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Old 04-18-2019, 11:39 PM
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Baseball rules question


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6rhb0Ua46E

College game. Bases loaded, no outs. Soft liner to shortstop. The ball is caught and (eventually) ruled a catch, but the umpire delayed the call. The runners treat it as a ground ball so all three have left their base early.

Shortstop throws home and runner from third (everyone thinks) is forced out at the plate. Catcher throws to third and the third baseman is standing on the bag and tags the runner coming from second.

Umpires confer and the ball is ruled finally a catch. So batter is out. Runner on second (coming to third is tagged out). But what about runner coming from third?

He was not tagged at the plate, so he is safe, right? Well, no. The defense appeals that he left third too early on the caught line drive and is ruled out. Triple play.

My question. Why the need for the appeal? In the original play, the fielder was on the third base bag. Shouldn't the runner (the one originally on third) have been out by virtue of the play and no need for appeal?
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:14 AM
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I'm not sure you'd need a formal appeal. It might be helpful to remind the umpires of the sequence of events but otherwise it's pretty clear. The only real hold up is the delayed call of a catch by the shortstop. The batter is out due to the catch, the runner from third is out when he doesn't tag up and the runner from second is out when he's tagged by the thirdbaseman with the ball. I suppose to be safe he could also throw to second to double check the out.

Is this based on a real life event? That would be some hell of a thing. And the infield umpire should get a pretty stern talking-to about the delayed call.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:28 AM
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Is this based on a real life event? That would be some hell of a thing. And the infield umpire should get a pretty stern talking-to about the delayed call.
There's a link to the video in the OP.

Missing a base or tagging up early is normally an appeal play, is it not?

Oh, wait, I see. OP is saying that the runner going home should have been out since the ball was thrown to third and the third baseman was on the bag, so the play at third involved throwing the runner going home out by throwing to third before that runner tagged up and by tagging out the runner going from second to third.

I do think you're right, but in the confusion, the umps must have forgotten the exact sequence of events.
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:29 AM
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Boy, I'm sorry I missed that video. Where was I?

OK, looking at the video it seems less a delayed call - which would be weird - and more a consultation between umpires. That strikes me as the crew chief asking around. He's got that right and clearly knew something was weird.

Looks like the manager for LSU was on the ball, too, as after the umpires get together he's out there asking and poking around trying to figure how to play it.

Interesting that they still made them go through the appeal process - and kudos to the play-by-play team for knowing it inside and out - even though the third baseman had already by default gotten the baserunner on third to home out by tagging the bag with the ball during the play itself.

Still, a weird, weird play and one of those things that's fun to talk about.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:09 AM
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Even after the consultation, the umpires got it wrong, as the ball was still clearly live when it was thrown to 3rd. However, the umpire may have failed to notice if the 3rd baseman's feet were on the bag (thinking that the ball was picked up on a short hop), in which case the appeal would be necessary because the umpire can't call what he didn't see. At least, that is what I would have told the manager. Once the play is called dead, then the only way to get the out is on appeal.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:39 AM
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The runner on third is only out if he left the bag before the ball was caught. He takes a few steps back toward he bag after the hit and it isn't glaringly obvious if he tagged up or not. An appeal is the right course of events in this situation.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:52 AM
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The runner on third is only out if he left the bag before the ball was caught. He takes a few steps back toward he bag after the hit and it isn't glaringly obvious if he tagged up or not. An appeal is the right course of events in this situation.
But he should have originally been out on the throw to third.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:59 AM
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But he should have originally been out on the throw to third.
Why? If the runner on 3rd tagged up after the catch, and he wasn't tagged at the plate, how was he out?

I mean, he was out because he didn't tag, but leaving early is a necessary step in order for him to be out.

Last edited by TroutMan; 04-19-2019 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:08 AM
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Why? If the runner on 3rd tagged up after the catch, and he wasn't tagged at the plate, how was he out?

I mean, he was out because he didn't tag, but leaving early is a necessary step in order for him to be out.
I'm not getting what you mean.

He left early. So a throw to third with the fielder on the base would be called an out, no?
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:30 AM
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I'm not getting what you mean.

He left early. So a throw to third with the fielder on the base would be called an out, no?
Right. But they didn't call him out originally for leaving early, so an appeal was needed to make that call.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:38 AM
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Right. But they didn't call him out originally for leaving early, so an appeal was needed to make that call.
Yes. But he should have been called out in the case, which is what I interpreted the OP to be wondering about.

In other words, this is a play that normally does not require an appeal. If I pop up and the runner on third leaves without tagging up, a throw to third should have the umpire call the runner out. It's normally not required to wait for the next batter to come up and appeal then. But if there's no throw to third, the umpire stays quiet. If the other team notices it before pitching it to the next batter and throws to third, then that runner is out. So, in their little discussion, I believe the umpires should have called the runner who left early out by virtue of the play, as the OP states. It shouldn't require an appeal. In this case, it did, because it seems like the umpires got mixed up a bit.

Last edited by pulykamell; 04-19-2019 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Yes. But he should have been called out in the case, which is what I interpreted the OP to be wondering about.

In other words, this is a play that normally does not require an appeal. If I pop up and the runner on third leaves without tagging up, a throw to third should have the umpire call the runner out. It's normally not required to wait for the next batter to come up and appeal then. But if there's no throw to third, the umpire stays quiet. If the other team notices it before pitching it to the next batter and throws to third, then that runner is out. So, in their little discussion, I believe the umpires should have called the runner who left early out by virtue of the play, as the OP states. It shouldn't require an appeal. In this case, it did, because it seems like the umpires got mixed up a bit.
Right. Let's add a hitch to the play. Suppose right before the appeal, the runner on second takes off for third. The pitcher throws to second, then second basement relays to third and retires the runner.

Still three outs, but the pitcher botched the appeal, so a run scores.

But, wait, says the LSU manager (who makes my argument) the runner originally on third is out because the base was touched by the third baseman.

I mean, take a typical play with a runner on first and a deep fly ball in the gap. The outfielder makes a miraculous play and throws to the first basement as the runner is desperately trying to run back to first, doubling him off, for an out. You can still get an out the same wayif the runner didn't see the ball being caught and is standing on third.

Touching the base is all that is needed. There is no requirement in the rules that the runner be attempting to run back to the base in order for the out do be had normally instead of through an appeal process.

Last edited by UltraVires; 04-19-2019 at 11:57 AM.
  #13  
Old 04-19-2019, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Yes. But he should have been called out in the case, which is what I interpreted the OP to be wondering about.
As I understand it, leaving early/failure to tag up is always an appeal play. In cases where it is obvious, the appeal does not need to be made verbally.

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There are several infractions that the umpire does not rule on automatically. These are appeal plays, and the umpire can rule on these infractions only if the opposing team initiates a proper appeal.

The most familiar of these are when a base runner fails to tag up on a caught fly ball...

Last edited by TroutMan; 04-19-2019 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:16 PM
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Right. Let's add a hitch to the play. Suppose right before the appeal, the runner on second takes off for third. The pitcher throws to second, then second basement relays to third and retires the runner.

Still three outs, but the pitcher botched the appeal, so a run scores.
This is the "fourth out appeal". If the appeal is successful, then the runner coming home is recorded as the third out and the run doesn't count. The out against the runner on second never happened.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:29 PM
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As I understand it, leaving early/failure to tag up is always an appeal play. In cases where it is obvious, the appeal does not need to be made verbally.
Scratching around, that does seem to be the case. So if a ball is lined to short, and a runner is caught between second and third, and the shortstop steps on second base, that seems to technically be an "appeal" and not a force out, right?
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:32 PM
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BTW, this is the thread that I'm getting that from. It's appears to be a high school baseball focused thread, but the basic rules seem to be the same. So it's not necessarily an automatic out, though I don't see why it couldn't have been counted as a live-ball appeal when the ball was originally thrown to third. Maybe because it wasn't obviously an appeal?

Last edited by pulykamell; 04-19-2019 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:33 PM
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This is the "fourth out appeal". If the appeal is successful, then the runner coming home is recorded as the third out and the run doesn't count. The out against the runner on second never happened.
My understanding was that any appeal had to be the first play after the ball is put back in play. If, in my hypo, the pitcher makes a play on the runner taking off from second, he forfeits any chance at appeal.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:50 PM
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My understanding was that any appeal had to be the first play after the ball is put back in play. If, in my hypo, the pitcher makes a play on the runner taking off from second, he forfeits any chance at appeal.
I think it comes down to, was the initial throw to third to tag the base an explicit appeal, even if the ump didn't recognize it? If so (and I'd argue it was), then that act constituted the appeal, and the pitcher's subsequent play doesn't nullify the original appeal. It's the same question pulykamell asks above, and I can only make an somewhat-educated guess at the answer.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:59 PM
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I think it comes down to, was the initial throw to third to tag the base an explicit appeal, even if the ump didn't recognize it? If so (and I'd argue it was), then that act constituted the appeal, and the pitcher's subsequent play doesn't nullify the original appeal. It's the same question pulykamell asks above, and I can only make an somewhat-educated guess at the answer.
Ah, I think I see what you are saying:

1) Any play to retire a runner who failed to tag up is an appeal play.

2) By definition, an appeal play is one directed at an umpire for a ruling.

3) In a typical line drive out, it is obvious that the defense is appealing, so no need to clarify what they are asking so there is an immediate ruling.

4) However, during this play, the original throw to third was an attempt to tag out the runner coming from second. It was not clear that the throw was an appeal, so it was proper for the umpire not to rule on it.

5) Therefore, the "additional" appeal was required.

Pretty much it?
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:58 PM
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1) Any play to retire a runner who failed to tag up is an appeal play.

2) By definition, an appeal play is one directed at an umpire for a ruling.

3) In a typical line drive out, it is obvious that the defense is appealing, so no need to clarify what they are asking so there is an immediate ruling.

4) However, during this play, the original throw to third was an attempt to tag out the runner coming from second. It was not clear that the throw was an appeal, so it was proper for the umpire not to rule on it.

5) Therefore, the "additional" appeal was required.

Pretty much it?
Yes, that's a good summary.

Point 4 under "What is a proper appeal?", in the umpire instructions to which TroutMan linked, makes the point aptly:

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There are no "accidental" appeals. For example, if on a clean hit you see a runner miss a base, and when getting the ball back to the pitcher the cutoff man, with the ball, inadvertently touches the base that the runner missed, do nothing. Again, appeals do not need to be verbal, but the intent to appeal must be unmistakable.
If the third baseman did touch third base while making the tag--and after watching the replay, I'm not entirely convinced that he did--that would be an inadvertent touch and not an appeal.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:48 PM
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If the third baseman did touch third base while making the tag--and after watching the replay, I'm not entirely convinced that he did--that would be an inadvertent touch and not an appeal.
I rewatched again, and he clearly was on the bag. But the throw and play were for the runner going from second to third, not for appealing the runner leaving early (else no need for the throw to home for a force). The play must explicitly be trying to get the runner leaving the bag early, not an incidental call. Therefore I'll retract my earlier statement and say that the umpires got it right. (IOW, we agree).
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:24 PM
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This is the "fourth out appeal". If the appeal is successful, then the runner coming home is recorded as the third out and the run doesn't count. The out against the runner on second never happened.
This is something I have wondered about for a long time. Has there ever been a successful 4th out appeal in major league baseball? Here is the situation I have wondered about. Runners on first and third, one out. Long fly and runner on first gets past second and then the ball is caught. Runner at third comes home crossing the plate before the other runner is out at first for being off base. Third out. Then the third baseman asks for the ball, touches third and appeals that the runner from third left too soon and is the 4th out and the run doesn't count. How would you score it? Three outs and one LOB?
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:10 PM
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Watch this play. https://www.mlb.com/indians/news/raj...in/c-186033050 . The catch by Davis alone is great. But I was watching this game live an was yelling at the screen. "Appeal at second, too." It was the perfect time for a "fourth out." But they didn't so Kinsler's run counted. I don't think it was until the next morning that they corrected the final score of the game to 7-5.
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Old 04-20-2019, 08:47 PM
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This is something I have wondered about for a long time. Has there ever been a successful 4th out appeal in major league baseball?
I've never heard of one, and Wikipedia agrees that there are "no known examples". Wikipedia does, however, cite two instances in addition to the one shown above by OldGuy in which a team could have taken a run off the board with a fourth out appeal but failed to do so.
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How would you score it? Three outs and one LOB?
The situation is too rare to have its own scoring rule, but I'm sure you would have to ignore the original third out. (No matter how cool it would be to actually have four putouts in an inning.)
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:18 PM
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The situation is too rare to have its own scoring rule, but I'm sure you would have to ignore the original third out. (No matter how cool it would be to actually have four putouts in an inning.)
Actually they do have a rule, Rule 5.09(c): (in part)

Appeal plays may require an umpire to recognize an apparent “fourth out.” If the third out is made during a play in which an appeal play is sustained on another runner, the appeal play decision takes precedence in determining the out. If there is more than one appeal during a play that ends a half-inning, the defense may elect to take the out that gives it the advantage.

Last edited by OldGuy; 04-20-2019 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:03 PM
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Here's a follow-up question: let's say there are runners at first and third, one out. The batter hits a long fly ball that is caught by an outfielder. The ball was hit deep enough for both runners to try to tag up and advance. The runner at third tags up and scores, while the runner at first did not actually retag first before running to second. The pitching team does not notice this immediately. Shortly thereafter, their manager or some fans in the stands inform them of the fact that the runner failed to retag first. So, the pitching team goes through the appeal process and throws to first after the next scheduled batter enters the batter's box. The umpire rules the runner out. Does the run count?
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:15 PM
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Yes, the run counts because the runner was not a force out. This exact question is asked and answered here with more detail.
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