Ask The Ump?

CoachHoversten

Active member
Follow up question...

7-2-14: If a player on defense goes to the mound, this shall terminate the DH's role for that team. The DH may assume the defensive player's position in the field.


Situation: F6 replaces the SP and becomes the RP. Does the DH have to come out if he doesn't play shortstop? Or can you move F5 to F6 and put the DH in at F5 on the field?

I've always thought you could swap people's defensive positions to your heart's content and it doesn't impact the batting order. But the word "the" makes me wonder if the DH must play that person's position?
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Follow up question...

7-2-14: If a player on defense goes to the mound, this shall terminate the DH's role for that team. The DH may assume the defensive player's position in the field.


Situation: F6 replaces the SP and becomes the RP. Does the DH have to come out if he doesn't play shortstop? Or can you move F5 to F6 and put the DH in at F5 on the field?

I've always thought you could swap people's defensive positions to your heart's content and it doesn't impact the batting order. But the word "the" makes me wonder if the DH must play that person's position?
"The DH may assume the defensive player's position in the field."

A long as it doesn't affect the batting order, the DH can do what you suggest
 
Two strikes on batter - on an inside pitch he drops the bat and spins out of the way. Umpire calls him out for swinging because "the bat fell forward."
 

Hback

Member
Two strikes on batter - on an inside pitch he drops the bat and spins out of the way. Umpire calls him out for swinging because "the bat fell forward."
Would need to see video. This one can go either way. A straight drop of the bat before the swing to avoid the pitch...ball. But if he starts spinning and has the bat still and goes around, then drops the bat...strike.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Two strikes on batter - on an inside pitch he drops the bat and spins out of the way. Umpire calls him out for swinging because "the bat fell forward."
In order for a strike to be called on a pitch that does not enter the strike zone, the batter must attempt to strike at the ball with the bat.

The bat falling forward has no bearing on this judgement. If that's what the umpire said, then he needs a crash course on what constitutes a strike (Rule 7-2-1)
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
This reminds me of exactly why an umpire I respect greatly once told me when I asked “did he go?” That I should instead say “did he offer”

“Go” implies direction, “offer” implies intent.

HBack...please find and quote a rule that says a strike is any pitch a batters bat moves X distance and misses.

“good luck with that”
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
I’ll help out to save time.

“A strike is a legal pitch STRUCK AT BY THE BATTER without the ball touching the bat”

moving out of the way of a pitch coming right at you is an inexact science, especially for a kid.

If the batter doesn’t attempt to hit the pitch, it isn’t a swing
 

AllSports12

Moderator
This reminds me of exactly why an umpire I respect greatly once told me when I asked “did he go?” That I should instead say “did he offer”

“Go” implies direction, “offer” implies intent.

HBack...please find and quote a rule that says a strike is any pitch a batters bat moves X distance and misses.

“good luck with that”
I just point to my partner with my left hand and yell my partner's name....

When it's obvious to me that he attempted to strike at the ball, I point at the batter with my right hand and announce... "you offered"... followed by the appropriate strike signal.
 

Hback

Member
Maybe, we're thinking of different scenarios. I have in my mind the batter preparing to swing the bat, starts to swing, tries to stop, bat goes around, he "offers", but his body his spinning and turning toward the pitcher, and now decides to drop the bat. That's what I was envisioning in my mind.
 

Hback

Member

3:08 mark in this video, but obviously without the batter making contact with the ball and the batter instead dropping the bat. What do you have?
 

AllSports12

Moderator

3:08 mark in this video, but obviously without the batter making contact with the ball and the batter instead dropping the bat. What do you have?
This video is irrelevant.....

The umpire would have to determine whether or not the batter attempted to strike at the ball. ("Offer")
 

Hback

Member
Yes. Ultimately up to the umpire to decide the batter's attempt/offer.

The video, not irrelevant, is the situation that I am thinking of. If that batter doesn't make contact with that pitch, and drops the bat - instead of making contact. What do you have from that video?
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Maybe, we're thinking of different scenarios. I have in my mind the batter preparing to swing the bat, starts to swing, tries to stop, bat goes around, he "offers", but his body his spinning and turning toward the pitcher, and now decides to drop the bat. That's what I was envisioning in my mind.
How about this one....

Right handed batter starts his stride and begins his swing.... Pitch runs up and in (chin high)..... batter pulls bat towards his body and spins away from (to his left) the pitch.... in doing so he spins 360 degrees around all while holding the bat in his hands.

The mere fact that the bat crossed the front of the plate, or the front of the batter's body is not in and of itself evidence that the batter attempted to strike at the pitch. The front of the plate and body of the batter is a barometer used by the corner umpires to aid them in making this judgment.

The batter must first attempt to strike at the ball for any of this to be considered.
 

Hback

Member
How about this one....

Right handed batter starts his stride and begins his swing.... Pitch runs up and in (chin high)..... batter pulls bat towards his body and spins away from (to his left) the pitch.... in doing so he spins 360 degrees around all while holding the bat in his hands.

The mere fact that the bat crossed the front of the plate, or the front of the batter's body is not in and of itself evidence that the batter attempted to strike at the pitch. The front of the plate and body of the batter is a barometer used by the corner umpires to aid them in making this judgment.

The batter must first attempt to strike at the ball for any of this to be considered.
Yeah, that's a ball or HBP.

Thanks for answering my question!
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
HBack...I have come to learn that AllSports knows his stuff, and this thread has helped me immensely become a better umpire regarding "weird situations".

As AllSports says often, many plays fall in the HTBT category (had to be there), but this situation is pretty cut and dry.

Your video with the line is in reference to the batter's half-swing (many know it as "check swing"), and should be called a strike if the barrel passes the front hip.

However, for that standard to be applied, a batter must actually swing/offer.

In a round-about way, AllSports was just trying to make it clear that without a swing/offer, nothing else matters (except the location of the pitch obviously, but I mean for this situation)

Back to the original question, the umpire was incorrect. Like all the rest of us, he made a mistake. Hopefully he learns from it through a thread like this, training, rulebook diving, etc. I still make mistakes and I have been a study-rat for the last year or two.

The only thing that is tough is the umpire included something that is not part of the rule, or any rule "the bat fell forward". Making a mistake is human, justifying it with a standard that doesn't exist is harder to swallow. One thing I have learned really well is to use umpire-speak...just say "I had an offer coach". If you were wrong in that he offered, that can be lived with. Quoting a rule that doesn't exist gets you in far more hot water than just being wrong in judgment or ruling.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
So I have a question from yesterday’s game that I intend to delve into rule book to find, but figured I’d mention it here as well for others who read and learn from this. All my years of baseball playing, watching on tv, and now umpiring, and I’ve never seen this.

ncaa...

R1 and R2...pitcher comes set. Holds the set long enough that batter calls and received time. During time, pitcher never moved. He stayed in his set the entire time. After HPU (I was U1) declared play, pitcher still holding his set, waited about a second, and then pitched.

Balk? Legal?

None of the three of us called it a balk, batting team yelled that it was.

But if I call balk, coach might come ask what he did wrong; and the only thing is if rule book says a pitcher must come re-set and I don’t recall ever seeing “re- ____” anywhere in balk section.

He took his sign on the rubber (prior to the timeout), he was set, he had a discernible pause after “play” was declared (wasn’t long but he wasn’t starting as umpire was finishing “play”) and he delivered using a legal pitching motion.

Ive never seen a pitcher hold that long; it actually was quite impressive as most would lose concentration, but obviously if it’s a balk, I’d need to get it next time.

Edit: I thought perhaps at best, HPU shouldn’t put it in play until pitcher has disengaged (similar to not putting in play until base runners have retouched after a foul ball), but again, I don’t remember ever seeing that in the rules for putting a ball in play...so as soon as I get out of bed for the day, I’m looking it up
 
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CoachHoversten

Active member
So I just read the rule...the closest I can come is this:

“A pitcher must pitch only after coming set...” -

So the argument would be does he have to “come set” after play is called, or is coming set and not coming “un-set” legal.

If they must COME SET before delivering since time was called, then I’d think as HPU you don’t put it in play if pitcher is doing that??
 

AllSports12

Moderator
I think I am reading your question properly....

- The bolded part addresses the hands.
- The second paragraph of 9-1b addresses the declaration of the windup position prior to the at-bat. (you can assume the windup position with both hands in front of the body.

9-1b THE SET
The set position shall be indicated when the pitcher stands facing the batter with the pivot foot in contact with, and the other foot in front of, the pitcher's plate, holding the ball in both hands in front of their body and coming to a complete stop. Prior to coming to the set position, the pitcher may take the sign by turning his shoulders and facing the batter, but the pitching arm shall be at the side, on the hip or behind the body of the pitcher with the ball in the glove or the pitching hand. The pitcher may elect to make any natural preliminary motion such as that known as the "stretch", but must come to the set position using a continuous hand motion before pitching to the batter. After assuming the set position, any natural motion associated with the pitch commits the pitcher to pitch without alteration or interruption.

With a runner or runners on base, a pitcher will be presumed to be pitching from the Set Position if the pitcher stands with their pivot foot in contact with and parallel to the pitcher's plate, and their other foot in front of the pitcher's plate, unless the pitcher notified the umpire that they will be pitching from the Windup Position under such circumstances prior to the beginning of an at-bat. A pitcher will be permitted to notify the umpire that the pitcher is pitching from the Windup Position within an at-bat only in the event of (1) a substitution(s) by the offensive team; or (2) immediately upon the advancement of one or more runners (e.g., after one or more base runners advance but before the delivery of the next pitch). The umpire shall call "time" and notify the offensive team upon receiving such notification of using the Windup Position with runners on base.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
I’m not sure how to best describe what happened...

He came set (normal)...stood up, hands together, like any righty in the set. Batter called time which was granted. Pitcher literally never moved, total statue. He stood there throughout the time in his right handed set position, waiting for the umpire to say play. When he did, he held his set for another split second and then delivered
 

AllSports12

Moderator
I’m not sure how to best describe what happened...

He came set (normal)...stood up, hands together, like any righty in the set. Batter called time which was granted. Pitcher literally never moved, total statue. He stood there throughout the time in his right handed set position, waiting for the umpire to say play. When he did, he held his set for another split second and then delivered
The dead ball requires him to start all over again.

So the question is, can a pitcher start the set position with both hands together in front of him? (see the bolded part of 9-1b)
 

umpire16

New member
The other layer here is that you cannot put the ball back in play unless the legal conditions are met - See NCAA Rule 6-6 and NFHS 5-4

While the idea of the pitcher possessing the ball engaged with the rubber could be debated here, my interpretation is that this does not include being in a set position as in having come set and is about to deliver the pitch (in NCAA). The FED rule is more specific thusly - held by the pitcher in a legal pitching position, provided the pitcher has engaged the pitchers plate, and the batter and catcher are in their respective boxes. In that sense, 'legal' (to me) does not mean a legal position like the set having come set, but rather the position of his feet, shoulders, etc., indicating he would be in the set and ready to receive a sign, then come set, and pitch. See the comment by AllSports12 above.

Best advice I would give in this case is to be preventative and ask the catcher to tell him to step off and back on, then - assuming the other conditions are met - put the ball in play. If the catcher does not want too do this, do it yourself. And, if the defense starts to get consternated, take care of business.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
Good stuff both of you, thanks. A fellow umpire said “just make the pitcher get a new ball”. Something like “throw that ball in pitch, need to swap it out”

Forces him to re-set without making a stink
 

umpire16

New member
PSA - worked a scrimmage last night. Had two interference calls and one obstruction. Here were the coach's responses:

Obstruction, third baseman standing literally on third base during a base hit with a runner coming from second - "That's how we teach them to play defense, just like in the pros"

Batter interference - no swing on a steal of second, literally stepped on the plate and knocked the catcher down as he tried to throw - "They never called that when I played"

Force play slide - "You can't call that blue he doesn't have to slide, you don't know the rules."

Coaches - don't teach your players any of this, what things were like when you played are irrelevant (I played 20+ years ago in HS and things were even different then), and Force Play Slide is not about being required to slide in any way, shape, or form.

This concludes today's lesson in baseball. Thanks for reading.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
PSA - worked a scrimmage last night. Had two interference calls and one obstruction. Here were the coach's responses:

Obstruction, third baseman standing literally on third base during a base hit with a runner coming from second - "That's how we teach them to play defense, just like in the pros"

Batter interference - no swing on a steal of second, literally stepped on the plate and knocked the catcher down as he tried to throw - "They never called that when I played"

Force play slide - "You can't call that blue he doesn't have to slide, you don't know the rules."

Coaches - don't teach your players any of this, what things were like when you played are irrelevant (I played 20+ years ago in HS and things were even different then), and Force Play Slide is not about being required to slide in any way, shape, or form.

This concludes today's lesson in baseball. Thanks for reading.
To be fair, on a force play, the runner does not have to slide IF they veer away from the fielder. If they go straight in or towards the fielder, then it’s illegal
 

umpire16

New member
To be fair, on a force play, the runner does not have to slide IF they veer away from the fielder. If they go straight in or towards the fielder, then it’s illegal
True, I will clarify, this player did not slide, stayed in the basepath, and threw his arm out towards the ball trying to break it up.
 
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