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Old 05-26-2019, 08:18 AM
SanDiegoTim is offline
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Baseball Question - Was he out?


This is a possession question. Runner on second, fly ball to outfield, runner leaves the base as he doesn't know if ball will be caught. Ball is caught, runner heads back to base, outfielder throws ball to SS covering to base. Ball is a bit short, SS stretches to catch it with bare hand, his foot on the base. SS grabs ball, but never lifts it off the dirt. Is this possession? If so, the runner is out. If not, runner is not.

Which is it?
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:33 AM
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From here.
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The fielder must hold the ball long enough to "prove that he has complete control of the ball."
I'd say that as long as it's touching the ground, he hasn't proven he has complete control.
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:00 PM
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If he's holding the ball, it doesn't matter if it's still touching the ground; he has control.

If he's merely trapping the ball against the ground with, say, the palm of the hand, then no.
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DSYoungEsq View Post
If he's holding the ball, it doesn't matter if it's still touching the ground; he has control.

If he's merely trapping the ball against the ground with, say, the palm of the hand, then no.
How can he prove the moment he gained control without lifting it? As long as it's touching the ground, you can't know he has control.
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
How can he prove the moment he gained control without lifting it? As long as it's touching the ground, you can't know he has control.
That's why umpires decide such things. They "know".
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:31 PM
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That's why umpires decide such things. They "know".
Yup, the umpires get the big bucks because they can make decisions like that by observing. In the same way that a ball touching the ground during a catch in football is fine as long as the receiver maintains control, a shortstop can establish full control over the ball while it is touching the ground.

Here's a discussion from another forum that spells it out in more detail - http://www.theoleballgame.com/trappe...wing-hand.html

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The determination for out or safe in your situation is whether the umpire feels the defensive player has control of the baseball in his bare hand, or, not.

The ball can be on the ground, the player does not have to bring the ball up and show possession, for it to be deemed "in control".

This is one of the many rule situations which become purely a judgement call on the part of the umpire in real time.

Have to see it happen to say whether the call was correct at the time or not, control of the baseball is the decider.
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SanDiegoTim View Post
This is a possession question. Runner on second, fly ball to outfield, runner leaves the base as he doesn't know if ball will be caught. Ball is caught, runner heads back to base, outfielder throws ball to SS covering to base. Ball is a bit short, SS stretches to catch it with bare hand, his foot on the base. SS grabs ball, but never lifts it off the dirt. Is this possession? If so, the runner is out. If not, runner is not.

Which is it?
When does the runner touch the base? Does he touch the base? A tie goes to the runner, it takes time to prove control, the runner won't be out if he's bobbling the ball catching it in the air. The ump determines if the SS had possession prior to the runner touching the base.
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
A tie goes to the runner.
Excuse a pet peeve of mine after umping various things, but there are no ties. The ball beats the runner or vice versa. Although that's an oft-quoted line, it is nowhere in the baseball rulebook. I wonder who started it. Google Ngram doesn't show it until 1972, but I certainly heard it as a kid in the 60's
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
Excuse a pet peeve of mine after umping various things, but there are no ties. The ball beats the runner or vice versa. Although that's an oft-quoted line, it is nowhere in the baseball rulebook. I wonder who started it. Google Ngram doesn't show it until 1972, but I certainly heard it as a kid in the 60's
Interesting. I now realize I've never seen such a rule written down. And yeah, I've heard it since I was a kid in the 60s too.

ETA: Wikipedia argues that 'tie goes to the runner' is effectively true based on the wording of the rule. While I agree with that it is still not what the rule says.

Last edited by TriPolar; 05-26-2019 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
Google Ngram doesn't show it until 1972, but I certainly heard it as a kid in the 60's
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Interesting. I now realize I've never seen such a rule written down. And yeah, I've heard it since I was a kid in the 60s too.
Ditto. Early 1960s for me, like 1961 probably.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Yup, the umpires get the big bucks because they can make decisions like that by observing.
what do umpires get paid these days? i remember when Ron Luciano wrote his books they didn't make all that much but that was what 20-30 years ago when it was still somewhat fun to be an umpire
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Old 05-26-2019, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
Excuse a pet peeve of mine after umping various things, but there are no ties. The ball beats the runner or vice versa. Although that's an oft-quoted line, it is nowhere in the baseball rulebook. I wonder who started it. Google Ngram doesn't show it until 1972, but I certainly heard it as a kid in the 60's
Interesting - cricket has a similar 'rule' - the benefit of the doubt goes to the batsman.

What this means in practise is that the umpire has to be pretty damn sure that the batsman IS out before he puts his finger up (the signal for 'out' in cricket). But it's never mentioned in the Laws.

So, of course we get commentators (and fans) all the time saying things like - 'I'm not sure that was out - there's some doubt there etc, etc'. To which the only reply is 'get a qualification, put on a white coat, and get out there and umpire yourself'.

And before you ask, video replay has NOT ended those discussions. It just moved them around a bit.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:01 PM
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what do umpires get paid these days?
$150,000 to $450,000
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
How can he prove the moment he gained control without lifting it? As long as it's touching the ground, you can't know he has control.
He doesn't have to "prove" he has control. Why would he?

Are you seriously telling me that, if you had your fingers wrapped around a baseball which was still touching the ground, you wouldn't have control of it? That the only way for someone to reach the conclusion you had control at that point would be for you to actually lift it off the ground?
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
Excuse a pet peeve of mine after umping various things, but there are no ties. The ball beats the runner or vice versa. Although that's an oft-quoted line, it is nowhere in the baseball rulebook. I wonder who started it. Google Ngram doesn't show it until 1972, but I certainly heard it as a kid in the 60's
Even if the umpire discerns a play to be a tie, a runner returning to a base on a caught fly would not benefit from them. A batter/runner is out if "he or first base is tagged before he touches first base." [Rule 5.09(a)(10)] A runner, however, is out if ""He fails to retouch his base after a fair or foul ball is legally caught before he, or his base, is tagged by a fielder." [Rule 5.09(b)(5)] (Italics mine)

So with the batter, the defense needs to complete their task before the runner gets there, but a runner returning on a caught fly needs to complete his task before the defense.
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