How Would You Rule? –XIV
You are presented with a situation that actually occurred or might occur in a game. To play along, decide how you would rule or score. Then click the button to find out what either the umpires or the official scorer actually decided.
Manager Asks for Review of Call That Ruled His Runner Safe

Nate Freiman
July 3, 2015: Toronto Blue Jays @ Oakland A's

Situation: Top of 2nd; bases loaded and one out.

Anthony Gose hit a sharp grounder to 1B. Nate Freiman fielded the ball cleanly and tried to make a tag on Munenori Kawasaki, the runner on 1B, before throwing home. The 1B umpire ruled that Kawasaki avoided the tag and immediate­ly made the safe sign. Since the force play at home was still in effect, C Stephen Vogt recorded the out when he caught the ball with a foot on the plate. Strangely, the Toronto manager John Gibbons argued the call at 1st even though his runner had been called safe and asked for a video review.

Why would he do that?


John Gibbons
Reference: "Baseball Rules Corner," Rich Marazzi, Baseball Digest, January/February 2015
Foul Tip Off Catcher's Glove

Steven Souza
September 19, 2017: Chicago Cubs @ Tampa Bay Rays

Situation: Bottom of 6th; Steven Souza batting with 3-2 count, two outs, and bases empty.

Souza foul tips the pitch from Mike Montgomery. The ball caroms off the glove of C Willson Contreras, who cradles the ball just to the side of his chest projector.

Is the batter out?


Willson Contreras
Reference: "Baseball Rules Corner," Rich Marazzi, Baseball Digest, March/April 2018
First Baseman Yogi?

Johnny Pesky
July 4, 1949: Red Sox vs Yankees at Yankee Stadium

Situation: Top of 9th, bases loaded and one out with Yankees leading 3-2

Al Zarilla hit a shot into RF. Johnny Pesky, the runner on 3rd, broke for the plate but, hearing 3B coach Kiki Cuyler yelling at him to tag up, went back to 3rd. But as Pesky reached the bag, he saw Ted Williams, the runner on 2nd, bearing down on him. Williams screamed at Johnny to go home because the ball had dropped for a base hit. Pesky stumbled momentarily, then raced home. RF Cliff Mapes fielded and threw over the cut off man to home plate. The ball reached Yogi Berra on one hop. The Yankee C stretched like a 1B to snag the ball a fraction of a second before Pesky slid in. Home plate umpire Joe Papparella, seeing no tag, called the runner safe.


Yogi Berra
Reference: "It's Uncommon for a Force Play to Develop at Home Plate, Baseball Digest, Oct/Nov 2008, Rich Marazzi (1980)


Chub Feeney

Brawl Breaks Out While Play Is Live

May 6, 1973: Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants

Situation: Bottom of 4th. Milt Pappas pitching for the Cubs. One out. Dave Rader on 1st. P Jim Barr batting.

As Rader takes off for 2B, Pappas throws a pitch that sails behind Barr to the backstop. C Randy Hundley retrieves the ball and, noticing Rader heading for 3rd, fires the ball into LF to enable Rader to score easily. In the meantime, Barr charges the mound, accusing Pappas of throwing at him. Players from both benches pour onto the field, and a brawl ensues. The Cubs protest the game to NL President Chub Feeney, saying that Rader's run should not count since players from both teams were on the field.

Reference: The Rules and Lore of Baseball, Rich Marazzi (1980)

Grand Slam Lost

Situation: July 4, 1976 - The Phillies have the bases loaded with nobody out in a game at Pittsburgh. Tim McCarver hits a long fly. Thinking the ball might be caught, the runner on 1st, Garry Maddox, goes back to tag up. Watching his clout go over the fence, McCarver passes his teammate, and 1B umpire Ed Vargo gives the out sign. How is the play scored?

Reference: "When baserunners pass each other, who's out?", Rule Review, Rich Marazzi, USA Today Sports Weekly, July 21-27, 2010