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Did the Umpire Misinterpret Backswing Batter Interference?

Backswing interference is a commonly misinterpreted rule. There are two types of batter interference. Type A batter interference is common: A batter is out for illegal action when he interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base.

Type B backswing interference is less common: If a batter strikes at the ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him on the backswing, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). This is also a delayed dead ball. If the catcher throws out a runner who is attempting to steal after he was interfered with by the backswing, the out counts and the batter remains at bat just like Type A. However, if the catcher does not throw out the runner, the runner returns to his base and the batter remains at bat without penalty unless it is “strike three” in which case only the batter is out.

In my opinion the umpire in the Blue Jays-Angels game on April 24, 2017, misinterpreted a backswing interference call that might have affected the outcome of the game in the Blue Jays 2-1 loss.   There is a distinction between two types of batter interference covered in rule 6.03 (a) (3) and (4) Comment: For the sake of clarity, I’ll call them Type A and Type B. This is my terminology to establish clarity and…

In my opinion the umpire in the Blue Jays-Angels game on April 24, 2017, misinterpreted a backswing interference call that might have affected the outcome of the game in the Blue Jays 2-1 loss.   There is a distinction between two types of batter interference covered in rule 6.03 (a) (3) and (4) Comment: For the sake of clarity, I’ll call them Type A and Type B. This is my terminology to establish clarity and…

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...a legitimate protest because of the rule misinterpretation. Since the Red Sox won the game 2-1, a protest, however, would have been a moot point.

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