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Baseball/Softball rules question (tagging up)


Baldkin

I got into a discussion about tagging up the other day with some softball teammates.

 

I was of the opinion that the runners can tag up on a fly ball as soon as it hits the outfielder's glove (or hand, or face... or whatever). Not when an actual catch is made. My friends proceeded to tell me that its when the catch is made that matters, so, theoretically, someone could 'bobble' a ball all the way into the infield, never giving the runner a chance to tag up.

 

I can't imagine that... because, I've never seen a pro OF bobble a ball intentionally (which, really, isn't that hard to do) to mess up the timing of a guy tagging up (or even trying to double him up off 3rd).

 

Just wondering if anyone here can help me out.

"I wasted so much time in my life hating Juventus or A.C. Milan that I should have spent hating the Cardinals." ~kalle8

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While we are on the subject of rules, I had a this softball situation a couple weeks ago:

 

One out, runner on 1st. Batter pops a ball up to 2B. The umpire incorrectly yelled, "Infield Fly, Batter's out!". The 2nd baseman dropped the pop up and neither runner attempted to move. Should the umpire have allowed the 2B to pick up the ball and turn the easy double play?

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Interesting. Biffing the IF fly call there makes it tricky. I think the proper move by the ump there would be to just rule the batter out, and not allow the 2Bman to try & force out the runner at 2B. However, if the umpire were convinced he'd made the right call, then yes, he should have allowed the defense to force out the runner at 2B/turn the DP if they attempted to do so.

 

Did the ump acknowledge his mistake right away, or was he insisting that his call was correct?

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Speaking of the infield fly rule, why is the rule not invoked when there is only a runner on first base? Is it because it's assumed that the defense can't gain an out because they'd likely not be able to turn two as long as the batter runs to first? It confuses me.
You may run like Mays...
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Not sure -- the situation that dictates the IF fly call is in effect with 'at least runners on 1st & 2nd with less than 2 outs'

 

I know even Rock explained this incorrectly, or at least incompletely, during a recent in-game 'email the booth' segment on FSN. He neglected to mention that the IF fly is in effect with the bases loaded & < 2 outs, only noting that it's called with runners on 1st & 2nd.

 

 

Is it because it's assumed that the defense can't gain an out because they'd likely not be able to turn two as long as the batter runs to first? It confuses me.

 

That's a good question. Really, the double-play at 1B aspect of the IF fly rule boils down to the batter-runner hustling to or not, imo. There really isn't a 'turning the DP at 1B' scenario that couldn't be avoided by hustle (as long as the batter-runner is healthy enough, of course). Not quite sure why it isn't called with just a runner on 1B... it's probably that, with runners at 1B & 3B, there's the chance for getting two outs if you throw ahead of the runners (going to 3B, then 2B after letting the ball drop), whereas with just one runner at 1B, you'd likely only get the one out, not changing the game situation at all (just the runner at 1B)

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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When trying to help teammates (and new umps) understand the infield fly rule, the easiest way I've found to help others grasp the rule is to think - if two baserunners can be forced out on the bases if not caught, then it applies (1st/2nd, 1st/2nd/3rd, but not not 1st/3rd, and less than two outs). More for lower level leagues, don't forget that runners can advance at their own risk (I've seen runners score when the ball drops alongside a fielder who quit trying once the ump called "infield fly, batter's out").

 

And I think you're right about the hustle by the batter being assumed on pop-outs. I belive there is a more obscure rule that allows an ump to call an out on an intentionally dropped ball, so a runner isn't hung out on looping line drives where the batter could still be "doubled up" even if running it out... I'm sure one of the more internet savvy members will be able to scrounge up the actual rule - somebody's gotta be up to the challenge. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif

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When trying to help teammates (and new umps) understand the infield fly rule, the easiest way I've found to help others grasp the rule is to think - if two baserunners can be forced out on the bases if not caught, then it applies (1st/2nd, 1st/2nd/3rd, but not not 1st/3rd, and less than two outs). More for lower level leagues, don't forget that runners can advance at their own risk (I've seen runners score when the ball drops alongside a fielder who quit trying once the ump called "infield fly, batter's out").

 

And I think you're right about the hustle by the batter being assumed on pop-outs. I belive there is a more obscure rule that allows an ump to call an out on an intentionally dropped ball, so a runner isn't hung out on looping line drives where the batter could still be "doubled up" even if running it out... I'm sure one of the more internet savvy members will be able to scrounge up the actual rule - somebody's gotta be up to the challenge. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif

TSack:

That's how we taught/learned the infield fly rule during the classes for umpiring intramural games at college. Some of us already knew it from previous umpiring experience, but it's a good mnemonic device.

 

As for ruling the batter out for an intentionally dropped fly ball/line drive by an infielder, the applicable MLB rule is 6.05(l):

 

6.05 A batter is out when-
(l) An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third base occupied before two are out. The ball is dead and runner or runners shall return to their original base or bases;

APPROVED RULING: In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder permits the ball to drop untouched to the ground, except when the Infield Fly rule applies.

 

 

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First touch is all that matters on the sac fly.

 

In most cases, if an ump calls out a ruling, it is not correctable...a fair ball called foul is foul, for example. I would say the batter is out, or possibly a good solution would be a replay at most levels would be fine.

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In most cases, if an ump calls out a ruling, it is not correctable...a fair ball called foul is foul, for example. I would say the batter is out, or possibly a good solution would be a replay at most levels would be fine

 

This is not the case in my umpiring experience whatsoever. A fair ball being called foul is in the smaller percentage of calls that couldn't be overturned/corrected. A foul ball getting called fair, for instance, is easily correctable. I agree that re-playing the at-bat/pitch works very well in an amateur setting.

 

Slow-pitch/beer league softball often provides the umpires numerous occasions to overturn calls, and in most times from my personal experience, the incorrect calls were corrected to everybody's benefit.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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The reason I asked is because, as a former umpire, I always ruled that the players on the field should know the rules and mis-speaking on behalf of the umpire shouldn't change the rules. The circumstances would obviously be different if it were little kids playing but this was a pretty competitive softball league. In my opinion, the distinction is that it isn't a "judgement" call like fair/foul or ball/strike would be.
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In a competitive tourney, an ump said foul by mistake...at that point, it was a dead ball, even though several of us saw the ball land fair. The ump admitted his mistake, and told the other team he goofed, but he could not change it, as we had stopped playing the ball. If a HR, it could have been changed, but not a live ball...it turned dead when it was called.

 

It made sense, but I've never looked it up. No one asked for a replay, so I don't know if we could have said "do over" or not. The other team's manager walked back, explained it to the batter, who said, "That sucks", and he got in the box.

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In a competitive tourney, an ump said foul by mistake...at that point, it was a dead ball, even though several of us saw the ball land fair. The ump admitted his mistake, and told the other team he goofed, but he could not change it, as we had stopped playing the ball. If a HR, it could have been changed, but not a live ball...it turned dead when it was called.

 

A fair ball called foul, one of the minority of calls that can't be overturned/corrected. If, in real-time, the ump had said, 'Foul -- no, FAIR!', I think the play could have & should have continued.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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Speaking of the infield fly rule, why is the rule not invoked when there is only a runner on first base? Is it because it's assumed that the defense can't gain an out because they'd likely not be able to turn two as long as the batter runs to first? It confuses me.

That is correct. If the batter is running it out, the defense can't turn a DP and no advantage is gained. With first and second, or bases loaded, there are at least two runners that can't run until the ball hits the ground, leading to an easy DP.

 

As a SS in softball, I use this to my advantage quite often. A lot of guys in softball won't run out pop-up's, so I just let the ball drop in front of me, and turn the DP.

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As a SS in softball, I use this to my advantage quite often. A lot of guys in softball won't run out pop-up's, so I just let the ball drop in front of me, and turn the DP.

If that isn't the best example of Bush league I don't know what is.

 

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As a SS in softball, I use this to my advantage quite often. A lot of guys in softball won't run out pop-up's, so I just let the ball drop in front of me, and turn the DP.

If that isn't the best example of Bush league I don't know what is.

 

 

Sorry, but I've gotta disagree with you on that one, jwill. Run out a pop-fly and it is not an issue. Hustle one of the few things every player is capable of bringing to the ball field and make the difference in a closely matched game. I'd only considered it bush league if the game was already a blowout and teams dialed down the aggressiveness to avoid additional risks.

 

Bush league is letting fly balls drop so the opponent scores a run and avoid the mercy-rule limit so you can bat one more time, bush league is shooting the middle on a pitcher in rec league ball with a 12 run lead, bush league is knowingly bringing an illegal bat into play, bush league is anything that tries to injure or humiliate a team that is all ready being dominated.

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Tsack, he is letting the ball drop so he can double off the guy on first who is forced to stay put, that is Bush. I am never going to accused of hustling all the time, but I can almost guarantee that most of us that play arent going to bust out down the line on a pop out to the short stop or second basemen. Now one that requires the fielder to run out into the the outfield to get it is a different story, but the play being talked about is a infield fly that is short enough to fall in front of a SS.
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Tsack, he is letting the ball drop so he can double off the guy on first who is forced to stay put, that is Bush. I am never going to accused of hustling all the time, but I can almost guarantee that most of us that play arent going to bust out down the line on a pop out to the short stop or second basemen. Now one that requires the fielder to run out into the the outfield to get it is a different story, but the play being talked about is a infield fly that is short enough to fall in front of a SS.

The bases are 65 feet (60 in some places). You can walk down the line fast enough to avoid a DP. It only works when the guy who pops it up just stands there, or walks back to the dugout.

Edit: I am not dropping the ball (illegal). I am letting it drop (i.e. not touching it at all before it hits the ground). That is a huge difference. There is the risk of a funny sideways hop where we don't get any outs.
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Edit: I am not dropping the ball (illegal). I am letting it drop (i.e. not touching it at all before it hits the ground). That is a huge difference. There is the risk of a funny sideways hop where we don't get any outs.

 

I just think that is what makes the play bush, you are willing to risk a for sure out to show people up.

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Edit: I am not dropping the ball (illegal). I am letting it drop (i.e. not touching it at all before it hits the ground). That is a huge difference. There is the risk of a funny sideways hop where we don't get any outs.

 

I just think that is what makes the play bush, you are willing to risk a for sure out to show people up.

 

Actually, I'm risking a for sure out for two likely outs. If it happened against us, I would be extremely upset at the teammate who got doubled up for not hustling, not the other team for doing it. That's the sole reason for not having the infield fly rule with only a guy on 1st, or 1st and 3rd. It's impossible to gain an advantage by letting the ball drop, if the batter even makes a half-hearted effort to get to first base.
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the point is that you are showing the other team up that way. Any play like this that starts a yelling match or heated argument is considered bush. You are purposely making an error to take advantage. Again it has nothing to do with hustling. Its not like its a grounder or play that the defender may or may not be able to make, you are letting a ball just drop in front of you. To me this is on par with taking a walk up 15 in the 7th or stretching a single into a double in the same situation. Yes it is legal but you will be labeled a jag by everyone you play.

 

Seeing that you are about the same age as me, I am shocked that you would still play this way. Its rec league not game 7 of the World series. I would expect this from a younger person.

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