It’s a jungle out there…

This is from last night’s Brewers-Nationals game. Original call was R1 safe and BR out. Changed to R1 out and BR safe. This article on covers it pretty well and it really goes to show how many different variations of the same play can happen. I think I think, at least with the benefit of seeing it a few times,  that there is no interference on the play. and safe/out should have stood. I haven’t visited ump-emp yet today, but I’m sure there will be a dozen opinions and no definitive conclusion.



Goodbye, old friend


10,000 hits!



The amateurumpire.wordpress blog now has over 10,000 hits – more than Pete Rose and Ty Cobb combined!

Crazy replay play

Oakland was playing Toronto the other day. The Blue Jays had the bases loaded with one out and hit a ground ball to the 1st baseman (F3), who attempted to tag the runner (R1) going from 1st to 2nd. Umpire Vic Carapazza ruled there was no tag. F3 then threw home and the catcher received the throw on the bag for the easy force out.

What do you think happened next? Toronto manager John Gibbons came out to protest that his R1 was tagged and, therefore, the play at home was a tag play and not a force out and that the run should count. And after a 4+ minute review, they overturned the call, and counted the run.


So the catcher acted on the information that he had (a big safe sign from Carapazza) and made no attempt to tag the runner (who would have been out by 10 feet). Obviously, that’s a hole in the replay rule that has to be fixed. The A’s played the game under protest, but won the game so it was moot.

Here’s the play. You really do see something new every darn day out there.




He did get up and finish the game. The lesson is obvious.

Jack Gardner Memorial Softball Tournament

I don’t know much about this – but I’m going to try my best to volunteer for a game or two:

Summer Softball Tournament  Saturday, July 12, 2014 The 22nd Annual Jack Gardner Memorial Softball Tournament will be held on Saturday July 12th, 2014.

Jack’s Kids is a committee supported by our Somerville Elks Lodge 1068 for the past 22 years. We are a local charity that raises money for children and families with illnesses and/or special needs.

Jack’s Kids is dedicated to helping children and their families with the expenses and issues related to childhood illnesses and disabilities. Our moral compass is directed to support these children and families in any way we possibly can. The organization is completely volunteer run and we are a non-profit 501c3 organization and all donations are tax deductible. Read about how Jack’s Kids started here.


Here’s the email for more info or to volunteer a game or two:


Phil Pepe was a coach in my Legion game last night

The Daily News sports section was a big part of my youth.  I got my love of newspapers from my father.

Phil Pepe

As a young sportswriter, Phil Pepe was assigned the role of Yankees beat writer for the New York World-Telegram & Sun on August 2, 1961, and he covered Roger Maris’ race for the home run record to the very end. Pepe is the author of more than 50 books on sports, including a biography of Yogi Berra and collaborations with Yankees legends Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, and Whitey Ford. Pepe was the Yankees beat writer for the New York Daily News from 1968 through 1981 and is a past president of the Baseball Writers Association of America.


that’s all

This video really threw me for a loop…

Take a look at this – there’s a lot to think about….what do you have?

First of all, umpiring, like golf, is a humbling experience. Just when you think you’ve gotten pretty good, you realize that you don’t know shit.

My biggest pet peeve in umpiring, I think, is the ump who quotes a ruling like he’s 100 percent sure, when he turns out to be wrong.   Well…that’s me! Before watching this play and then researching the rules, I would have bet anything that the protection for interference goes away (and, therefore, the potential for obstruction exists) when a ball is deflected or misplayed. In fact, in discussing this play with a coach (and before getting the right info), I confidently said the fielder is only protected on the initial play.  And it turns out,  I couldn’t be more incorrect.

Here are some interpretations, from my friends over at umpire-empire:

PBUC 7.5

After a batted ball has been touched (deflected) by an infielder, if the ball then strikes a runner (unintentionally on the part of the runner), it is alive and in play despite the fact that another infielder may be in position to field the ball.  This is not the case if a fielder is making a play on the ball.   Specifically, if a batted ball is deflected by an infielder and another infielder has a play on the ball, the runner must avoid the fielder.  If the runner interferes with the fielder making a play – even though the ball has been touched by another fielder – the runner is declared out.  Under the rules, a fielder making a play on a batted ball takes priority.

PBUC 7.27

After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and has missed, he can no longer be in the “act of fielding” the ball.  For example:  if an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner


The MLBUM (#43, play 5 in the 2013 edition) says it’s umpire Judgement. If the ball deflects off one fielder, and the umpire decides the second fielder had “a legitimate play on the ball”, INT is called. “However, if the umpire judges that the second fielder is does not have a legitimate play on the ball (i.e. Merely moving in the direction of the loose ball”, then OBS is called.


So now I know.



Sunday Morning Reading…

(FED 8-4-2)

ART. 2 . . . Any runner is out when he:

a. runs more than three feet away from a direct line between bases to avoid being tagged or to hinder a fielder while the runner is advancing or ­returning to a base;

1. This is not an infraction if a fielder attempting to field a batted ball is in the runner’s proper path and if the runner runs behind the fielder to avoid interfering with him.

2. When a play is being made on a runner or batter-runner, he establishes his baseline as directly between his position and the base toward which he is moving.

b. does not legally slide and causes illegal contact and/or illegally alters the actions of a fielder in the immediate act of making a play, or on a force play, does not slide in a direct line between the bases; or

1. A runner may slide in a direction away from the fielder to avoid making ­contact or altering the play of the fielder.

2. Runners are never required to slide, but if a runner elects to slide, the slide must be legal. (2-32-1, 2) Jumping, hurdling, and leaping are all legal attempts to avoid a fielder as long as the fielder is lying on the ground. Diving over a fielder is illegal.

PENALTY: The runner is out. Interference is called and the ball is dead immediately. On a force-play slide with less than two outs, the runner is declared out, as well as the batter-runner. Runners shall return to the bases occupied at the time of the pitch. With two outs, the runner is declared out. The batter is credited with a fielder’s choice.

c. does not legally attempt to avoid a fielder in the immediate act of making a play on him; or

PENALTY: The runner is out, the ball remains live unless interference is called.

d. dives over a fielder; or

PENALTY: The runner is out and the ball remains live unless interference occurs and is declared.

e. initiates malicious contact;

1. Malicious contact always supersedes obstruction. Runner(s) will be awarded appropriate base(s) per umpire’s judgment.

f. as a runner or retired runner, fails to execute a legal slide, or does not attempt to avoid the fielder or the play on a force play at any base; or

g. intentionally interferes with a throw or a thrown ball; or he hinders a fielder on his initial attempt to field a batted ball. A fielder is not protected, except from intentional contact if he misplays the ball and has to move from his original location; or his being put out is prevented by an ­illegal act by anyone connected with the team (2-21-13-2-2, 3) or by the batter-runner; for runner returning to base (8-2-6); and for runner being hit by a batted ball (8-4-2k). If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner ­including the batter-runner interferes in any way and prevents a double play anywhere, two shall be declared out (the runner who interfered and the other runner involved). If a retired runner interferes, and in the judgment of the umpire, another runner could have been put out, the umpire shall declare that runner out. If the umpire is uncertain who would have been played on, the runner closest to home shall be called out; or

1. If two fielders try to field a batted ball and the runner contacts one or both, the umpire shall decide which one is entitled to field the ball and that fielder only is entitled to protection. If a fielder drops a batted ball and contact with a runner occurs during a subsequent attempt to field the ball, the fielder has the greater responsibility for avoiding contact.

h. is touched by a live ball securely held by a fielder or is touched by a fielder’s glove or hand with the live ball held therein, while the runner is not ­touching his base.

1. If a batter-runner safely touches first base and then overslides or overruns it, except on a base on balls, he may immediately return to first base without liability of being tagged out, provided he did not attempt to run or feint to second. Also, if any base comes loose from its fastening when any runner contacts it, such runner cannot be tagged out because the base slides away from him.

2. The ball is not securely held if it is dropped or juggled after the runner is touched.

i. does not retouch his base before a fielder tags him out or holds the ball while touching such base after any situation (8-2-1, 2, 3 and 4). Umpire may also call him out at end of playing action upon proper and successful appeal. Also, it is not necessary for ­runner to retouch his base after a foul tip (2-16-2); or

j. fails to reach the next base before a fielder either tags the runner out or holds the ball while touching such base, after runner has been forced from the base he occupied because the batter became a runner (with ball in play) when other runners were on first base, or on first and second, or on first, second and third. There shall be no accidental appeals on a force play.

1. No runner may be forced out if a runner who follows him in the batting order is first put out (including a batter-runner who is out for an infield fly).

k. is contacted by a fair batted ball before it touches an infielder, or after it passes any infielder, except the pitcher, and the umpire is convinced that another infielder has a play (5-1-1f, 6-1-5).

1. If a runner is touching his base when he is hit by an infield fly, he is not out, but the batter is out by the infield fly rule. The ball is dead, even in the exception.

2. If a runner is hit by an infield fly when he is not touching his base, both he and the batter are out.

l. attempts to advance to home base when the batter interferes with a play at home base, with less than two outs; or

1. If there are two outs, the batter is out because of his interference and since he is the third out, the runner cannot score. But if there are not two outs, the runner is out and the batter is not penalized.

m. passes an unobstructed preceding runner before such runner is out (including awarded bases); or

n. runs bases in reverse to confuse opponents to make a travesty of the game; or

o. positions himself behind a base to get a running start; or

p. after at least touching first base, leaves the baseline, obviously abandoning his effort to touch the next base; or

NOTE: Any runner, after reaching first base, who leaves the baseline heading for the dugout or his defensive position believing that there is no further play, shall be declared out if the umpire judges the act of the runner to be considered abandoning his efforts to run the bases.

q. is on or beyond a succeeding base when the ball is declared dead (5-2-2b-1) after having left a base too soon on a caught fly ball, or he failed to touch a preceding base, or he continues and touches a succeeding base after the ball has become dead and the defense initiates a proper and successful appeal;

r. deliberately knocks the ball from a fielder’s hand.


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