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Need your opinion on this scenario (baseball stuck under outfield fence)

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Sea Bass, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Sea Bass

    Sea Bass Well-Known Member

    This happened in my men's league game last night...

    Home team batting in the bottom of 7th, visitors up 9-2. Man on first, two outs. Batter hits shot to right-centre gap, it gets stuck under the chainlink fence. Outfielder puts hand up. Second base umpire goes out to check, and the runner and batter just keep on going. While the second base ump is on his way out, the plate guy puts up his arms and calls time.

    After seeing the plate ump put up his arms, the centrefielder figures time is called, pulls out the ball and fires it back to the infield. But even though the fielder played the ball before the base ump got out there, the plate guy orders the batter and runner back to 2nd and 3rd, saying he called time and the ball was dead. At that point, the team at bat files an official protest.

    The next batter strikes out to end the inning.

    The home team scores three in the eighth and one in the ninth, and the game ends 9-6.

    How would you rule on the protest?
  2. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I thought "The Sandlot" was a great movie.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    What's there to protest? Ump made the call, and it was the right one.
  4. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Ball stuck under the fence becomes a dead ball. Home plate ump made the right call.
    You lose.
  5. Sea Bass

    Sea Bass Well-Known Member

    Perhaps I didn't explain well enough. They're protesting the fact the fielder played the ball before the base ump could get out there to verify it was indeed stuck under the fence. And because of that, the runners shouldn't have been sent back to second and third.

    And for the record, my team is not the one protesting.
  6. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    a) "filed an official protest?" To who?

    Unless this is the most hierarchy-driven rec softball league in the world, the chief umpire (presumably the plate umpire) has the absolute last word on any on-field ruling during the game -- end of story. If he fucks up a rule application, that's life in the big city. I suppose maybe your league is different -- maybe you can appeal to the Official Board of Bullshit Appeals or the Grand Imperial Poobah or something, who knows.

    b) As far as the ruling itself goes, it's been a few years since I played or coached softball, but I am pretty sure if a live ball becomes dead during the course of play (such as lodging in a fence, etc etc), without first being touched by a defensive player, all batters/runners advance to the next base from where they were at the instant the ball becomes dead.

    So, if the batter was in between 1st and 2nd and the runner was in between 2nd and 3rd when the plate umpire ruled the ball dead, the ruling makes sense. Batter goes to 2nd, runner to 3rd.

    If the runners had advanced beyond additional bases -- if the runner had rounded 3rd or the batter had rounded 2nd -- before the umpire ruled the ball dead, you could argue they should advance an additional base, but that's a judgment call on the part of the umpire.

    Whether the CF made an attempt to "play the ball" is irrelevant unless he actually touched it before it was ruled dead. If he did, then all runner advance TWO bases beyond where they were when the ball became dead.
  7. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Time was called. Who cares what the fielder did once time was called.
  8. Sea Bass

    Sea Bass Well-Known Member

    a) They filed the protest with the league's convenor, which our league allows. Can't fault them - they had nothing to lose as they were down 1-0 in a best-of-three.

    b) Don't know how softball/slo-pitch rules treat this situation (i.e.. if they're different from official baseball rules). I just assumed the call was a ground-rule double, with the runner stopping on third.
  9. Sea Bass

    Sea Bass Well-Known Member

    I agree.
  10. Sports_Scribe

    Sports_Scribe Member

  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    ahh well I was being sarcastic on that point, but virtually all well-run rec leagues establish the ruling of the on-field official as the final word on game-action rulings, unless they want to deal with an endless stream of he-said/she-said/some-other-guy-said-something-else appeals.

    You hope the on-field officials are competent and unbiased enough to make the right calls, but if they aren't, well, once again, that's life in the big...

    And, as the consensus indicates, presuming the play developed as you describe, in fact the umpire did make the right call.
  12. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    I had a softball playoff game once where a player on the other team was hurt, they had no subs, and were left playing with nine. The idiot umpire decided he would be their catcher, but only on balls and strikes. They had to cover the plate for plays.

    We couldn't believe it. We protested that one (after we lost), and the league boss said to replay it. But by the next week we didn't much care and some guys were leaving for school so we let them advance.
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