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Discussion: Batter pops up, doesn't run; defense lets ball drop to get a double play. Legal?

Posted Discussion
July 20, 2020
jgoff5113
Men's 60
47 posts
Batter pops up, doesn't run; defense lets ball drop to get a double play. Legal?
Situation: Runner on 1st with less than 2 out. Batter pops up in the infield, doesn't run because he's disgusted with his poor swing and assumes the ball is going to be caught. Defense notices batter isn't running and 2nd baseman deliberately lets the ball drop in front of him, then picks it up and throws to 2nd, then SS throws to 1st for a double play. Was it legal for the 2nd baseman to deliberately let the ball drop? I know there is a rule against deliberately dropping a line drive in order to get a double play, but in this case, it's really the batter's "bad" that he didn't run to 1st. Is this a legit double play? If not, what is the penalty for letting the ball drop?
July 20, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 60
283 posts
some years ago same thing happened in a game that I was playing, I told our second baseman to let the ball drop, he step back and turned 2. Was informed by tournament director after appealing to him that senior softball rules that is not a double play, runner returns to first and batter is out, the reason is it was a deliberate on the part of the defense.

July 20, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3338 posts
Correct call ... See Rulebook page 7

1.37 INTENTIONALLY DROPPED FLY BALL>
If a fielder intentionally drops, or lets drop, a fair fly ball, including a line drive, that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort with first base only, or first base and any other base(s), with less than two outs, only one recorded out may be made on the play and the ball is dead. This is an umpire's judgment call.

July 20, 2020
lb16
Men's 50
163 posts
grayhitter59 - Is there a rule listing for this in senior softball? It is the batters responsibility to run out the play. If he doesn't there is no reason to punish defense. This is a legal play as long as fielder doesn't touch ball in the process and just lets it land.
July 20, 2020
jgoff5113
Men's 60
47 posts
Thank-you Dave, for citing the rule from the book. No double play.
July 20, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3338 posts
You're welcome jgoff5113 ...

lb16 ... I tend to agree with your thinking about the batter-runner being the (sole?) cause of this circumstance ... The rule is there to protect the defense from getting the cheap DP, sort of like an "Infield Fly Rule Lite" ... A seasoned and wise umpire could, in my view, come to the "judgment" (not subject to appeal) that no matter how incredulous, the defender didn't let it drop "intentionally", therefore the DP stands ... Of course, that's a tough sell if a couple other infielders are screaming "LET IT DROP" in Stereo at the same time! ...

July 20, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 60
283 posts
I once asked that a rule be instated that the batter/runner must make an attempt to run down the line. was over ruled.

In our game the batter was half way to the 3rd base dugout, I stated that to the ump and TD and was still over ruled.

In the regular softball a double play would have been called.
July 20, 2020
Benji4
244 posts
There are other ways to still complete the double play.

1. Never yell drop it. Simply tell the fielder the runner isn't running.
2. Always blame the sun and old age.
3. Argue that the play would not have occurred had the batter at least jogged to first base.
4. Hope you have an umpire who doesn't reward the lazy batter.

Moral of the story. No matter how bad your swing was or how pissed off you are, simply jog to first base until the fielder catches the ball.
July 20, 2020
OZ40
541 posts
Good points Benji, There shouldn't be any rule that says a fielder must catch a ball rather than play it on the hop..... If the defense picks up on a batter/runner not, well, running, then more power to them. The rule book shouldn't compel a catch just the same as it wouldn't compel someone to hit a homerun. Offense/Defense. Kind of like a 'I think I play this ball on the hop (my choice) or I think I'll try for a single instead of a homerun' (my choice) scenario.
July 20, 2020
Benji4
244 posts
Here is the problem when an umpire says you should have caught the ball and doesn't award a double play.

The next time a guy on my team attempts to catch a fly ball and drops it or it hits off his glove, I would argue with the umpire that my teammate meant to catch the ball so therefore it should be an out. After all the
umpire already made a ruling that another ball should have been caught. No difference.

I would then argue every dropped fly ball saying the player meant to catch it so it should be a catch. The umpire then looks stupid and gets frustrated. When all the umpire had to say was, "if the batter would have ran then the fielder would not have let the ball drop." I have never seen a fielder let a ball drop when the batter ran.

The senior rule should be changed because it just makes another judgement call by umpires that doesn't need to be made. The batter just needs to run/jog and the fielder will never let a ball drop.

July 20, 2020
TimMcElroy
769 posts
Growing up, my mother always told me that two wrongs don't make a right. In the spirit of competition, the batter should run it out. The fielder should also catch the balls that they are supposed to.

You guys are too much. Intentionally dropping a ball is at least as disrespectful to the game as a batter runner not hustling.

Let me throw a scenario out-
Suppose the batter wrenches his already ailing knee on the swing and falls to the ground. As the umpire, are you allowing the defender to intentionally drop that pop-up and turn a double play?
July 20, 2020
Benji4
244 posts
Tim

Normally I would argue with you, however, SSUSA has recently deleted a few of my posts so I will refrain. Playing to win is not disrespectful to the game of softball. Letting a ball drop is not disrespectful to the game. I will assume you don't play at the highest level and you probably don't have many championships to your name. Next you will tell me in the spirit of competition I should never throw home when a runner doesn't run hard. I am trying to help my team get into the dugout as quickly as we can to hit.

Losing is never fun.

If you want in the spirit of competition you should try golf and maybe jacks/hopscotch on the sidewalk.

Good luck to you this season.

Benji
July 20, 2020
TimMcElroy
769 posts
Funny you bring golf into the conversation- Being a big time player with a true understanding of what winning is, maybe you can help little ol' me with this conundrum.

I flushed a 3 wood to 9 feet earlier today on #6 at Maple Run then rolled in the eagle putt. Since I wasn't playing from the championship tees (where the real competitive guys play) how should I have marked my scorecard?

Here's my point- Senior Softball, like golf, offers just one rule book. Major Plus plays from the same rule book that rest of us non-champions do.

Good luck to you as well. Hope to catch up with you in Vegas or someplace that the virus isn't. Tim

July 21, 2020
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Instead of using the words drops the ball, usin guided the ball to ground would be more prudent.

Batter doesn't run, that's on them.
July 21, 2020
DCPete
396 posts
Maybe right next to the "Runner has to run rule" you can add the "Pitcher must throw strikes rule" since the superstars don't come to the plate to take a walk . . .
July 21, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 60
283 posts
Tim, if you remember this actually occurred in Naples several years ago you where the TD and I was on the end of this discussion.
I still say the batter has to at least make an effort to move down the line, if he does not, he gives himself up to a DP.

Not the defense fault if you can't or won't run.

That's the same as getting thrown out on a hit to right field and not having enough speed to get there. Is it right for the out fielder to throw you out (in the spirit of gamesmanship) probably not, but will we do it. In a second (absolutely)

My views as a competitor, get all the outs you can.

Take Care see you soon, Manny
July 21, 2020
stever
Men's 70
99 posts
Don't know what the discussion is about. Dave quoted you the rule.
July 21, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3338 posts
stever ... There's a popular game here we refer to internally as "what-if-ism" ... Most every definitive ruling to a narrowly defined specific factual circumstance seems to be subject to a "Well, what if...." modification scenario to nudge it toward the edge of the cliff that yields a different ruling! ... It's been going on here for years and generally is amusing, and occasionally annoying! ... We really need for more games being played and less down-time! ... Stay safe, everyone ...

July 22, 2020
alank
4 posts
Dave. Following up on the rule, if the defense thinks they've turned the DP, and the umpire rules only one out, which runner is assigned first base?
The batter who is halfway to the dugout and never went near the bag? or the runner who had originally occupied the bag?
July 22, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 60
283 posts
The Batter is out. Period

Stever, my post with Tim was not meant to change the ruling and Dave "no what if's" just an observation. If the defense is smart and the runner is dumb why not take advantage of that. In baseball there is no such rule, in the young guy softball there is no such rule, so what senior softball is saying this rule only exist because we are Old.LMAO!
July 22, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3338 posts
alank ... As always, I'm going to give you the honest answer ... Having NEVER seen this play live in almost 20 years as an on-site T.D., I HAVE NO CLUE WHETHER THE [1] BASE RUNNER OR [2] THE BATTER-RUNNER IS RETIRED ... Anmyone else care to chime in? ... Thanks!
July 22, 2020
stick8
1876 posts
This happened to myself a couple weeks ago.
Im batting. Bases loaded, no outs.
Full count-no foul to waste.
I note the shortstop moved toward the middle leaving a huge 6-5 hole.
I get overanxious and Qed a soft line drive toward short.
Shortstop puts his glove up to catch it and at the last second puts his glove under the ball.
The ball hits his wrist and chest and carroms away from him.
He retrieves the ball and while Im busting to first he throws to third for one out and then to second for an apparent double play.
Runner at third scores and Im safe first
After about a 15 minute argument it was ruled a double play.
Was this the correct call?





July 22, 2020
txnighttrain
104 posts
It is always an umpire judgment call. Making an argument about sun in eyes is not relevant. I umpire. I know the position of the sun and have seen enough level of play to know players abilities. Yes, there might be a great actor that can fool the umpire, but 99% of the time, the umpire is not fooled and will get it right. With only one umpire it is unlikely a call will be changed unless it involves a rule issue.
July 22, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3338 posts
txnighttrain ... I'll try to make this short, but it remains hilarious to me many years later ... Sun in the batters' eyes game in Phoenix in mid-afternoon ... Team "A" can't hit worth a lick and Team "B" is having no problem at all ... Team "A" Manager and one particularly loud player (every team has "that guy") complain incessantly for about 7 innings over the "unfairness of it all" ... I tell them both numerous times that the Sun field was the same for both ... Manager "A" tries to protest ... I ask him "On what grounds?" ... He starts the "Sun field inequity" and I stop him there, but I'm still curious what his logic might be ... Here's his answer: "Well, they're from New Mexico and they're used to playing in Sun like that ... We're from Portland and we NEVER see the Sun, so it's unfair!" ... The protest was denied ...

July 22, 2020
Benji4
244 posts
txnightrain

I also umpire and always side with the defense if the runner doesn't run. I simply tell the offensive team if your runner would have ran there would have only been one out. Like you said judgement call by the umpire who should never rule in favor of a person who doesn't run or at least jog to first base.

Line drives are a different story than pop ups.
July 24, 2020
John Mc
2 posts
As an umpire, I always side with the rule book.
July 24, 2020
Benji4
244 posts
John Mc

Send me your rule book please. Mine doesn't have a section for judgement calls that yours does.

Thanks
July 25, 2020
B.J.
853 posts
I agree with John Mc ... I have umpired in many different associations and although I may not like some of there rules I follow them .. remember this is senior softball and many players struggle with running and need a runner after reaching 1st base so this rule would be needed for them..
July 25, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3338 posts
And there you go ... A very simple question answered completely and fully by the first two respondents in the thread ... Yet here we are, over 25 redundant (to the actual question asked) replies later, still staggering around like mumbling drunks and providing just about as much additional clarity as they would ... We REALLY need to start playing more softball again! ... That's hilarious! ...

July 25, 2020
B.J.
853 posts
Dave, if it wasn't for redundant answers you wouldn't have anything to monitor ...lol... stay safe
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