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Umpire Friends. Wanted to get your take on a call today. Our league has its own rules and we default to MLB rules when not covered. This would definitely be MLB.
My runner gets an infield single and over runs the base. Without making any sudden moves, he turns and walks to first. The 1st baseman tags him out of habit and the umpire calls my runner out. He ruled that my runner turned to his left and therefore "left" the basepath that was established when he ran to first. Therefore the "attempt" was inherit by virtue of breaking the base path even though he made no attempt or move towards second. Does this make sense to anyone?
http://WWW.HENRYSBASEBALLCLUB.COM 781 891 0621 FROM WHAT U SAID HE IS OUT. ALSO IN COACHING WE TELL PLAYER'S TO TURN TO THE RIGHT AFTER THEY CROSS THE BAG AT FIRST. ANY MOVE OTHER THAN THAT IS CONSIDERED MAKING A MOVE FOR SECOND AND I WOULD TAG HIM OUT!!
7.08(j) Runner is out when he "attempts to run to second" and is tagged. The way I have heard it explained is that he has to make a motion or attempt toward second. However, I would put this in the umpire forum, and you would get a better answer, I am sure.
You are right. The umpire is wrong. I, in fact, teach all of my runners to turn left, in case there is an overthrow. I have taught it that way for 20 years.
That you have to turn right is one of those 20 myths of baseball.
I teach our team to overrun first by 5 or 6 feet, breakdown into a good athletic position; and LOOK to the right with their head only and look for the overthrow. Never to have we taught turning to the left first to avoid situations like this.
As long as you don't make any attempt or sudden move to advance to 2nd you can run left. The minute you angle, jolt, twitch, lol, or anything that suggest you were thinking about 2nd you'll be tagged out. You can overrun first stop and simply turn around left to go back to the bag absolutely.
He didn't over run 1st base, he ran through 1st base. Without seeing it, there really isn't any way of calling it unless he ran through the base and turned right. It doesn't take a sudden move towards 2nd, it takes a move that the umpire deems a move towards 2nd. From what you are describing, tough call.
Would have to see the play to get the "feel" of what the runner's intent was. Just veering or turning alone does not determine his intent. Baseline is irrelevant to the question of returning to first. It is strictly a judgement call - but based on your description it sounds like the umpire used the baseline to establish intent - but I would not use that as criteria for judging intent. It is feel. Did I THINK he was making a legitimate effort to advance to second base? Period.
The umpire in this situation is unfortunately like most umpires. They are frustrated athletes that were always the last guys picked by the kickball captains in the third grade. They always try to insert themselves into the game by making unnecessary calls. Then they try to rationalize the call. In this case he is citing the "left the basepath" rule which is only to be called in the event that the runner is trying to avoid a tag. I do not need to see this play to determine if the runner made an attempt to go to second. Simple logic says that he would not have made a move to second on an infield hit that was not over thrown.
I should add this. I coach almost entirely softball, any more, now that my boys are grown. In softball, there is this rule.
Rule 8 section 7 3e: a batter that over runs first base and turns right is commited to first base and must return non stop to first base.
Turning right completely takes away any chance to advance.
Unless this happens more than once, I don't think this needs to be covered when going over the ground rules. However, when you see that umpire, I would speak with him/her politely, and inquire.
This happened to me last fall, when an umpire made an incorrect book call (he ruled that a runner could not tag up on a fly ball until the fielder had full possession of the ball - called out my runner who made a good tag and and scored). I saw him before a game, and politely told him I had double-checked the rule, and that he had made the wrong call. He told me he had doublechecked after the game, and apologized to me for making an error.
I don't think he "double checked" the rule. If he checked at all, it was the first time he ever read the rules. That one is so basic that it comes under "common knowledge". If he did not know that one, what else is he clueless about. Umpires are never held accountable for their errors.