The Ole Ball Game

Catcher calling time out immediately following a walk before the hitter reaches first base

by Tom Greshko
(Evergreen, Co)

No umpire shall call

No umpire shall call "time" while a play is in progress.

Tom asked: Runner on third and batter walks but continues to run to second base drawing a throw from the catcher which allows the runner on third to score.


Is the ball dead after the walk until the next batter steps in?

If not, can the catcher immediately call timeout to kill any further movement of the base runners past first and third?


Rick answered: Tom, thank you for your question.

The ball is not dead, after the walk, until the next batter steps in.

The catcher can call time out if he wishes to; but the umpire can not grant it.

The baseball solution to this play is for the catcher to immediately throw the ball back to his pitcher.

That should easily be accomplished before the batter can get from the box to first base.

No longer is the long throw an issue and the offense has to decide if they want to take a chance on giving up an out, and not scoring a run.

The rule in the mlb rulebook is 5.12 Calling "Time" and Dead Balls

Essentially, no umpire shall call "time" while a play is in progress. The catcher can call all he wants, the umpire is not supposed to grant it.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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