Blog

Bat Interference

It is common to see a batter drop his bat in fair territory in the area in front of home plate. Usually this results in no further complication of the play. But when the dropped bat touches a batted ball, every umpire, coach and player should know the rule. Live batted ball A batter is […]

Something You Probably Don’t Know: The Difference Between a Foul Tip and Foul Ball

Most baseball fans incorrectly use the terms foul ball and foul tip interchangeably. For those who make this mistake, it might simply be a case of careless use of words… or it could be something more serious: a fuzzy understanding of basic baseball rules. So what is the main difference between a foul tip and […]

Strike Zone Misconceptions

How an umpire calls balls and strikes is the single most influential factor in any baseball game. If the umpire has a “hitter’s strike zone” the pitcher doesn’t get the marginal pitches and the game often is riddled with walks, more hitting and higher scores. If his zone is loose or big, the opposite occurs. […]

When May a Fielder Block the Base?

With so many head-first sliding runners in baseball there are more fielders who will drop a knee in front of the base to keep the fielder from touching the bag. Here, however, we are not talking about the home plate collision rule. In this case, we are discussing a play at any base where the […]

Rule of the Week: Ball or Strike?

Is it a ball or a strike? Only your umpire knows! A crazy strike three was recently called in a minor league game between the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies) and Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets) when the pitcher, Cory Burns, stumbled during his delivery and the pitch rolled towards the first base line well away from […]

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 […]