Sample Questions and Answers
Responding to questions about baseball's rules is one of the more challenging things that I do. The challenge is not in knowing the rules - I am very well versed in that - but in giving carefully worded, non-ambiguous answers that anyone with a basic knowledge of baseball can understand. Here is a sampling of rules questions that I helped craft for questions e-mailed to the World Umpires Association (Major League Baseball umpires' union) website. As of this writing the sampling was posted at: www.worldumpires.com/qa.html.
Answer: The DH can be sent to a defensive position only when the DH's team is on defense (results in termination of the DH for that team; pitcher enters the spot of the replaced defensive player). When the change is attempted while the team is on offense, the coach has run into a restriction: the game pitcher can pinch hit only for the DH. So, his requested substitution above would not be allowed.
Additionally, the second baseman's replacement should have been named after the ejection; the DH is the only position that, when ejected, the replacement need not be named until the slot comes to bat.
Answer: A fly ball that touches an umpire or any other person other than a fielder can no longer be caught, either before or after a deflection by a fielder. This is a logical extension of the information found in the definition of a "catch" in the rulebook. A fly ball remains a fly ball only as long as it is touches a succession of fielders and not any object or non-fielder.
Answer: The batter is HBP; the ball is immediately dead. Batter-runner awarded first base, R2 and R3 go back to their time-of-pitch bases.
Answer: If the batter-runner unintentionally touches the ball while ball is over foul territory: foul. If the batter-runner intentionally contacts the ball while ball is over foul territory, and the ball (untouched) would have had no chance of becoming fair: foul. If the batter-runner intentionally contacts the ball while ball is over foul territory and ball still had a chance to become fair: interference. The batter-runner is out, R1 back to first.
Answer: In order for an illegal pitch to occur, the ball must actually be pitched. An illegal pitch involves the pitcher not being in contact with the rubber during the pitch, or the pitcher failing to take signs and delivering a "quick pitch."
Failure to deliver the ball after being committed to pitch is only penalized when runners are on base-rule 8.05a-and it is a balk. So, with no runners, if the pitcher fails to deliver the ball there would be no penalty.
Answer: The runner from second would be out for the interference of his teammate if the batter-runner intentionally ran into the first baseman. Such would probably have been the case in your play, since the batter-runner would normally have just run through first base. However, you must be sure it was intentional before it is interference.
Answer: The pitcher is legally in the game when the manager specifically tells the plate umpire that he is in the game. If this does not happen, the new pitcher is legally in the game when he steps on the rubber and throws warm-up pitches to the catcher. So, in your situation, the old pitcher may remain in the game. Other players are allowed to throw during the meeting at the mound, as long as it does not delay the game.
Answer: The MLB Umpire Manual contains the restrictions for elbow pads. The pad cannot exceed 10 inches when laying flat and must contain a nylon shell to cover the shell of the equipment. Players can request permission from the Commissioner's Office to use non-standard elbow or arm pads, and a list of players with permission for such use is provided to the umpires. And yes, the player must have had an injury in order to obtain the permission to where the protective arm guard.
Answer: Foul ball. The answer to your question can be found in the rulebook under "foul ball" in rule 2.00.
Answer: As soon as the obstruction occurs, you must decide what would have happened without the obstruction. You then protect the runner to (or back into) that base. If a runner tries on his own initiative to go beyond what you would have given him, he can be thrown out. On the play above, if you had determined that there was no way the batter- runner was going to get second, even without the obstruction, then the out stands.
Copyright © 2002, Richard J. Roder. All rights reserved.
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© 2002 Rick Roder