Yesterday's post contained three questions relating to baseball's rules.
How did you do? Here are the questions and the answers along with a brief explanation.
Question #1: With a man on first, the batter hits a grounder to second. The second-baseman fields the ball with his bare hand and, without transferring the ball to the glove, tags second base. He then throws wide to first base. The first-baseman gets the ball with his bare hand, then tags the runner with his glove (still holding the ball in his bare hand). What’s the call?
Answer: The runner at second is out, the runner at first is safe.
When tagging the base, the fielder only has to have control of the ball and be touching the bag. When tagging a runner, the fielder has to either tag him with the ball or the gloved hand with the ball in it.
Question #2: There’s a man on first with one out. The batter hits a grounder to first, but the runner freezes and doesn’t move off of first base. What does the first-baseman have to do to get a double-play?
Answer: Tag the runner, then touch the base. Specifically in that order.
Once the grounder is hit, first base belongs to the batter. But if the first-baseman touches the bag or tags the batter before getting the runner out, the runner can safely stay on first base. So he has to tag out the runner then get the batter out.
Question#3: True or false: A pitcher can get called for a balk when the bases are empty.
By definition, there must be a runner on base for there to be a balk. Generally, when a pitcher does something that would be a balk, but there are no runners, it is a "no call." If the pitch is not delivered, it's nothing. If the pitch is delivered, it's live and in play, unless it's an illegal pitch (and we'll leave what constitutes an illegal pitch for another time).
Thanks for playing. Now ...
Photo: Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, is the best baseball-only stadium in the world (in my totally biased opinion). It's just a short walk away from Babe Ruth's birthplace.