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 Post subject: Dumb baseball rule
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 2:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:47 pm
Posts: 1734
Location: Washington
On Sunday, the Mariners played the Royals at Safeco Field when an unusual — and, as it turned out — game-changing incident took place.

The game was tied 1-1 with two outs and two on in the bottom of the seventh inning, with the Mariners' Willie Bloomquist at bat. With two strikes, Bloomquist swung and foul-tipped a ball that wound up in the glove of Royals catcher John Buck. Buck actually got up and headed toward the dugout before the umpire called him back.

The umpire ruled — and replays agreed that the foul tip had struck Buck on the leg and rolled up his arm before he got it in his glove. According to MLB rules, a foul tip only counts as a third strike and therefore an out when it goes directly into the catcher's glove — or, at least, off the glove first. It apparently doesn't matter that the ball never touched the ground.

Quote:
MLB Rule 6.05(B):

A batter is out when –

(b) A third strike is legally caught by the catcher;
Rule 6.05(b) Comment: ““Legally caught”” means in the catcher’’s glove before the ball touches the ground. It is not legal if the ball lodges in his clothing or paraphernalia; or if it touches the umpire and is caught by the catcher on the rebound.
If a foul-tip first strikes the catcher’’s glove and then goes on through and is caught by both hands against his body or protector, before the ball touches the ground, it is a strike, and if third strike, batter is out. If smothered against his body or protector, it is a catch provided the ball struck the catcher’’s glove or hand first.


Bloomquist, given new life, ripped a double to center that drove in two runs, and the Mariners went on to win, 5-1.

Nobody disputed that the umpire made the right call. But Royals manager Buddy Bell — correctly, I thought — went out of his way to make clear that he thought the rule itself was ridiculous:

Quote:
“That play happens too fast for the home-plate umpire to call,” he said. “It happens too fast for the second-base umpire to call. If (a batter) fouls the ball off and it doesn’t hit the ground, then it should be a strikeout.

“It’s that simple. I don’t understand why it has to be so complicated.”



I can't say as I blame him. I say any catch of a foul ball should be an out. Period.
[/quote][/i]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 741
Location: The Empire State
I admit, I have always found the rule that a dropped third strike constitutes a strikeout but the runner can reach first if he gets there before the ball does to be bizarre. When is an out not an out? When it's a dropped third strike with the runner reaching successfully.

It must make baseball impossible to explain to people who don't know the game.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:39 pm
Posts: 731
Location: Central Texas
Especially when you have to explain that it applies only if first base is "open."

So, if the runner on first breaks for second, reaches before the ball gets to home (OK, unlikely, but let's have fun), and then the batter strikes out for the third out of the inning on a passed ball, is the inning over, or is first base open, allowing the batter to try to extend the inning?


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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:40 am
Posts: 39
Location: 60'6" from home plate
onceahack wrote:
Especially when you have to explain that it applies only if first base is "open."

So, if the runner on first breaks for second, reaches before the ball gets to home (OK, unlikely, but let's have fun), and then the batter strikes out for the third out of the inning on a passed ball, is the inning over, or is first base open, allowing the batter to try to extend the inning?


The "if first base is open" part only applies with less than two out. If there are two out, the batter can always run, regardless of whether first base is occupied. Also, it's whether first is occupied at the time of the pitch, regardless of what the runner does on the play.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 9:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:39 pm
Posts: 731
Location: Central Texas
JeffW wrote:
The "if first base is open" part only applies with less than two out. If there are two out, the batter can always run, regardless of whether first base is occupied. Also, it's whether first is occupied at the time of the pitch, regardless of what the runner does on the play.


With all these twists, it makes sense that copy editors are often baseball fans (at least enough of us to have this thread): We can unwind with the kind of mental gymnastics we use on the job, and when we goof, it's only our egos that can be hurt.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 11:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 1775
Location: Baltimore
The summer I was 14 I scored from first base on a "grand slam" strikeout against the worst team in the league.

Can't remember how many outs there were, but I wondered then, as the other team heaved the ball all over the field, if this was legal, and if so, why?

When my younger brother was 9 and playing against the worst team in his league, the opposing manager ordered his players to run until they scored or where tagged out on such strikeouts. My brother's team's catcher wasn't very good, and the other team couldn't hit well, so this happened at least twice an inning. At least one batter made it all the way around the bases this way. My brother, a third baseman, threw a runner out at the plate on a strikeout.
Was nerve-wracking to watch this game, and the strategy created ill will; it felt wrong--somehow worse than intentional fouls in basketball. Maybe because of the skill level of the kids.


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 1286
Location: Saranac Lake, N.Y.
I was one of the worst players on my "minor-league" team (farm team for Little League). But I was small, so I drew a lot of walks. I'd steal second and go to third when the catcher invariably threw the ball into the outfield. The worst team in our league was Suburban Market, with the initials SM on their caps, which everyone said stood for Smelly Monkeys. There were times when the opposing team scored 40 or 50 runs, before the game was called on account of darkness.


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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:47 pm
Posts: 1734
Location: Washington
By any chance, was your team sponsored by Chico's Bail Bonds?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 10:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 1286
Location: Saranac Lake, N.Y.
If playing bad baseball were a crime, we would have been their best customer.

Actually, I played for GLF, which, everyone said, stood for Girls Love Freddy (hey, we were only 10).


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