With Leather’s Watch This: The Yankees And Cubs Remind Us About Rule 6.08(c)

Way back when I was a young, ignorant pre-teen, years before I’d just become a full-blown idiot, I was obsessed with reading and learning the rules of Major League Baseball. I figured that if knowing the rules didn’t make me a better baseball player, it would at least give me a backup plan to become an umpire. Funny thing, though – I read a few pages and gave up, because that’s one boring book, you guys.

Fortunately, we have actual baseball games to help us better understand random rules, like 6.08(c), which was on full display in yesterday’s 3-0 victory by the New York Yankees over the Chicago Cubs. Catcher John Baker couldn’t keep his mitt out of the way of Jacoby Ellsbury’s bat, and that ended up giving the Yankees a free run in exchange for an out.

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Of course, what’s disappointing about this clip is that there wasn’t any arguing or screaming or fighting or fans throwing debris on to the field. It’s almost like everyone knew the rule. That’s lame. Anyway, in case you need something to aid you into a nap, here’s the full rule in question:

(c) The catcher or any fielder interferes with him. If a play follows the interference, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire that he elects to decline the interference penalty and accept the play. Such election shall be made immediately at the end of the play. However, if the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batsman, or otherwise, and all other runners advance at least one base, the play proceeds without reference to the interference.

Rule 6.08(c) Comment: If catcher’s interference is called with a play in progress the umpire will allow the play to continue because the manager may elect to take the play. If the batter-runner missed first base, or a runner misses his next base, he shall be considered as having reached the base, as stated in Note of Rule 7.04(d). Examples of plays the manager might elect to take:

1. Runner on third, one out, batter hits fly ball to the outfield on which the runner scores but catcher’s interference was called. The offensive manager may elect to take the run and have batter called out or have runner remain at third and batter awarded first base.
2. Runner on second base. Catcher interferes with batter as he bunts ball fairly sending runner to third base. The manager may rather have runner on third base with an out on the play than have runners on second and first.

If a runner is trying to score by a steal or squeeze from third base, note the additional penalty set forth in Rule 7.07.

If the catcher interferes with the batter before the pitcher delivers the ball, it shall not be considered interference on the batter under Rule 6.08(c). In such cases, the umpire shall call “Time” and the pitcher and batter start over from “scratch.”

That’s some exciting stuff right there.

Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 1: Flyers at Rangers – 7 PM ET on CNBC
Game 1: Blackhawks at Blues – 8 PM ET on NBC Sports (but TV Guide says OLN)
Game 1: Wild at Avalanche – 9:30 PM ET on CNBC
Game 1: Kings at Sharks – 10:30 PM ET on NBC Sports (but TV Guide says OLN)

And so begins my misery as a guy who now only casually follows the Blues because hockey has been a pain in the ass over the last decade or so.

NCAA Baseball: LSU at Mississippi: 7:30 PM ET on ESPNU

Sounds like fun. I’ll be watching the Cardinals and Nationals rivalry continue to bloom on regional MLB.TV action.