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Looking For A Ruling On This Play (1 Viewer)

Anarchy99

Footballguy
This play happened in my kid's game last night. One out, runners on first and third. Team not holding runner a first. Runner took a huge lead and tried to steal even before the pitcher started to pitch. Pitcher released the ball just before the runner that was stealing touched second base. Runner touched second base before the batter hit the ball. Batter hit a pop up in the infield caught by the pitcher. Runner stayed at second base. Could the pitcher have thrown to first for the third out (runner did not tag up)? Yes or no?

 

Wrigley

Footballguy
This play happened in my kid's game last night. One out, runners on first and third. Team not holding runner a first. Runner took a huge lead and tried to steal even before the pitcher started to pitch. Pitcher released the ball just before the runner that was stealing touched second base. Runner touched second base before the batter hit the ball. Batter hit a pop up in the infield caught by the pitcher. Runner stayed at second base. Could the pitcher have thrown to first for the third out (runner did not tag up)? Yes or no?
Yes, force play is still in effect.

 

Leroy Hoard

Footballguy
This play happened in my kid's game last night. One out, runners on first and third. Team not holding runner a first. Runner took a huge lead and tried to steal even before the pitcher started to pitch. Pitcher released the ball just before the runner that was stealing touched second base. Runner touched second base before the batter hit the ball. Batter hit a pop up in the infield caught by the pitcher. Runner stayed at second base. Could the pitcher have thrown to first for the third out (runner did not tag up)? Yes or no?
Yes, force play is still in effect.
I agree.

Reminds me of the double play rule with the guy on third "scoring" ahead of the 3rd out. Run still does not count.

 

Go DC Yourself

Footballguy
It's the same as if there had been a dropped third strike with less than two out; in that instance the batter is not permitted to run to first. The runner is considered to have been on first base, the steal attempt is irrelevant.

 

DropKick

Footballguy
This play happened in my kid's game last night. One out, runners on first and third. Team not holding runner a first. Runner took a huge lead and tried to steal even before the pitcher started to pitch. Pitcher released the ball just before the runner that was stealing touched second base. Runner touched second base before the batter hit the ball. Batter hit a pop up in the infield caught by the pitcher. Runner stayed at second base. Could the pitcher have thrown to first for the third out (runner did not tag up)? Yes or no?
No. A stolen base is credited when a runner successfully takes an extra base while the ball is being pitched, but not already hit. So, essentially, second base was obtained prior to the pop-up. The runner could (and did) stay on second base.ETA: It is certainly unusual to obtain the base prior to contact but, if the ball was dead (foul ball), the runner could have stayed on second as well.
 
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rodg12

Footballguy
This play happened in my kid's game last night. One out, runners on first and third. Team not holding runner a first. Runner took a huge lead and tried to steal even before the pitcher started to pitch. Pitcher released the ball just before the runner that was stealing touched second base. Runner touched second base before the batter hit the ball. Batter hit a pop up in the infield caught by the pitcher. Runner stayed at second base. Could the pitcher have thrown to first for the third out (runner did not tag up)? Yes or no?
No. A stolen base is credited when a runner successfully takes an extra base while the ball is being pitched, but not already hit. So, essentially, second base was obtained prior to the pop-up. The runner could (and did) stay on second base.ETA: It is certainly unusual to obtain the base prior to contact but, if the ball was dead (foul ball), the runner could have stayed on second as well.
Where'd you see this rule?

 

sporthenry

Footballguy
This play happened in my kid's game last night. One out, runners on first and third. Team not holding runner a first. Runner took a huge lead and tried to steal even before the pitcher started to pitch. Pitcher released the ball just before the runner that was stealing touched second base. Runner touched second base before the batter hit the ball. Batter hit a pop up in the infield caught by the pitcher. Runner stayed at second base. Could the pitcher have thrown to first for the third out (runner did not tag up)? Yes or no?
No. A stolen base is credited when a runner successfully takes an extra base while the ball is being pitched, but not already hit. So, essentially, second base was obtained prior to the pop-up. The runner could (and did) stay on second base.

ETA: It is certainly unusual to obtain the base prior to contact but, if the ball was dead (foul ball), the runner could have stayed on second as well.

 

sporthenry

Footballguy
From what I can gather, the base that the runner occupies is at the moment the pitcher starts his pitching motion. From just browsing, I can't find anything in the MLB rule book which explicitly backs this up nor refutes it but I have found a few places online that back this up and an ump forum says this and then uses the MLBUM as back up so I'm assuming they removed it for some reason.

But that was sort of my original guess is that once the pitch starts, that is the base the runner occupies.

 

rodg12

Footballguy
From what I can gather, the base that the runner occupies is at the moment the pitcher starts his pitching motion. From just browsing, I can't find anything in the MLB rule book which explicitly backs this up nor refutes it but I have found a few places online that back this up and an ump forum says this and then uses the MLBUM as back up so I'm assuming they removed it for some reason.

But that was sort of my original guess is that once the pitch starts, that is the base the runner occupies.
Completely agree with you. 'Base at the moment of contact' is meaningless. It's all about the base the runner occupies when the pitcher starts his motion. And since the runner was on first when the play started, he should have been out if a throw to first was made.

 

sporthenry

Footballguy
This play happened in my kid's game last night. One out, runners on first and third. Team not holding runner a first. Runner took a huge lead and tried to steal even before the pitcher started to pitch. Pitcher released the ball just before the runner that was stealing touched second base. Runner touched second base before the batter hit the ball. Batter hit a pop up in the infield caught by the pitcher. Runner stayed at second base. Could the pitcher have thrown to first for the third out (runner did not tag up)? Yes or no?
No. A stolen base is credited when a runner successfully takes an extra base while the ball is being pitched, but not already hit. So, essentially, second base was obtained prior to the pop-up. The runner could (and did) stay on second base. ETA: It is certainly unusual to obtain the base prior to contact but, if the ball was dead (foul ball), the runner could have stayed on second as well.
Bump. The new rules question made me think of this and we never got a rebuttal.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
This play happened in my kid's game last night. One out, runners on first and third. Team not holding runner a first. Runner took a huge lead and tried to steal even before the pitcher started to pitch. Pitcher released the ball just before the runner that was stealing touched second base. Runner touched second base before the batter hit the ball. Batter hit a pop up in the infield caught by the pitcher. Runner stayed at second base. Could the pitcher have thrown to first for the third out (runner did not tag up)? Yes or no?
No. A stolen base is credited when a runner successfully takes an extra base while the ball is being pitched, but not already hit. So, essentially, second base was obtained prior to the pop-up. The runner could (and did) stay on second base. ETA: It is certainly unusual to obtain the base prior to contact but, if the ball was dead (foul ball), the runner could have stayed on second as well.
Bump. The new rules question made me think of this and we never got a rebuttal.
Didn't realize there were more responses. To clarify, the runner was not on 2nd when the pitcher started his motion. The runner touched 2nd just prior to the pitcher releasing the ball. You indicated the base is determined at the time the pitcher begins his motion, so by your definition the runner started the play with possession of first base, not second base.

I reviewed this play with several baseball related people including umpires, coaches, league officials, head of the town baseball association, etc. at all different levels of baseball and still have not gotten a conclusive answer.

One guy explained his position as follows. In a deep fly ball situation, a runner could have advanced one, even two bases, on a hit and run. He would not get credit for being on those bases at the time an OF caught a deep fly ball and the runner would have to retouch those bases to get back to his original base. So his argument was that the runner would have been considered as starting on first base.

I had an umpire state his position that he would consider a runner to have possession of a base at the time the pitcher stepped on the rubber and anything that happened after that he would consider as part of the developing play. However, a different umpire said if that happened in one of his games, he would have ruled that the runner took possession of second base before the runner hit the ball and in his mind that was the determining factor. A third umpire said if the ball had been fouled off, he would have sent the runner back to first, so he considered the runner still at first.

A couple folks looked in the rule book for the league and found nothing and a couple others even searched on line and couldn't find anything. The highest ranking person I talked to (regional head of AAU) defaulted to the judgment of the umpire and said an umpire could call it however he wanted as he could not cite a specific section or provision in the rule that covered the issue.

Another league official said he could see an argument on both sides and if the fielding team appealed and threw to first and the team at bat argued and said the base coaches told the runner to stay at second because he was already at second, he probably would have not given the fielding team the out and would have sent the runner back to first in a compromise situation.

So long story long, no I have not found the definitive answer on this one or the exact baseball rule that covers it.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
I emailed an umpiring association and got back the following response:

Cal Ripken Division uses the OBR as the basis for their rules. There are some exceptions to the rules based on age or safety. For Cal Ripken majors, base runners are allowed to lead off and to steal bases.

In the case presented, let me offer the following explanations to your questions.

  1. Could the pitcher have thrown to first for the third out (runner did not tag up)? Yes or no? Yes. This would be an appeal play under OBR (Rule 4.09 and 7.10)
  2. Part of the issue is determining the base to which R1 is legally entitled for purposes of the appeal. Rule 7.10a requires that the runner must touch/retouch his “original” base after the fly ball is caught before he can advance legally. The “original” base is the one legally occupied at the TIME OF THE PITCH (TOP).
  3. The TOP is the moment when the pitcher’s natural motion commits him to pitch (Rule 8.01c).
  4. In this case, R1 was still “advancing” to second base at the TOP and was legally entitled to first base. That means he needs to retouch first base before he or the first base is tagged or he is out on appeal play.
 
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