In executing a double play why does the throw to second not require the player to touch second base or the runner before throwing on to first base to complete the double play?
by Jack Maxwell
(Lake Wales, Fl)
2B Ready For The Pivot
Jack asked: The player catching the ball at second can be 4 feet from the bag
and throw it on to first and if caught by first base player on the bag before the runner gets there, both runners are out.
Rick answered: Jack, thank you for your question.
Major League Baseball has become very casual on this particular situation.
As per the rule, to get the force at a base, the player receiving the ball, must also be in contact with the base, as well as having control of the thrown ball, either in his glove, or his bare hand.
Not sure why MLB has gotten as loose on this as they have; but it does happen quite often.
The first image above is a standard set up for a 2b, left foot on the bag, waiting to see where the throw is located, then moving to the ball accordingly.
In the second image, second baseman has caught the ball, pushed himself back off the bag and is making his throw.
Third image the 2b is also set up on the bag awaiting, or in the process of catching the feed.
When the umpire doesn't make the call that the infielder did not touch the bag, they call it an "in the area play".
Personally feel they should hold to the rule consistently, but that's not always the case.
Yours in baseball,