You Can’t Make It Up, Really. It’s Against The RULES.


Here’s another question from the mailbag:

Q: Is the Official Scorer in Detroit making up his own rules? (YankeeBob – Woodhaven, NY)

A: Let me check YB. According to my brand new edition of the Official Baseball Rules that I just got in the mail (sporting 2008 WS action on the front cover):

Rule 10.01(b)(1): In all cases, the official scorer shall not make a scoring decision that is in conflict with Rule 10 or any other Official Baseball Rule. The official scorer shall conform strictly to the rules of scoring set forth in this Rule 10….

Q: OK smart guy, explain to me this play that happened in the Yankees game at the Tigers last week: One out, runners on second and third. Jorge Posada hits a fly ball to left field. The left fielder doesn’t make the catch and the ball bounces by him. Both runners score and Posada ends up on second on the play. The Official Scorer ruled: Sac fly, error 7, one RBI. Well, SmartGuyDave?

A: YB, everything is correct as you described. Simply put, a sacrifice – fly or hit – can be awarded to a batter on a play that does not record an out. The dropped sacrifice fly is specifically discussed on page 106 of the brand new edition of the rulebook.

Rule 10.08(d)(2): The official scorer shall score a sacrifice fly when, before two are out, the batter hits a ball in flight handled by an outfielder or an infielder running in the outfield in fair or foul territory that is dropped, and a runner scores, if in the scorer’s judgment the runner could have scored after the catch had the fly been caught.

In the scorer’s judgment, the fly ball should have been caught by the left fielder, AND he/she also judged that it was hit far enough that if the runner tagged up on a caught ball he would have scored. In the play described above, Posada is credited with an RBI, because he hit a ball far enough into the outfield to score a runner from third.

Stat Crew Nation would correctly type in the above play as follows:
Batter – ”E7F + SF RBI” (if batter scores, UE)
Runner at second – ”++″ (unknown yet if UE)
Runner at third – “+” (run is earned)

It’s a simple game. Really.

By the way, a small “shout-out” to my pal, YankeeBob:
Back in the days when it wasn’t COOL to be a Yankee Fan (1982-1995), YB lived far, far away from the city so nice they named it twice. Before there was the internet, satellite TV, and all the things we take for granted today, YB would call local “establishments” in New York City and ask the bartenders to put the phone receiver next to the TV speakers so he could listen to the game “long distance”. Seriously. He’s got the phone records and check stubs to prove it. In my humble opinion, YankeeBob is a TRUE baseball fan and I’m honored to know him.

Send your questions and comments to the mailbag.


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