I’ve made a huge mistake

One of the running gags on Arrested Development was the line “I’ve made a huge mistake”.

You can almost see the thought bubble over this baserunner’s head saying the same thing on this play:

The ball gets by the first baseman. The runner’s instincts are to try and get another base. But, the catcher is in the right place at the right time. He throws the ball back to first to nail the runner.

Rule 7.08(j)

7.08 Any runner is out when—

(j) He fails to return at once to first base after overrunning or oversliding that base. If he attempts to run to second he is out when tagged. If, after overrunning or oversliding first base he starts toward the dugout, or toward his position, and fails to return to first base at once, he is out, on appeal, when he or the base is tagged;

Notice the rule specifically states he has to attempt to run to second. A turn towards second is not an attempt. A player can turn left and still be safe when tagged.

In this instance the attempt is pretty clear cut. Heads up play by the defense.

Page 44 of RuleGraphics covers this play.

Turn this way…turn this way

Aerosmith had a hit single with the track “Walk this way”. Youth coaches usually make a point to scream “Turn this way” when their players run past first base. They are telling them to turn right. The question I got yesterday from a Facebook friend discusses whether it matters.

Here is the question:

Baseball question. 8 yr old sprints down line and throw is late. He stops. Turns left to walk back to first. Do you call him out if first baseball tags him?

-Patrick Hearne

The answer to the question is no! This is another myth that will not die.

Here is Rule 7.08 (j)

Any runner is out when—

(j) He fails to return at once to first base after overrunning or oversliding that base. If he attempts to run to second he is out when tagged. If, after overrunning or oversliding first base he starts toward the dugout, or toward his position, and fails to return to first base at once, he is out, on appeal, when he or the base is tagged;

The rule says nothing about which way the runner has to turn. It just says he is out when tagged after he attempts to run to second. The attempt can be only slight, but there has to be an attempt.

In this video Puig leans a bit towards second making a slight attempt. He is ruled out.

How strong is this myth? Check out this clip:

A college coach teaches not turning to the right but staying on the line. The one and only comment questions whether a runner would be out if they did this.

Overrunning first base is covered on page 44 of RuleGraphics.