MLB Rules

Expert Analysis

The 40th Anniversary of the Pine Tar Game

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Today, marks the 40th anniversary of the historic Pine Tar Game when George Brett’s two-run homer off Yankees’ reliever “Goose” Gossage in the top of the ninth gave the Royals an “apparent” 5-4 lead but was nullified by the umpires because they ruled the amount of pine tar on Brett’s bat exceeded the legal 18-inch…

Expert Analysis

July 2023 Rules Question and Answer #2

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Play No. 1 QUESTION: Look at this video from a minor league game and tell me why the outfielder did not get credit for a catch after he carried the ball several feet. Instead, the batter was credited with a home run? Click on the link below. ANSWER: This outfielder wasn’t credited with a catch…

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2023 Batter Awarded Third Base on Infield Overthrow

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Do you know there are situations when a batter-runner can be awarded third base on an overthrow by an infielder into dead ball territory? Can you define the terms “FIRST PLAY” and “SECOND PLAY” in the infield? Award of Bases on Infield Throws into Dead Ball Territory Normally when an infielder throws a ball into…

Expert Analysis

McNeil Shift Violation

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The Yankees and Mets played at Citi Field on June 14, 2023 when Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil was called for a shift violation by plate umpire Bill Miller. The Yankees had Anthony Volpe on second and one out with Giancarlo Stanton facing Adam Ottavino with a 0-1 count.  McNeil was straddling second base with…

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Meyers Not Called for Batter-Runner Interference

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The Nationals and Astros played at Minute Maid on June 14, 2023. In the bottom of the ninth, the Astros were batting with one out and the bases loaded with the score tied 4-4 when Jake Meyers grounded to shortstop C.J. Abrams, who threw home for the second out. Catcher Keibert Ruiz tried to turn…

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Manoah Tries to Blow Fair Ball into Foul Ball Territory

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The Blue Jays hosted the Astros on June 5, 2023 when Jays pitcher Alek Manoah tried to blow a rolling ball into foul territory in the top of the first inning. As written by Keegan Matheson, “In one of the stranger plays you’ll see this season, Manoah tracked a Jeremy Peña bunt down the third-base…

Expert Analysis

Coach Interference

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Rule 6.01 (a) (8) governs base coach interference. It reads, “It is interference by a runner when in the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving third base or first base.” This rule that seldom…

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Runner’s Lane Interference 5.09 (a) (11)

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The Rangers and Tigers played at Comerica Park on May 29, 2023.  In the top of the fifth inning the Rangers had Robbie Grossman on first base and one out when Bubba Thompson laid down a bunt that was fielded by Tigers’ pitcher Matthew Boyd who threw to first base. The throw hit Thompson and…

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Pitcher Chases Deflected Ball

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The Red Sox and D’backs played at Chase Field on May 27, 2023. Gabriel Moreno led off the bottom of the eighth facing Kutter Crawford.  Moreno hit a shot that caromed off Crawford’s ankle. The ball rolled toward the first base line. Crawford chased the ball and shoveled it to first baseman Pavin Smith for…

Expert Analysis

Runner Does Not Slide Heading to Second in Force Double Play Situation

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Does a runner have to slide when going to second base to break up a force/double play? The answer is “No.”  Let’s look at the following play that occurred in the Pirates-Mariners game in Seattle on May 26, 2023. In the top of the fourth, the Bucs had Jack Suwinski on first base with one…

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