And now for something completely different...

I like it when you find out someone's got somewhere before you.

It being a warm and lazy afternoon, I was watching the Blue Jays and ruminating upon the rules of baseball. Scenario: score is tied, bottom of the ninth. A speedy runner is on first base. The juiced up^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H skilled hitter takes a mighty swing and hits a ball to the wall in right field. The man in right field chases it in despair, knowing the speedy runner will surely score before he can get the ball to home plate.

Can our poor right fielder simply grab the ball and throw it into the stands, causing the play to be an automatic double, forcing the runner to take third base and no more, and saving the game for his team? Is there a provision against this in the rules?

Well, it being a very lazy afternoon, I took the trouble to look it up, and the answer is yes, there is such a provision:

7.05(g) "...When such wild throw is the first play by an infielder, the umpire, in awarding such bases, shall be governed by the position of the runners at the time the ball was pitched; in all other cases the umpire shall be governed by the position of the runners at the time the wild throw was made..."

That is, if an outfielder throws the ball out of play, the runners get two bases from whichever base they'd already reached by the time he threw it, not two bases from where they started the play. Unless our hapless right fielder is an extremely poor fielder and can't make an out at home plate on a runner who hasn't yet reached second base when he gets the ball, he cannot profit from throwing the ball away.

Well, back to the TV for me!


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