Situation: One out runner on third. Wild pitch, runner from third steals home, batter remains in batters box (does not move), catcher is just picking up ball while the runner from third collides with batter and tags home plate. Pitcher is at the plate ready for Ball.
I call : No interference. In my judgement a play was not being made on the runner before tagging home plate. Of course defense wants an inteference call..
My question is basically in what situations can the batter be called for interference when there is a wild pitch? Is it, if in my judgement the batter was in the way of the throw to home while a play could still be made? Or does the catcher actually have to throw the ball in order for a play to be judged to occur?
Situation #2: One out runner on third. Wild pitch, runner from third starts to steals home, but three quarters of the way down hesitates and stops and begins to move back to third (catcher is fielding the ball). The catcher then spins and throws not realizing the runner is no longer coming. The ball hits the batter who has not moved from the batters box, but is between the pitcher who is now at home plate and the catcher. The ball then goes into foul territory and the runner turns and scores. What is the call?
Im assuming you are the umpire in this case.
You would have to make a judgement call in this case, nowhere in the rule does it say that a batter much vacate the batter's box during this play. Generally when the girls are older they move out of the way anyway just as a reaction. Even moving out of the way can become troublesome, if the ball winds up on the side where the batter is, i have seen the ball be thrown off of batters in that situation also.
However if you use the logic of a runner for instance running home on a tag up to left field, they dont have to avoid the path of the throw, but on a pop up down the first baseline the runner is supposed to allow the defender the opportunity to make the play.
Honestly the call can be made either way, its all about advantage vs disadvantage and intent vs being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Justaskin, KeinTime87 is correct on the judgment call on this one. I've encountered this one a few times myself. Yes, no rule states that the batter must vacate the box for a play at the plate, however, ASA Rules Supplement 33 B. does state: 'The batter's box is not a sanctuary for the batter when a play is being made at the plate.'
My view on that is that even though not required, its 'highly recommended' that the batter vacate the box on a play at the plate. Thus if a batter stays in the box on a play at the plate and is judged to interfere with such play, then INT rules apply. Advantage vs disadvantage and intent vs being in the wrong place at the wrong time......nicely stated by KeimTime87!
The Rules Supplements in the ASA Umpire Manual serve as an excellent explanation guideline, in general. Good stuff!
Situation #1 sounds like you made the proper call. No play attempted, no interference to call.
Situation #2 sounds like an interference to me. Regardless of whether or not the runner was coming home when the throw was made, the batter, standing in the batters box, interfered with the throw from the catcher to the pitcher.
Not sure I understand the quote from above..."intent vs being in wrong place at the wrong time".
Intent plays no part in the call.
If in the umpires judgement, the batter interfered with the play because of either his/her action or inaction, you have interference. Accidental or otherwise.