Thursday, August 20, 2009

A mystery at the Nat

I consider myself to be a fairly knowledgeable baseball guy, but during a recent Vancouver Canadians game there was a play that has me stumped. My stepdad - no doubt a more knowledgeable baseball guy than I am - was also there and he is also stumped.

The C's were fielding, the bases were loaded, and while I can't recall exactly what the count on the batter was, I know there were fewer than three balls. After a pitch on which the batter attempted to check his swing, the catcher wanted the lone base ump, standing near second base, to give his verdict on whether the batter swung or not. A few seconds passed as the catcher went from squatting to standing and I don't know if the home plate umpire ever appealed to the base ump. The home plate ump eventually called the base ump over and they had a brief chat before heading over to the C's dugout.

After another brief chat, the umpires walked back towards the field and motioned all the runners to advance a base. It's a balk then, right? Not so fast - in addition to the runners all advancing a base, the batter was awarded first base. So what was the ruling?

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