SF on C Interference

Ball Lodges in Chest Protector

Runner Interference?

Thrown Out during HR Trot

Hit by Pitch Swinging at Strike 3

DH Plays in the Field

Bunter in Front of Box

Was the Run Earned?

Was It a Balk?

Runner Interference


How Would You Rule? – I

How Would You Rule? – II

How Would You Rule? – III

How Would You Rule? – IV

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

How Would You Rule? – XIV


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How Would You Rule? – V

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.

SF on C Interference

Hypothetical situation

Situation: Runners on 1st and 3rd; one out

As the batter swings, his bat ticks the catcher's glove but drives a fly ball that is caught in the outfield. The runner on third tags and scores. The other runner returns to first. Since the catcher interfered with the swing, the home plate umpire stops play.

What should the umpire rule in this situation?

Reference: "Hail the Ump," George Will, Jewish World Review, April 9, 2009

Ball Lodges in Chest Protector
LSU C Micah Gibbs
Micah Gibbs

April 10, 2009: LSU @ Alabama

Situation: Bottom of the fifth; runners on first and second; two outs.

Anthony Ranaudo's pitch bounces in the dirt and lodges in the chest protector of C Micah Gibbs, who can't find it for a few seconds.

What ruling should the home plate umpire make?

LSU P Anthony Ranaudo
Anthony Ranaudo
Runner Interference?

The following situation occurred in a college game on TV.

Runners on first and third, one out. The batter hits a line drive to the SS. The runner on first is off with the crack of the bat but then tries to get back to the bag. The SS's throw hits him in the back and he is safe. However, he was completely on the infield grass as he went back into the bag which put him in direct line with the throw. The umpire calls him safe and does not rule any interference.

  • Is this ruling correct?
  • Is the runner going back into a bag required to stay in the baseline?
  • Is this situation similar to a runner who bunts or tops a ball in front of the plate and runs outside the boxed area as he goes down the first base line?
Runner Dives Back to 1B

I e-mailed a description of the play to Rich Marazzi, author of the "Baseball Rules Corner" in each issue of Baseball Digest. Here is his reply.

Without actually seeing the play, I would say the umpire was correct in his ruling. A runner establishes his own baseline unless he is about to be tagged-out at which time he is allowed three-feet in either direction per rule 7.08(a). During a rundown play, the runner is allowed three feet in either direction at the point of each throw when he is being chased. However, the play you describe would not be a rundown and is unlike batter-runner interference the last 45-feet between home and first base. In that situation, if the batter-runner is running out of the box and interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base, he is out. In the above play, there is no box restricting the runner. Remember, other than the last 45-feet to first base, the only time a runner is out of a baseline, is if he is attempting to avoid a tag per rule 7.08 (a). A runner's baseline is quite liberal. Thank You, Rich Marazzi"

Thrown Out during HR Trot

June 12, 2008: AAA game involving the Toledo Mud Hens

3B Mike Hessman hits a ball over the fence down the line that is ruled foul. Hessman argues briefly before resuming his at-bat. He then clouts another long drive out of the park near the same spot. This one is ruled fair. As he rounds the bases, Hessman makes a comment to the 1B umpire and is immediately ejected. Hessman then completes his circuit of the bases. Does his HR count?

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

Mike Hessman
Mike Hessman
Hit by Pitch Swinging at Strike 3

May 24, 2009 – Virginia @ Florida State, ACC Tournament Final

Situation: Bottom of eighth; bases loaded, one out, 3-2 count on batter

The FSU batter swings and misses at a pitch in the dirt. The pitch hits the batter's leg and bounces away from the C. The runner on third scores and the other two runners advance one base.

Does the run count?

DH Plays in the Field
Indians Manager Mike Hargrove
Mike Hargrove

July 22, 1999: Toronto @ Cleveland

Situation: The Indians lineup card submitted by Manager Mike Hargrove lists Manny Ramirez as the DH, batting fourth, and Alex Ramirez in RF, hitting seventh.

In the top of the first inning, Manny Ramirez plays RF. As the Indians come to bat in the bottom of the inning, the umpires confer.

Manny Ramirez, Indians
Manny Ramirez
Bunter in Front of Box

May 29, 2009 – Southern vs LSU, NCAA Regional Tournament

Situation: Runner on first for Southern; none out

The batter squares to bunt, running up in the box. When he makes contact with the ball, he is in front of the batter's box. The P fields the ball and throws him out at first, with the runner on first moving to second.

Does the bunt count?

Was the Run Earned?

October 10, 1904 (last day of AL season): Boston Pilgrims vs New York Highlanders, first game of DH @ Hilltop Park, New York

Situation: The Highlanders need to sweep Boston to take the AL pennant from them. NY's ace, spitballer Jack Chesbro, 41-11 for the season, is on the mound in the top of the ninth with the score tied 2-2.

Highlanders P Jack Chesbro
Jack Chesbro
  • Boston C Lou Criger singles.
  • Criger is sacrified to second. One out.
  • A groundout moves Criger to third.
  • With the count 1-2 to Freddy Parent, Chesbro uncorks a wild pitch over the C's head. Criger scores the go-ahead run.
  • Parent is retired to end the inning.

The Highlanders fail to score in the bottom of the ninth. Boston clinches the pennant.

Question: Under today's scoring rules, is Criger's run earned?

Was It a Balk?

May 29, 1974 – Minnesota Twins @ Boston Red Sox

Situation: Top of 13th inning, tied 4-4. Rod Carew on 3B, Diego Segui pitching, Jerry Terrell at bat

As Segui prepares to pitch, Terrell bends over and scoops up dirt from the batter's box. Caught off guard, Segui breaks his hands from a set position before taking his foot off the rubber.

Did Segui balk?

Runner Interference
White Sox C A.J. Pierzynski
A.J. Pierzynski

August 24, 2008: Tampa Bay Rays @ Chicago White Sox

Situation: Bottom of the tenth. One out. A.J. Pierzynski on second. Game tied 5-5.

The batter, Jermaine Dye, hits a grounder to SS Jason Bartlett who starts a rundown of Pierzynski who is caught off second. After several exchanges, 3B Willy Aybar throws the ball as Pierzynski runs away from him. But A.J. then turns and sticks his elbow out and hits Aybar. A.J. falls to the ground. Aybar receives the ball back and tags Pierzynski.

Does the out stand?