explained

A MLB game averages around 300 pitches, so we’d better know what is a strike and what is not a strike? Many misconceptions revolve around the strike zone. Ted Barrett tackles this rule in a must watch video. Learn the definition of the official strike zone once and for all.

Umpires! Get in the “Slot”

The “Slot” is the spot where home plate umpires should position themselves to get the best view of the pitch and the field. It allows the umpire to see clearly the ball out of the pitcher’s hand all the way into the catcher’s glove. This video has some archived footage of John McSherry teaching home plate umpiring techniques. He is joined by Dodgers’ catcher, Steve Yeager, in this 1980’s vintage instructional vignette.

When a Batter Causes a Balk

Baseball rules are clear in the situation where a batter does something in the batter’s box to cause a pitcher to commit a balk. The batter might feign that he has something in his eye or he might simply step out of the batter’s box without obtaining “time out” by the umpire.

If the umpire determines that the action of the batter caused the pitcher to balk, then it is a rare case of “do over” for batter and pitcher. MLB Umpire, Ted Barrett, and MLB TV Analyst, Chris Welsh explain the rule with this short video.

When a Pitch in the Dirt Hits the Batter

Baseball rules are specific in describing what happens when a pitch goes into the dirt and then hits the batter. MLB Umpire, Ted Barrett and Cincinnati Reds TV Analyst Chris Welsh, discuss all the possibilities and offer insightful interpretation. Coaches, umpires and players should learn this rule and watch this quick Rule of the Week video.

Fair Ball or Foul Ball – How to Tell the Difference

When a ground ball bounces near or over the base and then goes into foul territory, it can be confusing for baseball coaches, players and umpires. MLB Umpire, Ted Barrett and MLB TV Analyst, Chris Welsh, discuss this play and make it clear and easy to understand.

What is the difference between a foul ball and a foul tip. It is important to know the difference because with a foul tip the ball is alive and in play. With a foul ball, the ball is dead. Can a runner advance on a foul tip? What does the catcher do on a foul tip? What happens if a batted ball touches the umpire and is then caught by the catcher? This video examines the foul ball – foul tip rule.

Batted Ball Touches Batter in Batter’s Box

What happens when a batter makes contact with a pitch and the ball touches his body then bounces into fair territory? Is this a fair or a foul ball? How should the umpire make the call? Can a batter run to 1B on this play? This video explains this rule – foul ball.

UI Umpire Interferes with Catcher’s Throw to Pitcher

Baseball Rules Academy and MLB Umpire, Ted Barrett, explains the baseball rule regarding when an umpire interferes with a catcher’s throw back to the pitcher. In this case, the ball is dead, all runners return to their base and it is a “do over.”


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