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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Forget that one call; Sean Manaea deserves our full attention

Rule 5.09(b)(1): Any runner is out when he runs more than three feet away from his base path to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely.

The play: In the top of the sixth, Benintendi hit a slow chopper up the line that was fielded by Oakland first baseman Matt Olson coming in on the ball. Olson picked up the grounder and dove to tag Benintendi, who veered right—with both feet clearly outside the outer edge of the running lane—and then dove back into the first-base bag. Olson never tagged him. At first, Benintendi was called safe before the play was overturned.

Manaea has been one of the American League’s best pitchers in the early going, and on Saturday, he outshined one of the aciest of the aces we have right now in baseball—the filthy lefty Chris Sale. He needed 108 pitches to do it and struck out 10.

Manaea now has a 1.23 ERA to show for his first five starts this season. That’s the best in the American League among pitchers who don’t play for the Houston Astros. (Ridiculously, Charlie Morton, Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander are all ahead of him.)

Coming into the game, Boston was 17-2 with a plus-70 run differential and was on pace to score 1,049 runs this season. The Red Sox had won eight consecutive games and had scored 34 runs in their previous four outings. Then they ran into Mr. Manaea.

Bored Posted: April 22, 2018 at 02:21 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, no hitter, red sox, rules of the game, sean manaea

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   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 23, 2018 at 09:16 AM (#5658341)
He left the base path. If you need a full body dive back to touch the base, that's more than 3 feet. Correct call.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: April 23, 2018 at 09:24 AM (#5658351)
Manaea was outstanding. Benintendi's little dribbler notwithstanding the Sox didn't have anything close to a hit. The amazing thing was everyone seemed to have a "comfortable 0 for 3." Watching the game I didn't feel like he was tying everyone up in knots, he just pounded the strike zone, worked quickly and never gave the Sox anything in the middle of the zone. It was great to watch.
   3. Stormy JE Posted: April 23, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5658385)
The A's took the series and have won six of seven. Someone wake up Shooty!
   4. Perry Posted: April 23, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5658401)
He left the base path. If you need a full body dive back to touch the base, that's more than 3 feet. Correct call.


I disagree. He was around the middle of the 3-foot lane when the fielder started reaching for him, and ended up maybe a foot outside it, so that's only about 2.5 feet. He was easily able to reach the bag with his left hand. I'm happy the kid got the no-hitter and all, and I'm no Red Sox fan anyway, but I thought the call was marginal at best.
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: April 23, 2018 at 10:36 AM (#5658403)
I'm happy the kid got the no-hitter and all, and I'm no Red Sox fan anyway, but I thought the call was marginal at best.


That's how I feel. I wouldn't have made that call, but I'm glad he did, and not just because Manaea was a grad of my two oldest kids' high school.

   6. Nasty Nate Posted: April 23, 2018 at 10:39 AM (#5658406)
I inattentively watched the games on mute while doing other things this weekend, and until I saw this thread I couldn't understand why NESN kept showing this play over and over again, in both Saturday's and Sunday's games. Now knowing the reason, I still think they over-played it.
   7. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 23, 2018 at 11:07 AM (#5658422)
Very marginal call, and a bad one to make via replay. Replay sucks.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 23, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5658435)
I disagree. He was around the middle of the 3-foot lane when the fielder started reaching for him, and ended up maybe a foot outside it,

No way. His feet are easily 3 feet, probably 4 feet outside the lane. As he touches the base, the outer base line is level with his belt.

I think they should be much stricter on players staying in the lines. I wouldn't allow even the 3 feet the rule does. Just like at 2nd base, all these weird plays do is cause injury.

Replay sucks.

This is true.
   9. Tom T Posted: April 23, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5658470)
I wouldn't have made that call, but I'm glad he did, and not just because Manaea was a grad of my two oldest kids' high school.


Wondered if that was up your way, as Jerry Palm (CBS, PU alum; lives near Merrillville) posted a couple links about the Andrean grad to one of our groups on Facebook.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: April 23, 2018 at 12:18 PM (#5658488)
Wondered if that was up your way, as Jerry Palm (CBS, PU alum; lives near Merrillville) posted a couple links about the Andrean grad to one of our groups on Facebook.


It looks like he graduated they year before my oldest got there (not that the oldest would have known anything about him, given his horrific lack of interest in baseball).

Oddly, just a couple of days earlier, my youngest got his first varsity start on the hill against South Central, the school Manaea left to go play at Andrean. He also threw Saturday against Delphi - he was in line for his first win when he departed in the fifth, but the Oracles tied it in the bottom of the sixth.

   11. Perry Posted: April 23, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5658526)
Very marginal call, and a bad one to make via replay. Replay sucks.


I completely agree about replay (Rockies were victims on the game-ending play yesterday), but that wasn't a factor here. It's not a reviewable play, the umps got together and overturned their call without benefit of replay, just consultation.
   12. Leroy Kincaid Posted: April 23, 2018 at 06:04 PM (#5658693)
Being out of the baseline is just another thing that the umps don't seem to give shitake about, though they should.
   13. Bruce Markusen Posted: April 24, 2018 at 08:06 AM (#5658873)
I don't see how there is much debate about the Benintendi call. He clearly had both feet outside of the lane. He was at least four feet to the right of the baseline. That is a textbook rules violation. It shouldn't matter whether it's to preserve a no-hitter or not. If you can't stay within the prescribed running lane and you're making a clear effort to avoid the tag, you're out.
   14. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5659164)
He clearly had both feet outside of the lane. He was at least four feet to the right of the baseline. That is a textbook rules violation.

His head never left the running lane. There is a difference between baseline and basepath. This is clearly within the rules and not a rules violation. The umpires are clearly wrong.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5659171)
His head never left the running lane.

WTF ever measured in bounds out of bounds by where your head was?
   16. McCoy Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5659181)
Is this the new "throwing lanes"?
   17. PepTech Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5659200)
It's not "clearly" one way or the other. As an ump, I interpret the rule that it's more his feet than his head - the guidance is "runs more than three feet", not where his head is. This article captures the "avoidance".

Keep in mind the umps don't have replay on this one and can't go frame by frame, they only have their recollection of how far outside the line the runner's feet were at max, and how far he went to avoid the tag. On this one, either call (out or safe) is justifiable. The HP ump should be right on the baseline and in the best position to make this call; the 1B ump is at an angle and is best suited to say whether a tag was made, not the avoidance aspect. I believe as the HP ump I would have called the runner out. He was running right on the chalk until he realized there was going to be a swipe, and ended up well outside the lane.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5659231)
It's not "clearly" one way or the other. As an ump, I interpret the rule that it's more his feet than his head - the guidance is "runs more than three feet", not where his head is. This article captures the "avoidance".

Keep in mind the umps don't have replay on this one and can't go frame by frame, they only have their recollection of how far outside the line the runner's feet were at max, and how far he went to avoid the tag. On this one, either call (out or safe) is justifiable.


I agree that in live motion, either call is justifiable. But, with benefit of replay, he's way outside the lane.
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5659233)
WTF ever measured in bounds out of bounds by where your head was?
Players who can run with their bodies at a 45-degree angle are the new market inefficiency.
   20. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: April 24, 2018 at 03:18 PM (#5659235)
It's not "clearly" one way or the other.

Agreed. I made my over-the-top post in reaction to the other stupidity about "clearly".






   21. PepTech Posted: April 24, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5659296)
One key to this rule^ is that the basepath is not established until the fielder is making a play. For anyone who hasn't come across "the skunk in the outfield", it demonstrates this rule pretty clearly. More practically, a player who's rounding third like crazy can be five or ten feet from the chalkline and not be "outside the basepath", and take an additional three feet once the tag process begins

^ Note: None of this is really relevant to *this play* because, as stated previously, the runner was on the chalk until the fielder began his swiping process, so in this particular case the basepath was in fact the direct line between home and first. Which makes the pic of his feet well outside the lane pretty damning.
   22. villageidiom Posted: April 24, 2018 at 05:19 PM (#5659377)
I agree that in live motion, either call is justifiable. But, with benefit of replay, he's way outside the lane.
I'd call him out because he went way to the right to avoid the tag, which is the intent of the rule. But by the strict rules he should be safe.

5.09(b)(1) Any runner is out when he runs more than three feet away from his base path to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely.
Emphasis by me.

So as Benintendi is running initially he's right on the foul line*. But by the time the ball is fielded he has already moved to the right side of the running lane. The base path is established when the tag attempt occurs, which cannot be before the fielder actually has the ball in his possession. So when the base path is established - when the tag starts - Benintendi is already 2-3 feet to the right of the foul line. Per the rule he has another 3 feet he can stray. I think he's within that 3 foot boundary. Hell, at the time the tag is missed he's no more than 1 foot wide; he continues wider after that because of his momentum.

(The link in #17 shows this well. Go to around :30 in the video and pause the moment they show the play. If that's the start of the tag attempt - the ball has just entered the 1B glove which is still at ground level - Benintendi is on the line 3 feet to the right of the foul line. Move forward to where the tag has been missed, and Benintendi's foot is at most one foot to the right of the same line. His momentum carries him another foot away on his next step.)

I don't know where we draw the line on when the tag play ends and he's free to run amok again. Logically I'd say momentum is part of the avoidance, even though technically the tag play has ended by then. But if we're calling the tag play as ending the moment it was missed - kind of like obstruction calls, where the precise moment a diving fielder has missed a ball he's liable for obstruction if the runner comes in contact with him - then Benintendi is in the clear.

As I said, the intent of the rule is to prevent someone running way out of path to avoid a tag, and I think it's pretty clear the 2-3 feet mentioned above was part of his effort to avoid the tag, as was his momentum, meaning he went like 4-6 feet out of his way in total. But the way the rule is written the first 2-3 feet aren't relevant because it was before the tag attempt occurred, and possible another 1-2 feet of momentum doesn't matter, either.

* a.k.a. the base line. But to avoid confusion between "base line" and "base path" I'm going to keep calling it the foul line here.
   23. PepTech Posted: April 24, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5659447)
I dunno, VI. I agree that he was savvy enough to start moving right before the ball was fielded. It's hard to go frame by frame, I think the sequence goes:

- his left foot hit the ground pretty much on the foul line chalk,
- ball was fielded,
- his right foot hit the ground pretty much on the running lane chalk,
- his momentum carried him out on the grass during the swipe.

In realtime, his last contact was on the foul line when the ball was fielded. That's what my feeble brain would go by when gauging the three feet, so I'm going with out. If he'd taken that step to the right earlier, he'd have a better case, but if it's only detectable in SloMo I'm not going to give it to him.

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