R1, less than two outs, takes off on a straight steal. Batter pops one to shallow CF. Meanwhile, R1 is around 2B. F8 makes the catch and rushes the throw back to 1B. It goes in dugout while R1 is still past 2B.
What to place the runner?
If R1 does not retrace steps to 1B, even after ball goes out of play, is he subject to being put out on appeal?
If he does retrace, whether or not he was required to do so, is the base award now from 1st?
Since this is NOT a first play by an infiedler, it's 2 bases TOT. Score the runner.
This is an unmistakable appeal on R1 not tagging up; F8 erred on the appeal by throwing the ball away. IMO, further appeal is moot!
IMO if R1 does retraces his steps to re-touch first base, I don't care! The ball is dead, and I will award based on the TOT or TOP criterion that applied when the ball was last alive.
(Whew! Can't wait for the "Last time by" discussion that's bound to fllow! LOL!)
Thanks -- that helps.
It does raise another question. If the ball had been caught by F6 in shallow CF, does anything change? I wanna say that the "first play" by the infielder was catching the ball, so your analysis still applies and it's TOT, not TOP. Agree or disagree?
I agree that the award is two bases from the TOT (no matter who catches the fly ball).
On the rest, I respectfully disagree.
I don't have the reference handy, but appeals made during continuous action do not count as erring on the first appeal. So, if R1 does not return to touch first base, he is liable to be called out on appeal.
At the moment the ball goes out of play, the award is to home (since R1 was beyond 2B at TOT). However, if R1 retouches first base, the award is then changed to third base.
There is probably more, but here is some support for that ruling from the OBR book, comment after 7.05(i) (also in the LL RIM as an Instructor Comment):
If a runner is forced to return to a base after a catch, he must retouch his original base even though, because of some ground rule or other rule, he is awarded additional bases. He may retouch while the ball is dead and the award is then made from his original base.
Mark_P is correct. Essentially the same play is in the MLBUM. Not only does it specify the initial and revised awaard, it shows that an appeal is possible.
5.10 AWARD MADE FROM ORIGINAL BASE AFTER CATCH
A runner who is forced to return to a base after a catch must retouch his original base even
though he may have been awarded additional bases on the play. The runner may retouch while
the ball is dead (provided the runner does so before reaching the next base-see Section 5.11), and
the award is then made from his original base. (See Casebook Comments following Official
Baseball Rule 7.05(i).)
Play: Runner on first, one out. Batter flies out to right field for second out. However, runner on
first thought there were two out and is between second and third when the ball is caught. Right
fielder's throw to first s wild and goes into the dugout. Runner is between second and third when
the wild throw is made.
Ruling: Runner is initially awarded home (two bases from his position at the time of the throw).
However, while the ball is dead, the runner must return to and retouch first base. Furthermore,
because the runner was between second and third when the ball went out of play, he must return
to first before reaching and touching third (his next base). If the runner touches third, he may not
return to first; and if the defensive team appeals, the runner is out at first. However, if the runner
properly returns and retouches first before reaching third, the award then becomes third base
(two bases from his original base).
So let's discuss the proper mechanic to be employed here.
My guess would be this:
1) Once ball is out of play, do nothing in terms of a base award until play is completely relaxed and it is clear whether runner intends to return to 1st.
2) If no return, signal home for the runner.
3) Until the runner has touched home and abandoned the field of play, he failure to re-touch could be cured by retracing all touched bases.
4) Once he abandons and play is resumed, defense is able to make a proper appeal.
[Bonus footnote: At the beginning of the play and 1 out, if there had been a runner at 3rd who did properly tag up, then his run counts, even if the proper appeal is eventually made, because the run scoring is a first-in-time play]
[Super bonus footnote: If, in the "bonus footnote" example, both runners left early, and for some reason the first appeal was made on the runner from 1st, you could still appeal the runner from 3rd as a 4th out appeal].
[Ridiculous bonus footnote question, to which I don't know the answer: Assume, in the super bonus footnote question, that runner from 1B was indeed award home, then the appeal was made on the runner from 3rd, does the run from 1st count?]
Relaxed action? The ball is out of play, it's dead. "Time. You (pointing toward R1) are awarded home." That's it. It's the runner's responsibility to run the bases correctly. You don't have to wait for him to do it.
Assuming this is OBR, an appeal needs to be made while the ball is live. If the runner is returning to prior bases to re-tag, you wouldn't put the ball into play until he's done.
Regarding the passage from the MLBUM, I thought OBR allowed runners who have reached following bases after the ball enters DBT to re-tag (as opposed to FED). But if that's what it says, that's what it says.
The only reason I suggest a hesitation is this: if a heads-up 3B coach has already told his runner: "Retrace your steps and touch second, then first," and the BU pipes up with: "You get home and points to home," the runner is likely to get confused and reverse field. I would rather wait until he's not running either direction before announcing the base award.
Anybody else agree or disagree with this?
The difference in FED and OBR is:
R1 is beyond 2B but not yet at 3B at the time the ball goes dead (NOT when it's thrown - when it goes dead):
FED - runner cannot return to touch 1B
OBR runner can return unless he touches 3B (third base) after the ball goes dead.
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