Thank the Ump!

Your club has a runner on second and a runner on first.

The other club’s pitcher pitches a ball, but it bounces in the dirt. Their catcher does a scoop with the mitt and his free hand, turns his back to give the ball to the plate umpire for a new ball … and off to the races goes the runners on first and second… they advance cleanly.

The catcher now turns around and tosses the new ball back to the pitcher, and starts to squak. NOW WHAT!

Can these runners do that? Is this an error charged on the catcher? What?

This actually happend to a club I was with and it decided a playoff spot for us. When I turned to our skipper and asked “what-da-ya think”, he pointed to the plate umpire and said… and I quote…" get him a uniform".

Coach B.

If the umpire didn’t call time-out then the ball was still live and the runners could advance at their own risk. Sounds like the catcher assumed time-out was called because of the ball hitting the dirt.

Now, if the umpire swapped balls with the catcher without calling time-out, then it seems the umpire may have made a mistake. That is, unless the umpire taking the ball from the catcher constitutes a dead ball situation.