A.E.t.U.

Ask EdtheUmp an Umpiring Question

With 25 years of umpire experience at the Division I, small college and high school level of baseball,  RoxWalkOff’s EdtheUmp can help clear up some misconceptions on rules, plays and general umpire responsibilities.

Any subject or questions are encouraged.  Just scroll to the bottom to ask your question in the comments section.


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jaredean
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jaredean

Hey all, welcome to the “Ask EdTheUmp” section. Feel free to use it for good or evil!

Ask your questions below and periodically I am moving the completed questions and answers above to keep this page clean.

Mr. Peabody
Member
Mr. Peabody

Ed, A recent news story caught my attention. “Balkin” Bob Davidson was suspended for one game, as was the Phillies manager. BD had repeatedly not acted to defuse situations (arguments), according to the league. I assume he was warned, maybe more than once. I’ve never heard of an umpire being suspended in the majors before. Have you? If so, when? Any other comments? (Side note – I saw a gentleman at the Denver DMV this week who looked a whole… Read more »

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

Wally aka Mr. Peabody(and I’m not referencing the Rockie and Bullwinkle show…only the REAL OLD guys know to who I am refering). First off…no, that was not me you saw. I knew that instantly when you used the term “gentleman.” As for your inquiry…I’m sure that it has happened a few times before but can only recall one other as I was present when it happened. In San Diego, during the “run” in 2007, Milton Bradley and the first base… Read more »

jeem
Guest
jeem

Rocky + Bullwinkle! The honorable Mr Rocket J Squirrel.

Proof there was medical marijuana in the ’60’s.

ProgMatinee
Member
ProgMatinee

What do you think about this? Not the particular call, but Jim Leyland’s comments regarding the media and umpires. http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/leyland-begs-media-umpires-accountable-bad-calls-115005638.html Personally, I’ve been asking this for years. IMO, Umpires should be REQUIRED to speak to the media after every game. 99% of the games will be really easy and non-controversial, but they should be accessible and accountable regardless. Short of that happening, though I dislike Leyland, I have to agree with him here. The media needs to call it for… Read more »

edtheump
Member
edtheump

I’m with you Prog. I’ve always thought that if we are getting paid to do a job and we screw it up, we umps should admit it and be willing to talk about it.(Remember Jim Joyce?…there is a reason his is the #1 rated umpire in baseball. Remember his remarks regarding his missed call at first? Class, all the way.) One of the best memories I have regarding coaches and umpires(basketball and football included)were comments by coaches and their relationship… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Hi Ed, I’ve got a good one for you. Runner on first, 1 out. Batter hits a sharp ground ball to the right side. The runner jumps over the ball, so it initially misses him. However, the 2B-man can’t field it cleanly. It bounces off the 2B-man’s leg and deflects back in to the runner. The umpire calls the runner out for being struck by a hit ball. Right call? The way the umpire explained it, if it’s off part… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Aha! The plot thickens! In the actual game, not only was the runner called out, but the fielder managed to pick up the ball and step on first ahead of the batter/runner. So it was called a double play. But I just read this: “When a runner is called out for being hit by a fair batted ball, the batter gets first base. All other runners remain at the base they held at the time of the pitch, unless forced… Read more »

EdtheUmp
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EdtheUmp

Mtbr…
You are correct, sir. No double play. The out at first should have stood up except the ump erred by not killing the ball.

The defensive team gets 2 outs for making an error…hmm…that could set baseball back 100 years or more.

Man, oh man, I can imagine this play will be discussed for some time.

Sometimes the umps are the most clueless on the field…in little league, that is.

Keep ’em coming.

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

Miketober… You sure come up with some dandy plays. First off, I sure hope this play happened at a little league game and not some HS or college game. The ump sounds like he was trying to come to a logical ruling without having the vaguest clue of what the real ruling should have been. The runner is NOT out in your first paragraph scenario. Once the ball passes under(or anywhere for that matter)the runner his liability is over. NOTHING… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Thanks Ed. You rock!

Special Ed
Guest
Special Ed

Ed, this is entirely off the radar and simply a fun silly post. But I AM curious if you would agree with the rules interpretation of Major League Baseball Rule 6.08(b) at the end. This article is called “Relativistic Baseball” and answers the question.. “What happens if you hit a baseball thrown at 90% of the speed of light?” And yes, it’s a question that no rockies pitcher is expected to approach in the near future. If you have sat… Read more »

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

The laws of physics say the ball must “rebound” off the bat at 89%…thus, it will be exiting slower than when it was arriving.

Of course, I’m probably mistaken since I don’t know “jack-shit” about physics.

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Ed, I’ve got a question regarding the runner’s right to initiate contact with the catcher in a Little League level game. Runner on third, tries to steal home in a kids game. The defender throws home and beats the runner home by several feet. When the catcher receives the ball he is a good 5-6 feet up the line. He applies the tag, but the runner runs through his glove, knocking the ball out, and crosses home plate without sliding.… Read more »

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

Miketober… Sorry for the lagtime in answering this question. The tag play at home(or any other base for that matter)is easy to call and interpret as long as the umpire knows the rule he is applying. Most levels have different rules for your stated play…I will delve into the call from the top down. 1) Big Leagues…you can knock the catcher into next week if you want…ie. Ray Fosse/Pete Rose collision. 2) College rules (excluding NAIA in which that division… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Thanks Ed. The catcher was holding the ball, so assuming the rules in LL are similar to high school, the runner should have tried to avoid the tag, and was correctly called out. I assume the same is true between bases, for example first to second. It’s interesting that we as coaches always instruct kids to put their free hand on the glove when tagging so the ball can’t come out. I guess that is only necessary when the defender… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Hi Ed, I have a question on Interference (Rule 7.09). Let’s say we bases loaded, and the batter hits a ground ball to the SS. The runner from 2nd accidentally runs into the SS – who was in the basepath in the act of fielding the ball – and breaks up the play. (The interference is unintentional – this is a LL game.) I understand that the runner that collided with the SS is out and the ball is dead.… Read more »

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

Miketober… so sorry it has taken me so long…back to iowa for 9 days for 50 year class reunion stuff…visit my mon and siblings, etc better half’s daughter getting married after my return and i have LOTS of honey-do chores…anyway, here’s your answer… you are correct in ruling the ball dead and the runner out… the ump then determines where the SS would have tried to make a play(in this case either a throw to 2nd or get the B/R… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

5 stars for your answer Ed.

That’s very interesting and perfectly logical, but I seriously doubt most LL umps would make the right call. I’ll print out your explanation and put it with my rule-book so I’m ready should that play happen again.

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

M…you want a better ruling? Check this out!! IF the interference is by a runner that has been put out before the interference occurred…the runner closest to home is the 2nd out declared… think about it………….winning run on third, no outs…B/R hits a smash down first base line, 1b fields it and touches first(it’s a logical play) and then throws home to nail the winning run…the RETIRED B/R intentionally interferred(in this particular play the interference MUST be intentional unless the… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

Saw a double play grounder in a game a couple of nights ago that killed the rally with runners on 1st and 2nd. Ground ball to SS, can the runner heading to 3rd intentionally kick the ball away and take the out preventing a grounder into double play???

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

RMH, Ed can weigh in on this, but I’m pretty sure the penalty on the offense would be pretty severe. I would think at the very least the runner would be out (and probably ejected from the game) and the B/R also called out, and dead ball. I’ve seen this mentioned specifically in the rules somewhere, but Ed is the ultimate authority.

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

RMH, Ed, I’ve been thinking about this some more, and I really like RMH’s question. Let me ask a slightly different version. Ground ball to SS, and the runner heading to 3rd “accidently” lets the live ball hit him. (He really did it on purpose, but is a good actor and makes it look good.) Under the rules it should be dead ball, batter gets 1B, runner on 1B gets 2B. In other words it is the same as a… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Ed, I’ve got an obstruction question for you. Batter singles and tries to stretch it into a double. The throw comes in to second from the OF and is off-line slightly to the first base side. The second baseman comes off the bag to his right and tries to catch the ball and gets tangled up with the batter/runner who is in the process of sliding into second. The ball rolls away, but the B/R is pinned down by the… Read more »

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

Miketober… sorry it has taken me this long, especially since I said I would answer this question later this morning…old age was creeping in and now it’s starting to jog… in your play, obstruction is the correct call…once the ball escaped the 2b he is no longer attempting to field it…incidental or not it is obstruction… either way you are going to get an argument… the obstruction call during the world series is the same philosophy for the ump… was… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Thanks Ed. The call went against my team (runner was called out) and I did argue, but sadly to no avail.

I like how you put it, “he (the fielder) already had his chance.” If the fielder catches the ball in either my situation or in the Sox-Cards game then the contact is okay. But once the throw escapes him he is in the way. Great principle.

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Ed, Is it ever possible for a runner on 3rd to score when the batter is out on a dropped 3rd strike? The situation: Runner on 3rd, 2 outs, strike 3 swinging but a passed ball. The runner on 3rd races home before the catcher has a chance to recover the passed ball. The batter/runner does one of the following: (a) the batter immediately retreats to his dugout and is called out by the umpire BEFORE the runner crosses home,… Read more »

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

Miketober… this one is simple. A run can NEVER score when the third out of an inning is a force play. It doesn’t matter which base is involved. Most fans, coaches and players don’t know the REAL definition of a force play. It is when the B/R or baserunner is forced to advance to the next base. There are MANY scenarios that I’ve seen and been questioned on during the years. I try to explain to a coach why or… Read more »

rockymountainhigh
Admin
rockymountainhigh

I just saw on Twitter: I just saw an umpire toss the PA announcer for saying “now batting with 4 outs” after a questionable call.

I thought umpires have no control over PA announcers. If a punishment was coming, it would come from the MLB office for publicly criticizing an umpire.

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Ed, I’ve got another one that happened in a little league game. Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 2 outs. Batter hits a ground ball to the SS who fields it, tags the runner advancing from 2nd, and then for good measure throws to 1B in time to retire the B/R too. Let’s just say for the sake of argument that the runner from 3B somehow crosses HP before the tag is made. Does the run count? The offensive team argues… Read more »

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

Miketober… another GREAT question. This play actually happened to me as the base umpire in a junior college game. The correct ruling(which I got right)follows: when multiple outs result in more than 3 out being recorded the defense can choose which out to take. Obviously the defense would choose the out at first which is a forceout causing the run to not count. The scenario is quite common. In your play a good SS would not only attempt to tag… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Ed, Question on time out. Youth game, 2 umpire crew working home plate and behind 2nd base. Runners on 2nd and 3rd, no outs. One of the runners requests time from the 2nd base ump, and time is granted by that ump who raises his hands. But at the same instant the pitcher delivers the pitch and a triple play results. The HP ump did not see the 2nd base ump start to call time and did not call a… Read more »

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

Miketober…good question. The rule and the way it is handled is the same at ALL levels of baseball(and softball, for that matter). In a word, the call was incorrect. Once ANY ump raises his arms and calls time the ball is dead no matter what happens(even if the pitch is in the air towards home plate). It’s an easy explanation to the poor coach who thought he had a triple play…if the hitter had hit a 3-run homer it would… Read more »

ProgMatinee
Guest
ProgMatinee

Why in the world would a runner on second base be calling time out while a pitcher is in wind up? Was the runner on the base or leading off? I call shenanigans and rule or no rule karma bit them. Were these 5 year olds? How do you get into a non-force triple play? LOL.

ProgMatinee
Guest
ProgMatinee

To further explain, there is more and more inappropriate gamesmanship going on in youth sports now. Every week I see some new scheme on youtube or yahoo being employed to trick the other team or trick the umpires. I’m betting the kid on second is trying to either relay stolen signs to the batter or confuse the pitcher or somehow mitigate a possible bad scenario against them. If the kid at bat hit a double to drive them all home,… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

No shenanegans. It turns out the 2nd base bag was off its base. Yet another reason why it should have been a dead ball.

Usually in a situation like this t/o is called so someone can tie their shoe. The vast majority of the kids and coaches in our league play an honest game, so there was no trickery involved. I won’t comment on the triple play itself because the memory is too painful to relive.

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Hey Ed, Interference question. Bases loaded, no outs. Batter hits soft liner over foul territory down 3B line. The runner on 3B sticks out his hand and catches the ball (before it hits the ground), figuring it’s a foul ball so it’s dead or something. I’m not sure what he was thinking. The ball may have been catchable, probably not, by a diving 3B-man. Here is how I think the call should go, please tell me if I am right.… Read more »

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

Miketober… I’m so sorry for not answering this sooner. A very, very good question and scenario. This play would never happen in the MLs but certainly could at the LL or even the HS level. The easiest way to begin is simple. ANYTIME a player on offense intentionally touches or is touched by a batted(in fair territory) or thrown ball in order to “gain an advantage” (the idiot factor comes in here) there is going to be an out called,… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Ed, Follow-up question. Coaches always tell their players when leading off 3B to stay on the foul side of the 3B line. Clearly that would prevent them from being struck by a fair ball hot smash down the line, either a liner or a grounder. They would also be okay if struck by a foul grounder down the line (assuming it bounced once in foul territory before it hit them) — Right? But would it protect them if struck by… Read more »

Miketober
Guest
Miketober

Thanks a lot Ed! No worries on the delay.

Would you mind scrolling up and answering the other 2 questions I posted there which you may have missed? I am particularly interested in the 2-out GIDP where the runner from 3B crosses home.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Runners at first and second, one out. Routine flyball to short left field CALLED OUT. Fielder drops ball before having possession. Fielder picks up ball and throws to second tagging runner who stayed on base. Ends game.

EdtheUmp
Guest
EdtheUmp

Brian…The only way this play happens the way you present it is at the amateur level. If the umpire makes a call of out, there is no review possible so the runner is entitled to stay where he is. Two out, runners at first and second.
At the ML level it gets a little confusing. After review, the call would be reversed and all runners would be awarded one base…bases loaded, one out.

Dreama
Guest
Dreama

I’m not easily imrepssed but you’ve done it with that posting.

Dash
Guest
Dash

OK, you probably already know I’m crazy about Grey shadows. This is gorgeous on you Skyfall opened on the last week of October here and I managed to catch it. I think yo7u28#1&;ll like it. I took your suggestion and watched Looper. It was quite interesting.