Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Unbelievable Circumstances Cost Giants One Run. What IS the Rule?

BASE PATH - The base path belongs to the runner EXCEPT when a fielder is in the path attempting to field a batted ball or when a fielder is in the path and in possession of the ball. After a runner has been put out (typically on a force play at second) he has NO rights to the base path. If R1 is put out at second by a long distance, he must duck or get out of the path. If he is hit with the throw while in the path, or makes contact with the fielder who is in the act of throwing, while on his feet, he is guilty. Rule 7.08(b), 7.09(L)

In the bottom of the first inning of a game (August 12, 2014 @ AT&T) between the Chisox and Giants, Hunter Pence triples. Next batter, Buster Posey, grounds one to shortstop but as Pence begins his sprint home he notices the bat is in the way so he goes in standing up and gets tagged out because of his inability to slide.

Because it was his teammate who dropped the bat is this legal? What about sportsmanship? As an umpire or catcher I immediately would toss the bat aside to clear the path as to avoid any possibility of injury. That the catcher and home plate umpire just left the bat lying there annoys me. Am I wrong for thinking that because they did leave the bat in the path of the runner there must be a rule protecting both the catcher and home plate umpire? Otherwise, one of the aforementioned would have kicked or tossed the stick aside. It wouldn't have been a matter of safety for the catcher but rather an opportunity to make a play.

What is the rule?

Kevin J. Marquez