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.
PREVIOUS QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (newest Q/A on top)
Ask Ed The Ump (3)
[Q] Ok, so this came to mind while watching Ichiro on Friday night and I think the ROOT guys talked a bit about it, but I was chasing the 2 yr old around the house and didn’t hear. Anyway….Staying in the batter’s box. I was told (a LONG time ago) that any good umpire and/or batter will “accidentally” make sure the back line of the box is wiped away or at least blurred. That being said, Ichiro looked like his foot was at least on the back line during his batting stance. I assume that a batter’s foot needs to be ALL the way out of the batters box when he hits a ball to be called out? Also….does the ball need to be put in play for him to be out (assuming his foot is out of the box) or is it ANY contact (i.e.-foul tip). Thanks Ed-this is better than talking about our baseball team these days!! (TJinPhoenix)
[A] No umpire I’ve encountered scratches out the back line of the batter’s box. I had a high school kid try it on me once and I chewed his ass out big time. College players do it all the time…I didn’t care one way or another. They thought it would help…it doesn’t.
Any part of the foot touching any part of the line is considered “in the box” for purposes of a batted ball, although the batter must have his entire foot on or inside the chalk or paint when getting ready to see a pitch.
As far as being called out for being out of the box, it doesn’t matter if the batted ball is fair or foul…the batter is called out if his entire foot(or both)is out of the box when the ball is hit. The reason for this is simple…the ball isn’t fair or foul until it is touched by a fielder, passes 1st or 3rd base over foul ground or goes out of play without being touched. The instant a ball is hit with his foot out of the box is the determining factor.
This play almost always occurs when a player is trying to bunt or “tops” the ball and it goes almost straight down and caroms somewhere. Virtually all umps(good)at all levels do call it a foul ball if the batters back foot is still in the box and the ball caroms off the ground and hits the batter.
Hope that answers your question(s)TJ. Stay cool.
[Q] In a game with the Mets, a Mets runner was out when he was hit with a batted ball.
Changing the scenario a bit to have a runner on third and the infield pulled in and playing on the grass. If the ball gets past Scutaro and hits the runner is the ruling the same or different. (fcrockiesfan)
[A] fc…a very good question and one the fans would undoubtedly be confused about if it happened.
Once again the simple answer is that the ball is in play as if nothing happened.
Once a batted ball passes any infielder who does not have a chance to field the ball and hits either an umpire or runner the ball remains alive and in play.
BTW, in the original play where the fielders are playing back, most fans(coaches and players as well)aren’t aware that the runner that is hit by the batted ball is declared out and the ball is dead, but additionally the batter is awarded a base hit.
Good question…keep ‘em coming.
[Q] A batter/runner (with EYJ speed) hustles down the first base line trying to beat out an infield single. He reaches the bag just ahead of the throw, which sails over the 1B-man’s head and down the RF line. The batter/runner is a good 10-15 feet past 1B when he sees that the throw was bad, turns left and heads to 2B and beats the throw. But since his initial momentum carried him so far past 1B, his direct path to 2B is way out of the baseline. Is it allowed for him to be out of the basepath in this situation? (Miketober)
[A] The simple answer is yes, he is allowed to be out of the baseline on his way to second.
Another scenario…he gets caught in a rundown on your previous play. When and where is HIS baseline? The runners baseline for purposes of umpire determination for when the runner is OUT of the baseline is established when he turns left heading for second…his baseline is now that point and second base. In theory he could be way, way out of the original baseline(a direct line between first and second)in this case. Totally legal…the umpire will have to determine if the runner ran three feet on either side of this “new” line before he can call him out. It should be noted that the umpire may only call a runner out for running outside his baseline IF he runs outside that line to avoid a tag.
[COMMENT] Thanks Ed. It would be legal but hard to officiate if he were way out of the “traditional” base line and got caught in a rundown. Each time he reversed direction (say running back and forth between 1B and 2B) a new base path would be created: from the point he reversed direction to the base he was trying to make it safely to. (Miketober)