The Ole Ball Game

why when a runner is reaching a base sliding... then he shows his hands to the umpire? thanks a lot

by andreas
(Athens, Greece)

Runner is already looking to get a time out

Runner is already looking to get a time out

Runner is already looking to get a time out

Andreas asked: Why, when a runner is reaching a base sliding... then he shows his hands to the umpire? thanks a lot.



Rick answered: Andreas, thank you for your question!

The situation you are describing happens when base runners are going to be safe, they gesture towards the umpire to ask for a time out.

Without a time out, the ball remains live. If the runner were to come off the base, and the fielder tag him with the ball, the runner would then be out.

Infielders will apply a tag on a runner, and keep the tag on him throughout the slide, hoping he will come off the base.

By asking for, and being granted "time out", the base runner is able to step away from the base, dust himself off without being put out.

Each of the runners in the photos above are starting to ask for time with their free hand.

As you watch baseball games, you will also notice that batters also often, as they step into the batter's box, take their top hand off the bat and show it to the home plate umpire.

They are also asking for time, or at least a hold on the pitcher's delivery, so they can settle in. Pitchers will sometimes attempt to "quick pitch" a batter to get an advantage.

Once a time out has been granted, it creates a " dead ball situation", in which no action can take place.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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