Stump the Ump - February 2011
1. Situation - Runner on first base…the batter hits a single into right field. The runner advances to third but misses second base on his/her way. The second baseman takes the throw from the right fielder and kicks the second base bag in disgust. IS THE RUNNER STANDING ON THIRD OUT FOR MISSING THE BASE?
2. Situation – The batter hits a short fly ball to center field. The second baseman and centerfielder converge on the pop-up. At the last second….the infielder lunges for the ball and deflects it into the umpire. The alert centerfielder catches the ball before it touches the ground. IS THIS AN OUT?
3. Situation – The top of the seventh…one out…runner on first. A left-handed pitcher is brought in to face the left-handed hitter. This new hurler picks off the runner on his/her second toss to first. The offensive manager brings in a right-handed pinch hitter for his/her left hander. MAY THE DEFENSIVE MANAGER CHANGE PITCHERS?
4. Situation – The batter lifts a lazy pop-up near the first base stands. The first baseman goes near the stands to make the catch. The ball lands in the fielder’s glove…but a fan reaches over the fence and picks the ball out of the glove. DO YOU CALL THE BATTER OUT FOR FAN’S INTERFERENCE?
5. Situation – In the late innings of a close game. The home team gets a runner to third base. To guard against a passed ball or wild pitch…the visiting manager brings in his/her right fielder to play behind the catcher and umpire. IS THIS LEGAL?
6. Situation – Two outs, bases loaded. The batter hits a home run. All runners cross the plate but the batter-runner missed second. The umpire upholds the proper appeal and declares the batter-runner out….for the third out. HOW MANY RUNS SCORE?
7. Situation – Top of the fifth inning with two outs. May the umpire order the stadium lights turned on…or must he/she wait until the inning is over to be fair to both sides?
8. Situation – No outs…runner on second. The batter fouls a pitch into the stands. The umpire throws a new ball to the pitcher who is standing behind the mound. As the pitcher is rubbing the new ball between his/her bare hands…the runner attempts to steal third but is thrown out. DOES THIS OUT STAND?
9. Situation – With a runner on third, the pitcher starts his/her wind-up. Midway through his/her delivery…the batter steps out of the batter’s box. The surprised hurler freezes in mid-stride and holds onto the ball. IS THIS A BALK?
10. Junior/Senior/Big League Baseball/Softball - Situation – Runner on first base, one out. Two strikes on the batter. The batter swings and misses…the catcher cannot hold onto the ball. The batter takes off for first as the runner from first takes off for second. The catcher throws to the second baseman who tags the runner. The batter-runner ends up on first. HOW MANY OUTS?
1. 2.00/7.10. This is an appeal play. Appeals must be made by verbal request or in an unmistakable manner. The runner is NOT out at this time.
2. 2.00 CATCH. This is not a legal catch since the ball touched the umpire. The ball is alive and in play.
3. 3.05(b). No. The new pitcher in the top of the seventh must pitch to at least on hitter or retire the side before he/she can be replaced.
4. 3.16. The spectator is guilty of interference. A fan is not allowed to reach onto the playing field and interfere with a batted ball. The batter is out and the ball is dead.
5. 4.03. All fielders except the catcher must be positioned in fair territory. This is not a legal maneuver.
6. 4.09(a). Three runs count. In this case preceding runners are not affected by following runners unless the third out is a force out. This appeal is not a force out.
7. 4.14. The umpire may order the lights turned on whenever he/she deems further play hazardous. CUSTOMS AND USAGE: As a rule of thumb, umpires try to have the lights turned on at the beginning of an inning. This, presumably, eliminates the complaint that one team or the other is gaining an advantage. Sometimes, however, weather conditions change quickly and/or innings take exceptionally longer than expected to complete. For safety reasons, the umpire may order the lights turned on at times other than the beginning of an inning.
8. 5.11. This is considered NO PLAY since the ball is still “dead”…the pitcher must be on the rubber with the ball and the ump signal “play” before the ball is alive again.
9. 6.02(b). The ball is dead and no balk shall be called. The batter may not step out after the pitcher starts his/her motion. Start over from “scratch.”
10. 6.05(b)/7.08(c). There are three outs. The batter was out automatically because first base was occupied with less than two outs. The runner from first was out when tagged for the third out.