Jeremy Bleich was pitching for the Trenton Thunder, the AA New York Yankees affiliate, in the bottom of the seventh. Switch hitting Sea Dog Henry Ramos took first base after he was hit by a pitch. Heiker Meneses came to the plate, and Bleich pitched one pitch to Meneses. Meneses squared for the bunt. He struck the ball and continued his progression out of the batter's box. The ball rebounded and struck off his bat. Later that Sunday afternoon, Dustin Pedroia also had a hit ball bounce back up and hit his bat. Meneses was out. Pedroia was not.
So why the difference in the calls?
Both calls caused quite the stir among the coaches and reporters at the respective games as they tried to understand what just happened. Both umpiring crews got the call correct. It is as simple as the position of the batter. Meneses had moved out of the batter's box. Pedroia was still in the batter's box.
Rule 6.05(h) A batter is out when --
Rule 6.05 of the Official Rules of Baseball contains the rules that describe how a batter may be put out. Rule 6.05(h) states:
"After hitting or bunting a fair ball, his bat hits the ball a second time in fair territory. The ball is dead and no runners may advance. If the batter-runner drops his bat and the ball rolls against the bat in fair territory and, in the umpire’s judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, the ball is alive and in play. If the batter is in a legal position in the batter’s box, see Rule 6.03, and, in the umpire’s judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, a batted ball that strikes the batter or his bat shall be ruled a foul ball;"
At both occurrences, there were discussions between coaches and umpires. At both instances, reporters and enthusiast alike were trying to analyze these unusual calls. Seeing both events was quite the twofer.
The Sea Dogs are entering a six game series that will be played in four days against the Binghamton Mets with double headers on Monday and Wednesday. Call (207) 879-9500 for tickets. Remember to bring your glove, and I'll see you at Hadlock.