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There is No Crying in Baseball

Most of our blog posts are about relevant legal topics.  However, most of the lawyers at our office are also avid sports fans.  If you’re following baseball this fall, you might know that our own Cleveland Indians have advanced to the American League Championship Series.  Given our firm’s passion for the law, and love of sports, you can imagine that the particulars of the rules are fun for us to discuss.  In honor of the playoff run by Cleveland, please enjoy the following obscure baseball rules and scenarios:

(1)   The Ground Rule Triple – Almost all baseball fans have observed the “ground rule double”.  This occurs when the ball bounces in the field of play, and then over the fence and out of play.  However, in baseball, a “ground rule triple” can also occur.  When a player removes his cap and attempts to stop or alter the path of a batted baseball, this results in three bases being awarded to the batter.  MLB Rule 7.05b.

(2)    If you’re not first, you’re last – Occasionally, a baserunner is slower than the baserunner running behind him, or because one baserunner is forced to tag up, the two baserunners are very close on the base paths.  What happens if a baserunner passes the runner in front of him?  The baserunner who has been passed is out.  This actually happened in the past few years in Giants and Dodgers game.

(3)   Delay Of Game – “When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball.  Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call “ball”.  MLB Rule 8.04.

(4)   Party at First Base – Players, while in uniform are not supposed to chat or fraternize with the opposing team.  Obviously, this isn’t one that is enforced in modern baseball.  MLB Rule 3.09.

(5)   Where’s the Ball?  – What happens if the ball becomes lodged in the umpire’s mask or catcher’s mask?  “If a pitched ball lodges in the umpire’s or catcher’s mask or paraphernalia, all runner advance one base and remains out of play, on the third strike or fourth ball, then the batter is entitled to first base and all runners advance one base.  If the count on the batter is less than three balls, runners advance one base.”  MLB Rule 5.09.

(6)  If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball – Imagine a scenario where a runner attempts to steal home.  On the way to home, the pitch intended for the batter, strikes the runner.  What happens?  All runners advance one base.  MLB Rule 5.09h.

(7)   Infield Fly Rule – Savvy baseball fans know about the infield fly rule.  But did you know that it doesn’t apply to bunts?  No matter how high they are hit

(8)   Declined Penalty – Did you know that when a catcher’s mitt interferes with the bat of a hitter, the batter can be awarded first base?  However, the manager of the team can actually elect to decline the penalty and take the progress of the play, if the play was a better result.

 

Chad Stonebrook is an Associate at Lardiere McNair, LLC.  To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.

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