Volume 5, No. 8 - December 2010
Stump the Ump
MYTH #11 - “The batter backed out of the box as the pitch was coming to the plate. That’s an automatic strike.”
If the offense is stalling and the batter refuses to get into the box after the umpire tells him/her to do so, then the umpire can call a strike on the batter without a pitch being made. However, if he/she is in the box and then steps out during the wind-up or the pitch, the umpire will call the pitch as he/she sees it. See Rule 6.02(b) and (c).
MYTH #12 - “The pitch hit the ground before the batter hit it. The ball is dead.”
If a pitch touches the ground before entering the strike zone and is not swung at, it is a “ball.” If it bounces up and hits the batter, the batter is awarded first. If the batter hits the pitch, it is ruled like a normal pitch; safe or out. See Rule 2.00 IN FLIGHT.
MYTH #13 - “The base coach touched the runner. The runner is out.”
This is a judgment call by the umpire. If the coach obviously and intentionally physically stops a runner or helps him/her up after falling, the runner is out. The base coaches touch must be judged as assisting that runner for this to be called an out. Merely touching him/her as he/she goes by or making an incidental touch as the runner is stopping is not grounds for an out call. See Rule 7.09(h).