I also have a foul ball in this instance. The batter did nothing wrong. Therefore, there is nothing to penalize him for.
As long as the batter did nothing intentional, it's simply a foul ball.
My first reaction to this scenario was a dead ball. But, here is a more detailed and better explained answer:
From the official baseball rules:
A batter is out when---
(h) After hitting or bunting a fair ball, his bat hits the ball a second time in fair territory. The ball is dead and no runners may advance. If the batter-runner drops his bat and the ball rolls against the bat in fair territory and, in the umpires judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, the ball is alive and in play;
However, I came across this as well:
The rule says the BAT cannot hit the ball a second time. When the BALL hits the bat, it is not an out.
Rules: 6.05(h) and 7.09(b) Official Baseball Rules
I think after it would all be said and done the correct call would be a deal ball. Thoughts?
Yes, it would be a dead ball.
A foul ball is a dead ball.
When this happens immediately at the plate area, before the batter has time to leave the box, it will be a foul ball even if the ball is in fair territory. (such as right over home plate). This is not spelled out in the rule book, but the way it customarily is ruled.
The rules you quote pertain to a ball that (and bat) that meet "after immediately".
Then the general rule, assuming all are unintentional, is:
Fair Territory: Ball hits bat - Play on
Fair Territory: Bat hits ball - OUT
Foul Territory: Ball hits bate - FOUL
Foul Territory: Bat hits Ball - FOUL
Thanks for all the replies. A fellow blue asked me this question on Monday after one of his games this past weekend. I informed him with the same information that I received here. I quoted the rules and as Hugo put it, the way it is most customarily ruled. It's nice to see that some of us have made the move over.
This goes back to the thought of ruling with the book and not by the book. Umpires - especially new ones - have to remember that the Official Rules of Baseball put out by The Sporting News is a book about 4 X 5 inches and about 1/4" thick. The interpretations of those rules fill a bunch of binders about a foot thick.
I got into a whole discussion earlier about what happens when both the ball & bat are moving, e.g. a rolling bat hits a rolling ball. Now (for me) it gets interesting. I'd always used as a rule of thumb - moving ball, stationary bat, play on - stationary ball, moving bat, out - moving ball, moving bat, out. Turns out I was wrong on the last one, it's not so cut-and-dried. The latest thought I have on the matter is if the moving ball is 'chasing' the moving bat then play on. If they're on a 'collision course', which is moving faster? I'm not 100% convinced but that's my story & I'm sticking to it.
Since its slow! Hugo wrote: "A foul ball is a dead ball"
Not always re a foul fly ball!
A)--- If caught, with less than two outs, and the fielder comes down/steps into DBT----and REMAINS STANDING, the ball is still alive. Baserunners advance at their own risk.
B)--If caught, with less than two outs, and the fielder FALLS DOWN into DBT, ball is dead. Baserunners are advanced one base from TOP, absent liability.
"A" & "B" also applies to a FAIR fly ball caught for an out.