Monte Ward gets cute

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Richard Hershberger

Richard Hershberger is a paralegal working in Maryland. When he isn't doing whatever it is that paralegals do, or taking his daughters to Girl Scouts, he is dedicated to the collection and analysis of useless and unremunerative information.

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    Isn’t this somewhat similar to when players on base see a pop-fly hit, wait for it to be caught, and then leave the base?

    Also, I would suggest that Ward’s play was dependent on a particular definition of “fail to run”. If “run” refers to the mere act of beginning to move toward the base, then yes, he failed to run. But if “run” refers to the complete act of going to the base, then it wouldn’t be possible to say that he failed to run until the fielders had finished throwing the ball about.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DensityDuck says:

      Isn’t this somewhat similar to when players on base see a pop-fly hit, wait for it to be caught, and then leave the base?

      No, that’s an entire different set of rules. That’s called ‘tagging up’. *After* the ball is caught, the baserunner must(1) touch their starting base before advancing to the next base. (Whereas if touches the ground first, they don’t have to do that.) And, of course, the easy way to ‘touch’ the base is to just not leave it in the first place.

      1) Or, rather, if they *don’t* retouch their starting base, the opposing team can get them out by sending the ball to their starting base…or they can fail to notice that possibility and the baserunner gets away with it.

      If “run” refers to the mere act of beginning to move toward the base, then yes, he failed to run. But if “run” refers to the complete act of going to the base, then it wouldn’t be possible to say that he failed to run until the fielders had finished throwing the ball about.

      Actually, there’s a third definition, which is what I suspected is what was used:

      If the player is *standing on the base* (Including home base), he has not run.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to DavidTC says:

        Keep in mind also that the 1883 version of the rule required that the batter run “immediately.”

        As for tagging up, next time you are at a game, watch the runners rather than the ball. Suppose there is a runner on second base with fewer than two outs. The batter hits a fly ball into the outfield. The natural tendency as a spectator is to watch either the ball or the outfielder, but watch the guy at second. He usually will go about halfway to third, so that if the outfielder doesn’t make the catch the runner can easily get home. If it is a deeply hit ball, and it is apparent that the outfielder will catch it, the runner might retreat back to second and take off for third as soon as the ball is caught. Runners pretty much never just stay on the base.Report

  2. Avatar Chris says:

    Still enjoying every word of these.Report

  3. Avatar nevermoor says:

    It had never occurred to me that this is why dropped strikeouts are irrelevant with first base occupied or two outs. It’s actually a pretty elegant fix, especially since the rule itself is generally pretty gimmicky so there’s no objection to limiting its scope.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to nevermoor says:

      The dropped third strike isn’t a gimmick. It flows naturally from the underlying logic. It seems gimmicky because the underlying logic has been superseded and obscured by later developments. The logic is that on the third swing, the ball is in play whether it was hit or not. The later development is that the catcher usually catches the ball, resulting in an instant out, or if he doesn’t catch it cleanly he usually keeps it close enough that the out comes immediately after. So the modern logic is three strikes and your are out. Under this modern logic, the dropped third strike is a weird exception with no obvious point to it. The dropped third strike is a vestige of an earlier era, like the drop kick in football.Report

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