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Answers to You Make the Call - December 2015

  1. No.  The reliever must finish pitching to the first batter until he is retired or reaches base or the side is retired.  If the umpires, however, mistakenly allow a new pitcher to enter the game, any play that results is legal.  (3.05b-c)
  2. Yes.  The umpire erred in calling the pitch too soon.  The batter may hit a pitch even though it first touches the ground.  (5.03, 7.05a, 2.00-Definition of Ball)
  3. Even though an outfielder handles the ball, it remains an Infield Fly.  Thus, the batter is automatically out and is ordered off second base.  But since the ball remains in play on an Infield Fly, the other runners advanced legally.  (2.00-Infield Fly, 6.05e)
  4. Even though no pitch has been made since the double, the umpire should deny the appeal.  The rules specify that an appeal must be made before the next pitch or any play or attempted play.  The balk constitutes a play.  (7.10b)
  5. Yes.  Despite the injury, the defensive team has the right to take the runner before time is called. Umpires cannot rule the ball dead until all action on the play has ended.  (5.10h)
  6. No. The runner can turn either way, in fair territory or foul, to return to first base.  However, this right to immunity is immediately forfeited upon any act which, in the umpire’s judgment, indicates the batter-runner will try for second base.  (7.08j)
  7. When an improper batter makes the final out of an inning, the opposing team must appeal before a pitch is made to its first batter of the following half-inning.  If this is not done, the actions of the improper batter are legalized and the leadoff man is the first batter in the next inning.  (6.07c, 6.07d-2).
  8. Yes.  If a fielder steps – rather than falls – into a dugout after making a catch, the ball remains in play.  Therefore, the runner scored legally.  (5.10f)
  9. Yes.  A pitcher is not permitted to throw to an unoccupied base from either the windup or set positions, unless there is a play at that base.  A balk should be called.  (8.05d)
  10. He’s out.  When a base runner collides with an umpire, this does not constitute interference and the ball remains in play.  (2.00-Interference-c)
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