Insider Report(view all)

Baseball’s Confusing Safe Sign 

There are two plays that can occur, normally at first base or home plate, where the runner does not touch the base, yet the umpire makes the safe sign.

In the June 17, 2016 game between Seattle and Boston at Fenway Park, the Mariners’ Nelson Cruz avoided a tag at first base and missed the base. Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called the runner safe. As Cruz was returning to the base he was tagged by Hanley Ramirez, who wisely appealed that Cruz never touched the base. At that point Wendelstedt called the runner out. In this play the umpire’s safe sign was indicating that Cruz…

In the June 17, 2016 game between Seattle and Boston at Fenway Park, the Mariners’ Nelson Cruz avoided a tag at first base and missed the base. Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called the runner safe. As Cruz was returning to the base he was tagged by Hanley Ramirez, who wisely appealed that Cruz never touched the base. At that point Wendelstedt called the runner out. In this play the umpire’s safe sign was indicating that Cruz…

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...the powers that be have historically determined that the theory of constant vigilance trumps the missed base, putting the burden of proof on the fielder.

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