2016 Rule Change Videos

Game Ending Plays

Consider the following video:

Because all runners are forced to advance via the batter being AWARDED 1B (without liability to be put out) due to being hit by the pitch, this game ends the moment the batter touches 1B AND R3 touches the plate, irregardless of the actions of both R1 and R2.

Contrast this situation with the following video:

Although R3 and the batter-runner touch home plate and 1B respectively, as the runners are forced to advance in a situation where they ARE liable to be put out, R2 and R1 MUST touch 3B and 2B respectively, in order for the game to end. Had the security guard not touched the live ball in the outfield, the defensive team could have recorded the 2nd and 3rd out in a manner that would have nullified R3’s run, causing the game to continue.

Two Runners Occupying the Same Base

In this video, the lead runner (R3), attempting to evade being put out in a rundown, retreated beyond 3B toward LF, with the following runner (R2) occupying 3B. When R3 went beyond 3B, R2 was now closer to home plate, and had, by rule, passed the R3. At this point, R2 is considered out, however R3, who is now beyond 3B, is still in jeopardy. He could attempt to return to 3B, be tagged out, or if he had progressed far enough beyond / away from 3B, be called out for abandonment.

Thrown Bat Interfering with Catcher Making a Play

This video demonstrates a batter throwing his bat, which strikes the catcher’s glove as he is attempting to catch the pitch. This action denied the catcher the oppourtunity to make a play on the stealing runner. The catcher had not moved into a position where the umpire would have ruled catcher’s interference, therefore the batter would be called out for interference. This play will be treated the same as all other batter interference situations.

Dead Balls

In both of these videos, the fielders made a legal catch, securing the ball while legally on the field before their momentum carried them into the dugout. With runners on base, prior to 2016, under professional rules, both of these plays would have remained live, as the fielder did not fall in the dugout. New for this year professionally, and past practice for several years under Baseball Ontario’s “Catch and Carry” rule, with runners on base, the out would stand however, the ball would immediately become dead once the fielder stepped into the dugout, and with less than two outs, any runners on base would be awarded one base from the base last legally occupied at the time of pitch.

Batter Interferes with Third Strike

In this video, we see the batter, eligible to attempt an advance to 1B due to an uncaught third strike, accidentally kick the ball away from the catcher in his attempt to advance. At the time of this play, the plate umpire properly ruled “That’s nothing.” However, the rule has since been changed; any hindrance by the batter, intentional or unintentional, shall result in the batter being called out for interference.

Definitions of Tag and Touch

In this play, we see the Batter-Runner slide headfirst into 1B in an attempt to avoid the tag of the fielder. Due to the momentum of the B-R’s slide, his batting helmet dislodges from his head. However, as the batting helmet was still in contact with its intended place on the B-R’s body, the helmet is still considered part of the B-R; thus the tag of the helmet shall be considered a legal tag.

In contrast, had the helmet been ruled to have been completely dislodged from the B-R’s head, the helmet would no longer be considered part of the B-R; resulting in the B-R being ruled safe.

Batter’s Box Rule

Unless one of the conditions of Official Rule 5.04(b)(4)(A) (formerly 6.02d) applies, the plate umpire shall require the batter to keep one foot in the batter’s box at all times. For a batter’s first violation, the umpire shall direct the batter to return to the box in a manner depicted above and issue the batter a warning. For a second or subsequent violation by the same batter, the umpire shall declare an automatic strike.

Please stay tuned for a separate post regarding the new rule regarding slides on double play attempts.