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Rule of the Week: Hidden Ball Trick

What You Don’t Know About the Hidden Ball Trick One of baseball’s rarest plays, the hidden ball trick, is simultaneously gratifying and embarrassing. If you’re the fielder who pulls off this bit of defensive magic, it becomes one of the more satisfying moments of the season. If you’re the embarrassed runner, well, there is no […]

Rule of the Week: Safe or Out?

Ouch! Runner Struck by Batted Ball While Standing on Base You can trip up some smart baseball people with this basic rule about baserunning. Most people believe that if a runner is standing on a base that belongs to him, he is safe from being put out. Not so. A base is not a safe […]

The New MLB Intentional Walk Rule

The new MLB intentional walk rule has had little effect on the overall length of major league games. It was not a particularly bold move, but it does represent a changing of the mindset of those decision makers to speed up the pace of play. The estimated time shaving is around 35 seconds per game. […]

Rule of the Week: Who’s Your First Baseman?

Cubs Manager Joe Madden is known as a free spirit: innovative and not afraid to experiment. There is no better example of this than the unique defensive configuration he employs when the Cubs are expecting a sacrifice bunt. It has happened three times so far this season – most recently in the bottom of the […]

Red Sox’s Pedroia Spiked, Slide Rule Controversy – Again!

Manny Machado’s take out slide of Dustin Pedroia last week has stirred the cauldron of controversy that fingers MLB’s slide rule as the culprit. Pedroia is convinced Machado meant no harm with the spikes high, straight leg slide that forced him from the game and into an MRI machine. Don’t tell that to Boston’s Matt […]

Rule of the Week: Follow Through Interference

Pro rules have nary a reference to follow through interference. Instead, it is referred to as “back swing” interference. The golfing world knows the difference. Follow through vs. back swing The follow through is the continuing movement of the bat after the ball is struck or missed – the completion of the swinging motion. The […]

Did a Veteran Player Forget This Basic Rule?

Runner on First Attempts to Go to Second Base on Dropped Third Strike When a batter strikes out on a dropped third strike and first base is occupied with less than two outs, the batter is automatically out. The rule is a close cousin of the Infield Fly rule. It is designed to protect the […]

Rule of the Week: Runner’s Lane

Runner’s Lane The purpose of the three-foot wide lane (aka 45’ lane) along the last half of the distance between home and first base in foul territory is widely misunderstood. It only applies when the ball is being thrown to first base from the area of the plate (roughly from behind the runner), and none […]

Rule of the Week: Pitching Change

One of the standard rules in all baseball codes is the pitcher named in the starting batting order must pitch to the first batter or any substitute until that batter completes his “at bat” (reaches first base or is put out) (NFHS 3-1-1, NCAA 5-5b, OBR 5.10f). The rule is excepted if the pitcher is […]