(Gig Harbor, WA)
Mandy asked: Runners on 2nd and 3rd.
Batter goes for a squeeze bunt, but misses.
Catcher catches the ball and the runner is already halfway down the line. Now there is a pickle.
Catcher has the base runner easily until he is tripped by the batter and falls flat on his face.
The batter is not in the batters box, but two feet up the line toward 3rd. Is there any situation in which an interference call should not be made?
Rick answered: Mandy, thank you for your question.
From your description of the play, I do not know of a situation which would keep interference from being called on this play.
The batter had the right to the batter's box; but once he missed the pitch and there was a possible play around the plate area and the catcher was moving in the direction of the runner from third, the batter has the obligation to get out of the way.
If the catcher, after catching the pitch, was in the process of throwing to third base in an attempt to get the runner, the batter has a right to his space in the batter's box, the catcher must maneuver around him. If the catcher was moving around the batter to throw, and the batter moved back or forward making contact with or impeding his throw, that would be interference.
If his tripping of the catcher was intentional, or unintentional, it is still interference.
Wording in the rule book is: Section 21 Interference - Offensive, umpire, spectator Art 1...Offensive interference is an act (physical or verbal) by the team at bat:
a. which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play
Yours in baseball,
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