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.
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.