Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, May 16, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-16-2014

Milwaukee Journal, May 16, 1914:

There was received in the Chicago postoffice a few days ago a souvenir postal card bearing in lieu of a definite name and address only the following superscription:

“To The Greatest Pitcher on Earth.”

Chicago sent the postcard to the dead letter office, where one of the female funeral directors of defunct correspondence was quick to grasp the situation. Like a good rooter for Griffith’s Senators she promptly forwarded the card to Walter Perry Johnson of the Washington Americans. “Smokeball Walter” received the card last night at his hotel.

Who’d get it in 2014? Clayton Kershaw?

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 08:50 AM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, walter johnson

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4707995)
Billy Martin will have plenty of starting pitchers to run into the ground on today's Birthday Team.

C: George Kottaras
1B: Dave Philley
2B: Eugenio Velez
3B: Ivanon Coffie
SS/Manager: Billy Martin
LF: Mark Funderburk
CF: Mitch Webster
RF: George Barclay

SP: Jack Morris
SP: Rick Reuschel
SP: Rick Rhoden
SP: Watty Clark
SP: Stubby Overmire
RP: Jim Mecir
RP: Doug Brocail
RP: Bob Patterson

Umpire: Cy Rigler
Awful Pitcher/Hardee's Shooting Victim: Nick Bierbrodt
Cool Names: Coffie, Colonel Snover, Tack Wilson
   2. BDC Posted: May 16, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4708027)
Didn't Martin once use Rhoden as his DH on a day somebody else pitched? IIRC Rhoden did OK, hit a sacrifice fly or something. Given the weakness of that lineup, Reuschel and Rhoden are going to be two of its better hitters anyway.
   3. VCar Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4708053)
There's an article today about a mystery that sabermetrics can't solve. So here's my (different) mystery that I'm sure someone here can answer. Why is it that strikeouts are good for pitchers and are an indicator of their success, yet strikeouts are not bad for hitters and don't correlate with their success?
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4708061)
Chris Getz has retired to start a family with his wife. His wife looks like this. I'd say he chose wisely.
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4708063)
Rhoden had some kind of atrophied muscles in his leg - one of his legs looked like a stick. It's amazing that he was able to pitch and hit as well as he could. With two healthy legs, he might have been a Hall of Famer.

I wonder if kids today get Reuschel and Rhoden confused. Anyone who lived through their careers would never make that mistake.
   6. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4708070)
Not only that, but long after he retired from baseball, he played golf professionally on the Senior Tour, and had some success (three Top 10 finishes).
   7. kthejoker Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4708075)
Consider an analogy (not trying to shift into a political tangent, but whatever): Credit card companies lending credit is a sign of financial success for the company, but opening a credit card is not bad for _________ borrowers and doesn't correlate with their financial success.

Fill in the blank and you have your answer.





   8. Rob_Wood Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4708102)

Making outs is bad for a hitter -- does not really matter if a batter strikes out or hits a weak dribbler to the second baseman. Batting average for balls in play are relatively similar for most major league pitchers. So strikeouts for pitchers can be important. Also, it has been found, not surprisingly, that strikeout pitchers seem to have longer more successful careers.
   9. Rob_Wood Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4708111)
As long as we are asking each other questions, I saw a play in a high school game recently that got me to thinking (always dangerous). Let me paint the extreme scenario. Pre-replay days. Let me repeat, this is not a question about replay. Forget that replay exists. Pretend that this hypothetical situation arose 10 years ago.

Tie game. Bottom of the ninth inning. Two outs. Speedy batter hits a line drive that gets between the outfielders and rolls to the wall. Center fielder grabs the ball and fires it into the shortstop for a relay to the plate. Batter has rounded third and going for an inside the park home run. Looks like it's going to be a close play at the plate. Batter slides, catcher reaches for ball, but ball skips to the backstop. Home team rushes out of dugout and wild celebration ensues. Catcher and rest of fielding team trudges to their dugout and clubhouse (nobody retrieves the ball).

What's the question, you might ask? Home plate umpire notices that batter never actually touched home plate. Batter's slide was funky and took him around the plate. Umpire stands there until both teams have left the field. Umpire never gives "safe" sign (umpire never gives "out" sign).

What is the proper ruling? In the real world, what would happen?
   10. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4708117)
It's up to the defensive team to appeal that home plate was not touched. They failed to do so, thus the run would score.

Now, the question I can't answer is how long the umpire must give the defensive team to realize what has happened, retake the field and make an appeal? Is the ability to appeal vacated when the defensive team leaves the field? The dugout? Is there a specific time frame?

Honestly, it sounds like the umpire handled it pretty well (though I hope he wasn't staring at the plate while both teams were celebrating). Just hanging around home plate would seem to be the proper method.
   11. BDC Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4708120)
Technically, I would suppose the visiting team forfeits by abandoning the field (Rule 4.15c), though who knows if the game would actually be scored a forfeit.

Poetically, the game will continue long after all of us are dead, unless somebody from the visiting team finds that baseball and hunts down the runner and tags him. This would make a good short story.
   12. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4708136)
Technically, I would suppose the visiting team forfeits by abandoning the field (Rule 4.15c), though who knows if the game would actually be scored a forfeit.


I don't think so. If this happens in the middle of the game, the defensive team must appeal before the next pitch is thrown. If that point passes without an appeal, the run scores. The same would occur here - there would have to be a specific time when the defensive team has lost its right to appeal, most likely when it vacates the field. But they would lose by the assumed final score, not by the forfeit score (7-0, I suppose).

   13. VCar Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4708165)
Shows what I know. I assumed the batter/runner would be out for abandoning the baseline once he got back in the dugout.
   14. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4708175)
On this issue, the only way home differs from the other bases is if the runner does go back to the dugout and makes no effort to touch home, the catcher can simply step on home (without going through the traditional appeal process). It's still an appeal, it just doesn't need to start with the pitcher.
This is in place so that the catcher doesn't have to chase the runner into the dugout to tag him.

If the runner is trying to make it back to the plate (such as the Ichiro/Wieters play from the ALDS a few years ago), then a tag must be applied.

   15. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4708207)
OK, here's a question that probably only interests me. Say you're got a slow runner on third and two outs, pitcher batting. The defensive team isn't interested in holding on the runner, knowing he's no threat to steal and the batter should be retired easily. While the pitcher is delivering the 0-1 pitch (a strike for argument's sake), the runner walks into the dugout, which goes unnoticed by the defensive team. The pitcher then takes Ball 1 before the runner's absence is noted.

What's the ruling on the runner? Is there a specific rule covering abandoning of the bases without an appeal? If not, could you make a legalistic argument that he's scored, arguing that he simply missed home plate (I don't know that the rule indicates how much you have to have missed it by), and the defensive team did not appeal in time? It may well be covered in the rulebook, but it wouldn't surprise me if it isn't dealt with directly.

Edit: Nevermind, I think 7.08 (2) would cover it. The appeal isn't necessary.

   16. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4708209)
Didn't Martin once use Rhoden as his DH on a day somebody else pitched? IIRC Rhoden did OK, hit a sacrifice fly or something.

here's the game. Yeah he had a sac fly and a groundout then was replaced by Jose Cruz
   17. Perry Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4708215)
Now, the question I can't answer is how long the umpire must give the defensive team to realize what has happened, retake the field and make an appeal? Is the ability to appeal vacated when the defensive team leaves the field? The dugout? Is there a specific time frame?


When all the defensive players have left fair territory, the defensive team has "left the field" and can no longer appeal.

Rule 7.10 (d).
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4708221)
Thanks Perry. It appears that the ability to appeal is lost when the pitcher and infielders have left the field. So a lollygagging outfielder couldn't save them.
   19. Rob_Wood Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4708226)

wait, go back a minute to my scenario. why is this a run in the first place? don't you have to touch home plate for a run to score? why is an appeal necessary?
   20. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4708228)
wait, go back a minute to my scenario. why is this a run in the first place? don't you have to touch home plate for a run to score? why is an appeal necessary?


Home is no different than any other base as it relates to a player not touching the base. If you miss it, the defensive team is required to appeal that action (either through a live-play appeal - the catcher steps on home while the runner is heading back to the dugout, ostensibly so the catcher isn't required to chase the runner) or post-play (but pre-next play) appeal, with the pitcher stepping off the runner, throwing to home and the catcher touching the plate.

If the defensive team doesn't notice that the runner missed home plate, he's safe, just as is the case if the defensive team doesn't notice he missed second while going first to third on a single.
   21. Perry Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4708229)
wait, go back a minute to my scenario. why is this a run in the first place? don't you have to touch home plate for a run to score? why is an appeal necessary?


Why? Because baseball. Home's like any other base -- missing it is an appeal play. Or am I not understanding your question?
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4708238)
But other bases are only considered 'missed' if the runner touches a subsequent base. Because there is no subsequent base after home, I suppose one could think of a player who didn't touch home as having a long strange lead off of third base.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4708244)
Actually my last post is wrong. A player can be considered to have missed a base if he goes past it, regardless of the next base.
   24. Rob_Wood Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4708286)

but what makes it a "run"? how close does a runner have to come? doesn't an umpire or official of some sort have to declare it a run?

suppose a runner is on his way home when the third out is made on the bases at some other base. it is not automatically a run (that would be silly). but you are saying that the defense must appeal. something does not sound right to me.
   25. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4708296)
but what makes it a "run"? how close does a runner have to come? doesn't an umpire or official of some sort have to declare it a run?


What makes it a run is if no out is recorded on the runner. How close? Close enough that the umpire can't declare the runner having abandoned the basepath. Does the umpire have to declare it? No. In the absence of an out call, the run scores.

suppose a runner is on his way home when the third out is made on the bases at some other base. it is not automatically a run (that would be silly). but you are saying that the defense must appeal. something does not sound right to me.


In that case, it would be a timing play, and the third out would be made long before the run was scored. Essentially, the run is considered to score when the next pitch is thrown or the defense leaves the field. Since, in your hypothetical, neither of these things can happen until after the third out is recorded, the run wouldn't count.

   26. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4708301)
But other bases are only considered 'missed' if the runner touches a subsequent base. Because there is no subsequent base after home, I suppose one could think of a player who didn't touch home as having a long strange lead off of third base.


"Well Bob, this certainly is an unusual game, isn't it?"

"You bet, Len. Looks like Rodrigo Borgia has taken a HUGE lead at third: he's inched all the way to Poughkeepsie."
   27. Rob_Wood Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4708325)

Thanks SoSH for your patience. I think you are missing my point or I am not being clear. Forget about weird scenarios. What defines a run? Doesn't the umpire have to make some signal or the official scorer designate it as such? Surely it is not left up to the players and coaches. See what I mean?

The rule book says a run is scored when a runner legally touches first base, second, third, and home plate in order. Okay so far.

And the rule book says that a runner can be put out if he slides into home plate without touching it, heads back to the dugout, the catcher can touch home plate while in possession of the ball. Okay with me. But nowhere does it say that a run is credited if the catcher does not do so (remember a run requires the legal touching of home plate).

I don't know why a run scored is the default in this situation, as I have endeavored to show. It does not make sense. Is there a rule or ruling that applies to this case?
   28. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4708353)
And the rule book says that a runner can be put out if he slides into home plate without touching it, heads back to the dugout, the catcher can touch home plate while in possession of the ball. Okay with me. But nowhere does it say that a run is credited if the catcher does not do so (remember a run requires the legal touching of home plate).

I don't know why a run scored is the default in this situation, as I have endeavored to show. It does not make sense. Is there a rule or ruling that applies to this case?


I'd say that since the rulebook specifically spells out how to put the runner out in those events (through appeal, either live play or pre-next pitch), the default position in the absence of such action is the run has scored. I don't see any other way to intepret the rulebook, or the game action.

I don't know if the umpire is supposed to signal to the official scorer any time a run is legally scored, such as shortly after home plate is touched on a typical play. I do know I haven't noticed that happening, and surely there have been plenty of instances where umpires have failed to do so. The only time I know for certain that umpires will signal to the scorer that a run counts is on timing plays, where the umpire's judgment is crucial to the question at hand. But I don't recall seeing the men in blue signal three runs have been plated on a random homer with two men on.

The rule book says a run is scored when a runner legally touches first base, second, third, and home plate in order. Okay so far.


The rulebook does say that, but failure to do so doesn't result in an automatic out if you miss first, second or third. It is up to the defense to notice and appeal such a miss. Since that is the rule governing first, second and third, it stands to reason that the same rule governs home, absent some other indication in the rulebook.
   29. Rob_Wood Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4708368)

My memory is that they added 7.08(k) only after a fairly recent fast runner/slow catcher situation made a mockery of the "missed sliding into home plate" situation. It was a semi-comical rundown between home plate and the dugout. The fast runner never reached the dugout (if he had he would have been declared out) and the slow catcher was not fast enough to tag him -- the runner ran all around to avoid the tag (there is no "baseline" in this case). It was so unseemly that MLB added this rule so that the catcher need only touch home plate if that ever happened again. So that doesn't really answer my question.

I think the runner may be out once he reaches the dugout (or abandons the basepath, i.e., his attempt to score). So back to my original scenario, I think that no run scores.
   30. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4708371)
The rule book says a run is scored when a runner legally touches first base, second, third, and home plate in order. Okay so far.


The key word is legally. Just like a player is entitled to third base even if he failed to touch second if the defense doesn't make a proper appeal, a runner is entitle to occupy home plate ( IOW, score a run) even if he didn't touch it if the defense doesn't make a proper appeal. In both cases, the bases are deemed "legally" touched. He may not have physically touched it, but he legally touched it.

And frankly, that's the only way to logically do it. A runner is either safe or out. There is no in between. And with some exceptions (drop third strike with runner on first, IFR, bunt foul with 2 strikes, batter/runner interference, running out of the baseline...), all of which are logically defensible, it is a basic tenet of baseball that the defense has to do something affirmative to record an out: make a legal catch, tag a base, tag a runner. If the defense does not, in the time required by the rule book, the defacto call is safe.
   31. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4708374)
My memory is that they added 7.08(k) only after a fairly recent fast runner/slow catcher situation made a mockery of the "missed sliding into home plate" situation. It was a semi-comical rundown between home plate and the dugout. The fast runner never reached the dugout (if he had he would have been declared out) and the slow catcher was not fast enough to tag him -- the runner ran all around to avoid the tag (there is no "baseline" in this case). It was so unseemly that MLB added this rule so that the catcher need only touch home plate if that ever happened again. So that doesn't really answer my question.


I find that hard to believe. The proper way to record an out on a missed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd base it to tag the base. Why would home be different? Maybe it was in the past, but I don't see any logic as to why.
   32. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4708381)
I think the runner may be out once he reaches the dugout (or abandons the basepath, i.e., his attempt to score).


That only applies to runners on 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Since a runner cannot occupy home, he cannot logically abandon home. The only place for him to got after touching (or not touching) home is to the dugout, or I suppose back to 3rd.
   33. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4708393)
He could go back to third after not touching, but I'm not sure he could go back after touching home. Obviously, there would be no reason to unless the runner was under the mistaken impression he didn't touch home (which, of course, happens almost never).

My guess is the umpire would interject and inform the runner that he had already safely reached home, but I honestly don't know. There's no appeal process, other than the manager coming out and arguing, and even then I don't know what the mechanisms would be avaiable.
   34. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4708398)
He could go back to third after not touching, but I'm not sure he could go back after touching home.


He could if he left too soon on a caught fly ball. He'd have to re-touch home on his way back to 3rd, but that's not what we are talking about. I honestly don't know how to handle a situation in which a runner misses home, starts trotting back to his dugout on the 3rd base line, then, upon realizing he'd missed home, ran to 3rd directly from the dugout area.
   35. dr. scott Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4708399)
And frankly, that's the only way to logically do it. A runner is either safe or out. There is no in between.


As someone who once taught Quantum Mechanics i have to disagree, and agree with you.
   36. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4708403)
He could if he left too soon on a caught fly ball.


Good call. Hadn't thought about that.
   37. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 16, 2014 at 05:20 PM (#4708440)
The Game of May 15, 1984 began with two young starters, one of whom would remain a starter, and the other of which would move to the bullpen after the season. They went against form in this one, with the perma-starter getting hit around and the future reliever pitching well and fairly deep into the game. But the other team came back, setting up a inordinately eventful relief appearance from a man who had as many seasons left after 1984 as both starters combined.
   38. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 16, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4708487)
The Game of yesterday was a close one - no leads of larger than a run, decided in the ninth - which made it a pretty standard issue effort for one of the teams participating; that team happens to have been the most exciting team of the first quarter of 2014 by a rather enormous margin, and the game recap will tell you why (if you care).
   39. Rob_Wood Posted: May 16, 2014 at 08:00 PM (#4708513)

Two things I think I have found: (1) the zany rundown between home plate and the dugout occurred in the minor leagues around 1980 which prompted the additional rule change; and (2) yes, if the defensive team does not appeal on a missed slide (does not have to be a slide, a running runner can over-stride/miss home plate too) of home plate it is scored as a run. I honestly do not think that is right, but, as said above, they had to default one way or the other (I think they chose the wrong way since the runner never touches home plate).

Anyway, I am done. Thanks for all of your patience and responses.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'.
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-30-2014
(38 - 11:17pm, Jul 30)
Last: Walks Clog Up the Bases

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1956 Ballot
(9 - 11:17pm, Jul 30)
Last: lieiam

NewsblogPosnanski: Hey, Rube: Phillies pay dearly for Amaro’s misguided loyalty
(20 - 11:12pm, Jul 30)
Last: clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right

NewsblogCameron: Why a July 31 trade deadline just doesn’t make sense anymore
(14 - 11:06pm, Jul 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogCubs Acquire Felix Doubront
(46 - 10:59pm, Jul 30)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1032 - 10:50pm, Jul 30)
Last: robinred

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3797 - 10:47pm, Jul 30)
Last: zonk

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(679 - 10:46pm, Jul 30)
Last: zack

NewsblogSOE: Minor League Manhood - A first-hand account of masculine sports culture run amok.
(154 - 10:39pm, Jul 30)
Last: BDC

NewsblogPosnanski: Four theories about Hall of Fame voting changes
(27 - 10:32pm, Jul 30)
Last: DanO

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1957 Discussion
(14 - 10:30pm, Jul 30)
Last: Moeball

NewsblogEric Chavez Retires
(28 - 10:03pm, Jul 30)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogRed Sox trade rumors: 'Very good chance' John Lackey and Jon Lester are traded - Over the Monster
(51 - 9:47pm, Jul 30)
Last: BDC

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(529 - 9:37pm, Jul 30)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogVICE: Baseball Erotica #1: John Smoltz and Tom Glavine
(8 - 8:58pm, Jul 30)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

Page rendered in 0.2910 seconds
52 querie(s) executed