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Lowering the Shoulder.


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#1 Jeremy

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 06:24 PM

Is there ever a time when a runner lowers their shoulder on a catcher who is clearly waiting with the ball and only gets a warning for it?

Not getting an unsportsmanlike isn’t protestable, correct?

Team only has nine players, 1st inning runner tries to run over catcher who had complete control of the ball long before the runner lowered shoulder. Catcher held on and got the out.

After the game ump and TD were overheard talking about how they weren’t going to end the final game of the tournament like that. Team would have still had the need be game, don’t know if they would have been able to field a team for it.

#2 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 06:44 PM

You don't reward an act like that by NOT calling it!
Not the Ump's fault the team only had 9 players.
Make the call.
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#3 amutz

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 07:03 PM

Anyone else feel the irony that stealing signs is 'unsportsmanlike conduct' but lowering a shoulder isn't a 'penalty' unless the umpire decides the attempt to injure was deliberate?



#4 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 08:04 PM

Both are judgement calls by the Umpire.
As for me, I'm not looking for stealing signs but I sure do notice malicious contact when I see it.

That said, I've seen cases where the runner "stumbles" and ends up bowling over the catcher unintentionally and I've also seen it done intentionally.
One doesn't warrant an ejection, one does, umpire judgement.
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#5 Ron

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 11:40 PM

Over the years my son's primary position, 60+% of the time, was catcher.  He has seen his fair share of incidents.

 

Just a few weeks back in one of his last games of the year (he's 14) a runner barreling in on him as he waits for the ball.  Ball arrived with the runner more than 15 feet away and he lowered his shoulder.  My son immediately blocks the plate after he gets the ball expecting a late slide.  When they collide the runner got the worst of it because my son remembered one thing I've harped on him about:  When there is a chance for a collision at the plate, LEAVE YOUR HELMET ON !!!

 

Runner out. 3rd out for the inning.  Runner now laying in the dirt because of the contact with his ARM to the helmet (obviously going for the head).  Although I argued that the player should be ejected, the umpire still wouldn't do it. Ridiculous!!!!!



#6 Plesh

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 12:44 PM

As someone who's caught thousands of innings, one thing I always do/teach my catchers to do is catch the ball, put your right hand around you glove, and extend towards the runner, delivering the "shot" yourself.
You'll never lose the ball this way, you'll never get out of position, and the runner won't expect it.
You don't give them a chance to evade the tag or reach around you to touch home.
Plus if you do get those rare times where the runner doesn't slide or lowers their shoulder, you're delivering the hit, not them.
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#7 richives

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 02:31 PM

Is there ever a time when a runner lowers their shoulder on a catcher who is clearly waiting with the ball and only gets a warning for it?

Not getting an unsportsmanlike isn’t protestable, correct?

Team only has nine players, 1st inning runner tries to run over catcher who had complete control of the ball long before the runner lowered shoulder. Catcher held on and got the out.

After the game ump and TD were overheard talking about how they weren’t going to end the final game of the tournament like that. Team would have still had the need be game, don’t know if they would have been able to field a team for it.


"Slide or attempt to go around" violation so it's an out anyhow.
Runner should know that.
Prima Facie evidence that it was intentional.

Eject.
Player will miss the "if" game also.

But just as a aside - run toward a brick wall.
Don't stop.
Betcha $100 you turn your shoulder into the wall before you hit it.

#8 Jeremy

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 08:39 PM

Lowering your shoulder and even pushing out with your arms is instinctual.

#9 amutz

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 09:42 PM

Lowering your shoulder and even pushing out with your arms is instinctual.


Bracing for impact is indeed instinctual.
Targeting the impact is a decision or a trained behavior.
It's up to coaches to teach and practice sliding or otherwise avoid collision.

#10 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 10:35 PM

Slide or "attempt" to get around the fielder, "avoiding" the fielder is not a requirement.
In "attempting" to get around the fielder there can be contact and there can obviously be contact with a slide.
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#11 amutz

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Posted 27 June 2018 - 11:02 PM

Trying to be more clear here - I agree with the rules language per Lou and certainly agree that baseball has contact.   Sliding is very often a contact event.    Setting aside the 'unsportsmanlike' or not rule...

 

I'm specifically advocating we coach our young baserunners to slide, go around, and generally attempt to avoid upper-body to upper-body collisions.  When i coached, we ran rundown drills and the players would often play pickle on their own.  In hours of pickle, how many times do kids plow each other?  We taught how to avoid getting called for obstruction as a fielder as well as how to try and 'show obstruction' as a baserunner (without plowing body-to-body into each other.)    The players will usually repeat what they are taught.   

 

I know coaches who teach baserunners to go straight to home (then slide) and don't worry about who is in your way - and that is when the shoulder lowers or the hands come up.  At that point probably its not 'intent to harm' - its just instinct.  But coaching the situation could have avoided the collision.

 

None of this will prevent a trainwreck now and then.  Just hoping it'll happen less often.





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