I wanted to get some viewpoints from the expert Blues on a situation from opening day.
I was conscripted into keeping the official book for my son's Junior Leauge game due to a scheduling oversight. Top of the third, bases loaded, one out. BR hits a loopey liner to short. SS doesn't quite reach the ball cleanly, but does manage to knock it down. Tags R2, then steps on second for the third out well after R3 crosses the plate.
UIC points to home and says run counts loud enough for all to hear. I call him over and say that the run should not count b/c the third out was a force out at second. He agrees after we quickly recap the course of events.
Top of the sixth comes around and one of the visitor coaches approaches me and asks what the score was. When I tell him 0 visitors, 3 home, he says that they should have one run. I point out to him that the run from the third did not count b/c the third out was made on a force play. (He argued that b/c a tag was made, it wasnt a force but either didn't really believe that or was not up for a longer debate since he abandonded after stating his arguement)
So, my two questions:
1.) Was I out of line to correct UIC even though the correct call was ultimately made? (home team HC was also on top of it and I am sure that he would have made sure the outcome was the same).
2.) Who is responsible for communicating the change to both sides since clearly the visitors were still under the impression that the original call was in effect?
Let's look at the definitions. A FORCE PLAY is an out registered on a runner who is forced to vacate his base because the batter becomes a batter-runner. OK, what does that mean? The batter hits a ball that touches the ground somehow. Then runners immediately ahead must vacate their bases and attempt to advance.
If, as you say, R2 was tagged out, that is a force play because he was retired on a play where he was forced to vacate. It is not the case that a bag need be touched! He can be retired in a whole lot of ways; all that matters is that he was forced to leave 2B.
Therefore, by similar logic, R1 was forced to leave 1B, and he was retired (conventionally) at 2B for the third out. Since the third out was registered on a force play, NO RUNS CAN SCORE.
More on the rules: It is a myth that a caught fly ball and then a throw to retire a runner who left too early is a force. It is NOT! It is a live ball appeal, and runs that pass home plate are scored on timing play rules.
It is also the case that if a FORCED runner misses the base to which he is forced, and then his running error is properly appealed for the 3rd out, then it also is STILL a force play for the third out, and NO RUNS SCORE.
So, you need to remember what is a force, and what is a time play. In your case, both outs were correctly scored as force outs,so NO RUNS SCORE.
Now, were you out of line by contacting the UIC? I always brief the official scorekeeper that they work for me; they are part of the officiating team. I would not worry about that at all. Especially if the HC were on top of it, he could easily protest and win that one.
I think the UIC should bite the bullet and inform both dugouts of the correct ruling on the play. He at first made a mistake; it's up to him to correct it.
Here is a reference to keep handy.
7.08 Any runner is out when—
(e) He or the next base is tagged before he touches the next base, after he has been
forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner.
You were absolutely entitled to ask the plate umpire about this. You are a member of the officiating crew and are responsible for recording what happened. If you have a question about a ruling, you need to ask about it in order to properly keep score.
The bottom line here is that YOU, as the official scorekeeper, own the score. The umpire owns the judgment about whether the runner crossed the plate before the 3rd out. Since there was a force out, as others have pointed out, the run shouldn't have scored but the umpire ruled as if it wasn't a force and treated it as a timing play. You were absolutely correct to clarify the ruling. Note that if the umpire had still said to score the run, you would have scored the run, although I might have made a notation in the scorebook about what had happened.
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