Topic: Uncaught 3rd Strike Protest

reftheump    -- 05-02-2011 @ 11:57 PM
  Using OBR, runners on 1 & 2, 2 out. Pitch to the batter results in a swing & miss with the ball getting away from the catcher. The PU, using poor mechanics, starts saying "Batter is out, batter is out" to where all play stops.
Since it was the end of the inning, sides changed. While the pitcher is taking his warm ups, the manager for the team preparing to hit, asks the base umpire if the play could be protested. BU did the right thing and acted as if he did not hear the question until after the first pitch of the inning was thrown, and then he said yes.
Here is my question. If the game was protested what do you do to correct the error? Can you assume the out at 1st and end the inning, or do you "reward" the offense and load the bases? Do you call a no pitch and make them do it again?
Any help is appreciated.

mstaylor    -- 05-03-2011 @ 12:41 AM
  Even if the manager came out to discuss it, I don't see a fix. The players need to be aware of the situation and play accordingly.

Michael S. Taylor

MrUmpire    -- 05-03-2011 @ 9:10 AM
  I don't see a fix either.  The batter and runners messed up as much as the PU.  

If the batter and runners advanced and then the PU told them he was out, the "fix" would be to load the bases again since the misapplication changed the game.

Here, I see "poor mechanics" and the offense not knowing any better and played poorly as well.  Just b/c the PU said "Batter is out" does not make him out by rule.

He should have said "Yes, he did." after pointing at the batter and then say "No catch." while signaling safe.  This tells everyone what happened and what they need to do next.

Don't settle for a "That's just the way it is answer". Question everything until you get an irrefutable or understandable answer.

Gary_Embrey    -- 05-04-2011 @ 7:34 PM
  I've read your situation too many times and I honestly don't know how this could be "fixed".

To your questions:
- If the game was protested what do you do to correct the error?  On the field at the time, nothing.  The umpires don't rule on the protest.  The game continues and the league gets to deal with the can of worms.
- Can you assume the out at 1st and end the inning, or do you "reward" the offense and load the bases?  Hum...can the umpire messing up fall under 9.01(c)?  Seriously, I don't know. It's probably one of those things you just have to live with on the field, play the game under protest, and let the league decide.
- Do you call a no pitch and make them do it again? IMO, No. Baseball doesn't have "do overs".

In your post you said the manager asked the BU if the play could be protested and indicated the BU "did the right thing by acting as if he did not hear the manager's question."  Do you really think that's the right thing?  Especially after he waited until a pitch was made and then answered the question?  I think that was bogus on the BU part.  Why? Because by waiting until the pitch was thrown he made sure the manager, by rule, couldn't make the protest (see OBR 4.19). There is really no reason he could not have answered the question. IMO, very poor game management skills.

can'tgetright    -- 05-04-2011 @ 9:50 PM
  Let me make sure I understand this...2 outs, 1st & 2nd
base occupied, batter swings and misses on third strike
that gets away from catcher. I was always under the
impression that if 1st is occupied in this particular
situation that the batter is out and doesn't have to be
tagged or thrown out at first?

JC_Baseball    -- 05-04-2011 @ 10:06 PM
  With less than two outs and the base occupied the batter runner CANNOT attempt to run to first.

With TWO outs the batter can advance.

can'tgetright    -- 05-04-2011 @ 11:47 PM
  "With less than two outs and the base occupied the batter
runner CANNOT attempt to run to first.

With TWO outs the batter can advance." if the ball gets past the catcher and rolls up
the 3rd base line can the catcher throw to 3rd to get
that runner out? Or, does the catcher have to throw to
first to get the batter out?

Jim_Thompson    -- 05-05-2011 @ 4:48 AM
  If with the bases loaded, two out and an uncaught third strike, the catcher can step on the plate. It is a force out at any base


JC_Baseball    -- 05-05-2011 @ 1:29 PM
  @ can'tgetright

Jim is correct, however the initial post by reftheump had runners at 2nd and 1st.

This is a dilemma for "us" coaches if we don't teach our players the rules/situations or perhaps do not know them ourselves.

I have seen this happen at all levels of amatuer baseball.

Runners at 2nd and 1st with either no outs or one out. Batter runner swings and misses at strike three and ball hits the ground and right into the catchers glove. Batter runner acting instinctively BUT incorrectly starts sprinting to first base...which (heres the rub) sometimes makes the base runners feel they (too) need to take off. With no outs or one out the runners should remain at their bases unless of course:
(1) It was an original hit and run
(2) They were on a straight steal of 3rd or 2nd

When runners try to move up a base, the fact that they broke late gives the catcher the advantage to throw out the runner that he has the best opportunity of throwing out. With 0/1 and a dropped 3rd strike the catchers throw to a base would necessitate a tag by the 3rd baseman or F6/F4 at their respective bases.

I would imagine with 2 outs and a dropped strike three...and the ball rolling up the 3rd base line that the catcher could throw to 3rd base (especially if that is the shorter throw) I will have to ask Jim/Gary or Mike if that particular scenario requires the 3rd baseman to tag the bag or tag the runner?

The bases loaded and TWO out situation that Jim referenced is much easier for the catcher because it obviously saves the throw to first base when the catcher steps on home plate for the 3rd out of the inning.

This message was edited by JC_Baseball on 5-5-11 @ 1:45 PM

MrUmpire    -- 05-05-2011 @ 2:54 PM
  Though I am not Jim/Gary/Mike and that 1% umpire on this site, any time a runner is forced, the base may be tagged for an out.  If the runner is not forced, the runner has to be tagged.

Don't settle for a "That's just the way it is answer". Question everything until you get an irrefutable or understandable answer.

can'tgetright    -- 05-05-2011 @ 3:49 PM
  Thanks for the info guys! So many times I have seen 1st
base occupied and a third strike in the dirt and the
batter doesn't attempt 1st base and nothing is said. I
hear coaches and even umpires yell first base is occupied
so the batter cannot attempt first.

JC_Baseball    -- 05-05-2011 @ 7:22 PM is something to anticipate/know ahead of time. Probably does not exist in LL. Batter's out on any kind of a strike three (10-11-12) or use to be.

If the uncaught-third-strike bounds away from the catcher - then runners can advance due to their athletic ability. You will SEE skilled/knowledgeable runners quickly break on what coaches call "ball in the dirt" mentality.

This skill of baserunners taking the next base on a ball in the dirt really has nothing to do with the batter-runner.

The Batter/runner can only advance to 1st base on an uncaught third strike if/when:

(1) First base is unoccupied
(2) There are two outs

JC_Baseball    -- 05-05-2011 @ 7:29 PM
  At Mr Umpire:

Thanks for the clarification on whether the runner has to be tagged or just the base.

Btw I chose those three by name...due to familiarity and their signoffs are a little more informal.

You do what you do and you're good at it. I still don't get the whole 1% gizmo.

greybeard    -- 05-06-2011 @ 6:44 PM
  As a follow up to JC Baseball, if the coach has his runners go on pitches in the dirt, the base from which they started is still considered "occupied" for the dropped third strike rule.

In other words, just because they might be stealing or almost to the next base, their base was still occupied as of the time of the pitch.

swintjj    -- 05-08-2011 @ 9:07 PM
  I saw the stike’em out throw’em out, throw’em out with base loaded once.  Strike three hits the dirt and the batter takes off.  Both base coaches are yelling go to their runners.  Our catcher (who knew the rule even as a 10 year old) tags R3 and throws the F5 who tags R2 for the triple play.  Ouch, for not knowing the rules.

gofrank150    -- 05-09-2011 @ 10:06 AM
  One more thing to add here... I think if the runner gets to the dugout he abandons all claims to 1st.

Offensive team has the liability to do what is right even if the umpire is blowing the call.

Jim_Thompson    -- 05-09-2011 @ 12:15 PM
  In the Op, the game is played under OBR. In this case the batter is out when he leaves the dirt area around home plate


JC_Baseball    -- 05-09-2011 @ 1:24 PM
  swintjj stated: "both coaches were yelling GO to the players"...

Word of wisdom to younger level coaches: Start using the phrase Yes Yes Yes to your players when you in fact want them to "Go" or advance and NO when you want them to Stay...

Go ryhmes with No and if you're not careful sooner or later a player will do the opposite of what you want them to do...

That said even coaches who KNOW this sometimes revert back to using the incorrect "phrase"....during the heat of battle.

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