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Discussion: What is the Proper Ruling

Posted Discussion
June 30, 2016
amr-4-lc
47 posts
What is the Proper Ruling
In our Senior League last night we only had 9 guys for our DH. Our opponent was kind enough to lend us one of their players to catch the second game so we could play with 4 outfielders (although we knew he was technically not on our team). Don't get me wrong, we were thankful to them for helping us out. Given that, it would still be my impression that the player who was catching should still play with the intent to make any play at the plate that was necessary to hold up the fairness and integrity of the game. Fast forward to the bottom of the 7th inning: our opponent had bases loaded nobody out, down 3 runs. Next batter hits a groundball to our 3rd baseman, fields it cleanly steps on 3rd and throws home to complete the DP. This is where the problem began, the catcher was about 5 feet behind home plate and never made an attempt to catch the ball and force the runner out at home (easy DP as the runner on 3rd was only about halfway to the plate at the time of the throw). After much discussion the umpire nullified what we felt should have been a DP and not only that awarded the baserunner on 3rd home plate. So instead of having runners on first and second with 2 outs and us up 3 runs -- they had runners on first and second with 1 out and we were only up 2 runs. Did the umpire make the right call on this play? Seems we got penalized twice on this play by losing an out and also them being awarded an additional run. Any thoughts?
June 30, 2016
Bballer3
21 posts
First off....catcher is a tool for doing that. Second....it is only league and not a tourny so no big deal. 3rd - should have made your pickup tow the mound...would have kept the other team from shooting box! :)
July 1, 2016
Dancer
114 posts
In our league, the pitcher has to cover home in that situation. If your 3rd baseman was really thinking about it, he should have never trusted the other teams catcher and threw the ball to second or first.
July 1, 2016
k man
Men's 65
292 posts
Our 60+ league instituted a rule this year where the shorthanded team may request a player from the other team to catch for their team. The team may deny his request if they choose to do so.
(I don't know why they would, it's a rec league). The catcher bats with his original team, not the team he is catching for. The catcher may change from inning to inning and may not be involved in plays at the plate. So the shorthanded team must have one of the fielders cover the plate such as a pitcher or catcher. In other words catcher is only there to retrieve balls back to pitcher.
July 1, 2016
neck10
680 posts
league is league I let the other team play 12guy's (had one extra guy on bench)on the field Monday ,so they had 4 outfielder's a short fielder& a 5 man infield told my guy's to suck it up we had a great time & so did the other team!!!!!!!!!!!!!
July 1, 2016
stick8
1784 posts
amr-4-lc, as an umpire this may come across as harsh. Unless there is a league rule specifically stipulating teams may add a player or two from another or opposing team to make 10 players I would not have allowed that.
I fully understand the spirit, comradery, fairness, integrity and kindness of lending a player but there is far too much liability at stake in case someone gets injured and decides on a lawsuit.
July 1, 2016
voodoo sports
Men's 40
3 posts
here is my take.
We have a 40s league double header and often guys miss a night so it has been an unwritten rule to pick up. at some point all 6 teams have helped each other team out at least once.
The umpires allow this as we are limited. The rule stands though if the other team wants to protest they can and umpire will enforce the rule.

This never happens so its a blessing.

With the scenario you gave what would happen
in our league is simply TOUGH LUCK LESSON LEARNED. now there might be some words but otherwise its our fault for picking him up.

Asking the umpire to step in on an acceptable rule violation practice is silly.
July 1, 2016
Omar Khayyam
1329 posts
In our league we also allow a "visiting" catcher when one team is short-handed in order for them to play with a full complement in the infield and outfield. We also have the catcher bat for their own team, not the team they are helping. We have never had a controversy in years of this practice. Here are a few reasons why:

1. There is no assumption that the catcher is actually fully competent at that position! In fact, the catcher often changes inning to inning or even in the middle of an inning if their turn at bat comes up. I doubt this example was a deliberate attempt by the catcher to allow a run at home. He may have been watching instead of participating; he may lack swiftness of foot; he might have thought about tagging the runner instead of stepping on home; he may have been confused by unfamiliar voices yelling at him telling him what to do; he might have dropped the ball anyway (a more familiar scenario in our league); etc.

2. The great majority of outs are made by fielders other than the catcher, so this is a rare occurrence.

3. It is league play, not tournament! Have fun, keep in shape, enjoy the fellowship. Save complaints and bad feelings for tournaments.
July 1, 2016
Joncon
328 posts
Protocol/etiquette is what you are looking for.

I doubt that any sanctioning body allows the use of non roster players.

Logic dictates that a borrowed catcher shouldn't be asked to contribute to his own team's loss. He should only be asked to throw the ball back to the pitcher and the pitcher should cover home.

Your team was out of line. Bring ten guys or play with nine. Then you can complain :)
July 1, 2016
Dbax
Men's 60
1864 posts
You gotta be kidding me! Baller is right. The guy was a tool. If I was catching for a team that was short, I would try my hardest to beat my team. Very disappointing Joncon.
July 2, 2016
Joncon
328 posts
I don't know why you are disappointed in me Dave. I would also play my best if I were subbing.

I simply pointed out the standard and logical etiquette.

And you don't know the guy was a tool. You only heard one side of the story. Maybe he just had a senior moment.

Damn, Old guys are cranky up in here :)

If I asked for a sub from the other team, I wouldn't assume he would want to "make the play" and I wouldn't expect him to. I'm the one without a full team so I'm the one who needs to take care of business.
July 2, 2016
Dbax
Men's 60
1864 posts
Well, you are accusing the short handed team of being out of line.? Maybe you haven't heard the whole story. The entire point of the post is that the tool did it intentionally. There would be no discussion if it was a senior moment.
July 2, 2016
Bballer3
21 posts
I agree with you Dbax - if the guy never made an attempt and intentionally didn't try...then he is a tool, plain and simple. If the guy really had a "senior moment" or never caught before, and had a deer in the headlights moment, then I could understand. But if my team "lent" me to another team for a league game, I would exact revenge by trying extra hard just to piss them off and after the game have some fun in the parking lot breaking them off - especially if I had a really good game! :)
July 2, 2016
Dbax
Men's 60
1864 posts
Exactly!
July 2, 2016
Joncon
328 posts
The team was out of line for wasting everybody's time, arguing about a call that couldn't be made by any ump anywhere. It's another fine example of people blaming other's for their problems.

When the game starts, the loaner catcher is on YOUR team. You want the ump to somehow call and out on a play your team mate didn't make? Seriously? Why not give him a base hit every time he grounded/flew out.

The catcher being a tool has nothing, nada, zip to do with the ruling or the original post.

Softball is obviously loaded with tools. That's what makes the game comical and annoying at the same time. Kind of like this place :)
July 3, 2016
DCPete
380 posts
The Proper Ruling is that this is the worst thread of the month . . .
July 3, 2016
Joncon
328 posts
June or July?
July 3, 2016
DCPete
380 posts
Yes, both June & July and it's not that close . . .
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