Force out called by mistake

Discussion in 'The Umpires Life and Rulings' started by jd100, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. jd100

    jd100 Member

    Score is 3-2, Home team is losing and on their final at bats. Home team has runners on 2B and 3B though with no outs. Batter hits a ground ball to third base to start an action filled play.

    Fielder looks the runner back and throws to 1B for the first out.
    Baserunner on third starts to head home but changes mind and heads back to the 3B. But the runner on 2B at the time thinks she is going and goes most of the way to 3B before realizing she hasn't went, and then heads back to 2B.
    The defense throws behind the runner going back to 2B, and the SS catches the ball with foot on bag as if a force out. No tag whatsoever attempted. Umpire mistakenly calls her out. Potential second out.
    On the throw to 2B, now the runner at 3B does head home. A throw to the plate and she is tagged out on a close play. An apparent triple play.
    The 3B coach realizes the mistaken call immediately and keeps engaged with the runner. He brings the runner from 2B to 3B on the throw home... and as the team in the field begins to celebrate the third out, the coach sends the runner home to score the potential tying run.

    Chaos ensues with both teams celebrating.

    The Home team makes a strenuous argument about the call at 2B. An extensive discussion takes place, where eventually the home plate umpire overrules the base umpire on the call at 2B (where a force out was mistakenly called). At first, they appear to allow the sequence of events that took place after the mistaken out call to be live play, and they count the run. Tie game 3-3.

    The Away team takes the field, and play is about to resume with the score tied, 2 outs, and nobody on base, when Away team begins to state their case that the run should not count, due to thinking there were 3 outs. Now another extensive discussion takes place. Eventually they take the run off the board, and place the baserunner at 3B. No idea why this base was chosen for the runner.

    Help please.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
  2. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    An obvious mistake was made, so it is within the umpire's responsibility to fix it.

    That being said, the goal is to come up with a "fix" that most closely resembles what would have happened if the correct call had been made in the first place. But there's no rule that says, "If "X" happens, then the solution is "Y"". Each situation and play will be unique and might require a unique solution.

    If the runner at second had not been called out, what is the most likely thing that would have happened? Did the bad call affect the runner on third in any way? Was she advancing to home on the throw? Would the runner on second- who had been called out- have otherwise advanced to third on the throw home? Was there any point in this play when the defense "stopped playing" because the third out had mistakenly been called, allowing runners to advance who would not have otherwise?

    All of the above action, and the timing involved, would have to be judged by someone who actually saw the play. Just going from the second hand description, I can easily see reversing the run scored, since that runner seemed to advance only because of the confusion about the third out being made. She did, though, seem to have acquired third base while the other runner was being played upon at home, who would have been played upon no matter what the call had been at second base. So putting that runner back at third would be a viable solution. If there was any indication that this runner advanced to third only because the defense had stopped playing on her, thinking she was out, then I'd put her back on second. But I'm not getting that from this description.
  3. M & R Davis

    M & R Davis Member

    Bretman I really appreciate the time you put into answering these rules questions on the site. Thanks. For what it’s worth I agree with your assessment of placing the runner on third and two out, finish the inning.
  4. Captain_Thunder

    Captain_Thunder Super Moderator Staff Member

    If the score was 3-1 at the beginning of that play, one run would not have made it a tie game.....
  5. jd100

    jd100 Member

    Typo, 3-2 was the score going into the play. I will try to fix that in the posting.
  6. RRB2

    RRB2 Member

    You got me curious, how did the game end?
  7. Clevelandfan

    Clevelandfan New Member

    On the first pitch after the long delay the batter line a shot to the shortstop to end the game.

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