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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

MLB tweaks wording on force plays (at home plate)

Major League Baseball took a formal step Tuesday to clarify a portion of the new rule governing unnecessary collisions between baserunners and catchers at home plate.

In a statement sent to the baseball operations departments for all 30 teams, MLB said umpires have been instructed not to apply Rule 7.13 to force plays at home plate. The directive came several days after Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations, said the rules were interpreted incorrectly to overturn an apparent force play in a game between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

“A number of questions recently have arisen about the application of Official Playing Rule 7.13 to force plays at home plate,’’ the MLB statement said. “Rule 7.13 was adopted in order to prevent unnecessary collisions at home plate between a runner attempting to score and a catcher attempting to make a tag play on the runner. The Rule as intended has no function or purpose in the context of a force play (i.e., a runner attempting to score from third with the bases loaded). As a result, effective immediately, Umpires will be instructed not to apply Rule 7.13 to force plays at home plate.’‘

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: platelets, rules of play, umpiring

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   1. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 25, 2014 at 02:04 PM (#4735312)
The home plate interference rule has been very poorly handled so far this year.
   2. cardsfanboy Posted: June 25, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4735321)
At least MLB recognizes mistakes and attempts to fix them. It should have been pretty obvious that force plays shouldn't have to fall into the realm of collision rules, but with rule lawyers, you have to spell everything out.
   3. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4735360)
Umpires are not lawyers but arbiters who rule based on the rules as written.
   4. Canker Soriano Posted: June 25, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4735556)
At least MLB recognizes mistakes and attempts to fix them.

This. It hasn't been perfect, and there have been some notable screw-ups. But they've been responsive to feedback and already made several tweaks to the rules. For a program that's in its first year, they've done pretty well. And it's a lot better than the old alternative of no replay at all.

The one thing I'd really like to see them do away with is allowing managers to meander onto the field and kill time waiting to get the thumbs up from the guy in the booth upstairs. If you want to challenge, you've got 30 seconds from the time the play in question is dead - after that, the call stands.
   5. Bhaakon Posted: June 25, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4735698)

Umpires are not lawyers but arbiters who rule based on the rules as written.


True, umpires are never asked to employ judgement, let alone allowed to substitute their judgement for the rules as written. Except for the strike zone. And balks. And the batter's box. Also checked swings. Historically, turning the double play at 2nd base.
   6. McCoy Posted: June 25, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4735789)
So umpires on checked swings say to themselves "he didn't mean to swing so I'll call it a ball"? Or are you saying that with a man on second they'll call it a strike because, come on, man, it has to be a ball in that situation?

The umpires were given a rule and they called it the way it was written. Don't like the result change the rule, and hey, they did just that.
   7. Bhaakon Posted: June 25, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4735810)
So umpires on checked swings say to themselves "he didn't mean to swing so I'll call it a ball"? Or are you saying that with a man on second they'll call it a strike because, come on, man, it has to be a ball in that situation?


I'm saying that they're asked to make a judgement call because the rule is poorly written.
   8. Sunday silence Posted: June 25, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4735828)
the check swing rule, from what i understand is poorly written and/or ambiguous.

I dont believe the strike zone and the batters box are, in fact they seem pretty clear. Hence your original post about umpires using their judgment seems to be way off, the strike zone is intended to be an objective zone. Because its difficult to judge owing to speed of the ball, etc. does not mean they are interpreting it. You used the term "judgment" which also seems ambiguous. They have to use their judgment in any event due to the nature of the game. But that is not the same thing as lawyers who are trying to stretch the limits of rules as written. Surely that is not the role of umpires. So that's why I take issue with your post.
   9. Bhaakon Posted: June 26, 2014 at 12:21 AM (#4735947)
The original comment was:

Umpires are not lawyers but arbiters who rule based on the rules as written.


My point was that this is clearly not true, because they use their judgement all the time. Then I cited a bunch of instances in which they routinely use their personal judgement. Sometimes it's in place of the rules, sometimes it's to fill a gap in the rules.
   10. bigglou115 Posted: June 26, 2014 at 01:15 AM (#4735962)
I don't know how you can argue that umpires don't make judgment calls. MLB specifically says that judgement calls are exempt from challenge, which would be weird if there were no judgement calls. I remember, famously, Joe Torre saying that the IFF rule was a judgment call. They interpret the rules using their judgment. And MLB clearly expects them to or they wouldn't use terms like "ordinary effort" or ask umpires to ascertain a batters intent to swing.

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