Tagged: Stat Crew

GIDPs Are Twice As Bad

BASEBALL…OFFICIAL SCORING BLOG#07

Our latest question comes to us via text message from Tom and Dan at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia:

Q: Greetings from the home of the 2008 World Champions! Take a look at how the top of the 8th inning ended here tonight…

A: Thanks for pointing out one you don’t see every day:

With one out and runners at first and second, Kevin Kouzmanoff grounded to third base. Pedro Feliz threw to Chase Utley to get the force at second, and Utley threw the ball back to Feliz at third for the inning-ending double play. In addition to recording the 5-4-5 DP on their scoresheet, Tom and Dan must also give Kouzmanoff “credit” for a GIDP – ground into double play.

Rule 10.02(a)(17): “The official score report prepared by
the official scorer shall be in a form prescribed
by the league and shall include: Number of force double plays
and reverse-force double plays grounded into.”

Stat Crew Nation would correctly type in the above play as follows:
Batter – ”FC GDP”
Runner at first – ”X″
Runner at second – ”545″

And if it had been less than two outs, AND a runner from third scored…

…Kouzmanoff would NOT have gotten credit for an RBI
Rule 10.04(B)(1).

The fact that Kouzmanoff was not “put out” is immaterial, he hit a ground ball that resulted in a double play.

It’s a simple game. Really.

TRIVIA TIME…this play resulted in Kouzmanoff’s second GIDP of the game, but the good news for him is that he is nowhere close to the all-time record. Do you know WHO holds the all-time record for grounding into the MOST double plays in their career? Your only hint is that this Hall-Of-Famer is better known for holding another record.

Send your questions, comments, and answers to the mailbag…

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Swing And A Myth…Outta Here!

BASEBALL…OFFICIAL SCORING BLOG#03

It’s time to debunk another baseball myth:

“A batted ball that reaches the outfield grass on the fly
untouched by a fielder is automatically a base hit.”

Although this is generally true, it’s not always true. Let’s pull out our hard copy of the 2008 Edition of the Official Baseball Rules and take a look. Of course, we’ll take a moment to glance at the front cover since it features Washington Nationals catcher and Brooklyn Cyclones alum Jesus Flores (Cyclones Class of 2004). Turning to page 98, we find:

Rule 10.05(a)(4) The official scorer should credit a batter with a base hit when the batter reaches first base safely on a fair ball that has not been touched by a fielder and that is in fair territory when the ball reaches the outfield, unless in the scorer’s judgment the ball could have been handled with ordinary effort.

Simply put, an Official Scorer must use his/her judgment to decide ordinary effort. It’s a safe bet that if you’ve seen a similar successful catch attempt on a TV “Plays of the Day/Week/Month/Century” show – it’s likely extra-ordinary effort. An official scorer must also consider things like extreme weather conditions (high winds, etc.) and high skies (natural or man made). If a center fielder loses a ball in the sun/lights/roof, it’s generally a base hit. If a center fielder calls another outfielder off from making a routine catch and then loses the ball – it’s probably going to result in an error, even though the ball dropped untouched. If a fielder has to dive to make the attempt – the ball is likely a hit. ”Cans of corn” and other balls that should be caught “100 times out of 100 chances” – are likely going to be an error. Notice that who the batter or fielder are, and/or what team they play for is not a part of the decision making process. Never. Ever. Nor do you weigh in potential earned/unearned runs. You can’t please everybody all the time, so concern yourself with scoring the play correctly.

Here’s another situation:
Let’s not forget about the circumstance when a base runner is forced out on a ball that would normally be a hit. This is a byproduct of the defensive “overshifts” managers now implement for certain batters. When infielders overload one side of the field, one fielder usually moves to a position on the outfield grass in order to turn a sure hit into an unusual out.

For example:
Jason Giambi comes to bat with a runner on first. The entire infield shifts to the right side of second base, and Giambi hits a line drive into right field – directly in front of where the second baseman is positioned. The second baseman fields the ball on the bounce and flips to the third baseman, who is covering second.

Stat Crew Nation would correctly type in the above play as follows:
Batter – ”FC”
Runner at first – ”45″

It’s a simple game. Really.

Send your questions and comments to the mailbag.

We NEED Umpires!

BASEBALL…OFFICIAL SCORING BLOG#02

It’s time to reach into the “mailbag” for our first inquiry…

Q: OK smart guy, what would you do with that play in the second inning of last Sunday’s Dbacks/Dodgers game? (Brian – New Rochelle, NY)

A: Simply put, an Official Scorer’s primary job is to pay attention. This particular play required a little more attention than most plays, but it just proves that “it aint’ over until it’s over”.

Let’s reset the situation as it occured on April 12, 2009:
With one out, the Dodgers have runners on second and third when the batter hits a line drive that is caught on the fly by the pitcher. The pitcher wheels around and throws to the second baseman, who tags the runner a few steps away from the bag for the inning-ending double play.

The runner on third was running on contact, and crossed the plate before the runner on second was tagged out. The Diamondbacks left the field, apparently thinking the run doesn’t count and the inning is over.

The umpires huddle up, then meet with both managers and correctly inform them that the run did count.

Crew Chief Charlie Reliford later told the media, “They could have gotten the fourth out with an appeal at third base, but they didn’t do that before leaving the field.”

First off, let’s remember who we are:

Rule 10.01(b)(1) “…The official scorer shall not make any decision that conflicts with an umpire’s decision…”

So once the umpire’s huddle begins, we simply wait for them to do their thing. I’m fairly certain that at least one member of a Major League Baseball umpire crew knows Rule 7.10(a) – they don’t need and won’t ask for our input. So back to the play…

Stat Crew Nation would correctly type in the above play as follows:
Batter – ”L14 DP RBI”
Runner at second – ”X″
Runner at third – “+”

But what if the appeal been made correctly?

Rule 10.09(a)(2) Comment: The official scorer shall credit a fielder with a putout if such fielder catches a thrown ball and tags a base to record an out on an appeal play.

So let’s alter the play as follows:

The runner on third was running on contact, and crossed the plate before the runner on second was tagged out. The catcher throws to the third baseman, and the umpire rules the base runner out on appeal.

Stat Crew Nation – we have a problem. If one tries to enter…
Batter – “L14 DP”
Runner at second – “X”
Runner at third – “5″

…a ”too many outs” error occurs. Consulting the help screen (F1) informs us that the only occasion to have more than three outs in our stat crew inning must involve a strikeout. If appears to me that the only option would be to ignore the appeal putout to 5. Life is not perfect.

Meanwhile, as the Official Scorer we simply record the fourth out – a putout for the third baseman. A reminder that the rules do not provide for assists on appeal plays.

It’s plays like these that make “proving” a boxscore an important task:

  • When the OS in Arizona proved his box after the game, I’m sure it added up.
  • Had the appeal been made, the box would have had one more out for the Diamondbacks and one less run for the Dodgers, and the box would have added up.
  • If the second baseman would have simply touched second base instead of chasing the runner down – which gave the runner on third the chance to score – the box would have one more left on base and one less run for the Dodgers, and the box would have added up.

It’s a simple game. Really.

Send your questions and comments to the mailbag.