Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

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

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Rays’ ground-rule double in 13th causes confusion

Kevin Kiermaier rounded third base, was informed of what had happened out near the right-field bullpens, and threw his hands into the air. So had the umpires, signaling a ground-rule double—one of the most bizarre seen yet at Fenway Park, a century-old venue where odd bounces seem to be a nightly occurrence.

Kiermaier’s drive in the top of the 13th inning would have sent home Yandy Díaz with a go-ahead run, but a fluky bounce—the ball hit the wall, then struck Red Sox outfielder Hunter Renfroe before hopping into the Boston bullpen—turned out to be a crucial moment in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, which was ultimately won by the Red Sox, 6-4, in 13.

With an on-field ruling of ground-rule double upheld following a Tampa Bay challenge, Kiermaier was sent back to second base, and more crucially, Díaz had to return to third base—where he was stranded, with Nick Pivetta striking out Mike Zunino to end the inning.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 10, 2021 at 11:29 PM | 91 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ground rule double, rays, red sox

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. JJ1986 Posted: October 11, 2021 at 07:20 AM (#6045356)
*automatic double.
   2. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 08:26 AM (#6045360)
Maybe I'm out of touch with this board, the world, whatever, but I was legitimately shocked at the agita over this Boston/Tampa Bay call, both here and in expat Discord. While watching, that's exactly what I said to myself the rule was, and exactly what I thought would happen. The ground rule/automatic double has been keeping people at 3B forever when they could have scored, I'd imagine even in various playoff games. But now it's crazygonutsinsaneinjustice? Weird, to me.
   3. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 08:35 AM (#6045361)
If it was a normal automatic double, no agita. But Renfroe aided the ball over the wall. By failing to catch it, he gains an advantage. Turns out that really is the rule, but it’s a really dumb rule.

   4. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 08:47 AM (#6045362)
I think the agita was because it hit off a fielder. People understand what happens in the case of a ground rule double, but the fact that an automatic double can be awarded when a team misplays a ball and that team then benefits from the call rubbed some people the wrong way.

Don’t get me wrong — it was clearly the correct call. But I understand the feeling that the rule itself is “wrong”.
   5. shoelesjoe Posted: October 11, 2021 at 08:49 AM (#6045363)
Maybe I'm out of touch with this board, the world, whatever, but I was legitimately shocked at the agita over this Boston/Tampa Bay call, both here and in expat Discord. While watching, that's exactly what I said to myself the rule was, and exactly what I thought would happen. The ground rule/automatic double has been keeping people at 3B forever when they could have scored, I'd imagine even in various playoff games. But now it's crazygonutsinsaneinjustice? Weird, to me.


People understand the end results of a ground rule / automatic double. I think the problem here is that the ball didn't simply bounce over the fence. It bounced off the fence then off the ground then off the fielder (who was attempting to play the ball) and THEN over the fence. That sequence is fundamentally different from the normal ground rule / automatic double. The real issue here is that the rule actually benefits the team that misplays the ball. If Hunter Renfroe fields the ball cleanly and immediately fires the ball towards home Diaz still scores the go ahead run standing up. But Renfroe instead played human backstop and clanked the ball out of play, which may have saved the game and the Red Sox season. It should be obvious that in any sport a team shouldn't earn an advantage by making a bad play. Whether Renfroe intended to botch the catch should be immaterial, all that matters is that he did so. Mike Zunino didn't intend to go 0-6 with 4 Ks, but that's what he did. Luis Patino certainly didn't mean to groove a first pitch fastball to Christian Vazquez, but oops that's what happened.

The rule was on the books and it was applied correctly. That doesn't mean it's not a dumb rule.
   6. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 08:50 AM (#6045364)
Right. According to the rule book that’s a normal automatic double. To an observer, it clearly wasn’t.
   7. Jay Seaver Posted: October 11, 2021 at 08:51 AM (#6045365)
It's easy to look at this and conjure up outfielders somehow doing this on purpose, even if this was such a fast, one-in-a-million situation. Though I do kind of think the reaction would have been more "well, that was weird" if it happened nine innings earlier.
   8. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: October 11, 2021 at 08:53 AM (#6045367)
I understand being upset about the call.

Do not understand the panic about what incentives this "creates". Um. It's been the rule forever, and this is the first time it's come up. Even if every OF in America watched Renfroe and came away thinking "oh damn that's what I'll do if given the chance", how often would they actually get the chance? Not to mention the rule distinguishes between intentional/unintentional. So the concern is that in an incredibly rare situation, which the OF has never experienced before, they will decide to knock the ball out of the field of play and be able to make it look unintentional.

I mean, by all means change the rule, but if they forget to, I think MLB will survive.
   9. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: October 11, 2021 at 08:56 AM (#6045370)
They should also do something about the rule that allows the batter to run towards the pitcher mound to interfere with a throw to the plate... It was a night of Soxian nefariousness all around.
   10. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:01 AM (#6045373)
It's easy to look at this and conjure up outfielders somehow doing this on purpose, even if this was such a fast, one-in-a-million situation.

Because society has given conspiracy fantasy loons a seat at the adult table, now everything has some conspiratorial angle to it such that a given outcome is "rigged." In the heat of a playoff game, in extra innings, with the go-ahead run on the line, no one is thinking on a bang-bang reaction/reflex play, "I can't make the play, but how can I game the minutia of rule book to my advantage?"

Except perhaps A.J. Pierzynski.
   11. The Duke Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:04 AM (#6045376)
Is the rule two bases? Or is the practice two bases ? Both generally and specifically. I thought The umps had discretion on ground rule double calls which i think they should use. At a minimum a runner who is off with the pitch should be granted three bases
   12. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:05 AM (#6045377)
Sam Holbrook (HP ump yesterday) and Tim Tschida in an interview both said that the league has instructed them previously that if a ball was intentionally deflected out it was two bases from that point as if it were thrown out of play.

One reason the Rays didn't put up much of a stink is they (at least Cash) knew the rule. They benefitted from it in 2019.
   13. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:08 AM (#6045378)
It's easy to look at this and conjure up outfielders somehow doing this on purpose, even if this was such a fast, one-in-a-million situation.


The rules are clear that if the umpire judges it to be intentional, it’s two bases from where the runners were at the time the ball goes out of play, not from the time of the pitch. I cited it in the game chatter last night.

I also think, practically speaking, it would be extremely difficult to execute what Renfroe did if you were actually trying to do so. It was a fluke play, and people should generally chill out about it.
   14. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:08 AM (#6045379)
Is the rule two bases? Or is the practice two bases ? Both generally and specifically. I thought The umps had discretion on ground rule double calls which i think they should use.


The rule is two bases. The only time discretion comes into play is fan interference.
   15. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:11 AM (#6045382)
I understand being upset about the call.
Do not understand the panic about what incentives this "creates".


Yes, agree.


the rule actually benefits the team that misplays the ball.

I think one of my issues here is this definition of misplay. It seems unfair, like he 5-holed a grounder or bobbled something into the stands. He was running to make a desperate play in extras in a playoff game. Even if it HADN'T been a playoff game it's not likely he would have given up on it in extras. He slowed down as fast as he was able and it ricocheted off him.

If a rocket line-drive hits 3B and then heads into the stands off the third baseman's heel, is that a misplay? I suppose I'm having semantic issues, but marking this as some kind of fielder bungle seems simply inaccurate to me, narratively. Maybe that's dumb or immaterial.
   16. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:13 AM (#6045383)
Sam Holbrook (HP ump yesterday) and Tim Tschida in an interview both said that the league has instructed them previously that if a ball was intentionally deflected out it was two bases from that point as if it were thrown out of play.


Seems like this would mean that -- runner at 1B -- there might be situations where one SHOULD throw the ball out of play on something into the gaps or the corner.... At least/especially with 2 outs -- hard to get most runners at the plate, figuring they're off with the crack of the bat, so why not toss it into the stands, keep the lead runner at 3B and try your luck with the next batter?
   17. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:16 AM (#6045385)
16 - No no, I wasn't clear. It's two bases from when the ball goes out of play, not two bases from the start of the play so in a situation like yesterday the run would have scored and Kiermayer would have been placed at third. Basically knocking the ball out of play intentionally is treated like an overthrow into the stands.
   18. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:16 AM (#6045386)
Duke, it turns out it’s two bases on automatic doubles. I had conflated that with other events where umps have discretion. That certainly caused some of the agita. I thought the umps were being gutless rather than restrained.
   19. John DiFool2 Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:32 AM (#6045395)
I thought the oversliding the bag play was much more controversial (yeah his hand came off for a moment, but when the guy tagged him his foot was firmly on the bag).
   20. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:35 AM (#6045397)
I thought the oversliding the bag play was much more controversial (yeah his hand came off for a moment, but when the guy tagged him his foot was firmly on the bag).

The way I saw this it was two times his foot came off, one initially and one at the end of all the clips. IMO, the out was for the second time, but it's pretty hard to tell. It seemed a good definition of "must have compelling evidence to overturn", because there was a guy there who could see, and most of the camera angles didn't do a great job.
   21. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:44 AM (#6045399)
Lassus, yeah, I think the defense can be "punished" for misplays. If a guy throws the ball into the stands, the runners advance. He certainly didn't mean to, it was a misplay. So why advance the runners?

If a liner goes off the pitcher's head (god rest his soul) and into the stands, is that a home run? Seems to be consistent with the Canseco rule. I'd think they'd want it to be a double. Though, agreed, two bases there is harsh. Which is why I think umps should have discretion to place runners.

   22. SoSH U at work Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:50 AM (#6045402)
I’ve got no problem with limiting the batter to two bags, but I’ve always hated the part of the rule that automatically stops the runner from first on third regardless how obvious it is he would have scored. They grant umps discretion on fan interference and obstruction (when the defense clearly is guilty of some type of nefarious behavior), but somehow the ball bouncing out of play calls for zero tolerance. Blecch.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:52 AM (#6045403)
22. Not unless it goes into the stands over the outfield fence, in which case, RIP pitcher.
   24. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 09:56 AM (#6045406)
Lassus, yeah, I think the defense can be "punished" for misplays. If a guy throws the ball into the stands, the runners advance. He certainly didn't mean to, it was a misplay. So why advance the runners?

I contend calling a ricochet in which the control is almost nil a misplay in the same way that a throw into the stands is a misplay not accurate. I suppose that's a subjective judgment call, but calling those things similar is not right IMO.


If a liner goes off the pitcher's head (god rest his soul) and into the stands, is that a home run? Seems to be consistent with the Canseco rule.

If a liner goes 330 - 400 ft off a pitcher's head and over the fence between the foul poles, yes, that's a HR. You can't mean like over 3B into the stands, though.
   25. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:00 AM (#6045408)
but somehow the ball bouncing out of play calls for zero tolerance. Blecch.

We've been hearing our whole lives how lucky the defensive team was that the ball bounced out because the guy on first had to stop at third. Slippery sloping every single one of those into a judgment call sounds really bad.
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:03 AM (#6045410)
What would we be slippery sliding to? Instead of the offense getting a terrible break 80 percent of the time, the defense gets a bad break 5 percent?
   27. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:07 AM (#6045413)
25: Could easily make the distinction you made on my hypothetical: Bounce over OF wall, runners get three bases, batter two. That would be a 95% better reflection of what would normally take place on those plays than stopping the runner on first at third.

You and I just disagree on the ricochet. Yeah, it's not intentional. But it's still sloppy fielding. The Rays shouldn't end up wishing Roberto Clemente was out there. At the end of that play, one team was going to take a hit. I contend it would be better for it to be the team whose RFer couldn't catch the ball cleanly off the wall rather than the team who mashed a ball off the wall. One team made a positive play. One a negative play. But the team making the negative play caught the break. That seems backwards.


Also, how many bases does a batter get if they line a ball off the pitcher into the seats? Two seems too many but that seems to be the rule.
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:11 AM (#6045416)
I would assume it’s two whether it’s the pitcher, or more likely, an outfielder chasing a fly ball into the corner. How could it be less?
   29. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:12 AM (#6045417)
I'm just saying the "automatic" bases lack imagination. A liner bouncing off the shoe of an infielder into the dugout should earn fewer bases than a ball misplayed off a OF over the outfield wall.


Also, it's Monday, I'm tired and I have something I really need to finish. So, please, somebody keep arguing with me.
   30. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:13 AM (#6045418)
What would we be slippery sliding to? Instead of the offense getting a terrible break 80 percent of the time, the defense gets a bad break 5 percent?

People (no, not you, in general) seem to hate umpires, so additional judgment calls just seem troubling.


Bounce over OF wall, runners get three bases, batter two.

Bad vs. good throwers & fielders, slow vs. fast runners. You're giving an awful lot of catchers and lumbering OFs a real unfair ability to score with that.

FYI, I'm not OMG I'M RIGHT on this at all, the discussion is interesting. I just don't know that unintended consequences in response to this trump what was very accurately (IMO) referred to above by Dave as a fluke play.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:15 AM (#6045419)
Even before this play, my pet peeve is announcers falling over themselves to point out that it helped the defense when the ball bounces out of play in these situations. I guess it's an easy way to show your savviness, so they do it so enthusiastically that it makes it seems like the play, in it's entirety, is a good thing for the team in the field. The result of the play is no outs recorded and runners on second and third, but the way they rush to yell "huge break!!" makes it seem like a double-play happened.
   32. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:19 AM (#6045421)
I am somewhat sad all this is overshadowing the amazingness of Kyle Schwarber's reaction to the second of his attempted 3-1 plays at first.
   33. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:20 AM (#6045422)
We've been hearing our whole lives how lucky the defensive team was that the ball bounced out because the guy on first had to stop at third. Slippery sloping every single one of those into a judgment call sounds really bad.

Easy solution that avoids slippery sloping: Just give the umpire discretion to advance the runner three bases WHENEVER A BALL HITS A FIELDER OR A FIELDER'S GLOVE, AND THEN BOUNCES OVER THE FENCE.
   34. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:21 AM (#6045423)
FYI, I'm not OMG I'M RIGHT on this at all, the discussion is interesting.

Same.

Nate, it is a huge break, though. If Renfroe had somehow fielded that ball and made a throw to hold the runner it would have been hailed as a miraculous play, one for the ages.
   35. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6045427)
Easy solution that avoids slippery sloping: Just give the umpire discretion to advance the runner three bases WHENEVER A BALL HITS A FIELDER OR A FIELDER'S GLOVE, AND THEN BOUNCES OVER THE FENCE.

I was responding to his post that refers to dissatisfaction with ALL balls that bounce out, not the one-in-a-million play from last night.
I’ve always hated the part of the rule that automatically stops the runner from first on third regardless how obvious it is he would have scored. They grant umps discretion on fan interference and obstruction (when the defense clearly is guilty of some type of nefarious behavior), but somehow the ball bouncing out of play calls for zero tolerance. Blecch.
   36. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6045428)
I am somewhat sad all this is overshadowing the amazingness of Kyle Schwarber's reaction to the second of his attempted 3-1 plays at first.

Eh his initial reaction had some charm but then he went too far.
   37. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:27 AM (#6045429)
Nate, it is a huge break, though. If Renfroe had somehow fielded that ball and made a throw to hold the runner it would have been hailed as a miraculous play, one for the ages.
Yes, but the result of the play was still overwhelmingly positive for the Rays.

And the hypothetical you describe is almost impossible. A miraculous throw would get the runner out, it wouldn't make him stay at third.
   38. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:39 AM (#6045436)
The original 1857 Knickerbockers rules only allowed one base on a ball that bounced out of the field of play.

Eh his initial reaction had some charm but then he went too far.



So he was good at first but then he went too far?
   39. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:43 AM (#6045443)
Easy solution that avoids slippery sloping: Just give the umpire discretion to advance the runner three bases WHENEVER A BALL HITS A FIELDER OR A FIELDER'S GLOVE, AND THEN BOUNCES OVER THE FENCE.

I was responding to his post that refers to dissatisfaction with ALL balls that bounce out, not the one-in-a-million play from last night.


I'd still be in favor of umpire discretion in those cases, but with the default being the two base advancement. I realize the problems inherent in such a solution, but there are still plenty of cases where everyone would acknowledge that the runner on first would've easily scored. And with replay cameras it's easy to see how far the runner had gone by the time the ball bounced over the fence.
   40. SandyRiver Posted: October 11, 2021 at 10:58 AM (#6045446)
Didn't Vasquez make the agita moot? Or would he not have hit it over the fence had the score been 5-4 instead of tied?
   41. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:05 AM (#6045448)
FYI, I'm not OMG I'M RIGHT on this at all, the discussion is interesting.
Is this a change from last night, when you were saying people who disagreed with you were “shrieking?”
   42. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:10 AM (#6045450)
What does what I think about what I'm saying have to do with what I think other people are saying?

I said nothing about anyone disagreeing with me, but about the shrieking in general when it happened. PF also literally admitted he was shrieking.
   43. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:14 AM (#6045452)
Generally when people use pejorative terms for disagreement, they’re pretty damn sure they’re right. I think PF was being facetious.
   44. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:15 AM (#6045453)
Geez, sorry. I think people were over-reacting.
   45. Textbook Editor Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:22 AM (#6045456)
The problem with giving umpires discretion--and likely why the rule was written the way it is now--is that you're then having umpires predict/assume the future when awarding bases, and baseball in a number of ways has never written rules in this way. (With the exception, of course, as has been pointed out, for fan interference, but as fan interference--in theory--usually benefits the home team, it makes sense that would be one area where MLB would want umpires to have some discretion.)

When I say "predict the future" I mean something like this: Remember the play that ended the NLCS where Ryan Howard's achilles blew up as he stepped out of the box in a series-ending AB. Well, imagine if--in that situation--the fielder was so excited to end the series he threw the ball into the stands? Howard--who in no way, shape, or form, would have made it to 2B on his own, even if the ball was rolling up the right-field line instead--would have been awarded 2B... even though he never made it even to 1B. If the umpires had discretion, Howard could rightly be called out because, after all, he couldn't even walk to 1B. The fielder could go into the dugout, get the ball, run over to Howard lying on the grass in pain and tag him out... But he can't because there's a rule about what happens when the ball goes out of play.

Yes, yes, last night the runner would have scored... But in a world where Renfroe fields it cleanly, who knows: maybe he's able to throw the runner at 2B out before the run crosses the plate... Not saying it was going to happen but it COULD have happened... and that's why you don't want umpires using discretion.

I get the anger, I do. But this isn't a rule that's been revised like 10 times in the past 10 years. If I had to guess this exact wording has probably been in the rule book for decades and decades. It's not a new rule, or one that's been tinkered with like some NFL rules have been.
   46. Jay Seaver Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:22 AM (#6045457)
Didn't Vasquez make the agita moot? Or would he not have hit it over the fence had the score been 5-4 instead of tied?


It's not hard to imagine that the Rays would have brought in another pitcher to get the save rather than trying to stretch with the guy they had in there if no end seemed to be in sight - from my perch above RF, they still seemed to have bodies in the bullpen, after all. Heck, it's possible that the Zunino at-bat goes differently with a run in.

Of course, I did feel better that it was a two-run homer instead of a single run that won the game.
   47. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6045458)
I was shrieking before being shown the rules that the ball was correctly called. I thought the umps either missed that it hit Renfroe or were making a judgement that second and third is what would have happened without Renfroe booting it.

Now, I think it's a dumb rule. That's altogether different than a bad call/interpretation.


<i>Didn't Vasquez make the agita moot? Or would he not have hit it over the fence had the score been 5-4 instead of tied?,/i>

I don't even think we can say for sure that the Rays wouldn't have scored more in the top of the 13th if Renfroe catches the ball off the wall.
   48. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:25 AM (#6045459)
Is it even guaranteed that Cora would've kept Pivetta in the game?
   49. Jay Seaver Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:27 AM (#6045461)
No-one was up in the Red Sox bullpen; Cora would have at least let him face Zunino.
   50. Greg Pope Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6045463)
I would say that the automatic double rule always favors the defense anyway. Take a ball that bounces off the warning track and just barely goes into the stands. Automatic double, guy on first goes to third. If the same ball hits the top of the wall after the bounce, what are the chances that the offense doesn't end up on second third? I'd say it's pretty much nil. I can't imagine a situation where the automatic double rule isn't the worst case scenario. I suppose, like Nasty Nate says, the offense could try to score and get thrown out. But that is at the offense's discretion.

I'd be OK with Andy's slight modification, and it doesn't even have to be discretionary. If a fielder touches the ball and then it goes out of play for an automatic double, then award the guy on first three bases instead of two. If you're going to award the Canseco play a HR, then awarding one more base for the runner on first when the fielder is involved makes sense.
   51. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:39 AM (#6045466)
What'd I'd do for the rule change is keep it simple; a ground rule double that leaves the ballpark in fair territory is 3 bases for the runner on base since runners score most of the time on those while ground rule doubles that leave in foul territory (such as where the wall juts out at Fenway) it's two bases for the runner(s).
   52. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6045472)
since runners score most of the time on those

It would almost seem like Sean would have data on this, or? Someone?

I'm initially distrustful, mostly because the colloquial talk of runners scoring from 1st on a ball to the wall highlights how FAST the runner is to be doing so, not how average the runner is to have done so. Or is that impression mistaken?
   53. SoSH U at work Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:53 AM (#6045473)
45. Recall the Tejada play. Umpires must consider the future on obstruction, a situation vastly more likely to result in disagreement than any automatic double situation. Given that and fan interference and various replay conditions, there’s no good reason to prevent umpires from using it here.
   54. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 12:13 PM (#6045476)
Lassus, I don't have data, either, but my impression is that not scoring from first on a double is really unusual. With two outs, it's really, really, really unusual.
   55. Lassus Posted: October 11, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6045480)
but my impression is that not scoring from first on a double is really unusual. With two outs, it's really, really, really unusual.

Maybe not?
Less than 50 percent of the time do runners on first score on a double, and when it does occur it's typically a combination of a fast runner coupled with a weak or inaccurate outfield arm.
   56. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 11, 2021 at 12:42 PM (#6045481)
What'd I'd do for the rule change is keep it simple; a ground rule double that leaves the ballpark in fair territory is 3 bases for the runner on base since runners score most of the time on those while ground rule doubles that leave in foul territory (such as where the wall juts out at Fenway) it's two bases for the runner(s).

I like that suggestion, which reeks of common sense.

-------------

Lassus, I don't have data, either, but my impression is that not scoring from first on a double is really unusual. With two outs, it's really, really, really unusual.

And with a 3-2 count and two outs, he'd have to be gunned down by a mysterious sniper as he was rounding third not to be able to score.
   57. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 12:44 PM (#6045483)
Fair enough, Lassus.
   58. Tom Nawrocki Posted: October 11, 2021 at 12:50 PM (#6045485)
What'd I'd do for the rule change is keep it simple; a ground rule double that leaves the ballpark in fair territory is 3 bases for the runner on base since runners score most of the time on those while ground rule doubles that leave in foul territory (such as where the wall juts out at Fenway) it's two bases for the runner(s).


Or even simpler: The runners get two bases on a ground-rule double with less than two out, three bases on a ground-rule double when there are two outs.
   59. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 11, 2021 at 01:07 PM (#6045486)
55 - Thanks for that. I'll admit to being pretty surprised by the data. I'd have expected it to be considerably higher.
   60. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2021 at 01:12 PM (#6045487)
55 - Thanks for that. I'll admit to being pretty surprised by the data. I'd have expected it to be considerably higher.
Well, presumably it would be higher if all the rulebook doubles were removed.
   61. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2021 at 01:15 PM (#6045489)
Maybe not?

Less than 50 percent of the time do runners on first score on a double, and when it does occur it's typically a combination of a fast runner coupled with a weak or inaccurate outfield arm.
From the article: "I'll admit I was slightly surprised by the right field numbers, since I thought the distance of the throws would allow for more runners from first to score. Conversely, I thought there would be a smaller number of runners scoring on doubles to left because it's a shorter throw, but this doesn't appear to be the case."

I wonder if the author had a brain freeze, or are the fences in RF on average deeper than the ones in LF around the majors?
   62. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 01:18 PM (#6045490)
Well, presumably it would be higher if all the rulebook doubles were removed.

Primey. Nate wins the thread.
   63. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 11, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6045491)
Call it the Fenway factor. A line drive off the Monster and the runner on first is lucky to make third.
   64. Nasty Nate Posted: October 11, 2021 at 01:22 PM (#6045493)
uh oh, did I say something smart or really stupid?
   65. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6045495)
Smart. But give it a minute if you’re worried. ;)


If someone bounces a ball over the monster they deserve all the bases.
   66. crict Posted: October 11, 2021 at 01:34 PM (#6045496)
I've been to Fenway and enjoyed the experience, but here's an unpopular opinion: As a playing field, Fenway is unfit to be a major league park. Green monster, short wall, etc. It makes for a different kind of baseball, which some might think is good, but I feel it's an inferior brand of baseball.
   67. phredbird Posted: October 11, 2021 at 01:58 PM (#6045499)

eh, my takeaway is this:

the rule is poorly formulated.

this happenstance definitely demonstrates that as written and as events unfolded, it benefitted a poor defensive play, intentional or not.

so here is the solution:

- as before, any ball bouncing in fair territory and over the fence out of play is a ground rule double, all runners given two bases.

- BUT: any ball bouncing in fair territory then touching a fielder before going out of play is treated as a ground rule double PLUS an overthrow error, all runners given an additional base.

QED.
   68. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 11, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6045502)
I've been to Fenway and enjoyed the experience, but here's an unpopular opinion: As a playing field, Fenway is unfit to be a major league park. Green monster, short wall, etc. It makes for a different kind of baseball, which some might think is good, but I feel it's an inferior brand of baseball.

Unless you want to mandate uniform dimensions, all ballparks are going to have their quirks. AFAIC any park whose dimensions and odd features force managers to think is a selling point for diversity.

If it's any consolation, the variations in dimensions today are far less than they were before the rise of the multiplexes. You had foul lines as short as 250', and RF/CF walls as far away as 520'. The Polo Grounds from LF to RF went from 279' to 483' to 258'. Cleveland's League Park was 375', 460' and 290', and so on.
   69. crict Posted: October 11, 2021 at 02:29 PM (#6045503)
Yesterday it was the short wall, but my point is more about the Green Monster, which favors high fly balls over well-hit line drives (see Stanton in wild card game). It feels like playing in a backyard with special rules when hitting the ball off the garage or a tree.
   70. Darren Posted: October 11, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#6045513)
so here is the solution:

- as before, any ball bouncing in fair territory and over the fence out of play is a ground rule double, all runners given two bases.

- BUT: any ball bouncing in fair territory then touching a fielder before going out of play is treated as a ground rule double PLUS an overthrow error, all runners given an additional base.


Perfect. The more you remove umpires guessing intent from the rules, the better the rules. (I'd also be fine with this on dropped pop ups, etc.)
   71. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: October 11, 2021 at 03:29 PM (#6045516)
The thing about Fenway for me (a diehard Red Sox fan) is that it was built the way it was built because it had to be fit into the location. It's not angled and cutesy for marketing reasons (e.g. Tal's Hill RIP) but it is what it is out of necessity.* I think to the specific point, yeah the Monster favors high flies but of course the rest of the ballpark is extremely good for line drive hitters and requires a pretty damned good poke to get it out save for balls that hug the right field line. On top of that the dimensions require some pretty savvy outfield play, it's not a coincidence that the Sox' successful seasons of recent and semi-recent vintage have for the most part included talented defensive rightfielders (Evans, Drew, Victorino, Mookie, now Renfroe.

* obviously the bullpens being where they are is pure marketing but they are also 80 years old so whatever.

Having said all that YMMV so fair enough. I'd rather have something a bit unusual and different than the same thing in every park. Hell even Tampa I think can be a lot of fun. The infield catwalks are annoying but I like that pop flies are not automatics against the roof backdrop.
   72. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 11, 2021 at 03:46 PM (#6045521)
Saw the play for the first time. I agree it's a bad rule, but there's no way on Earth Renfroe was intentionally trying to deflect the ball over the wall.
   73. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 11, 2021 at 04:00 PM (#6045525)
Boston always had a thing gor its quirks, the Monster, the dead spaces on the old parquet, the undersized hockey rink, the underinflated footballs ...
   74. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 11, 2021 at 04:52 PM (#6045532)
The racism...
   75. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 11, 2021 at 05:03 PM (#6045535)
All sports have weird quirks in the rules like this one. Consider the safety in football (the two-point score, not the position). The concept is to reward the defense for the offense's ineptitude, but it potentially benefits the team on offense to take an intentional safety.
   76. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 11, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6045539)
Yesterday it was the short wall, but my point is more about the Green Monster, which favors high fly balls over well-hit line drives (see Stanton in wild card game). It feels like playing in a backyard with special rules when hitting the ball off the garage or a tree.


I'm going to ask this seriously, but are you trolling us here? I think most baseball fans love Fenway because it is quirky and you get those wall ball doubles(or long singles for slow runners) and you get the 415 foot double in the triangle and those 310 ft HR right down the RF line. Yes, the sight lines are rubbish for most; no, the average American cannot really fit into the smallish seats, etc., but I think the the place is great. I've lived on 3 continents and been to over 100 stadiums for different sporting events worldwide and I think it's great when a venue is unique and the place where it is identifies with it.
   77. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 11, 2021 at 05:34 PM (#6045541)
The rule book clearly states, "Umpires will do whatever they can to get a heritage team like the Red Sox into the World Series, and not the freakin' Tampa Bay Rays again."
   78. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 11, 2021 at 05:43 PM (#6045544)
The rule book clearly states, "Umpires will do whatever they can to get a heritage team like the Red Sox into the World Series


Yeah, I didn't see that rule book change? Did they change that around 2004 because the 80 odd years prior to that it wasn't really a thing.

It's as if all non Red Sox fans forgot that this team couldn't catch a break for nearly 90 years and now they get the really odd break and everyone loses their sh*t. What is up with that?

It was a weird play. It benefited the Red Sox. The rule doesn't seem to be fair. The umpires applied the rule as per the rule book. That's it. Move on.
   79. DanG Posted: October 11, 2021 at 05:46 PM (#6045545)
Less than 50 percent of the time do runners on first score on a double, and when it does occur it's typically a combination of a fast runner coupled with a weak or inaccurate outfield arm.
But we're not talking about any old double. These aren't bloop doubles, or legged-out doubles, or cut-off-in-the-gap doubles. These are to-the-wall doubles.
   80. bunyon Posted: October 11, 2021 at 06:02 PM (#6045549)
I don't really give much of a damn about the sixty or seventy years of Red Sox losing before I started watching. They've played in a pile of World Series and LCS and won a bunch in the last 20 years. I'm not claiming this call was for marketing. But I'm not worried about the Sox needing to see ledgers balanced, either. They're well into the black at this point.
   81. Howie Menckel Posted: October 11, 2021 at 06:11 PM (#6045550)
Boston always had a thing gor its quirks, the Monster, the dead spaces on the old parquet, the undersized hockey rink, the underinflated footballs ...

I went on a tour of the Boston Garden (which was a ######## btw) in its final year.

part of the tour included a visit to the high-school quality visitors' locker room. the Lakers once complained that there was no air conditioners in there in a heat wave of a Finals. the tour guide proudly noted that the next game, the Lakers arrived to find several new air conditioners - still in their boxes, as he said that Commissioner Stern had not specified that they also needed to be installed...
   82. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 11, 2021 at 06:18 PM (#6045553)
Yeah, I didn't see that rule book change?

They changed it when the Red Sox became Evil Empire, Part Deux.

They've played in a pile of World Series and LCS and won a bunch in the last 20 years.

And they certainly have a bigger footprint than the small-market, fan-less Rays. If Tampa makes the WS again this year, every FOX exec will jump out of their office windows. (Which would be a good thing, obviously, but still.)
   83. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 06:41 PM (#6045556)
Not to mention the rule distinguishes between intentional/unintentional. So the concern is that in an incredibly rare situation, which the OF has never experienced before, they will decide to knock the ball out of the field of play and be able to make it look unintentional.
The rule does not distinguish between intentional/unintentional. It distinguishes between deflecting the ball and throwing the ball.
   84. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: October 11, 2021 at 06:46 PM (#6045557)
The rule does not distinguish between intentional/unintentional. It distinguishes between deflecting the ball and throwing the ball.



Which is dumb, because you can intentionally deflect a ball out of play. Like, with a backhand swipe. Etc.
   85. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 06:51 PM (#6045559)
so here is the solution:

- as before, any ball bouncing in fair territory and over the fence out of play is a ground rule double, all runners given two bases.

- BUT: any ball bouncing in fair territory then touching a fielder before going out of play is treated as a ground rule double PLUS an overthrow error, all runners given an additional base.
Better solution: two bases for everyone, but from where they were when the ball goes out of play. (That's currently the rule for most throws into the stands, but not for deflections, for which the runner gets two bases from the time of pitch.) This (a) does not require vesting umpires with discretion; and (b) does not create a one size fits all solution. Instead, if you've got a slow runner or a runner who got a bad jump, he doesn't get rewarded for the ball going into the stands with an extra base. But if he's already around second base, he doesn't get penalized for the ball going into the stands by being sent back a base from where he'd likely have ended.
   86. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 11, 2021 at 06:56 PM (#6045561)
The rule does not distinguish between intentional/unintentional. It distinguishes between deflecting the ball and throwing the ball.

The interpretations in the umpire’s manual do distinguish between intentional and unintentional deflections:

MLB Umpire Manual

- If a fair ball not in flight is deflected by a fielder and then goes out of play, the award is two bases from the time of the pitch.
...
- If, in the judgment of the umpire, a fielder intentionally kicks or deflects a batted or thrown ball out of play, the award is two bases from the time the ball was kicked or deflected.
   87. crict Posted: October 11, 2021 at 07:25 PM (#6045568)
I'm going to ask this seriously, but are you trolling us here? I think most baseball fans love Fenway because it is quirky and you get those wall ball doubles(or long singles for slow runners) and you get the 415 foot double in the triangle and those 310 ft HR right down the RF line. Yes, the sight lines are rubbish for most; no, the average American cannot really fit into the smallish seats, etc., but I think the the place is great. I've lived on 3 continents and been to over 100 stadiums for different sporting events worldwide and I think it's great when a venue is unique and the place where it is identifies with it.


Nope. I get that most love it, but I just don't like a well-hit long line drive to become a single because 100 years ago they couldn't find a large enough land, while a lazy flyball in most stadiums is a homerun there.
   88. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: October 11, 2021 at 07:35 PM (#6045572)
The better reason to replace Fenway is that the seats are uncomfortable. They need a bigger stadium, but limit the seating to 50K or so, and make the seats more comfortable. And they should build a stadium with no obstructed views. There are thousands of seats impacted by the poles in the grandstands. And the seats that don't face HP are a problem. The dimensions of the park are the last reason to complain.

And the food sucks, and it's too expensive.
   89. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 12, 2021 at 02:12 AM (#6045722)
I wonder if the author had a brain freeze, or are the fences in RF on average deeper than the ones in LF around the majors?

This is addressed in the comments for that story (I had the same thought as you so I checked to see if there was any follow-up) -- the author assumes that most plays at the plate are made to the third base side, i.e., slightly up the line, where the runner is coming from, so the throw from LF on average would be a foot or two shorter than the throw from RF.

This does seem correct, assuming the same average distance of the fielders from the center of home plate..
   90. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2021 at 02:22 AM (#6045723)
This does seem correct, assuming the same average distance of the fielders from the center of home plate..


Wouldn't that be more than offset by the fact rightfielders throw much better than leftfielders (due to the significantly added length on the throw to third, rather than the extra two feet on the throw home)?
   91. Cooper Nielson Posted: October 12, 2021 at 04:09 AM (#6045726)
Wouldn't that be more than offset by the fact rightfielders throw much better than leftfielders (due to the significantly added length on the throw to third, rather than the extra two feet on the throw home)?

Yes, it is. If you look at the article linked, there's a pretty big difference between RF (about 35% of runners score from first on doubles) and LF (about 40%) and the author cites several reasons for this. The extra distance was only mentioned as a secondary counterpoint:

Left fielders tend to have weaker or more inaccurate throwing arms, as well as fielders who might be considered defensively challenged.

...

Doubles to right are hit to the fielder with the best outfield arm traditionally, which probably explains why the percentage drops a bit vs. doubles hit to left. I'll admit I was slightly surprised by the right field numbers, since I thought the distance of the throws would allow for more runners from first to score. Conversely, I thought there would be a smaller number of runners scoring on doubles to left because it's a shorter throw, but this doesn't appear to be the case.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Kiko Sakata
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog2021 LCS OMNICHATTER!
(704 - 1:00am, Oct 23)
Last: Voodoo

Sox TherapyWhat a Ride
(1 - 11:52pm, Oct 22)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

Sox TherapyThe Boston Red Sox Will Play for the Pennant
(195 - 11:50pm, Oct 22)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

NewsblogNBA 2021-2022 Season Thread
(299 - 11:50pm, Oct 22)
Last: Hombre Brotani

NewsblogCarlton Fisk kept it fair, but Keith Olbermann’s attempt to sell historic ball is foul
(40 - 11:04pm, Oct 22)
Last: Best Dressed Chicken in Town

NewsblogChris Taylor hits 3 home runs, leads Dodgers to huge NLCS Game 5 win over Braves
(2 - 7:08pm, Oct 22)
Last: Jack Sommers

NewsblogThe fans' way at Fenway: loud, louder, loudest
(57 - 7:01pm, Oct 22)
Last: SoSH U at work

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-21-2021
(16 - 6:59pm, Oct 22)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogIt’s time for the city of Chicago to repeal the Wrigley Field night game ordinance
(28 - 6:16pm, Oct 22)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogYankees GM Brian Cashman says club will 'address' shortstop and 'evaluate' catcher positions
(14 - 6:08pm, Oct 22)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-22-2021
(5 - 5:46pm, Oct 22)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Transfer! Kits! Other Stuff!
(459 - 5:14pm, Oct 22)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

NewsblogDodgers Albert Pujols Hits the COVID-19 Injured List
(223 - 12:28pm, Oct 22)
Last: 57i66135 is available to babysit, for a price

NewsblogNew MLB CBA should include amnesty clause
(18 - 8:22am, Oct 22)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogBaseball Games Are Still Too Long—and Getting Longer
(110 - 5:52am, Oct 22)
Last: McCoy

Page rendered in 0.4454 seconds
48 querie(s) executed