Jump to content
bpilktree

Blocking the plate.

Recommended Posts

Actually, that was the right call, and it was Merkel's fault. In fact, that occurrence actually helped clarify an important (and basic) rule that is enforced to this day.

Merkel was on first base with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning in a tie game, while his teammate was on 3rd base, as the potential winning run. Merkel never bothered touched second base with 2 outs on what was a force play. He simply assumed that because the ball was hit into the outfield for an apparent single, he need not touch 2nd base, and headed back to the dugout to celebrate the win with his teammates. By not touching base on a force play with two outs, Merkel did what was the equivalent of not touching home plate with the winning run. Johnny Evers noticed this ...... as did one of Merkel's teammates, who intercepted Art Hofman's throw to him, and heaved the ball into the stands. Evers asked the umpire for another ball, got it, and touched 2nd base.

Even more significantly, by not touching 2nd base on a force play with 2 outs, Merkel should have been immediately called out anyway for going out of the baseline when he headed toward the dugout ...... even before Evers retrieved the ball from the umpire, and touched 2nd base.

If the fans had stormed the field and prevented Merkel from touching 2nd base, that would have been a different story ...... but that's not what happened.

Again, that entire incident helped clarify a very basic rule, and (as far as I know), no major league player has made the same mistake that Merkel made to this day. On Robin Ventura's "grand slam single", he touched first base before being intercepted by his teammates between 1st and 2nd base, while all 3 of the other baserunners on the play touched their respective next bases (home plate, 3rd base, and 2nd base), which is why the winning run (the only one that mattered) counted, but not the other 3.

Yes, but the spirit and custom back then was that you didn't necessarily have to touch second. Also the ball that touched second, as you noted, wasn't even the ball in play. The fans were all over the field. Players were dodging fans, dragging the ump through the crowd to try to make a ruling. I think the appropriate response would have been to say "yes, Merkle should have touched second, and that's what we're going to enforce under normal conditions. But in this case, with the chaos on the field, with the fact that the ball was gone, and that this was a clean, run-scoring single to center and Merkle could very easily have touched second and would have done so if he thought there was even the slightest chance of the run not counting, we're going to let the run stand." Just like with the Brett incident, where by the letter of the law he should have been out. But instead common sense prevailed.

Edited by DrungoHazewood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In any case, if you don't like the rule fix it. We're not going back to the days of Bo obliterating Rick Dempsey, not with the knowledge we now have of head injuries and the threat of $billion lawsuits against organizations who think it's cool and sells highlight videos when their players get blown up.

But once again, it's a rule that goes against how baseball has been played it's entire existence in an effort to stop collisions, which maybe happened on 5% of plays at the plate, to avoid the one in a million chance that the catcher busts his face open or breaks his leg.

And yes I know I made up all of those numbers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But once again, it's a rule that goes against how baseball has been played it's entire existence in an effort to stop collisions, which maybe happened on 5% of plays at the plate, to avoid the one in a million chance that the catcher busts his face open or breaks his leg.

And yes I know I made up all of those numbers.

So you're saying that "it's always been like this" is appropriate justification? They could have used that same logic in refusing to implement batting helmets. Or put teams west of the Mississippi. Or desegregate. People used to do all kinds of crazy stuff that don't make any sense. In the 1890s collisions at 1st, 2nd and 3rd were a lot like bowling over the catcher... why change that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So you're saying that "it's always been like this" is appropriate justification? They could have used that same logic in refusing to implement batting helmets. Or put teams west of the Mississippi. Or desegregate. People used to do all kinds of crazy stuff that don't make any sense. In the 1890s collisions at 1st, 2nd and 3rd were a lot like bowling over the catcher... why change that?

Yeah because those examples are similar to a collision at the plate. People got excited about collisions at the plate because of how rarely they happened. And maybe you change the other collisions because those players aren't protected by any equipment.

This rule causes so much confusion and split second thinking for the baserunner and catcher. It's probably going to end up causing more injuries, with runners contorting their bodies to avoid hitting the catcher because they're so afraid of doing it, than plate collisions ever caused.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, but the spirit and custom back then was that you didn't necessarily have to touch second. Also the ball that touched second, as you noted, wasn't even the ball in play.

But, I ALSO stated that ......

Even more significantly, by not touching 2nd base on a force play with 2 outs, Merkel should have been immediately called out anyway for going out of the baseline when he headed toward the dugout ...... even before Evers retrieved the ball from the umpire, and touched 2nd base.

If the fans had stormed the field and prevented Merkel from touching 2nd base, that would have been a different story ...... but that's not what happened.

Merkel was out in the first place. He CHOSE to head to the dugout, and hence should have been called out for running out of the baseline. He was not blocked from doing so by the frenzied crowd.

It was the right call, and as I stated, it turned out to be very helpful to baseball in the long run, because it helped clarify a very basic, and very important rule. If the "spirit of the custom" at the time was that players did not have to touch their next respective base on a force play on balls that were hit into the outfield, then they were playing the game incorrectly. It's unfortunate that Merkel wound up bearing the weight of that rule clarification for the rest of his life, but it would have eventually happened at some point, one way or another. It's not some obscure and/or relatively insignificant rule, such as the 18" pine tar rule that you alluded to, which had nothing to do with George Brett's ability (and/or Rich Gossage's inability to prevent him) from hitting the 2-run home run that he did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But, I ALSO stated that ......

Merkel was out in the first place. He CHOSE to head to the dugout, and hence should have been called out for running out of the baseline. He was not blocked from doing so by the frenzied crowd.

It was the right call, and as I stated, it turned out to be very helpful to baseball in the long run, because it helped clarify a very basic, and very important rule. If the "spirit of the custom" at the time was that players did not have to touch their next respective base on a force play on balls that were hit into the outfield, then they were playing the game incorrectly. It's unfortunate that Merkel wound up bearing the weight of that rule clarification for the rest of his life, but it would have eventually happened at some point, one way or another. It's not some obscure and/or relatively insignificant rule, such as the 18" pine tar rule that you alluded to, which had nothing to do with George Brett's ability (and/or Rich Gossage's inability to prevent him) from hitting the 2-run home run that he did.

You're only out for being out of the baseline if someone is attempting to make a play on you. Otherwise every runner rounding third who ends up halfway between the baseline and dugout would be out. Merkle would only have been out for being out of the baseline if someone was trying to tag him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You're only out for being out of the baseline if someone is attempting to make a play on you. Otherwise every runner rounding third who ends up halfway between the baseline and dugout would be out. Merkle would only have been out for being out of the baseline if someone was trying to tag him.

You're wrong, Hazewood, and for some reason, you don't want to admit that the Merkel incident was a bad example of noting an obscure rule.

A baserunner is ruled out if he leaves the field voluntarily without touching whatever the next possible base that you could have potentially touched. If there is a force play at second base, third base, or home plate and you head leave the field without touching said base, then you are out. And, that is what happened with Merkel. It may not be called "running out of the baseline", but if you voluntarily leave the field for any reason while running the basepaths (and/or if the catcher drops a 3rd strike), then you are out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

o

^^^^^^^^^

By the way, I believe that that happened with Adam Jones last year.

The umpire called him safe when he slid into 2nd base, but Jones thought that he was tagged out by the fielder before he touched the base, and assumed that the umpire had called him out. Jones then headed back to the dugout ...... at which point, he was ruled out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you guys really arguing over a 100-year-old play?

Yesterday the catcher had the ball. He's allowed to block the plate when he has it. If you want to argue about whether he had it in time to block the plate, that's fine. But in my mind Davis wasn't there yet.

This has been the rule in HS and little league forever. It's not like players never played with it. It shouldn't be this hard and complex, and only is because people are being deliberately obtuse (anything for a win, I get it, but still). When Davis tried to sweep around the catcher, Baker already had the ball. At that point you're allowed to block. The ball was there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://m.mlb.com/chc/video/v35566215/?tcid=mm_chc_vid&c_id=chc.....If Davis was running directly down the foul line you could make a case for the catcher blocking the plate. But he took his turn wide and that changes his lane to the plate. And if you freeze the video at 12 seconds, to me, it looks like the plate is open from the catchers left foot to the back of the plate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
http://m.mlb.com/chc/video/v35566215/?tcid=mm_chc_vid&c_id=chc.....If Davis was running directly down the foul line you could make a case for the catcher blocking the plate. But he took his turn wide and that changes his lane to the plate. And if you freeze the video at 12 seconds, to me, it looks like the plate is open from the catchers left foot to the back of the plate.

To me, it looked like the plate was blocked, as evidenced by Davis changing his direction at the last second.

Davis was headed straight for home plate, but then he altered his path at the last moment ...... I can't think of any other reason as to why Davis would have have altered his path at the last split-second, other than to avoid a collision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To me, it looked like the plate was blocked, as evidenced by Davis changing his direction at the last second.

Davis was headed straight for home plate, but then he altered his path at the last moment ...... I can't think of any other reason as to why Davis would have have altered his path at the last split-second, other than to avoid a collision.

He altered his path to avoid the tag. He could see that the throw was going to beat him. I'm guessing Gausman in the on deck circle was not much help to him, but it wouldn't have mattered. He was doomed by the wide turn he took around 3B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you guys really arguing over a 100-year-old play?

Yesterday the catcher had the ball. He's allowed to block the plate when he has it. If you want to argue about whether he had it in time to block the plate, that's fine. But in my mind Davis wasn't there yet.

This has been the rule in HS and little league forever. It's not like players never played with it. It shouldn't be this hard and complex, and only is because people are being deliberately obtuse (anything for a win, I get it, but still). When Davis tried to sweep around the catcher, Baker already had the ball. At that point you're allowed to block. The ball was there.

When he set up to catch the ball he as blocking the plate as well, and under the old rule Davis could have and would have run him over. If the runner can't run over the catcher, the catcher shouldn't be able to block the plate with or without the ball That's the problem with the rule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they're going to take away the plate collisions and they can't agree on what constitutes "blocking the plate", then just make every play at home plate a force play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Orioles Information


Orioles News and Information

Daily Organizational Boxscores
News

Tony's Takes

Orioles Roster Resource

Orioles Prospect Information

2020 Top 30 Prospects List

Prospect Scouting Reports

Statistics

2020 Orioles Stats

2019 Orioles Minor League Stats

Baseball Savant Stats






  • Posts

    • You are right..it’s not the answer I’m looking for because it’s not an answer to the question you were asked. If I ask you, what is your favorite color and you tell me a banana, that is an answer and it’s not one I’m looking for..that doesn’t mean in insulting you, it just means that trying to discuss this with you when you clearly don’t want to answer the questions and you want your agenda is a waste of time.  
    • Two milion?  You better check again.
    • I think people also have to remember where guys are in their careers. Diaz has almost 1500 MiL at bats.  He has over 700 at bats in AA alone and he has an OpS of 834 there.  Elias said that he would have been in AAA in 2019 had he not had injuries.  He doesn’t need to go to AA again.  He doesn’t have anything left there to prove.  He also just turned 24, so he is getting too old for the league anyway. Rutschman is an elite college bat.  He turns 23 in a few months.   By all accounts, he has looked great in the camps of 2020. You don’t just keep elite guys that are advanced in age and approach in the minors for that long.  It doesn’t happen and it shouldn’t happen.  If he was a 20 year old kid out of HS, it would be different.  But he’s not.  Now, he does have to perform a lot better than what we saw in 2019 but again, that goes without saying. Give him some time down there, make sure you gain the extra year this year and perhaps give him enough time to avoid Super 2 since he has so little pro experience but come early June or so, he should be ready to be here, if not sooner. The reality is, im fine with bringing him up as soon as they gain the extra year of service time in 2021.  I’m sure they will give him more time than just a few weeks though.
    • So I'm too stupid to "Comprehend" what you are asking.....But your not throwing insults! Same old Shtick!!!! I said that when Manicini was promoted it wasn't after a season where he didn't have a competitive AB. There is nothing wrong with that answer other than that is the answer you were looking for! I said Diaz season where he hit .262/807 was at AA and not AAA. So therefore the 2 circumstances are the same. Anyone with a little bit of intelligence can understand these differences (SEE I CAN DO IT ALSO!). Also ..... Diaz was a highly sought after IFA that got a 2 million dollar gift from the Dodgers that we received as a part of the Machado deal. I'd assume you'd agree that expectations should be higher for a high priced IFR or a #1 overall selection like Adley compared to your expectations for an 8th round pick that received a nominal bonus. People were "Meh" about getting Stallings (a 5th rounder) for Iglesias
    • https://www.houstonchronicle.com/texas-sports-nation/astros/article/Astros-trade-for-pitcher-Hector-Velazquez-Orioles-15442933.php You might be thinking this guy.  He was traded so fast he probably never hit the 60 man.
    • You don't think it would be shortsighted to rely on traditional counting stats to determine if a player is worthy of promotion? why even have an analytics department?
    • Zero teams ever have had a lineup composed entirely of “complete hitters”.
  • Popular Contributors

×
×
  • Create New...