Ok I read the Wikipedia article so I have a (VERY basic) understanding of some of the most important rules now.
Is there any situation in which a batter might intentionally let the pitch hit him to advance to first base? Does that work or will the Umpire usually decide in favor of the pitcher?
I mean: can you tell if the batter would have been able to avoid being hit? (As far as I understand getting hit be the ball only helps if you couldn’t avoid it)
Oh, absolutely! The league has really only started cracking down on batters who purposely stretched out to get hit by pitches in the last few years
Craig Biggio of the Astros is one who comes to mind who was especially fond of this tactic, and pitchers HATED him for it.
Trying to be hit by a pitch can also result in absolutely getting drilled by a pitch as well. If you’re reaching to try an get tagged by an inside slider or curve, be prepared to take a max velocity “wild” fastball.
Also baseball is now a sport for people who appreciate the meta game and micro management. Yes there are still some athletic feats, but you can watch those on sports center. Personally the modern compu-stat driven ball is horrible, but that’s me.
That ball is a piece of cork or rubber, tightly wrapped in yarn, leather coated.
In other words: it is fairly hard, and ~150 grams heavy.
It also moves at what seems to be up to (or even exceeding?) 40m/s
…which means that it hits its target with over 120 joules of energy if I am not mistaken, which is almost the equivalent of a 22 caliber rifle bullet.
Sure, the ball is not a projectile, but still…
Edit: it is (naturally) also comparable to the energy the batter would receive if the pitcher just straight up punched him with his fist.
I assume those guys aren’t armored? Wearing helmets though. I guess I now know the reason why.
So… holy crap I’d definitely like to avoid being hit by pitch, regardless of where I am hit.
So it all depends on who’s throwing how much the risk is. Catching a fastball from a rocket arm is gonna be bad, a slider or curve that just went wide is a lot better. A lot of guys wear arms guards, leg guards, etc to help address that issue. Really if the ball doesn’t hit on bone (hands, elbow, ankle) it’s just gonna leave a big bruise.
That works the same in fighting sports. It’s harder to learn to defend without getting a defensive mindset than it is to learn how to throw a good punch or kick. Same for the ground game. I used that to good effect, like when I had my opponent pinned in a side mount. Give him just enough room to start thinking offensively. They’d grab the room and by doing that offer me just that bit of elbow to seal the deal with a hammer lock or Americana.
Ok, I read a bit more about the rules and I think there are a few (read: a lot of) things I don’t understand.
About leaving bases:
When does a player leave a base? When he stops touching it?
About stealing bases: when is the player allowed to run?
And related to those, maybe that’s the reason I don’t understand the whole thing:
When does the “play” start?
Let’s assume there was a strike and the catcher has the ball. He now throws it back to the pitcher I guess. When does it become “live” so something can happen? I guess it cannot be live all the time because the batter and the umpires have to get ready as well.
Then a question about substitutions: I understand there are 9 players per team and once you are substituted you cannot return for the whole game. It is possible to swap out players between positions (pitcher for right fielder for example) and back as often as you like.
I think I understand it is also possible to, for example, substitute a runner on a base for another (maybe he is a good batter but a terrible runner?), but…
can you substitute more than one player at the same time?
is there a break for that? Some kind of timeout? When do you have to do that?
how many substitutions are allowed in total? How many players can actually be there and be eligible for a substitution?
I read that a ball is considered in flight as long as it doesn’t touch the ground, a wall, fence, etc.
The rules wording seems to imply it is also in flight when it has been caught by a fielder??
What about a runner?
Let’s assume the batter hits a ball and it flies straight into a poor runner that is on third base.
Is the batter out? The runner?
…and what if the batter hits the ball, but badly, and it then hits the batter himself? Does that count as hit by pitch?
Also a question about points and team doctrines:
Are there teams that specialize on defense or offense? For example a team that has awesome pitchers that can run and throw and catch fast, making them great for defense, but they are mostly poor batters?
Which would (I guess) lead to a lot of innings without points, a low scoring game.
On the other hand you might have great batters but they are poor runners. Which isn’t bad if you hit the ball really hard quite often.
Also about points:
I am trying to get a feeling for judging results.
The theoretical maximum amount of runs in an inning are 9 I guess, but that’s probably very rare.
What are usual results? Is a final result of 4:3 common? Or 40:30?
At which point would you start to call a game “low scoring” or “high scoring”?
Edit: and one final question for today:
Does the third “out” instantly end the inning? Or could there be a situation in which a double play could make it four outs? Would there be any reason to do that? Maybe if there is more than one runner active and you prevent both from scoring? (That’s assuming the inning doesn’t instantly end).
A player has left the base when he stops touching it.
You can steal whenever you want so long as the ball is live. The ball is always live unless indicated otherwise by the umpires. Technically if you know the rules they don’t need to indicate it but that’s the safest way. Hit by pitch, foul ball, umpire calls time, etc are all reasons for a dead ball. The ball only becomes live again when the umpire says so.
Players can move between positions but it is exceedingly rare that a pitcher does anything but pitch. You can substitute more than one a time. Generally you must request timeout from the umpire to do this, but if done between innings, it is just communicated to the officials and happens (eg. Substituting a player for defensive purposes just before going back on the field after batting). Total substitutions are limited by roster size.
A caught ball is not in flight. A ball is caught when considered under control by the fielder.
I have to check the rules again, I forget who gets out when a batted ball hits the runner. I think it’s the batter. Then likely the runner when the fielders man him haha.
A batted ball that hits the batter after he leaves the batters box is an out. Within the batters box it is a foul ball.
Teams generally value specific attributes, but not the way you think. Everyone recognizes that starting pitching is money. But you also can’t win without scoring. It’s all about where you think your money is best spent to fit what your team currently looks like. There could be a whole thread on this issue.
You can score 500 runs in an inning theoretically. There is no maximum in pro ball. That being said it’ll never happen. Scoring more than 4 runs an inning is excellent. Double digit games you’ve hit exceptionally well. 1-0 is not an uncommon score but it’s not super common either.
Yes officially all players other than the pitcher and catcher are “fielders.” Any fielder can play any position, though for stat keeping there is usually a pause to update who went where. The pitcher and catcher can also swap with any fielder at any time as well, but again, you’d have a pause for this (I don’t know of this ever happening during and inning). To sub players the ball must be dead, and if they are truly swapping positions (ie not just bringing the outfield way in or something), their position in the batting order is noted.
Yes subbing a runner is called a “pinch runner,” subbing a batter is a “pinch hitter.” Subbing more than one player is allowed (not sure about more than 2 at a time, I’d have to look into the rules on that one). Subs are made during a dead ball, and the umpire determines how long they have to accomplish it. If they feel they are taking to long, they can simply allow the game to restart, and the team subbing is either short handed, or has too many men on the field (and penalized). I don’t believe there is a limit on subs, and anyone on your roster is eligible to sub.
This occurs to some teams, mainly due to player salaries. If you have the money and the talent, you load up on both offense and defense. Defense in baseball is largely based on the pitchers, as they are single biggest factor in how many runs an opposing team can score. A lot of money goes to having a good pitching staff. At the MLB level nobody focuses only on offense, as there’s no way to win a game if you can’t get the other team out of the batters box. A team with a weak pitching staff and a roster of heavy hitters, isn’t going to fair particularly well. Though the games will probably be a lot of fun to watch.
Overall expect to have between 5-10 runs as a combine total (ie 1 to 4, 6 to 4, etc). Anything below or above is probably a low/high score.
As @Rhinosaurus noted, a 3rd out instantly ends the inning. However there is a bit of weirdness on how scoring works here. So if a runner is “forced out” than any run scored prior to the forced out is negated, this applies regardless of the number of outs. If a runner is not forced out, but merely out than any runs count. A runner is forced out if their batted ball is caught on the fly, they are forced to advance a base and the ball is held by that baseman and they are on the bag, and a bunch of other less common events. Some examples:
The batter hits a fly ball deep to right field, and 3rd base runs home before the field catches the ball on the fly. Even though they touched home, the ball was caught on the fly forcing them out.
The batter hits a grounder, and 3rd base runs home. The batter slow though, and the fielding team, is able to get the ball to 1st base before the batter gets there. The batter is forced out and as such the run doesn’t count.
I’m fuzzy o this one. You are most probably correct, but I thought the run would count.
True, the batter must run to first so if the catch gets there before he does, he’s out. Likewise if there had been a guy on first and the ground ball was fielded by the shortstop who tossed it to the second baseman (foot on the bag…the base), the guy running from first base is a forced out. So the run doesn’t count…but if there was only runner on third base, and he made it home before the batter was out…isn’t that akin to stealing home? The run counts?