Does Baseball Rule 5.05(a)(8) Need to be Changed?

dhellers

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lexrageorge

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Cash obviously knew the rule and didn’t seem to make much of an issue of it.

Virtually all of the confusion (or maybe “controversy?”) we felt was announcer-driven.
Now CHB is diving into the "controversy":

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/10/sports/add-this-one-red-sox-history-extra-innings-postseason-thrillers/?p1=Article_Recirc_InThisSection

It’s certainly not the spirit of the rule. What would stop any outfielder from directing any bouncing ball out of play to keep a runner from scoring? The Rays were ripped off big time. If a call like that went against Boston, Sox fans would riot. Think of it as the Red Sox version of the Tuck Rule, which launched a football dynasty 20 years ago.
It takes all of 15 seconds to search on Google, Twitter, etc. to learn exactly what stops an outfield from deliberately directing a bouncing ball out of play, Dan. It's called the MLB rule book, which makes it quite clear that the Rays would have scored had Renfroe did just that.
 

Archer1979

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Now CHB is diving into the "controversy":

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/10/sports/add-this-one-red-sox-history-extra-innings-postseason-thrillers/?p1=Article_Recirc_InThisSection



It takes all of 15 seconds to search on Google, Twitter, etc. to learn exactly what stops an outfield from deliberately directing a bouncing ball out of play, Dan. It's called the MLB rule book, which makes it quite clear that the Rays would have scored had Renfroe did just that.
CHB is a tool. The presence of mind to do something like that on that type of play is so outside the norm, that the odds that any player could do that on the spur of a moment is astronomical. And to your point.. the A-Rod slap play clearly illustrates the difference between accidental and deliberate interference.
 

joe dokes

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Now CHB is diving into the "controversy":

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/10/sports/add-this-one-red-sox-history-extra-innings-postseason-thrillers/?p1=Article_Recirc_InThisSection



It takes all of 15 seconds to search on Google, Twitter, etc. to learn exactly what stops an outfield from deliberately directing a bouncing ball out of play, Dan. It's called the MLB rule book, which makes it quite clear that the Rays would have scored had Renfroe did just that.
Its seems not much different than a "muffed" punt that rolls back into the end zone.
 

johnmd20

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CHB is a tool. The presence of mind to do something like that on that type of play is so outside the norm, that the odds that any player could do that on the spur of a moment is astronomical. And to your point.. the A-Rod slap play clearly illustrates the difference between accidental and deliberate interference.
Seriously. On two separate podcasts I've heard the comment, "What's to stop a player from slapping the ball in the stands?"

First off, if you do that, the run scores. Second, and more important, that will NEVER happen. As you say, it's astronomical. It goes against all the practice and playing the player has done. I love when people fight against a strawman they just made up.
 

lexrageorge

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Seriously. On two separate podcasts I've heard the comment, "What's to stop a player from slapping the ball in the stands?"

First off, if you do that, the run scores. Second, and more important, that will NEVER happen. As you say, it's astronomical. It goes against all the practice and playing the player has done. I love when people fight against a strawman they just made up.
As I mentioned in the game thread, the likely outcome of attempting such a move is an inside the park home run.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Now CHB is diving into the "controversy":

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/10/10/sports/add-this-one-red-sox-history-extra-innings-postseason-thrillers/?p1=Article_Recirc_InThisSection



It takes all of 15 seconds to search on Google, Twitter, etc. to learn exactly what stops an outfield from deliberately directing a bouncing ball out of play, Dan. It's called the MLB rule book, which makes it quite clear that the Rays would have scored had Renfroe did just that.
Don't feed the troll. CHB is not interested in the Red Sox, or in what's good for baseball, he's intersted in sucking people into clicking. Don't take the bait.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I watched the whole media appearance by Holbrook. The most interesting part was the end, when they asked him if he thought the rule should be changed. I kind of expected a diplomatic answer about how umps will just call the rules and it is up to others to set them.

He was an unequivocal no. I suppose it’s not surprising that umps would jump to the rule that is easiest to administer, but there was no hesitation. It is hardly the first time the runner on first two out problem has come up for rule book doubles. But I think people are really underestimating the havoc and unintended consequences that ump discretion could cause based on one random unicorn play.

You can actually invent scenarios where one base would seem more fair than two bases. Imagine a runner trips halfway to second when a short pop is deflected over a side wall. Any more unique than last night? Not really.
 

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I watched the whole media appearance by Holbrook. The most interesting part was the end, when they asked him if he thought the rule should be changed. I kind of expected a diplomatic answer about how umps will just call the rules and it is up to others to set them.

He was an unequivocal no. I suppose it’s not surprising that umps would jump to the rule that is easiest to administer, but there was no hesitation. It is hardly the first time the runner on first two out problem has come up for rule book doubles. But I think people are really underestimating the havoc and unintended consequences that ump discretion could cause based on one random unicorn play.

You can actually invent scenarios where one base would seem more fair than two bases. Imagine a runner trips halfway to second when a short pop is deflected over a side wall. Any more unique than last night? Not really.
It doesn’t need to be ump discretion. It should just be if a fielder plays a ball out of the field, the runners get 2 bases from the last base they touched, the exact same way it works if a fielder throws a ball into the stands. You get the base you were on your way to plus one more for the ball getting put out of play by the fielder. Unintentional/Intentional doesn’t matter. All you do is change the category this play falls under and the problem is solved and the fielding team is no longer rewarded for a misplay.

An automatic double is for when a batted ball goes directly out of play. There is already a rule on the books for when a fielder puts a ball out of play and it's a good one. Just use that.
 
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DennyDoyle'sBoil

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It doesn’t need to be ump discretion. It should just be if a fielder plays a ball out of the field, the runners get 2 bases from the last base they touched, the exact same way it works if a fielder throws a ball into the stands. You get the base you were on your way to plus one more for the ball getting put out of play by the fielder. Unintentional/Intentional doesn’t matter. All you do is change the category this play falls under and the problem is solved and the fielding team is no longer rewarded for a misplay.

An automatic double is for when a batted ball goes directly out of play. There is already a rule on the books for when a fielder puts a ball out of play and it's a good one. Just use that.
That seems too punitive to me. Why do we need that rule? This is for balls that deflect off fielders that are already in play. It is a rule for short walls. Almost always in foul territory but very very occasionally in places like Fenway and maybe Dodger Stadium in fair territory. Maybe in the unique context of Wrigley’s ivy.

The rule also cannot apply only to “misplays”. It applies to any deflection. A fielder who just misses a dive and has it bounce and tip off his glove, whatever.

There is simply no problem here that needs fixing. If there is a problem, it is the same problem that has existed for decades — a set number of bases awarded on balls in the stands hurts the offense when there are two outs or the runner was trying to steal or a hit and run. If this ball had landed two feet short of the wall and bounced over it would be every bit as unfair.
 

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That seems too punitive to me. Why do we need that rule? This is for balls that deflect off fielders that are already in play. It is a rule for short walls. Almost always in foul territory but very very occasionally in places like Fenway and maybe Dodger Stadium in fair territory. Maybe in the unique context of Wrigley’s ivy.

The rule also cannot apply only to “misplays”. It applies to any deflection. A fielder who just misses a dive and has it bounce and tip off his glove, whatever.

There is simply no problem here that needs fixing. If there is a problem, it is the same problem that has existed for decades — a set number of bases awarded on balls in the stands hurts the offense when there are two outs or the runner was trying to steal or a hit and run. If this ball had landed two feet short of the wall and bounced over it would be every bit as unfair.
If a ball hits you and bounces out of the field, it's a misplay. You could have fielded it and you didn't. Why is any rule ever adjusted? To make it more fair. Rewarding a fielder who bungles a play is generally against the spirit of the rules. Why is there an infield fly rule? So you can't misplay a ball (intentionally or unintentionally) and gain an advantage from it. The automatic double rule has its own problems, but none of them stem from a fielder being rewarded for a bad play.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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If a ball hits you and bounces out of the field, it's a misplay. You could have fielded it and you didn't. Why is any rule ever adjusted? To make it more fair. Rewarding a fielder who bungles a play is generally against the spirit of the rules. Why is there an infield fly rule? So you can't misplay a ball (intentionally or unintentionally) and gain an advantage from it. The automatic double rule has its own problems, but none of them stem from a fielder being rewarded for a bad play.
How do you limit it just to bad plays? Is it more fair to punish Mookie for being fast enough to touch a ball than a fielder who never gets close?

I just don’t agree that any ball that touches a fielder is a misplay. And even if it were I see no reason to make teams that play 81 games in Wrigley or Fenway have to pull up at risk of potential three or four base doubles.

More fundamentally, if we are talking about fairness, I think there are far less fair two base awards than non intentional deflections in a very limited number of stadiums. If a guy flares one to right with a fast runner on first and two outs with the outfield shaded to left and the ball hops the wall with no fielder within 50 feet it seems every bit as unfair to send the runner back to third as what happened last night.

Every objective rule is going to have unfair cases. It may be hard to imagine but having three or four base from start deflection rules would almost certainly lead to a “that rule sucks” case in the next 20 years. Some slow catcher running who trips on second base is as much a bad play as a deflection.
 

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How do you limit it just to bad plays? Is it more fair to punish Mookie for being fast enough to touch a ball than a fielder who never gets close?

I just don’t agree that any ball that touches a fielder is a misplay. And even if it were I see no reason to make teams that play 81 games in Wrigley or Fenway have to pull up at risk of potential three or four base doubles.

More fundamentally, if we are talking about fairness, I think there are far less fair two base awards than non intentional deflections in a very limited number of stadiums. If a guy flares one to right with a fast runner on first and two outs with the outfield shaded to left and the ball hops the wall with no fielder within 50 feet it seems every bit as unfair to send the runner back to third as what happened last night.

Every objective rule is going to have unfair cases. It may be hard to imagine but having three or four base from start deflection rules would almost certainly lead to a “that rule sucks” case in the next 20 years. Some slow catcher running who trips on second base is as much a bad play as a deflection.
Fixing the automatic double is a separate issue. Why should that being unfair in certain cases impact fixing the fielder boots a ball into the stands case? Co-mingling the two seems like reaching for reasons to argue an a priori position rather than analyzing what would be the best set of rules.

Nobody is being punished for diving and deflecting a ball. The rule I proposed would put that runner where he would have most likely otherwise ended up had that same play happened and the ball didn't bounce over a wall. Are you arguing that if Mookie dives and deflects a ball as a runner is going from 2nd to 3rd that the runner would not otherwise score? How would there be a 4 base double? Regular play wouldn't be impacted in any way. It's why the overthrow rule is written the way it is, it captures the best median outcome of where the runner "should have" ended up based on where they were when the play happened. Isn't that the goal of the rules? To try to make the outcome as fair as possible? Who cares if there is some edge case to the edge case? If you take a rule that's unfair 98% of the time and make it unfair 2% of the time isn't that an improvement?
 

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Fixing the automatic double is a separate issue. Why should that being unfair in certain cases impact fixing the fielder boots a ball into the stands case? Co-mingling the two seems like reaching for reasons to argue an a priori position rather than analyzing what would be the best set of rules.

Nobody is being punished for diving and deflecting a ball. The rule I proposed would put that runner where he would have most likely otherwise ended up had that same play happened and the ball didn't bounce over a wall. Are you arguing that if Mookie dives and deflects a ball as a runner is going from 2nd to 3rd that the runner would not otherwise score? How would there be a 4 base double? Regular play wouldn't be impacted in any way. It's why the overthrow rule is written the way it is, it captures the best median outcome of where the runner "should have" ended up based on where they were when the play happened. Isn't that the goal of the rules? To try to make the outcome as fair as possible? Who cares if there is some edge case to the edge case? If you take a rule that's unfair 98% of the time and make it unfair 2% of the time isn't that an improvement?
So this mainly differs from the current rule by crediting runners with "running time" - so to speak?

If so, that would require a calculation of where each runner was exactly when the ball became unplayable?
 

ookami7m

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So this mainly differs from the current rule by crediting runners with "running time" - so to speak?

If so, that would require a calculation of where each runner was exactly when the ball became unplayable?
Which with Hawkeye and the other tracking data shouldn't be impossible - but it is certainly impractical.
 

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So this mainly differs from the current rule by crediting runners with "running time" - so to speak?

If so, that would require a calculation of where each runner was exactly when the ball became unplayable?
Yes, which is exactly the situation now with overthrown balls which go into the stands or dugout.
 

jayhoz

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Fixing the automatic double is a separate issue. Why should that being unfair in certain cases impact fixing the fielder boots a ball into the stands case? Co-mingling the two seems like reaching for reasons to argue an a priori position rather than analyzing what would be the best set of rules.

Nobody is being punished for diving and deflecting a ball. The rule I proposed would put that runner where he would have most likely otherwise ended up had that same play happened and the ball didn't bounce over a wall. Are you arguing that if Mookie dives and deflects a ball as a runner is going from 2nd to 3rd that the runner would not otherwise score? How would there be a 4 base double? Regular play wouldn't be impacted in any way. It's why the overthrow rule is written the way it is, it captures the best median outcome of where the runner "should have" ended up based on where they were when the play happened. Isn't that the goal of the rules? To try to make the outcome as fair as possible? Who cares if there is some edge case to the edge case? If you take a rule that's unfair 98% of the time and make it unfair 2% of the time isn't that an improvement?
The overthrow rule as written does not place runners where they " 'should have' ended up based on where they were when the play happened" in all cases. Per the rule, a runner who has rounded second at the time of the overthrow is only awarded home if the batter runner had passed first at the time of the overthrow. If the batter runner has yet to reach first it doesn't matter if the runner has crossed home and is walking into the dugout at the time of the overthrow. He is only entitled to third in that circumstance.

Rule 5.06(b)(4)(G) Comment: The position of the batter-runner at the time the wild throw left the thrower's hand is the key in deciding the award of bases. If the batter-runner has not reached first base, the award is two bases at the time the pitch was made for all runners. The decision as to whether the batter-runner has reached first base before the throw is a judgment call.
 

Rovin Romine

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OK. Hmm. I don't think it makes all that much of a difference since it's a relatively rare occurrence. And sometimes a simple flat rule is useful in those situations.

One effect is that you weigh the error differently given the game situation. If runners are going with 2 out, the misplay hurts more. Especially so if it's shallow.

Again, no real strong opinion on that. Just something to consider. The other thing you'd want to consider is if there's a cascading effect. Should other rules, general or park, be changed also?
 

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The overthrow rule as written does not place runners where they " 'should have' ended up based on where they were when the play happened" in all cases. Per the rule, a runner who has rounded second at the time of the overthrow is only awarded home if the batter runner had passed first at the time of the overthrow. If the batter runner has yet to reach first it doesn't matter if the runner has crossed home and is walking into the dugout at the time of the overthrow. He is only entitled to third in that circumstance.

Rule 5.06(b)(4)(G) Comment: The position of the batter-runner at the time the wild throw left the thrower's hand is the key in deciding the award of bases. If the batter-runner has not reached first base, the award is two bases at the time the pitch was made for all runners. The decision as to whether the batter-runner has reached first base before the throw is a judgment call.
That seems pretty consistent with trying to fairly place the runners. On a ground ball to an infielder that is thrown into the stands, a runner starting at first ends up on 3rd. On a longer ball to the outfield where the batter has time to get to first and a runner from first is rounding second, then they are awarded home. It would seem like those rules were actually well thought out in terms of what was the "fair" outcome. You'd have that same feature for the ball deflected out of play as a check on an excessive award to the batting team. Just make a ball deflected or kicked or bobbled or whatever out of play treated exactly like a ball thrown out of play.
 

jayhoz

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That seems pretty consistent with trying to fairly place the runners. On a ground ball to an infielder that is thrown into the stands, a runner starting at first ends up on 3rd. On a longer ball to the outfield where the batter has time to get to first and a runner from first is rounding second, then they are awarded home. It would seem like those rules were actually thought out in terms of what was the "fair" outcome.
2 outs. Runner on first steals second. Ball is popped up to the infield. Runner rounds second and reaches third when the infielder drops the ball and throws it into the stands prior to the batter runner reaching first because he thought it was routine pop up. How is calling the runner back to third "fair"?

The above is an extreme edge case, but so is the situation you are saying needs to be accounted for in the rules. Umpire discretion should be limited whenever possible.
 

wiffleballhero

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5.05 (a) 5-9 all seem really focused on situations that could happen in older parks that don't exist anymore (250 feet?), and Wrigley (are there any fences that are so poorly built that a ball is going to go under or through them?).

5-9 should be rewritten so that automatic doubles that make it over the fence in any capacity -- even on the bounce and even off the Renfroe -- are homers.

To my mind, over the fence is over the fence (unless it is hit by that yahoo Kiermaier!). All the other stuff -- stuck in the fence, going under a door, whatever -- should be actual 'ground' rules based on the parks and then maybe automatic doubles just so there is a blanket position for the umps.

Such a rule change with start the great era of warning track shenanigans, as teams would either put in super bouncy tracks or sand pits depending on their assessment of the competitive impact.

Also, if you can hit a baseball through the fence, that is some serious Roy Hobbs shit. You should get the homer!
 

OurF'ingCity

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Fixing the automatic double is a separate issue. Why should that being unfair in certain cases impact fixing the fielder boots a ball into the stands case? Co-mingling the two seems like reaching for reasons to argue an a priori position rather than analyzing what would be the best set of rules.
It's not a separate issue at all - it's the exact same rule. One way to think about the rule is: "If a bounding ball is hit fair and goes into the stands, regardless of whether a player touches it first, every runner is awarded two bases."

The only reason to distinguish between "traditional" automatic double and "deflect off player" automatic double is that there is no possibility of gamesmanship in the former but there is (theoretically) in the latter. If the concern is a player intentionally deflecting the ball into the stands, then the rule should simply be changed to make the intentional-deflection scenario equivalent to that where a player throws a ball into the stands. But for unintentional deflections, what difference does it make if the ball hits off a player, the grass, the corner of a wall, or anything else?

I wouldn't be totally averse to changing the automatic double rule overall, but it makes no sense to change the rule affecting one situation but not the other.
 

jayhoz

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What happens when a bounding ball whose trajectory would have resulted in the ball landing in the stands on its own gets touched by a player and ends up in the stands? Because the player touched it instead of just letting it bounce into the stands on its own the baserunners should be awarded extra bases? No.
 

Sin Duda

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Thank you jayhoz. My vote would be to leave it as is since the automatic and ground rule doubles are understood and not even the overthrow rule is based on the baserunner, but the batter. I watched MLB Network postgame and the tall dude would not let this issue go. Hunter Pence seemed clueless. Only Harold Reynolds stated "the rule is the rule and every umpire knows it". Who is that tall guy? He didn't seem to understand that the rules are in order, not his opinion on what he considers fair.
 

scottyno

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If a ball hits you and bounces out of the field, it's a misplay. You could have fielded it and you didn't. Why is any rule ever adjusted? To make it more fair. Rewarding a fielder who bungles a play is generally against the spirit of the rules. Why is there an infield fly rule? So you can't misplay a ball (intentionally or unintentionally) and gain an advantage from it. The automatic double rule has its own problems, but none of them stem from a fielder being rewarded for a bad play.
If an outfielder dives for a ball out of his reach, but manages to tip it and then it goes out of play that is in no way a misplay, but by your definition it hit you and they should be punished with extra bases for the runners.

Unless we want more ump judgement calls about what is and isn't a misplay, which I don't think anyone should be in favor of.
 

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Is there truly a concern that a player would intentionally deflect the ball into the stands when this rule has been on the books for how long now and it hasn't happened yet? The rule is fine as is given how rare an occurrence like last night's is. By Opening Day next year, the only folks that will still remember this play and this rule as a bad thing are Rays fans. And that's only if they lose the series.
 

DJnVa

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Yes, which is exactly the situation now with overthrown balls which go into the stands or dugout.
MLB clearly thought about this and made the rules different. Why do you think that is?



EDIT: And as someone said upthread--this is announcer driven. Cash really didn't argue. Why? Because the rule requires no judgment call. Everyone knows the rules except the announcers. This is entirely driven by them NOT knowing the rules. Had they known them they never would have started in on the "ump's discretion". That drove EVERYTHING that followed.

You know why NFL games generally have a rules official on call for the broadcast? So the announcers don't look as clueless as Vasgersian and Smoltz did last night.
 

vadertime

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No it doesn't need to be changed. Its too a rare an occurrence for it to be an issue, and do you really want the umpires placing runners? Some may have put Kiermaier on 3rd, some 2nd, scoring the runner both times. Some may have left it as 2nd and 3rd, and you could probably make a case for each of those scenarios. Stick to black and white defined rules.
 

soxhop411

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If a ball hits you and bounces out of the field, it's a misplay. You could have fielded it and you didn't. Why is any rule ever adjusted? To make it more fair. Rewarding a fielder who bungles a play is generally against the spirit of the rules. Why is there an infield fly rule? So you can't misplay a ball (intentionally or unintentionally) and gain an advantage from it. The automatic double rule has its own problems, but none of them stem from a fielder being rewarded for a bad play.
If an outfielder dives for a ball out of his reach, but manages to tip it and then it goes out of play that is in no way a misplay, but by your definition it hit you and they should be punished with extra bases for the runners.

Unless we want more ump judgement calls about what is and isn't a misplay, which I don't think anyone should be in favor of.
View: https://streamable.com/ifi4u5

ie Puig in the WS vs HOU
 

dhellers

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OK. Hmm. I don't think it makes all that much of a difference since it's a relatively rare occurrence. And sometimes a simple flat rule is useful in those situations.

One effect is that you weigh the error differently given the game situation. If runners are going with 2 out, the misplay hurts more. Especially so if it's shallow.

Again, no real strong opinion on that. Just something to consider. The other thing you'd want to consider is if there's a cascading effect. Should other rules, general or park, be changed also?
Keep the rule! And as for the "inducing a ground rule double could be abused" argument ...

* If a fielder is clever and agile enough to purposefully knock a ball into the stands ,
* with the intention of causing a ground rule double (with a 2 base awarded from starting position)
* and NOT make it so obvious that it is ruled as if it was a throw (with 2 bases awarded from position at moment ball enters stands)
Then why should we get upset? It would be quite an amusing feat, especially given the risk that you don't get away with it.

Generally speacking: subtle trickery in baseball is not such a bad thing. Should we ban catchers whose amazing framing abilities lets them steal a few strikes?

Let 'em play!
 

LoweTek

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A pet peeve of mine:

A ground rule double is a baseball rule that awards two bases from the time of pitch to all baserunners including the batter-runner, as a result of the ball leaving play after being hit fairly and leaving the field under a condition of the ground rules in effect at the field where the game is being played. An automatic double is the term used to refer to a fairly hit ball leaving the field in circumstances that do not merit a home run, such as when the ball's first bounce was within the field. The automatic double (or rule-book double) is quite often mistakenly called a ground rule double.​
 

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The idea keeps being brought up of a defensive player/team being "punished" by runners getting awarded an extra base. It's really the opposite, a defensive player/team currently being rewarded for making a bad fielding play. Nobody is being "punished" for anything as the runners already get that base if the ball is deflected into the wall instead of over it. Rewarding the bad fielding play seems like something that the rules generally attempt to avoid, e.g. infield fly rule, throwing the ball into the stands, deflecting a ball that hasn't hit the ground over the wall, etc.

Anyway, we're on to Game 4....and hopefully 5!
 

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The more I think about it, the more I prefer the rule as is. The umps should legislate the rules, not make fuzzy judgment calls to correct for the odd bounces and strange circumstance that are part of baseball.

The rules apply to both teams. Keep baseball weird.
 

DJnVa

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The idea keeps being brought up of a defensive player/team being "punished" by runners getting awarded an extra base. It's really the opposite, a defensive player/team currently being rewarded for making a bad fielding play.
Renfroe did not make a bad play.
 

nighthob

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Jul 15, 2005
10,861
The idea keeps being brought up of a defensive player/team being "punished" by runners getting awarded an extra base. It's really the opposite, a defensive player/team currently being rewarded for making a bad fielding play.
Someone already posted an example of a play that proves your statement is untrue. Sometimes they might be rewarded for a bad play, as Tampa was a couple of years ago. Sometimes it's a case of a defensive player failing to make a highlight reel play, as in the example above. Your proposal remains a solution in search of a problem.
 

amRadio

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Feb 7, 2019
748
I am so tired of the American public needing every rule changed that doesn't fit their whim in any specific moment. This was a weird one and I had not seen it before. My instinct about the rules in the moment was different than the letter of the law. Once reading it and thinking about it, I have no strong opinion one way or the other regardless of the exact situational outcome. Ground rules/automatic doubles are applied fairly to both teams.

We need to just let baseball move on and I'm sure that will be the outcome. Baseball has never catered to reactionary fair weather fans before.
 

Remagellan

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The more I think about it, the more I prefer the rule as is. The umps should legislate the rules, not make fuzzy judgment calls to correct for the odd bounces and strange circumstance that are part of baseball.

The rules apply to both teams. Keep baseball weird.
This.

The clear answer is no. The point of the rule is remove any sort of judgement call by the umpire on whether or not the runner would have scored. As long as the rule is applied to both teams, which it is, it is as fair.
 

jtn46

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Oct 10, 2004
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Any automatic double that prevents a run from scoring that may have scored otherwise feels bad, I don’t think a fielder making contact with the ball needs to even factor in, it is just an annoying outcome and it’s certainly worth discussing if something can be done about it, but right now the best solution still seems bad, umpires don’t want the responsibility of placing baserunners, and likely that would often be put in NY’s hands which slows the game down (this one would slow it down a ton because they would have to match frames of video on multiple camera angles) and many fans will likely still be sour about where baserunners are placed, as I think a few years into replay we now understand there are so many extremely close plays that it still feels like a human being is making a best guess and we aren’t necessarily getting the definitively right outcome all of the time.

I say no to the original question but maybe as technology and processes improve the general automatic double rules are something we can look at one day.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
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Sometimes they might be rewarded for a bad play, as Tampa was a couple of years ago
Yep. Every sport features teams and players sometimes getting rewarded for a bad play. It's somewhat of a feature, not a bug.
 

Wallball Tingle

union soap
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Jul 16, 2005
2,258
Renfroe did not make a bad play.
I feel like this point should be emphasized. He did everything any outfielder would do and the "misplay" is just not being able to react with superhuman speed to a weird bounce. There's too much gray area to interpret for the idea of misplays and outfielders. They already don't give outfielders errors on some obvious misplays, probably because of that room for interpretation.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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The automatic double sometimes grants to runners bases that they would not otherwise obtain. In other cases, like in the 2004 ALCS and again last night, it's a gift for the defense. But these things even out over time; no one team is advantaged for disadvantaged, so I disagree that the current rule is "unfair". And it's not at all obvious a fielder could realistically ever take deliberate advantage of the rule to limit the advance of the runners. Having to stop the game each time there is a ball leaving the field of play will make the game take even longer.