Unusual plays

joe dokes

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Not so wild, but I don't remember seeing this before:

Tonight against the Yankees, runner on 1st and tries to steal second. He is safe, but the home plate ump rules that since the follow through swing of the batter hit the catcher while he was trying to throw (and it hit him solidly, very clearly), it was interference and the runner had to go back to 1st. But what I don't get (and admittedly I haven't researched it at all) is why the runner was not called out? Very strange rule to me.
I think it's a dead ball on the interference.
 

BigJimEd

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Not so wild, but I don't remember seeing this before:

Tonight against the Yankees, runner on 1st and tries to steal second. He is safe, but the home plate ump rules that since the follow through swing of the batter hit the catcher while he was trying to throw (and it hit him solidly, very clearly), it was interference and the runner had to go back to 1st. But what I don't get (and admittedly I haven't researched it at all) is why the runner was not called out? Very strange rule to me.
Yes, on back swing interference, the ball is dead and no one is called out.

In other cases where batter interfered with throw, the batter is out and runner returns to base.
 
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BroodsSexton

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But don’t you guys know that the Yankees should get the benefit of every call even those inconsistent with the rule book? <duck>
 

jon abbey

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Heh, a very similar play just happened in TOR/LAA, Bichette at the plate, runner at second. Bichette swung and missed and hit the catcher on the backswing, the catcher was trying to pick the runner off of second but was unable to even make a throw, so they called interference and Bichette was out. That was my point originally (having nothing to do with it affecting the Yankees, @BroodsSexton , but you probably knew that), if the ump calls interference, someone should be out.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Heh, a very similar play just happened in TOR/LAA, Bichette at the plate, runner at second. Bichette swung and missed and hit the catcher on the backswing, the catcher was trying to pick the runner off of second but was unable to even make a throw, so they called interference and Bichette was out. That was my point originally (having nothing to do with it affecting the Yankees, @BroodsSexton , but you probably knew that), if the ump calls interference, someone should be out.
So what was the difference in the rulings or the plays? Was one adjudicated correctly and the other incorrect? Or were there enough situational differences to justify/validate each call?
 

jon abbey

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So what was the difference in the rulings or the plays? Was one adjudicated correctly and the other incorrect? Or were there enough situational differences to justify/validate each call?
I have no idea, it just seems like it should always result in an out, the runner or the batter. If Bichette was called out for doing it, the batter the other night should have been also.
 

Zedia

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I have no idea, it just seems like it should always result in an out, the runner or the batter. If Bichette was called out for doing it, the batter the other night should have been also.
Can‘t find the Yankees example you referred to, but this explanation seems to be that Bichette stepped out of the box on his follow through. Also, it’s kind of crazy that I had to find this on YouTube rather than the MLB app, they need to include stuff like this in their highlight vids.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ECpeiH57t8
 

jon abbey

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I didn’t find video but this was the play (in the Wed 3-1 NYY win):

“In the first inning of the game, Pete Alonso was called for interference, negating Francisco Lindor’s steal of second base. Alonso’s backswing hit catcher Kyle Higashioka, prompting plate umpire Doug Eddings to make the call. “
 

Zedia

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I didn’t find video but this was the play (in the Wed 3-1 NYY win):

“In the first inning of the game, Pete Alonso was called for interference, negating Francisco Lindor’s steal of second base. Alonso’s backswing hit catcher Kyle Higashioka, prompting plate umpire Doug Eddings to make the call. “
Just watched it, Alonso never left the batter box, and certainly didn’t interfere to the degree Bichette did (literally stepping in front of the throw).

I have no idea what the rule is on back swings. Seems like that should be on the catcher.

And the quoted portion isn’t quite right, it wasn’t interference because of the backswing, but because he stepped out of the batters box in front of the throw.

edit - as @joe dokes says, it’s a dead ball.

Rule 6:06 Comment: If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him on the backswing before the catcher has securely held the ball, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play.
 
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BroodsSexton

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Tonight against the Yankees, runner on 1st and tries to steal second. He is safe, but the home plate ump rules that since the follow through swing of the batter hit the catcher while he was trying to throw (and it hit him solidly, very clearly), it was interference and the runner had to go back to 1st. But what I don't get (and admittedly I haven't researched it at all) is why the runner was not called out? Very strange rule to me.
I have no idea, it just seems like it should always result in an out, the runner or the batter. If Bichette was called out for doing it, the batter the other night should have been also.
Everybody’s out!

(Everyone but the Yankees!)
 

BigJimEd

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That Bichette play is text book. He comes out and blocks the catcher's way. Doesn't get much easier to call than that. The bat coming around and making contact is immaterial there.


Backswing interference often has little to no impact on the play. I don't really see why these actions should be lumped together.
 

jon abbey

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They called interference on the batter on both plays, but the answer really is just that there is a lot of discretion for the umpire on these plays, same as with balks.
 

BigJimEd

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It's different types of interference with normally easily identifiable differences.
 

jon abbey

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It's different types of interference with normally easily identifiable differences.
I should drop this but it's easy to say they're different kinds of interference when they flash the rule on the screen during the video like that, but during the live game, they just showed Bichette hitting him on the back swing and interference being called, which was when/why I posted about it.

Bichette stepping in front of the plate so blatantly helps clear up the confusion, but I still think the rule for the other one should be an out, not a dead ball (and I am actually rooting for the Yankees to lose games until the deadline so that maybe they'll sell, @BroodsSexton).
 

BroodsSexton

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I should drop this but it's easy to say they're different kinds of interference when they flash the rule on the screen during the video like that, but during the live game, they just showed Bichette hitting him on the back swing and interference being called, which was when/why I posted about it.

Bichette stepping in front of the plate so blatantly helps clear up the confusion, but I still think the rule for the other one should be an out, not a dead ball (and I am actually rooting for the Yankees to lose games until the deadline so that maybe they'll sell, @BroodsSexton).
Oh boy. I WAAAAANTED them to lose!
 

Zedia

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I should drop this but it's easy to say they're different kinds of interference when they flash the rule on the screen during the video like that, but during the live game, they just showed Bichette hitting him on the back swing and interference being called, which was when/why I posted about it.

Bichette stepping in front of the plate so blatantly helps clear up the confusion, but I still think the rule for the other one should be an out, not a dead ball (and I am actually rooting for the Yankees to lose games until the deadline so that maybe they'll sell, @BroodsSexton).
I’m not so sure they “called interference” in the Yankees game, so much as made the ruling I quoted above. There’s no mention of “interference” in the score sheet, it’s just Michael Kay saying that. Regardless, the rule clearly states it’s a dead ball.

Pretend Bichette didn’t hit him with the backswing. Because it had nothing to do with the interference call.
 

GruberTaggedHim

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Luke Raley hits a crazy inside-the-park HR in SF
[/QUOTE]

As a sidebar, one of my favorite positions to play in The Show is RF for the Giants, because I feel the game does a good job of simulating all of those weird caroms. (Also because it is fun to hear the ball go "plunk" when you hit it into the cove...)
 

soxhop411

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I totally forgot that the first use of replay in baseball was in 1999 when umpire Frank Pulli took it upon himself to check video playback from one of the ESPN cameras to determine if the Marlins' Cliff Floyd had homered. this was of course unsanctioned and the NL president at the time gave him a chewing out

https://www.mlb.com/video/floyd-s-home-run-overturned

An SI piece from 2020 recapping this whole ordeal
https://www.si.com/mlb/athletics/news/the-day-instant-replay-made-its-way-into-baseballs-national-consciousness
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Hard to believe that not a single member of the crew knew the rule or called for a powwow to tell that umpire how badly he screwed up and reverse the call. It might be a rare play but equipment not counting as a body part there should be a pretty clear and simple rule to retain.
 

joe dokes

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So the helmet is not part of the body, but the glove and cleats are?
I suspect that if the runner removes a shoe and use it to extend a hand, the rule would apply. Or if he literally slid head-first (as opposed to hands-first) and touched the base with his helmet while it was attached to his head, he'd be safe.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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So the helmet is not part of the body, but the glove and cleats are?
Generally speaking the glove and cleats are enveloping the body so kind of one in the same no? In the above case the helmet isn't enveloping the head so not quite the same.

That did make me wonder about a what if play. A fielder has the ball in his bare hand and for whatever reason he's on the ground and has to reach out to tag the base with his glove - safe or out? I know I've seen plays that required a tag and the fielder tagged the runner with a glove not containing the ball and the runner was correctly ruled safe. I can't remember seeing an example of my scenario.
 

Average Reds

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So the helmet is not part of the body, but the glove and cleats are?
When used as intended, equipment is part of the body. So if he was wearing the helmet and overslid the bag and ended up with his helmet (on his head) resting on the base, he’s safe.

However, when equipment is used for reasons other than it’s stated purpose - like intentionally removing your helmet so it no longer provides protection and then using it to extend your reach to a base - it is not.
 

joe dokes

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Generally speaking the glove and cleats are enveloping the body so kind of one in the same no? In the above case the helmet isn't enveloping the head so not quite the same.

That did make me wonder about a what if play. A fielder has the ball in his bare hand and for whatever reason he's on the ground and has to reach out to tag the base with his glove - safe or out? I know I've seen plays that required a tag and the fielder tagged the runner with a glove not containing the ball and the runner was correctly ruled safe. I can't remember seeing an example of my scenario.
I think I have seen that. The runner is out. (unless he puts his hat or shoe into his glove to extend his reach) ;)
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I suspect that if the runner removes a shoe and use it to extend a hand, the rule would apply. Or if he literally slid head-first (as opposed to hands-first) and touched the base with his helmet while it was attached to his head, he'd be safe.
I want to see a player take off his shirt and use it like a rolled up towel to extend their reach!
 

Lose Remerswaal

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When used as intended, equipment is part of the body. So if he was wearing the helmet and overslid the bag and ended up with his helmet (on his head) resting on the base, he’s safe.

However, when equipment is used for reasons other than it’s stated purpose - like intentionally removing your helmet so it no longer provides protection and then using it to extend your reach to a base - it is not.
I get it, that makes sense. So if the runner is carrying his helmet because he caught it as it was falling off and a fielder tags him on that helmet that he is carrying, is he out?
 

Average Reds

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I get it, that makes sense. So if the runner is carrying his helmet because he caught it as it was falling off and a fielder tags him on that helmet that he is carrying, is he out?
I’m actually laughing at this question because its a good one and I don’t know.

I would think that the answer is no, but I’m almost sure he’d be called out anyway.
 

Max Power

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Is there a limit on the size of the oven mitts the runners use to protect their fingers? if you made that thing 3 feet long, imagine how many more bases you could steal.
 

joe dokes

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Relatedly, is there a limit to the size of the protective "oven mitts" that runners wear? Seems like orangutan arms could be an aid to stealing bases.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Relatedly, is there a limit to the size of the protective "oven mitts" that runners wear? Seems like orangutan arms could be an aid to stealing bases.
Is there a limit on the size of the oven mitts the runners use to protect their fingers? if you made that thing 3 feet long, imagine how many more bases you could steal.
Or imagine how many double plays you could break up:
View: https://twitter.com/TalkinYanks/status/1784670640315802021


It was a tie game when he oven-mitted that throw, NY went on to score 7 more runs that inning.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I looked at the rules to see about ways to answer these questions. I didn't find anything satisfactory, but the rules are really organized in a counterintuitive way. There are rules about the allowed sizes of fielding gloves for different positions. But that's all I could find. Again, hard to know where to look because of how the rules are organized. They could really use a top to bottom re-configuration.
 

CaptainLaddie

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There was a play the other night I've never seen before: an defensive penalty where the offense accepted -- but could have declined -- it.

Reds/Padres.

Pads had 1st and 3rd, 1 out. Batter grounds out, run scores. Catcher's interference is called on the swing. Padres are given the choice to accept or decline the penalty, choose to accept it, run comes off the board, now it's bases loaded, 1 out. Next batter clears the bases.

Run expectancy matrix says it's the right call, too.

2 outs, runner on second is .305 (plus the run that's already scored, so 1.305). Bases loaded, 1 out is 1.520.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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There was a play the other night I've never seen before: an defensive penalty where the offense accepted -- but could have declined -- it.

Reds/Padres.

Pads had 1st and 3rd, 1 out. Batter grounds out, run scores. Catcher's interference is called on the swing. Padres are given the choice to accept or decline the penalty, choose to accept it, run comes off the board, now it's bases loaded, 1 out. Next batter clears the bases.

Run expectancy matrix says it's the right call, too.

2 outs, runner on second is .305 (plus the run that's already scored, so 1.305). Bases loaded, 1 out is 1.520.
So, that play is subject to a very heavy debate by umpires, as I understand it. The debate is over whether or not to alert the manager that he has a choice. Somewhere in some officials forums or internet thing, there was a very active debate, with the prevailing view being that because of the language of the rule or comment, it is up to the manager to know the rule. So the umpire enforces the catchers' interference and then needs to wait to see what the manager wants to do. Others take the view that in situations where the manager may prefer to decline. The MLB comment gives two examples -- sac fly and sac bunt.

Do you know how the ump handled in the reds pads game?
 

SirPsychoSquints

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So, that play is subject to a very heavy debate by umpires, as I understand it. The debate is over whether or not to alert the manager that he has a choice. Somewhere in some officials forums or internet thing, there was a very active debate, with the prevailing view being that because of the language of the rule or comment, it is up to the manager to know the rule. So the umpire enforces the catchers' interference and then needs to wait to see what the manager wants to do. Others take the view that in situations where the manager may prefer to decline. The MLB comment gives two examples -- sac fly and sac bunt.

Do you know how the ump handled in the reds pads game?
It was this game:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SDN/SDN202404300.shtml

The broadcast booth saw the interference signal right away. Shildt was out there discussing with the ump very quickly - I don't think we can know who initiated the conversation about if he'd accept it or not.