Kudos to the men in blue

I’ve made no secret about my feelings regarding teaching players to push the rules cheat. One of my biggest pet peeves is teaching baserunners to leave the base early on a steal under the premise that the umpires probably won’t call it.

Apparently it’s a pet peeve of one of the umpires at the game I was watching yesterday too. Late in the game one of the teams had a runner on first. This team is fairly well known for its aggressive play, and this was a speedy runner with a high likelihood of stealing. As the pitcher delivered the ball, the field umpire yelled out “dead ball, no pitch.” As we were wondering what happened — was it an illegal pitch? — he informed everyone that the runner left early and was out. It was the third out in the inning and killed a potential scoring opportunity since there was a good hitter at the plate.

Kudos to the Blue for keeping an eye on it. The team hadn’t had many baserunners so there wasn’t much evidence that it might occur. But he did his job and made the call.

Now, it may have been a mis-timing on the runner’s part, but I don’t think so. I think she was doing as she’d been taught — getting an early jump. How nice that instead of getting a free base she was out. Justice is served! Considering this runner probably didn’t need to get that jump to steal the base due to her speed, what a shame that she’d been taught to do it anyway (assuming she has).

Your best bet is play within the rules. They’re there for your protection, and to keep the game fair. It’s also the right thing to do.

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