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Baseball Discussion Group / Ask The Umpire / Runner pushed off base by tag
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Runner pushed off base by tag

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stylemismatch
09-23-2004 @ 11:10 AM                          
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Runner on 1st, taking his lead.  Pitcher throws to 1st, runner dives back, runner's hand touches the base just before 1st baseman tags runners arm.  In the process of tagging the runner, the 1st baseman's glove hand lifts the runner's hand off the base.  Runner is still safe, right?  I can't find where this situation is covered in the rules (maybe I'm just blind today).  Something similar happened in the World Series between the Twins and Braves a few years ago, only it was much more blatant and the runner was called out.



Jim_Thompson
09-23-2004 @ 11:48 AM                          
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Runner is safe. I don't think the rules specifically address this point but obviously the fielder can't push a runner off a base.

Jim

DelawareBlue
09-24-2004 @ 6:36 AM                          
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I'm going to disagree with Mr. Thompson up to a point.  The runner should control and balance himself on the base.  The same applies to a drive back to and touch of the base with his hand.  If the runner dives in and a "normal" tag dislodges his hand, I'm going to call him out.  The same would be true if the runner is standing on the base "unbalanced" and (what I juddged to be) a normal tag causes him to come off the bag.  A hard tag or shove is a different story.  The defender cannot intentionally push the player off the bag.  That's unsportsmanlike and will get a warning from me.  But a routine tag and that causes the hand or foot to come off the base is an out for me.  In either case, I'll generally give any benefit of the doubt to the runner.

Jim_Thompson
09-24-2004 @ 11:02 AM                          
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I agree with DB and certainly the runner is entitled to the benefit of the doubt. Since the title of the discussion was "Runner pushed off bag by tag" I assumed that what prompted Stylemismatch's situation.

Jim

stylemismatch
09-24-2004 @ 2:55 PM                          
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The situation I described happened in a game last week.  I don't think anyone noticed except the umpire and myself.  The ump didn't say or do anything (runner safe), which I think was appropriate in this case.  Out of a desire to become better educated I tried to find something in the rules that would apply to this, just in case it ever comes up again.  So, in short, it seems this is a situation that goes under the "Umpire's Judgement" category.  

Another situation that came up in the same game that was almost humorous (I'm sure it was real humorous to the guys in the other dugout)... one of our players dove back to first to avoid a pickoff.  The only part of him touching the base was his right hand.  After the ump called him safe he raises his right hand to ask for time, the first baseman tags him again, OUT!



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