Something new every day

Let’s be honest, the rules for detached player equipment have to be in the book. I mean I guess it could happen. But, I have never seen it at any level. If it did happen, I would probably just be in shock and not know what to call.

This might have been the case in a Braves game the other night.

Here is the play.

Rule 5.06 (4) (B) – 7.05(b) in old format

(4) Each runner including the batter-runner may, without liability to be put out, advance:

(B) Three bases, if a fielder deliberately touches a fair ball with his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its proper place on his person. The ball is in play and the batter may advance to home base at his peril;

The key to the rule is three fold. The fielder has to do it deliberately, the glove has to actually touch the ball, and the ball has to be fair (or have a reasonable chance to go fair).

Fielder stretches and his glove comes off and makes contact – that is fine.

Knucklehead throws his glove and misses the ball – that is fine.

Guy throws his glove at a clearly foul ball way down the line – not advisable but not illegal.

In the play above, the runner is not given third base. Why? To be honest with you I am not sure. My best guess is that it has to do with the first condition above. Simmons made such a quick turn back to the ball the umpire might have judged the act to be accidental. I am no mind reader, but this looks pretty intentional to me.

Or, they might have thought the ball did not hit the glove. While it is hard to tell replay could be used to help this out. Except the play was not reviewed. It is possible this is one of those scenarios that does not fall under the purview of replay.

Regardless this is an odd play that you would not expect to see in freshman baseball let alone at the major league level.

Detached player equipment is covered on page 33 of RuleGraphics.