Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Baseball Quiz

Two out, last inning. Runner on second, tying run at the plate. Bouncer to third. Third-baseman has to charge, and his throw pulls the first-baseman off the bag…the batter is safe. Runner rounds third and stops two steps off the bag. He looks at the first-baseman, who holds the ball, standing a couple of steps in foul territory, in front of the bag. The batter on first is an aggressive baserunner, but he too stands and closely watches the first-baseman (as does the umpire). The pitcher is on the first-base side of the mound, watching as well. You’re the first baseman. What do you do?

The play definitely wasn’t over. The first-baseman just was standing there, frozen. The runner on first could’ve broken for second, and we sure didn’t need to throw it there.

Call time! (while running toward the lead runner). You want to move toward the runner to lessen the distance of any throw. Standing stationary holding the ball is generally not a good thing to do anywhere on the field. We already had made two ill-advised throws in the inning, four errors, and three unearned runs had scored. Just before this play the shortstop had thrown back to the pitcher while standing next to second base. The throw wasn’t close, and the chucky pitcher didn’t catch it, and it rolled into foul territory…allowing runners to advance.

The ball was still in play, the umpire hadn’t called time. You want the play to be over!

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