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Ask the Ump – Play 25

Play: Runner on third one out. batter hits ball to left field which is caught. Runner stays at third. Ball thrown in to third baseman. The Batter who is out continues to round first and pretend he is a runner drawing the throw from the third baseman who over throw’s scoring the runner from third. Totally deceiving the defense.

This was in a Recreational Local league setting. I did read the rule in 7.00 the runner. It doesn’t seem right that runners called out can still continue to advance to draw throws and plays so the other runners can advance???

Errant Throw or Runners Interference?

Ruling: In determining interference, umpires have discretion based on “an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, hinders, or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play.” – MLB Rule 2.00 (a)

Rule 7 provides only partial guidance in the play situation that you pose. MLB Rule 7 states that a runner continuing to advance after he has been put out “shall not by that act alone be considered as confusing, hindering, or impeding the fielders.” – MLB Rule 7.09 (e)

In the play you cite, interference occurs because the batter-runner commits an act that confuses a fielder attempting to make a play. The fielder’s overthrow out of play is action that occurs during a dead ball, because, as it further states at the end of MLB Rule 2.00, on any interference “the runner is out and the ball is dead.”

The dead ball prevents the runner at 3rd from advancing on the overthrow by the third baseman.

Sources: MLB Rule 2.00 (a) and MLB Rule 7.09 (e)

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