Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by Jeffrey Lichtma » Tue, 01 May 2007 03:58:34


In a game between the Indians and Orioles on Saturday home plate umpire
Marvin Hudson nullified a run scored on a play in which the third out
was by appeal on one runner after a different runner had crossed the
plate. Tom Trebelhorn of the O's protested, and crew chief Ed Montague
thought he might be right. After the next inning Montague told fellow
umpire Bill Miller to go to the umpire's locker room to check the
rulebook that was kept there. Miller returned and said that Trebelhorn
was right, so Montague called the official scorer and ordered the run to
be added to the Orioles' score. Cleveland manager Eric Wedge then lodged
a protest with Montague, claiming that the score shouldn't have been
changed once play had started again after the disputed play.

Here is a story about it:

http://tinyurl.com/366pu6

Aren't the umpires supposed to know the rules? This isn't even obscure -
an appeal play is not a force out, so the question of whether the run
scores is a matter of timing - the run counts if the runner crosses the
plate before the appeal is made. Also, shouldn't the crew chief carry a
copy of the rulebook so disputes can be settled on the field in a timely
fashion?

The final score was 7 to 4 in favor of the Orioles. With the margin of
victory greater than the single disputed run I expect MLB to treat the
protest as moot.

I do wonder whether Montague did the right thing in adding a run to the
Orioles' score so long after the play was completed. Suppose he hadn't,
and the Orioles had lost by a run. The O's would have protested the
game, and MLB would certainly have upheld the protest, which would mean
the game would be replayed from the point of the protest onwards. If the
normal procedure for handling a misapplication of the rules is to replay
the game from that point, was it really right for Montague to just add
the run when he did? On the other hand, there's precedent for what
Montague did, and there are scenarios where adding the run during the
game would save the game from having to be replayed.

--
               -        Jeff Lichtman
                        Author, Baseball for Rookies
                        http://baseball-for-rookies.com/

 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by Cal » Tue, 01 May 2007 17:40:12



Quote:
> Aren't the umpires supposed to know the rules? This isn't even obscure

I totally agree, not even an obscure rule ! Weird !

Arnaud

 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by Buck » Wed, 02 May 2007 17:08:50

Quote:
> I do wonder whether Montague did the right thing in adding a run to the
> Orioles' score so long after the play was completed.

good question. Shouldn't there be a rule about adding or taking away
runs after the next pitch has been thrown, regardless of whether a
mistake was made by the umpire?

Quote:
> This isn't even obscure -
> an appeal play is not a force out, so the question of whether the run
> scores is a matter of timing - the run counts if the runner crosses the
> plate before the appeal is made.

I am not very versed on mlb rules. Are all cases of doubling off a
runner that didn't tag up considered appeal plays? What's the logic in
having appeal plays anyways? Or is it just an arbitrary rule?

 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by Jeffrey Lichtma » Thu, 03 May 2007 06:06:37


Quote:
> I am not very versed on mlb rules. Are all cases of doubling off a
> runner that didn't tag up considered appeal plays? What's the logic in
> having appeal plays anyways? Or is it just an arbitrary rule?

Doubling off a runner who didn't tag up is always an appeal play. Other
appeal situations include a runner missing a base and a player batting
out of turn.

Appeal plays are different from other plays in that a player on offense
who violates a rule isn't called out immediately, but only when the
defense does something later. So, for example, when a runner fails to
tag up the defense still has to make the appeal for him to be called
out. This is different from, say, interference, where the runner is
called out immediately without any further action by the defense.

With appeal plays there is always a point past which the appeal can't be
made. With a player who doesn't tag up the appeal must be made before
the next pitch (the rules about this are a little complicated, and I
don't want to get into all the details here - the important thing is
that the right to appeal expires when the game proceeds past the point
when the violation was made).

In the Orioles - Indians game where the umpires made their mistake, they
treated the appeal play as if it were a force play. No run can score on
a play where the third out is a force play. Similarly, no run can score
on a play where the third out is made by the batter without his reaching
first safely. I think (and this is just my opinion - I don't have any
facts to base this on) that the rulesmakers didn't want teams to be able
to score cheap runs with two outs. For example, without this restriction
a team might be able to score two or three runs with two outs on a fly
ball with the bases loaded. The rules also eliminate a huge number of
timing plays where the umpires would have to figure out (for example)
whether a runner crossed home before a fly ball was caught.

--
               -        Jeff Lichtman
                        Author, Baseball for Rookies
                        http://baseball-for-rookies.com/

 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by David M. Nieporen » Thu, 03 May 2007 07:03:57


Quote:

>> I do wonder whether Montague did the right thing in adding a run to the
>> Orioles' score so long after the play was completed.
>good question. Shouldn't there be a rule about adding or taking away
>runs after the next pitch has been thrown, regardless of whether a
>mistake was made by the umpire?

But they didn't add or take away a run; the run had already scored.  They
just credited it on the scoreboard.  That's different than (e.g.) changing
a call to make someone safe when he was formerly called out.

Quote:
>> This isn't even obscure -
>> an appeal play is not a force out, so the question of whether the run
>> scores is a matter of timing - the run counts if the runner crosses the
>> plate before the appeal is made.
>I am not very versed on mlb rules. Are all cases of doubling off a
>runner that didn't tag up considered appeal plays?

Yes.  That's what an appeal play is.

Quote:
> What's the logic in
>having appeal plays anyways? Or is it just an arbitrary rule?

Aren't all rules arbitrary?  I think the logic is that it's the job of the
defense, not the umpires, to put players out.

How could you do it another way?  If the player was out without the
defensive team having to appeal, at what point would he be called out?  As
soon as the catch was made?  That would eliminate baserunning, since every
line drive and many fly balls would be automatic double plays.  If not when
the catch was made, when?  When the next play started?  

Think how that would work: a man is on second when a fly ball is hit to the
right fielder, who catches it.  The runner runs to third.  The right
fielder throws it there, but the runner slides in under the tag, safely;
the umpire calls him safe.  The third baseman throws it to the pitcher, who
winds up and tosses the ball home.  Suddenly, the umpire calls time and
says, "Hey, guy on third, you're out for leaving second too early."

 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by Jeffrey Lichtma » Thu, 03 May 2007 09:03:28



Quote:
> But they didn't add or take away a run; the run had already scored.
> They just credited it on the scoreboard.  That's different than (e.g.)
> changing a call to make someone safe when he was formerly called out.

We could get into an existential argument about whether a run is really
a run until an umpire calls it a run.

The point I was trying to make was that managers, coaches and players
can make decisions based on what they think the score is. These
decisions could turn out to be bad ones in hindsight once a run is
retroactively recognized. I believe that's one reason that, when a
protest is upheld, the game is replayed from the point of the protest,
even in cases where it would be possible to figure out what the score
would have been had the mistake not been made. For example, if in the
game in question the umpires had not corrected their mistake and the
game had ended with the Indians winning by a run, the O's protest would
have been upheld and the game would have been replayed from the bottom
of the third inning (the top of the third ended with Tejada being
doubled off). The game would not be re-started as a tie from the point
where it had previously ended.

If this is the logic for replaying protested games, why should it be
different for a changed decision in the middle of a game? On the other
hand, imagine the confusion if the umpires ordered several innings
erased to correct for a mistake they made in an earlier inning.

--
               -        Jeff Lichtman
                        Author, Baseball for Rookies
                        http://baseball-for-rookies.com/

 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by David M. Nieporen » Thu, 03 May 2007 13:37:56



Quote:

>> But they didn't add or take away a run; the run had already scored.
>> They just credited it on the scoreboard.  That's different than (e.g.)
>> changing a call to make someone safe when he was formerly called out.
>We could get into an existential argument about whether a run is really
>a run until an umpire calls it a run.
>The point I was trying to make was that managers, coaches and players
>can make decisions based on what they think the score is. These
>decisions could turn out to be bad ones in hindsight once a run is
>retroactively recognized. I believe that's one reason that, when a
>protest is upheld, the game is replayed from the point of the protest,
>even in cases where it would be possible to figure out what the score
>would have been had the mistake not been made.

But a normal call changes more than just the score.  Let's assume that
Brett is safe instead of out on the Pine Tar HR (which is the only protest
I can remember that has ever succeeded).  Well, then instead of the inning
being over, the next batter comes to the plate.  It changes more than the
score.

Here, _only_ the score changed.  The game state was the same either way.

In any case, we were fortunate here because the error was early enough, and
it was corrected soon enough, that it didn't change anything about the
game.  No pitching changes were made, or not made, based on the call.

 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by Gerry Myerso » Fri, 04 May 2007 08:28:47



Quote:
> Let's assume that Brett is safe instead of out on the Pine Tar HR
> (which is the only protest I can remember that has ever succeeded).  

I found this in the Baltimore Sun online:

It is believed that a protest hasn't been upheld since 1986. That's
when National League president Charles Feeney sided with the Pittsburgh
Pirates' protest of a 4-1 rain-shortened loss to the St. Louis
Cardinals because the game was prematurely called by the umpires. The
game was resumed from the point it was called two nights later.

The most celebrated protest to be upheld came after the infamous Pine
Tar Game....

--

 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by Buck » Fri, 04 May 2007 16:53:03

On May 1, 3:03 pm, "David M. Nieporent"

Quote:

> How could you do it another way?  If the player was out without the
> defensive team having to appeal, at what point would he be called out?

bear with me here, as I'm not very familar with appeal play rules. To
get a player who did not tag up properly, don't you throw to the base
that he started out at? So wouldn't that be a good time to
automatically call him out, when the ball reaches the base?

Quote:
> Think how that would work: a man is on second when a fly ball is hit to the
> right fielder, who catches it.  The runner runs to third.  The right
> fielder throws it there, but the runner slides in under the tag, safely;
> the umpire calls him safe.  The third baseman throws it to the pitcher, who
> winds up and tosses the ball home.  Suddenly, the umpire calls time and
> says, "Hey, guy on third, you're out for leaving second too early."

I don't get the example. Shouldn't the 3rd baseman be throwing to 2nd
base to double off the runner?
 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by Steve Cutche » Fri, 04 May 2007 21:09:51


Quote:

> > Think how that would work: a man is on second when a fly ball is hit to the
> > right fielder, who catches it.  The runner runs to third.  The right
> > fielder throws it there, but the runner slides in under the tag, safely;
> > the umpire calls him safe.  The third baseman throws it to the pitcher, who
> > winds up and tosses the ball home.  Suddenly, the umpire calls time and
> > says, "Hey, guy on third, you're out for leaving second too early."
> I don't get the example. Shouldn't the 3rd baseman be throwing to 2nd
> base to double off the runner?

Tag 2nd or the runner before the next play. Make sure the umpire knows
why you're doing it.
 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by James Ka » Fri, 04 May 2007 23:27:44


Quote:


>> > Think how that would work: a man is on second when a fly ball is hit to the
>> > right fielder, who catches it.  The runner runs to third.  The right
>> > fielder throws it there, but the runner slides in under the tag, safely;
>> > the umpire calls him safe.  The third baseman throws it to the pitcher, who
>> > winds up and tosses the ball home.  Suddenly, the umpire calls time and
>> > says, "Hey, guy on third, you're out for leaving second too early."
>> I don't get the example. Shouldn't the 3rd baseman be throwing to 2nd
>> base to double off the runner?
>Tag 2nd or the runner before the next play. Make sure the umpire knows
>why you're doing it.

Why does the umpire have to be told why you are doing it if it's during
the play?  If, say, an outfielder catches a fly ball and believes
a runner left a base early, can't he just throw to the base?  He
doesn't have to wait till the play is over and do an appeal, though he
may want to if there are other runners to worry about, or if he has a
chance to get the runner advancing.  
--
Jim
New York, NY
(Please remove "nospam." to get my e-mail address)
http://www.panix.com/~kahn
 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by Robert J. Schware » Sat, 05 May 2007 04:29:43


Quote:




>>> > Think how that would work: a man is on second when a fly ball is hit to the
>>> > right fielder, who catches it.  The runner runs to third.  The right
>>> > fielder throws it there, but the runner slides in under the tag, safely;
>>> > the umpire calls him safe.  The third baseman throws it to the pitcher, who
>>> > winds up and tosses the ball home.  Suddenly, the umpire calls time and
>>> > says, "Hey, guy on third, you're out for leaving second too early."

>>> I don't get the example. Shouldn't the 3rd baseman be throwing to 2nd
>>> base to double off the runner?

>>Tag 2nd or the runner before the next play. Make sure the umpire knows
>>why you're doing it.

>Why does the umpire have to be told why you are doing it if it's during
>the play?  If, say, an outfielder catches a fly ball and believes
>a runner left a base early, can't he just throw to the base?  He
>doesn't have to wait till the play is over and do an appeal, though he
>may want to if there are other runners to worry about, or if he has a
>chance to get the runner advancing.  

              This is one thing I've never figured out (or even asked
about), but every time the defense thinks a runner leaves early the
ball goes to the pitcher who gets on the pitching ***, then throws
to the base where the guy was supposed to have departed from early.
Yet when a guy is caught off by a line drive caught, or he slips and
falls on his ***on a fly out all the defense has to do is get the
ball back to the base before the runner. What's the difference?

Bob S.

 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by James Ka » Sat, 05 May 2007 04:47:28


Quote:





>>>> > Think how that would work: a man is on second when a fly ball is hit to the
>>>> > right fielder, who catches it.  The runner runs to third.  The right
>>>> > fielder throws it there, but the runner slides in under the tag, safely;
>>>> > the umpire calls him safe.  The third baseman throws it to the pitcher, who
>>>> > winds up and tosses the ball home.  Suddenly, the umpire calls time and
>>>> > says, "Hey, guy on third, you're out for leaving second too early."

>>>> I don't get the example. Shouldn't the 3rd baseman be throwing to 2nd
>>>> base to double off the runner?

>>>Tag 2nd or the runner before the next play. Make sure the umpire knows
>>>why you're doing it.

>>Why does the umpire have to be told why you are doing it if it's during
>>the play?  If, say, an outfielder catches a fly ball and believes
>>a runner left a base early, can't he just throw to the base?  He
>>doesn't have to wait till the play is over and do an appeal, though he
>>may want to if there are other runners to worry about, or if he has a
>>chance to get the runner advancing.  
>              This is one thing I've never figured out (or even asked
>about), but every time the defense thinks a runner leaves early the
>ball goes to the pitcher who gets on the pitching ***, then throws
>to the base where the guy was supposed to have departed from early.
>Yet when a guy is caught off by a line drive caught, or he slips and
>falls on his ***on a fly out all the defense has to do is get the
>ball back to the base before the runner. What's the difference?

The difference is whether the runner heads back to the base or not.  If
he advances to the next base and stops, and the umpire calls "time,"
then they do the appeal play.  If he turns around and heads back
toward his original base, then the play is still on and they have to
get the ball there and tag the base before he gets back.  My question
was that as long as the play is still in progress, I thought they
could just tag the original base even if the guy had advanced and
stopped.
--
Jim
New York, NY
(Please remove "nospam." to get my e-mail address)
http://SportToday.org/~kahn
 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by Richard R. Hershberge » Sat, 05 May 2007 04:53:33


Quote:
> > I do wonder whether Montague did the right thing in adding a run to the
> > Orioles' score so long after the play was completed.

> good question. Shouldn't there be a rule about adding or taking away
> runs after the next pitch has been thrown, regardless of whether a
> mistake was made by the umpire?

> > This isn't even obscure -
> > an appeal play is not a force out, so the question of whether the run
> > scores is a matter of timing - the run counts if the runner crosses the
> > plate before the appeal is made.

> I am not very versed on mlb rules. Are all cases of doubling off a
> runner that didn't tag up considered appeal plays? What's the logic in
> having appeal plays anyways? Or is it just an arbitrary rule?

I have read the claim that appeal plays are a holdover from the early
days of baseball.  In, say, the 1850s, a lot of plays would not
require a ruling from the umpire.  If the runner was obviously out,
everyone would act accordingly and not bother the umpire for a
ruling.  Only if there was a disagreement would the players appeal to
the umpire.

As the game grew more competitive the umpire was called upon to make
more and more of these rulings, so that eventually it became normal
for most plays to routinely be ruled upon.  But there was a class
where, for whatever reason, the older practice carried on, and these
are the modern appeal plays.

I have not personally researched if this version is true, but it seems
plausible and I have seen it asserted by people I consider reasonable
and informed, so my guess is that it is essentially correct.

Richard R. Hershberger

 
 
 

Aren't umpires supposed to know the rules?

Post by Roger Moo » Sat, 05 May 2007 05:59:31

Quote:

>The difference is whether the runner heads back to the base or not.  If
>he advances to the next base and stops, and the umpire calls "time,"
>then they do the appeal play.  If he turns around and heads back
>toward his original base, then the play is still on and they have to
>get the ball there and tag the base before he gets back.  My question
>was that as long as the play is still in progress, I thought they
>could just tag the original base even if the guy had advanced and
>stopped.

Sometimes they do make the appeal while play is continuing; it isn't
as common, but it does happen sometimes.  I think that the main reason
that it's rare is because it usually isn't obvious when a player left
a hair early or failed to touch a base.  The obvious play is the base
the runner is trying to reach, so that's where the ball will go.  It
often isn't until after the play is over that the fielder can tell his
teammates that there's a potential appeal play and get the ball to
make it.  

There's also some strategic advantage.  Appeal plays aren't always
granted; the umpire might not have seen the runner leave early or miss
the base.  You don't want to be trying to make an uncertain play like
that while there's a risk of other runners advancing away from the
play.  Since the appeal is still on even after the ball is dead,
there's usually no reason _not_ to wait until every possible live-ball
play has been attempted.

--

There's no point in questioning authority if you don't listen to the answers.