Insider Report

Obstruction Called on Pitcher Covering 1B

The Red Sox and Jays met at the Rogers Centre on May 9. The Jays were batting in the bottom of the second with a runner on first base and one out when Devon Travis hit a ground ball to first baseman Mike Napoli. Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly went over to cover the base. Napoli bobbled the ball and made the play unassisted himself as he tagged first base. First base umpire Lance Barksdale…

Passing Runner Violations

A strange inning-ending double play occurred in the August 26, 2015 game between the Royals and Orioles in Kansas City. In the bottom of the second, the Royals had two runs in and runners on first (Omar Infante) and second (Paulo Orlando) and one out when Alcides Escobar flied to Adam Jones in deep left center. Both runners took off without tagging-up. Orlando went back to second base to tag where he was met by…

When a Fielder Makes a Throw into a Dead Ball Area

Your typical base awards for runners on infielder overthrows that go into dead ball territory are two bases from their position at the time of the pitch. But don’t fall asleep. There are other base awards that emerge on infielder overthrows into DBT that depend on “first” and “second” plays in the infield. A rare base was award was issued in the ninth inning of the Jays-Indians game in Toronto on Monday night. Rule 5.06…

Quick Pitch: Illegal and Dangerous

Things got hot in Philadelphia this past Tuesday night after the Mets’ Hansel Robles “quick pitched” Darin Ruf of the Phillies. Insider Observations: Per rule 6.02 (a) (5), a quick pitch is an illegal pitch. “Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base, the penalty is a “balk.” With no runners on base the pitcher is charged with a “ball”…

Spectator Interference

When spectator interference occurs, the umpires have the authority to place the batter and the runners at any base they judge would have been made had there been no interference. It’s possible that the umpires will award two bases to one runner while awarding only one base to another runner or the batter. The umpires must take into account, the fielder’s proximity to the infield, the speed of the runner, the speed of the batter,…

Baserunners Struck by Batted Ball

On a day America set its eyes on the Kentucky Derby, Major League Baseball provided its own long shot when three baserunners were called out because they were struck by a batted ball. Two of the runners, Taylor Featherston and Jordan Pacheco, incredibly made the last out of the game. Andrelton Simmons (Braves) completed the trifecta when he was hit with a sizzling grounder off the bat of Jace Peterson. The possibility of a game…

Backswing & Batter Interference

Backswing and Batter Interference on Same Swing The Twins hosted the Blue Jays on May 30 when the rarity of backswing interference and true batter interference occurred on the same swing. In the bottom of the fifth, the Twins had Aaron Hicks on first when Eduardo Nunez swung and missed on a 0-1 pitch. On the pitch Hicks attempted to steal second. Nunez hit catcher Russell Martin on the backswing and also got in Martin’s…

Catcher’s Interference

In the top of the eighth inning of the June 11 Padres-Braves game, the Padres had the bases loaded with two outs trailing 4-3 when Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt was called for “catcher’s interference” when his mitt came in contact with the bat of the Padres Cory Spangenberg allowing Will Myers to score from third. Spagenberg fouled-off the ball to the left side of the field and at that point the play was declared dead….

Baseline Rules to Know

During our spring training presentations I emphasized how the runner makes his own baseline. Until there is a tag attempt, the runner is on his own. The rule reads, “… A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely.” It is at that point a runner has three-feet in either direction from a straight line to…

When Lights Fail at the Ballpark

The Cubs defeated the Dodgers, 4-2, on June 22 but played the final part of the game under protest after patches of lights stopped working for 20 minutes. Every light bank was still functioning across Wrigley Field, but groups of lights went out with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, halting play for 10 minutes. The Cubs led, 2-1, when manager Joe Maddon talked with umpires about waiting. Maddon came out onto…