15 May 2013

Manny’s Backwards Run and the Rule Book

Last night in the eighth inning, we had an interesting scenario.   The Padres sent Gregerson to the mound to face Manny Machado.  Machado hit a grounder to the first base side and met Gregerson about 10 feet in front of first.  Gregerson went for the tag while Manny decided to backpedal to home with the pitcher chasing instead of turning around and tagging the bag.  To some viewers, this was an attempt to allow Steve Pearce to score from second base as the final out on Manny would be a tag out instead of a force.

Fellow BSL writer Tucker Blair commented on the play noting that the run could not score and was met with two followers who declared the runner could score.  This made me want to go back to the rule book because the batter-runner is generally given more attention than other runners.  Now, I will be the first one to say that my knowledge of the rule book in some areas is pretty scant.  However, I have a difficult time seeing how the run could score without Manny making it to first base.  Here is the primary rule about run scoring:
(a) One run shall be scored each time a runner legally advances to and touches first, second, third and home base before three men are put out to end the inning. EXCEPTION: A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made (1) by the batter-runner before he touches first base; (2) by any runner being forced out; or (3) by a preceding runner who is declared out because he failed to touch one of the bases.
As I read this rule, first base and the batter-runner is treating differently than any other runner on the base paths.  Manny running back home to get the pitcher to tag him will not be successful because he must touch first base successfully.  If Manny was already on first and did this successfully between first and second, then a run should count by my reading here.

So, my reading here, indicates that Gregerson was right to be irritated at the end of the play.  Manny had no way to enable Pearce to score by drawing out the out.  However, Gregerson should be more upset with himself as he simply could have turned around and walked ten feet to first base without exerting himself.

No comments: