Heath asked: Trying to find clarification, runner on 1st batter hits ball to 2nd baseman.
As runner runs in front of second base doesn't get hit by ball and doesn't touch 2nd baseman but, 2nd baseman misses fielding the ball.
Would this be considered interference by the runner since he hindered the fielder?
Rick answered: Heath, thank you for your question.
Much of the answer to this question lies in the umpire's judgement on whether the runner created a distraction for the infielder.
The base runner does not have to go around the infielder; but he does have to allow the space for the fielder to field the ball.
Should the runner obviously slow down, so that he crosses the path of the ground ball to deliberately impede the fielders vision, it would be interference.
The runner could speed up, jump over the ball, or stop short and let the ball pass and be alright.
Again, umpire judgement becomes the critical factor.
Whether the fielder fields the ball, or not, does not necessarily matter, it is all tied up in whether the umpire believes the runner tried to deliberately shield the ball from the fielder, causing the error.
Yours in baseball,
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