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Discussion: Should there have been a call

Posted Discussion
Dec. 18, 2020
Randall
33 posts
Should there have been a call
Yesterday, I was umpiring when there was a runner on first, the BR hit a ground ball to the left side, the 3rd baseman fielded the ball and threw to 2B for the force out. The runner beat the throw to 2B but kept running to 3B. The fielders were confused and out of position and the runner pulled into 3B safely. The defensive team felt that I should have a safe/out call at 2B, because they didnít know the verdict of the play. I responded that I did not call the runner out at 2B and I let the play continue. Was I incorrect? Thank you
Dec. 18, 2020
curveball
Men's 65
683 posts
I think you did just fine Randall.
Dec. 18, 2020
Dbax
Men's 65
1912 posts
I agree with the defense. They need to know the call. I would have made the safe call.
Dec. 18, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3164 posts
I'm on-board with the defense here, too ... I'm always a proponent of more, rather than less, information about a call ... With every safe call the umpire should give the safe sign and say loudly and clearly "SAFE" ... Do not call the runner safe unless there is an actual play on him ... If there is an actual play, like in your hypothetical, you should make the call ... When there is a play and the umpire doesn't make a call, it looks as if he wasn't watching the play.

Dec. 19, 2020
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
I'm trying to picture this is in my mind. If there was actually a play at 2B, a casual safe sign would suffice. Doesn't have to be that close.

If the runner had passed 2B significantly, and continued to 3B, no call would probably be necessary. F1 should have been covering 3B if F5 went far in the hole to his left.

Close calls. Sell them.
Dec. 19, 2020
Dbax
Men's 65
1912 posts
Wayne, what if it was a close play at second? The runner barely beats the throw and continues running. The defense needs to know what the call was. Great heads up play by the base runner.
Dec. 20, 2020
DieselDan
Men's 70
442 posts
Another vote for the D in this example. If it's somewhat of a close play, make the call. If there's an attempt at a double play and by the time the ball reaches 1st and the batter is ten feet past the bag, no signal is really needed if the batter touched the correct bag.
Dec. 21, 2020
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Here's one thing that needs to be taken into consideration. Once the runner is passed second, they need to be tagged if returning to the base. So, if the fielder is just standing on the bag with the ball, they're not actually making a play, unless the runner hasn't reached the base.

Not being there, probably a safe call was appropriate.
Dec. 22, 2020
curveball
Men's 65
683 posts
With single man mechanics for the umpire, a safe call somewhere around home plate area won't do a damn thing to help the "D" who are involved in a play at second and first. They can't look to home area while fielding and throwing. If you are saying more is better Dave, there HAS to be a verbal.
Wayne brought up a good point. How far past the bag does the runner have to be to consider it no play? Thereby no call from ump.
Dec. 22, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3164 posts
I thought that's what I typed: "..With every safe call the umpire should give the safe sign and say loudly and clearly "SAFE"... Merry Christmas, everybody!
Dec. 22, 2020
curveball
Men's 65
683 posts
You did. But the physical sign doesn't do a thing Dave if it's 60 feet away. Making the point that the verbal is the key to the play.
But to Wayne's point Dave, on where the runner is, we don't really know by Randall's description where the runner actually was.
Merry Christmas to you sir and your family.
Dec. 22, 2020
STL0
Men's 55
206 posts
I'm just jealous that someone is playing softball right now. Who cares about the call?

My only comment on the play is that I appreciate Randall looking for feedback. That means you care and are trying just like the players are. I'll take an ump like you on my field all day long. Have a great holiday everyone!
Dec. 22, 2020
B.J.
790 posts
curveball.. if an umpire is working a 1 man system the umpire should not be near home plate unless there is a possible play at home... the proper mechanic is as soon as the ball is hit and the batter leaves the batters box the umpire should quickly walk out toward the pitching rubber area and be about 15/20 feet from HP and yes the umpire should always give both a verbal and a hand/arm signal on every play except a on a fair ball down the line and a ball call on a pitched ball
Dec. 22, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3164 posts
Thanks, B.J. ... I thought I said essentially that "..give both a verbal and a hand/arm signal.." (twice so far!) ... Ha!
Dec. 22, 2020
stick8
1832 posts
Randall from your description it appears to have been a bang-bang play at second. Based on the play my answer to your question is unless you called time, the play continues. Since the defense was confused that does not negate that runners right to try and get to third base. Iíve never heard of a rule that says if the defense is confused by a call or argues a call the play ceases to be live and is automatically dead.
Not saying you did or didnít on this play but on a close play at a base always verbalize the call in addition to giving the proper signal. As Wayne correctly pointed out, sell the call.
Dec. 23, 2020
curveball
Men's 65
683 posts

Dave said: . I thought I said essentially that "..give both a verbal and a hand/arm signal.." (twice so far!) ... Ha! GOT IT, AGAIN!

BJ said: "umpire should"

stick8 said: "appears to"

The way Randall described the situation, the runner had passed 2nd base. I still contend it matters how far past for any call to be made. Also, like said in post above, physical sign 60' away doesn't help those involved in the play. (BJ, IF the ump is good, and does come out 15' or so, he's still 60' or so from 2nd as I stated above)
I once again contend a physical sign from that location does nothing, and like Dave pointed out above, a verbal sign should be given. Our back and forth on this is an unclear picture of where the runner is; if past the bag and headed to third, no call because if past the bag there is no play.
At some point or if the runner is a certain distance past 2nd, common sense will prevail and there should be no call. Dave, how far past 2nd do you think that would be?




Dec. 23, 2020
stick8
1832 posts
Curveball if thereís a play at a base umpires are to make a call, especially a close play. In how Randall described the play the runner beat the throw to second so I would verbally call the runner safe. It said runner runs past or slides past second or third he is subject to being tagged out. It doesnít matter how far off the bag the runner goes. If the defense tags him out Iíll call him out.
Dec. 23, 2020
curveball
Men's 65
683 posts
Runner is 2 steps past 2nd when ball arrives at 2nd, and he is headed to 3rd because 3rd baseman is out of position, wouldn't appear to be a call at all.
Contention is it depends on where the runner is when ball is thrown to 2nd.
Dec. 23, 2020
stick8
1832 posts
Ok, I still call the runner safe at second because he beat the throw! It may not be verbal if heís two steps past the bag but I still make the call.
Dec. 23, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3164 posts
curveball ... There's no way of knowing from the initial (and only) facts stated by Randall how far beyond the 2B bag the R1 was: "..The runner beat the throw to 2B but kept running to 3B.." ... Everything else in the form of introducing additional facts to the hypothetical is pure speculation ... However, I still stand on the preference to make a call because of something else Randall typed about the defense: "..because they didnít know the verdict of the play.." ... Making the call seems to be a major issue for you ... I'm curious why? ...

Dec. 23, 2020
curveball
Men's 65
683 posts
I don't have it on my ledger as a major issue whatsoever. Closer to I could care less, but interested in the "woulda, coulda, and shoulda's" and how to make our game better.
Safe Christmas and New Years to all.
Dec. 23, 2020
Dbax
Men's 65
1912 posts
Wow.
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