CONTENTS

1B in Dugout

True/False

Was Casey the Ninth Fielder?

More True/False

Where's the Ball?

Still More True/False

The Most Famous Passed Ball in History

Take the Run Off the Board?

C Clips Ump When Throwing

How Many Errors?

 

How Would You Rule? – I

How Would You Rule? – II

How Would You Rule? – III

How Would You Rule? – V

How Would You Rule? – VI

How Would You Rule? – VII

How Would You Rule? – VIII

How Would You Rule? – IX

How Would You Rule? – X

How Would You Rule? – XII

How Would You Rule? – XIII

 

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How Would You Rule? – IV

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.

1B in Dugout

August 21, 1979: Houston Astros @ New York Mets

Situation: Top of ninth, two outs. Jeffrey Leonard at-bat. Mets leading 5-0

Leonard flies out to CF. However, just before the pitch, SS Frank Taveras called "time." So Leonard bats again. However, 1B Ed Kranepool, thinking the game had ended, went to the dugout. Mets' P Pete Falcone, not realizing his 1B wasn't there, pitches, and Leonard singles to left. As Jeff runs to 1B, Kranepool returns to the field.

Does Leonard's single count?


Reference: The Rules and Lore of Baseball, Rich Marazzi

True/False

Some True/False questions to test your knowledge of the rules.

  1. If a fielder drops the ball while in the act of transferring it after he has had control and secure possession of the ball, he should get credit for the catch.
  2. If a batted ball caroms off the body of one fielder and is caught by another fielder, this should be ruled a legal catch as long as the ball doesn't touch the ground, an umpire, a wall or some other object other than the fielder.
  3. If an outfielder makes a catch and falls into the stands, the ball is ruled dead and all runners are awarded two bases.

"Baseball Rules Corner," Rick Marazzi, Baseball Digest, May 2008

Was Casey the Ninth Fielder?

In 1912, Casey Stengel played with Montgomery (AL) in the Southern League. One day at Pensacola, Casey noticed that the groundskeeper had a sunken box in LF containing the water pipe extension for sprinkling the field. In the seventh inning, with his team several runs ahead, Casey removed the lid and crawled into the box. After the first two Pensacola batters were retired, the next batter hit a fly to LF. Seeing no one out there, the crowd got excited. Then Stengel popped out of the box and caught the ball. According to one account, the fans gave the LF a standing ovation.

The first rule of the Official Baseball Rulebook (1.01) says:

Baseball is a game between two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, played on an enclosed field in accordance with these rules, under jurisdiction of one or more umpires.

Questions:

  • Did Montgomery actually field nine players during the first part of the inning, as required by Rule 1.01?
  • If they did not have nine players, did that negate whatever happened from that point on?

Apparently, none of the umpires or managers at the 1912 game in Pensacola thought about applying Rule 1.01, and Casey got away with his trick. That wasn't the case in a 1955 semipro game in Danbury CT. A player hit a HR with the defensive team fielding only eight players. The umpire had to nullify the four-bagger. (I suspect the ump in this case was either Rich Marazzi, the foremost baseball rules expert, or his father.)

Reference: The Rules and Lore of Baseball, Rich Marazzi

More True/False

Some True/False questions to test your knowledge of the rules.

  1. When the Infield Fly Rule is called, the ball should be ruled dead immediately to protect the runners. If the fielder drops the ball, the runners should not be allowed to advance.
  2. If two fielders collide and fall unconscious to the ground, and one fielder has the ball, the catch is not legalized until a teammate removes the ball from the fallen player's glove.
  3. If a bouncing batted ball gets lodged in the webbing of the pitcher's glove and the pitcher throws the glove and ball to the first baseman to attempt a put out, the first baseman should get credit for a legal catch and the batter-runner should be called out if the ball and glove is caught by the first baseman before the batter-runner reaches first base.

"Baseball Rules Corner," Rick Marazzi, Baseball Digest, May 2008

Where's the Ball?

B. J. Hubbert
B. J. Hubbert

April 22, 2008: Extended spring training game in Melbourne FL between farmhands of the Nationals and Mets

Situation: Nationals have runners on second and third with two outs.

The batter hits a blooper to RF. Mets' RF B. J. Hubbert dives for the ball, which hits the palm of his glove. He then falls on top of the ball. When he gets up, he cannot find the horsehide. Eventually, the ball is located under the turf, apparently embedded there by the weight of Hubbert's fall.

What should be done with the two runners and the batter-runner?


Reference: Baseball Rules Corner, Rich Marazzi, Baseball Digest, March/April 2009

Still More True/False

Some more True/False questions to test your knowledge of the rules.

  1. If a fielder catches a batted fly ball and his momentum carries him into the dugout, the catch should be allowed even if he receives assistance to prevent him from falling from any one in the dugout.
  2. The Infield Fly Rule can be called only on batted balls that are caught by an infielder.
  3. With runners on first and second and less than two outs, the batter buts the ball 40 feet in the air to the pitcher. Because the ball was bunted higher than 10 feet, the Infield Fly Rule should be called.

"Baseball Rules Corner," Rick Marazzi, Baseball Digest, May 2008

The Most Famous Passed Ball in History

October 5, 1941 – New York Yankees @ Brooklyn Dodgers, 4th game of World Series

Situation: Top of ninth, Dodgers leading 4-3, Hugh Casey pitching.

  • 1B Johnny Sturm grounds out to 2B.
  • 3B Red Rolfe grounds to P.
  • RF Tommy Henrich swings and misses at strike three, but the ball gets away from C Mickey Owen. Henrich is safe at first.
Keller, DiMag, Henrich

The 1941 Yankee OF: L-R Charlie Keller, Joe DiMaggio, Tommy Henrich

Mickey misses 3rd strike in 1941 World Series
Owens Misses Third Strike to Henrich

  • CF Joe DiMaggio singles to left, sending Henrich to 2B.
  • LF Charlie "King Kong" Keller doubles off the RF wall, scoring Henrich and DiMaggio.
  • C Bill Dickey walks.
  • 2B Joe Gordon doubles over the LF's head, scoring Keller and Dickey.
  • SS Phil Rizzuto walks.
  • P Johnny Murphy grounds out to SS.

Question #1: How is Henrich's AB scored?
Question #2: How many of the Yankees' four runs are earned?

The Dodgers went out 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to fall behind in the Series three games-to-one. The Yankees closed them out the next day.

Hugh Casey
Hugh Casey

Mickey Owen
Mickey Owen

Take the Run Off the Board?

SS Alexei Ramirez
Alexei Ramirez

June 4, 2008: Kansas City Royals @ Chicago White Sox.

Situation: Bottom of the fifth, one out, Alexei Ramirez on second, A. J. Pierzynski on first, Carlos Quentin at bat

Quentin hits a grounder to SS Esteban German, who muffs, then kicks the ball. Ramirez rounds third and dashes for home, sliding in ahead of German's throw to the plate. Royals' C John Buck does not catch the ball but blocks the plate. Ramirez, who never touched the plate, goes to the dugout. The run is put on the scoreboard.

The Royals appeal the play on the grounds that Ramirez did not touch the plate. Should the appeal be granted?

Reference: "Baseball Rules Corner," Rich Marazzi, Baseball Digest, March/April 2009

C Clips Ump When Throwing

August 19, 2008: Washington Nationals @ Philadelphia Phillies

Situation: Bottom of seventh. Shane Victorino on first.

After receiving the pitch, C Jesus Flores fires a throw to first to try to pickoff Victorino. The throw sails into RF, and Victorino runs to 3B. However, when throwing the ball, Flores's arm clipped the chest protector of home plate umpire Joe West.


Reference: "Baseball Rules Corner," Rich Marazzi, Baseball Digest, March/April 2009

How Many Errors?

Situation: Suppose a half inning goes as follows.

    • The bases are loaded on two hits and a walk with one out.
    • The batter grounds to 3B. He steps on third for the out. However, the throw to 1B is in the dirt and the first baseman can't handle it. A run scores, leaving men on 1B and 2B.
    • The next batter singles to CF, scoring the runner from 2B.
    • The next batter is retired to end the inning.

Question #1: How many errors were committed in the inning?
Question #2: How many of the two runs that scored were earned?