Volume 5, No. 8 - November 2010
Stump the Ump
MYTH #1 - "The batter who batted out of order is out."
After the incorrect batter completes his/her at-bat, and an appeal is made, the PROPER batter is out, (the one who should have batted). The improper batter (the one who did bat) is removed from base and any advance made by runners because of his/her batted ball, is nullified. The next batter due up is the one who follows the PROPER batter. See Rule 6.07.
MYTH #2 - "The batter isn't out for interference with the catcher if he/she stays in the batter's box."
This is a tough call. If the batter has just swung at a pitch and is off-balance and interferes with the catcher, he/she should be called out. Also, if he/she had just let a pitch go by and he/she had an opportunity to avoid the catcher's play, but didn't, he/she interfered and should be called out. See Rule 2.00 INTERFERENCE and Rule 6.06(c).
MYTH #3 - "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 #4 - "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 it is hit, it is ruled like a normal pitch; safe or out. See Rule 2.00 IN FLIGHT.