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Discussion: STAFF Question on the Tie Breaker Rule

Posted Discussion
Oct. 10, 2013
390 posts
STAFF Question on the Tie Breaker Rule
Question....I know with the tie breaker rule the last batter takes 2nd base and cannot have a courtesy runner or a substitute until he reaches 3rd. What if when the home team takes the field they get 2 quick outs and now the manager wants to put in a defensive substitute for the 3rd out...The player he subs for was the last batter...after they get the 3rd out the substitute now becomes the runner at 2nd. Correct? Would this be a legal way of getting a faster runner at 2nd? Thx for your help
Oct. 10, 2013
2514 posts
INCORRECT In the hypothetical scenario you propose, your substitute was a defensive substitution only and did not bat. The correct tie-breaker runner will be the player who did bat, pursuant to Rulebook 5.4(2) at page 27.

If the actual last batter batter was already a substitute, he may not re-enter and, accordingly, there will be an out declared and the next-previous batter will be the tie-breaker runner. If the actual batter was a starter, and has not already exercised his right of one re-entry, he will be required re-enter and be the tie-breaker runner. If he has already exercised his right of one re-entry and was replaced for the second time, he is prevented from a second re-entry, an out will be declared and the next previous batter will be the tie-breaker runner.

The intent of the International Tie-breaker Rule is to prevent precisely the type of activity your scenario contemplates: to circumvent the spirit of the rule to get a theoretically faster runner inserted as the tie-breaker runner at the top of the ensuing inning.

Oct. 10, 2013
255 posts

This exact scenario has been kicked around at SSUSA UIC training meetings.

It was ultimately decided that allowing a 7th inning defensive substitute to enter the game so that he/she became the "batter of record" in the 8th inning circumvents the intent of the rule.

A substitute would be allowed to enter the game and play defense, but the actual batter (from the prior inning) would need to take 2nd base under the ITB rule.

Oct. 10, 2013
2514 posts
The error in the hypothetical stated is the faulty assumption that the batting order position becomes the tie-breaker runner, and that is not the case. The tie-breaker runner rule is batter-specific.
Oct. 11, 2013
Men's 60
156 posts
if the situation is: pinch hit for starter, who became last out;.. 2 outs, no one on base, score tied, bottom of open inning, batter that wears braces and can barely run-- coach pinch hits with a hitter that might hit a homerun but he flies out- does the batter have to run? I might use a speed guy to pinch hit. this was a very real scenario, used @ TOC in the past.
Oct. 13, 2013
390 posts
Thx for the quick response and thorough explanation
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