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Steal of first base?
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OptimisticOwl Offline
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Post: #1
Steal of first base?
07-14-2019 08:18 AM
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georgewebb Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 08:18 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/atla...li=BBnb7Kz

I like it! I suggested thi decades ago.
Buts it’s not a steal — it’s a passed ball or wild pitch.
07-14-2019 08:48 AM
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franklyconfused Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 08:48 AM)georgewebb Wrote:  
(07-14-2019 08:18 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/atla...li=BBnb7Kz

I like it! I suggested thi decades ago.
Buts it’s not a steal — it’s a passed ball or wild pitch.

Cricket has more-or-less the same concept. I think it makes more sense to let the teams treat the batters box as a safe space, like the bases, and allow them to advance to first whenever they want to try (outside of timeouts). This practically gets there, but it doesn't allow the batter-runner to make the dangerous decision to take off for first with the pitcher on the mound.

The scorer marked it as a fielders choice "because of the ability for the catcher to make to make a throw," but I don't see where he thought the catcher had a chance to do that. The field has a deep backstop and the ball didn't bounce much back towards home. The batter-runner was maybe three steps from first by the time the catcher got to the ball. It's not a hit or a walk, but the catcher definitely didn't have a chance to make an out. I tried comparing this to MLB scoring (since that book is easy to find). It's close to 9.12(f)2 scoring a fielder's choice if the batter-runner is put out on a passed ball strike three and other runners advance, but that rule specifically says the FC is to explain the other runner's advance. The closest other explanation I can get is that he meant this is a case of defensive indifference, which is an FC, but again, that implies that the catcher had an opportunity to record the out and chose not to. That's not the case.
07-14-2019 12:32 PM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #4
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 12:32 PM)franklyconfused Wrote:  
(07-14-2019 08:48 AM)georgewebb Wrote:  
(07-14-2019 08:18 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/atla...li=BBnb7Kz
I like it! I suggested thi decades ago.
Buts it’s not a steal — it’s a passed ball or wild pitch.
Cricket has more-or-less the same concept.

I thought of cricket when I first heard this.

As for scoring, I would expect a new category if this catches on.

I guess I don't see what need this fills.
07-14-2019 01:02 PM
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Tomball Owl Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 08:48 AM)georgewebb Wrote:  
(07-14-2019 08:18 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/atla...li=BBnb7Kz

I like it! I suggested thi decades ago.
Buts it’s not a steal — it’s a passed ball or wild pitch.

It's more than a passed ball or wild pitch. You could have one of those without the "steal of first base". For example, runner on 2nd advances to 3rd on a PB/WP, but as the ball bounces toward 1B, the batter, a slow footed runner like myself, elects not to try to "steal first base". However, I do think a better term than "steal of first base" will be needed if this catches on.

So I guess the batter could get in a rundown between home and 1B potentially allowing other runners to advance during the rundown? Not sure how frequently this tactic would be used at the MLB level, but I can sure see it being a weapon at lower levels with less skilled defenses.
07-14-2019 01:23 PM
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Hambone10 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 01:23 PM)Tomball Owl Wrote:  So I guess the batter could get in a rundown between home and 1B potentially allowing other runners to advance during the rundown? Not sure how frequently this tactic would be used at the MLB level, but I can sure see it being a weapon at lower levels with less skilled defenses.

Why wouldn't you just tag first rather than try and tag the runner?
07-14-2019 01:39 PM
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Tomball Owl Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 01:39 PM)Hambone10 Wrote:  
(07-14-2019 01:23 PM)Tomball Owl Wrote:  So I guess the batter could get in a rundown between home and 1B potentially allowing other runners to advance during the rundown? Not sure how frequently this tactic would be used at the MLB level, but I can sure see it being a weapon at lower levels with less skilled defenses.

Why wouldn't you just tag first rather than try and tag the runner?

Not a force if the batter can go back to the batter’s box. I saw nothing that said he had to take first on a PB/WP. Devil is in the detail, but it sounds like a complication the game doesn’t need, IMO.
07-14-2019 01:45 PM
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Frizzy Owl Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 01:45 PM)Tomball Owl Wrote:  
(07-14-2019 01:39 PM)Hambone10 Wrote:  
(07-14-2019 01:23 PM)Tomball Owl Wrote:  So I guess the batter could get in a rundown between home and 1B potentially allowing other runners to advance during the rundown? Not sure how frequently this tactic would be used at the MLB level, but I can sure see it being a weapon at lower levels with less skilled defenses.

Why wouldn't you just tag first rather than try and tag the runner?

Not a force if the batter can go back to the batter’s box. I saw nothing that said he had to take first on a PB/WP. Devil is in the detail, but it sounds like a complication the game doesn’t need, IMO.

I don't see how it could be a force situation. The batter would have to be obligated to remain in the batter's box during and after the pitch for that to be the case.
07-14-2019 02:27 PM
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georgewebb Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 01:23 PM)Tomball Owl Wrote:  
(07-14-2019 08:48 AM)georgewebb Wrote:  
(07-14-2019 08:18 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/atla...li=BBnb7Kz

I like it! I suggested thi decades ago.
Buts it’s not a steal — it’s a passed ball or wild pitch.

It's more than a passed ball or wild pitch. You could have one of those without the "steal of first base". For example, runner on 2nd advances to 3rd on a PB/WP, but as the ball bounces toward 1B, the batter, a slow footed runner like myself, elects not to try to "steal first base". However, I do think a better term than "steal of first base" will be needed if this catches on.

But any time you have multiple baserunners, you could have a wild pitch or passed ball in which only one of the runners advances. You don't need a separate term for that.
07-14-2019 02:52 PM
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georgewebb Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 12:32 PM)franklyconfused Wrote:  
(07-14-2019 08:48 AM)georgewebb Wrote:  
(07-14-2019 08:18 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/atla...li=BBnb7Kz

I like it! I suggested thi decades ago.
Buts it’s not a steal — it’s a passed ball or wild pitch.

Cricket has more-or-less the same concept. I think it makes more sense to let the teams treat the batters box as a safe space, like the bases, and allow them to advance to first whenever they want to try (outside of timeouts). This practically gets there, but it doesn't allow the batter-runner to make the dangerous decision to take off for first with the pitcher on the mound.

The scorer marked it as a fielders choice "because of the ability for the catcher to make to make a throw," but I don't see where he thought the catcher had a chance to do that. The field has a deep backstop and the ball didn't bounce much back towards home. The batter-runner was maybe three steps from first by the time the catcher got to the ball. It's not a hit or a walk, but the catcher definitely didn't have a chance to make an out. I tried comparing this to MLB scoring (since that book is easy to find). It's close to 9.12(f)2 scoring a fielder's choice if the batter-runner is put out on a passed ball strike three and other runners advance, but that rule specifically says the FC is to explain the other runner's advance. The closest other explanation I can get is that he meant this is a case of defensive indifference, which is an FC, but again, that implies that the catcher had an opportunity to record the out and chose not to. That's not the case.

I share your confusion about the scoring. The batter-runner advanced entirely because the catcher failed to catch the pitch. That's either a wild pitch or a passed ball. Why are they making it more complicated?
07-14-2019 02:55 PM
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franklyconfused Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 01:02 PM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  I guess I don't see what need this fills.

It builds excitement in an otherwise dull moment. That batter was the first up in the bottom of the sixth. The pitcher was taking his sweet time with a full windup, and empty bases mean there's not much chance of an immediate score. With no runners on and an 0-1 count, a wild pitch is normally no more interesting than a called ball. Under this new rule, the WP is a chance for the batter to advance as much as a base hit.
07-14-2019 04:17 PM
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Post: #12
RE: Steal of first base?
I misunderstood the rule... thanks
07-14-2019 04:55 PM
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tanqtonic Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Steal of first base?
Assume the batter gets caught in a rundown between first and home.

It is obvious that if he 'touches first' he cannot be tagged.

Would the other 'safe spot' be home plate?

The other question is: when does the batter become exposed to a tag out? If he leaves the batter box?

I think the catcher could really use this to their advantage. Wild pitch to the backstop, batter steps out of the box and starts fidgeting with his cup; catcher ambles over with the ball and tags him. Out? Version of the hidden ball trick I guess.

Or how about this: wild pitch, batter doesnt think really well, freezes up, takes a half, hesitating step towards first, then scratches his head and returns to the batter's box.

Sorry there is seemingly going to be a huge amount of determination of subjective intent as to when the 'ball goes live' with respect to the batter in this scenario to be practicable. There should be a clear line when the batter is subject to be put out, and when he hasn't 'triggered' it yet. I cant see where an objective line can be drawn here.
(This post was last modified: 07-14-2019 05:31 PM by tanqtonic.)
07-14-2019 05:30 PM
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RE: Steal of first base?
No link provided in the news release to the rule details for the 4 additional experimental rules they've added in the Atlantic League for the second half of the season, but it does list the 4 new ones, as well as the experimental rules they've been using all season.

http://www.atlanticleague.com/about/news...le_id=1237

It feels like, with how the rule is described, that there will be no backsies once you start running to first, unlike a traditional steal could. But then I found this article, where the reporter appears to have had access to the updated rulebook. There are interesting real-life discussions on interpreting 2 of the rules (stealing first, checked swings). So maybe not a force if first base is open.

https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/sp.../39656689/

Still searching for that updated rulebook.
07-14-2019 05:49 PM
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franklyconfused Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 05:30 PM)tanqtonic Wrote:  Assume the batter gets caught in a rundown between first and home.

It is obvious that if he 'touches first' he cannot be tagged.

Would the other 'safe spot' be home plate?

The other question is: when does the batter become exposed to a tag out? If he leaves the batter box?

I think the catcher could really use this to their advantage. Wild pitch to the backstop, batter steps out of the box and starts fidgeting with his cup; catcher ambles over with the ball and tags him. Out? Version of the hidden ball trick I guess.

Or how about this: wild pitch, batter doesnt think really well, freezes up, takes a half, hesitating step towards first, then scratches his head and returns to the batter's box.

Sorry there is seemingly going to be a huge amount of determination of subjective intent as to when the 'ball goes live' with respect to the batter in this scenario to be practicable. There should be a clear line when the batter is subject to be put out, and when he hasn't 'triggered' it yet. I cant see where an objective line can be drawn here.

I wish they would publish the actual text of this rule. The most I could find is the official press release which only says "Batters may 'steal' first base on any pitch not caught in flight (the batter can be thrown out if he attempts to run)." Their full rulebook doesn't include these mid-season experiments.

That said, these are answerable questions with proper rulemaking. One solution (to take another cue from cricket): If any part of the batter is in the box(es, since left handed batters are closer to first), he's safe (allows for a rundown). Another would be that if the batter leaves the boxes towards first, he forfeits the opportunity to return safely to bat (force out opportunity). Maybe the batter could override this by indicating to the umpire that he wants a TO for himself before leaving the box. Finally, we can also say that a step towards the third base side is never an attempt to advance the same way that the batter-runner going past first is judged on whether they turned towards second base or to foul territory.

So, to flesh out your first scenario: Did the batter step fully beyond the left handed box towards first (not backwards but turning towards first)? Did he not indicate to the ump that he wants time? If yes to both questions, then out. If no to either, then safe. In the second scenario, assuming he went completely past the batters boxes, does the rule allow him to return to home and continue batting, or does it require him to commit to advancing? If the former, safe; if the latter, out. You don't need to divine intention with sufficiently clear rules.
07-14-2019 06:05 PM
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tanqtonic Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Steal of first base?
Quote:The batter shall be deemed to have chosen to become a
runner under this rule if (i) both of the batter’s feet leave the batter’s box,
and (ii) the batter, in the umpire’s judgment, demonstrates or otherwise
creates an impression of his intent to advance to first base.

So one is objective, and the other subjective to determine if he attempts.

Looks like batters better not step out of the batter box *at all* in the case of a wild pitch. Would love to see an astute catcher retrieve the ball and tag out the guy who steps completely out of the box and checks his cup after a WP.

Another situation happens on a WP I just thought about. Say a runner is on second and a WP. Almost *all* of the time as the catcher races to grab the pitch, the runner at least 'jumps around wildly' or goes like a banshee. At the same time the batters almost always race *out* of the batter's box so they cannot be called for interfering with any throw from the catcher.

A smart catcher will pump the ball to chase the runner back, then amble over and tag the batter who has jumped away from the box to steer clear of interfering. Or, simply hold the ball threatening to throw and walk over and tag the guy who has correctly jumped out of the batters box to stay out of an interference issue.

Seems like a smart catcher can really cause the umpires some headaches with this rule. The rule is clear, the batter takes both feet out of the box, he is deemed to have an intent to steal first. Kind of hard to argue the crystal clear language there.

If I were a manager I would tell my catchers to tag every batter after every wild pitch in light of the first portion of the rule.
(This post was last modified: 07-14-2019 06:15 PM by tanqtonic.)
07-14-2019 06:12 PM
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tanqtonic Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Steal of first base?
Reading the Atlantic League site and the MSN recitation, those cannot the the rules.

Quote:Any pitch on any count not caught in flight will be considered a live ball, and a batter may run to first base, similar to a dropped third strike.

This means a wild pitch on any 3-x count, the batter can be tagged before taking first, to which he is entitled as the 4th ball. The rule *cannot* be 'on any count' since that would directly conflict with the 4th ball 'opening' up first base for the batter.

Edited to add:

The NJ article probably recites the rule. "The catcher fails to catch any pitch and the batter immediately chooses to
become a runner." In the case of a ball 4, the batter going to first is never deemed to be a runner.

This source also has the 'two feet leave the batter's box' objective rule.

I guess with this rule the batter cant become a 'home base coach' on a WP in which the runner comes home. He actually *has* to stay in the batter's box. That could be a lot of fun there......

WP to the backstop, runner on third charging home ---- right handed batter moves to the 1st base side of home plate to be a 'home plate' coach to tell the batter whether to slide or not. Pitcher covers, gets the throw from the catcher, and proceeds to tag the batter out. Lolz.

This is a terrible rule.
(This post was last modified: 07-14-2019 06:31 PM by tanqtonic.)
07-14-2019 06:23 PM
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Frizzy Owl Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Steal of first base?
If the batter actually has to keep both feet in the batter's box then more batters will be getting hit by pitches.

Sounds like right-handed batters are at a disadvantage. They have to step toward third to avoid a wildly inside pitch, so they start their run to 1st farther away than a left handed batter.
07-14-2019 06:41 PM
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Post: #19
RE: Steal of first base?
(07-14-2019 06:23 PM)tanqtonic Wrote:  Reading the Atlantic League site and the MSN recitation, those cannot the the rules.

Quote:Any pitch on any count not caught in flight will be considered a live ball, and a batter may run to first base, similar to a dropped third strike.

This means a wild pitch on any 3-x count, the batter can be tagged before taking first, to which he is entitled as the 4th ball. The rule *cannot* be 'on any count' since that would directly conflict with the 4th ball 'opening' up first base for the batter.

Edited to add:

The NJ article probably recites the rule. "The catcher fails to catch any pitch and the batter immediately chooses to
become a runner." In the case of a ball 4, the batter going to first is never deemed to be a runner.

This source also has the 'two feet leave the batter's box' objective rule.

I guess with this rule the batter cant become a 'home base coach' on a WP in which the runner comes home. He actually *has* to stay in the batter's box. That could be a lot of fun there......

WP to the backstop, runner on third charging home ---- right handed batter moves to the 1st base side of home plate to be a 'home plate' coach to tell the batter whether to slide or not. Pitcher covers, gets the throw from the catcher, and proceeds to tag the batter out. Lolz.

This is a terrible rule.
You are correct- this is a terrible rule.
07-14-2019 09:25 PM
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Post: #20
Steal of first base?
Um, tank, you can’t be tagged out unless you try to run to first.
07-14-2019 11:53 PM
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