MYTHS REGARDING CERTAIN RULES
MYTH #1 “The hands are part of the bat.”
If a batter is hit on the hands while swinging at a pitch, or while his hands are in the strike zone, it is a strike.
OTHERWISE, it is a hit batter and he/she gets first base. In all cases the ball is dead and no runners may advance unless the runner’s are forced by the batter being awarded first base. See Rule 2.00 BALL; STRIKE (e) (f);
TOUCH; also Rule 6.05 (e) & 6.08 (b). THE HANDS ARE PART OF THE PERSON.
MYTH #2 “He held the ball for 2 seconds before he dropped it. That’s a catch.”
The length of time the ball is held has nothing to do with the determination of a catch. The release of the ball must be VOLUNTARY and INTENTIONAL. See Rule 2.00 CATCH. The fielder must prove that he/she had
COMPLETE control of the ball before releasing it.
MYTH #3 “The catch was made on the outfield grass ump, that’s not an Infield Fly.”
Infield fly is a judgment call. It is based on whether the ball can be caught with ORDINARY EFFORT. See Rule 2.00 INFIELD FLY.
MYTH #4 “He gets 1 plus 1 on an overthrow.”
There is no such thing. Awards of bases can be 1, 2, or 3 bases depending on the circumstances. The award can be based on where the runners are physically standing, or in MOST cases, from where they are at the time of the pitch. It makes no difference in which direction he/she is running. If a runner is being chased back towards first from second and the ball is thrown out-of-play, he/she is awarded THIRD. Two bases closer to home from where he/she stood at the time the throw was RELEASED. See Rule 7.05 (g).
MYTH #5 “The batter turned to the left after crossing first, he’s out when tagged.”
The runner is out only if the umpire adjudges that he/she made an ATTEMPT to go to second. No place in the rules does it state that a runner must turn to the right. See Rule 7.08 (c) EXCEPTION and Rule 7.10 (c).
MYTH #6 “The ball is dead on a Foul-tip.”
A foul-tip is a ball that goes SHARP and DIRECT from the bat to the catcher’s glove, AND IS CAUGHT. If it is not caught, it is a foul ball and the ball is dead. If it is caught, it is a STRIKE and the ball IS ALIVE.
See Rule 2.00 FOUL TIP.
MYTH #7 “The ball is dead when a BALK (or Illegal Pitch) occurs.”
When a BALK is called, if the pitcher does not deliver the pitch, the umpire will call “TIME”. If the pitch is thrown, it is a DELAYED DEAD BALL. That means the ball is alive until play has ceased. See Rule 8.05.
MYTH #8 “On that throw to home, the catcher was blocking the base path before he caught the ball. Call INTERFERENCE.”
When the defense blocks the base path without having possession of the ball, impedes the progress of any runner it is called OBSTRUCTION, not Interference. Obstruction shall be called on a defensive player who blocks off a base, base line or home plate from a base runner while not in possession of the ball. Is the defensive player about to receive the ball? Does NOT matter, without the ball it is obstruction, plain and simple. See Rule 2.00 OBSTRUCTION and Rule 7.06 (a) (b).
MYTH #9 “The batter who batted out of order is out.”
After the incorrect batter completes his/her at-bat, and an appeal is made, the PROPER batter is out (the one who should have batted). The improper batter (the one who did bat) is removed from base and any advance made because of the batted ball is nullified. The next batter due up is the one who follows the PROPER batter. See Rule 6.07.
MYTH #10 “The batter isn’t out for Interference with the catcher if he stays in the batter’s box.”
This is a tough call. If the batter has just swung at a pitch and is off-balance and unavoidably interferes with the catcher, he/she should not be called out. If he/she had just let a pitch go by and had an opportunity to avoid the catcher’s play, but didn’t, he/she interfered. See Rule 2.00 INTERFERENCE & Rule 6.06 (c) and 6.09.
MYTH #11 “The batter backed out of the box as the pitch was coming to the plate. That’s an automatic strike.”
If the offense is stalling and the batter refuses to enter the box after the umpire tells him/her to do so, then the umpire will tell the pitcher to pitch and call each pitch a strike. However, if he/she is in the box and then steps out during the wind-up or the pitch, the umpire will call the pitch as he/she sees it. See Rule 6.02 (b).
MYTH #12 “The pitch hit the ground before the batter hit it. The ball is dead.”
If a pitch touches the ground before entering the strike zone and is not swung at, it is a ball. If it bounces up and hits the batter, the ball is dead and the batter is awarded first base. If it is hit, it is ruled like a normal pitch. See Rule 2.00 IN FLIGHT.
MYTH #13 “The base coach touched the runner. The runner is out.”
This is a judgment call by the umpire. If the coach obviously and intentionally physically stops a runner or helps him/her up after falling, the runner is out. Merely touching him/her as he/she goes by or making an incidental touch as the runner is stopping is not grounds for an out. See Rule 7.09 (l).
MYTH #14 “Half of the batter’s foot was outside the box when he/she hit the ball. He’s/she’s out.”
A batter is out when he/she makes contact with a pitch when one or both feet are on the ground ENTIRELY outside the lines of the batter’s box. He/she is OUT, whether the ball is fair or foul. The ball is dead. He/she is not out if he/she swings and misses or if he/she does not swing. See Rule 2.00 ILLEGALLY BATTED BALL and Rule 6.06 (a).
MYTH #15 “The batted ball hit home-plate first. That’s a foul ball.”
Home plate is positioned BETWEEN the first and third base foul lines. It is FAIR territory. Therefore, a ball that hits or comes to rest upon it, is a FAIR ball. All bases are in fair territory, therefore, any batted that touches a base is considered a fair ball, regardless of where it bounces after touching the base. See Rule 2.00 FAIR BALL, FAIR TERRITORY, FOUL BALL and FOUL TERRITORY.
MYTH #16 “Holding the bat over the plate constitutes an attempt to bunt the ball.”
To constitute a BUNT, the ball must be intentionally met with the bat. The mere act of holding the bat across the plate does not constitute a bunt attempt. See Rule 2.00 A BUNT.