Worst Nightmare

Nothing is more scary for an umpire than taking one off the head. Look at what happened in a MLB game the other night.

It seems as if the default when this happens is to now get the guys off the field. I think this is a great development. You only get one head in life. Safety should always be the driving factor.

Now, I will take issue with the description of the post from MLB Media. It says “Umpire takes foul tip…”

He did not. He took a foul ball off the mask. By definition a foul tip cannot go directly from the bat to the mask.

Foul tips (and just the tips) are covered on page 10 of RuleGraphics.

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Foul Tip Fun

Check out this awesome play by the Brewers catcher in yesterday’s marathon win:

The ball is hit, popped up, and caught in foul territory. The count was 2-2. The umpire signaled foul tip and called the batter out.

The big question was this actually a foul tip.

Here is the definition:

A FOUL TIP is a batted ball that goes sharp and direct from the bat to the catcher’s hands and is legally caught. It is not a foul tip unless caught and any foul tip that is caught is a strike, and the ball is in play. It is not a catch if it is a rebound, unless the ball has first touched the catcher’s glove or hand.

To be a foul tip, the ball has to go sharp and direct to the glove – this ball did this.

Once it goes sharp and direct, it just has to be caught. The catch can be on a rebound. This is one heck of a call. Full disclosure, I did not even notice hitting the glove the first time I saw this. Great job by the umpire.

What I thought happened was just some meekly hit ball that the catcher caught. What would the call be in this situation. It would be an out but for a caught ball and not a foul tip. A common rule myth is that a ball has to go some discernible height to be caught by the catcher for an out (I have heard it has to go above the catcher’s head a bunch).

This is not true. A ball is either a foul tip or a foul ball. If a foul ball is caught it is an out no matter the height. None of this applies on this play, but it is worth knowing.

Another shout out on this play – the Brewers announcers nailed it as well. They saw it, knew the rule, and explained it well. Nice job fellas.

Foul Tip is covered on page 10 of RuleGraphics.