The Ole Ball Game

trick play

by Shawn
(Conway,Arkansas)

Shawn asked: Can a coach call time, during the timeout give the second baseman the ball, which allows him to tag runner out leading off 2nd base after time out is over?



Rick answered: Shawn, thank you for your question.

The coach has the ability to call time out, go out to the mound and talk with his pitcher, as well as infielders. They could also all meet off the mound, like the first image above, and everyone break out from there, with the pitcher hanging around close to the mound, maybe pretending to rub up the baseball in his glove, with his back to 2B.

Since there is time called, it is a dead ball. The coach could take the ball and give it to the second baseman, or any of the players in the conference could slip the ball to the 2B.

When the coach goes back to the dugout, the pitcher cannot be anywhere on the dirt area of the mound.

The umpire should not even call the ball live, until the pitcher is back on the mound.

With the pitcher off on the grass, and if the umpire has made it a live ball situation, the runner at second walks off the bag and gets tagged, he would legally out.

Base runners are taught to stay on any bag, until the pitcher steps on the pitching plate. Once the pitcher is in contact with the pitching plate, pitchers are restricted in their movements. When not in contact with that plate, he becomes the 5th infielder, free and clear.

I would be interested in additional information on the location of the pitcher on this play.

I am assuming that since you asked the question, this play happened in real time and was upheld as legal.

With pitcher's being required to be on the dirt to be legal, this play is basically a ghost of the past. You only get the runner who would walk off the base, when there is no pitcher on the mound.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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