Questions about the sport of baseball. The [mlb] tag should also be used if the question concerns Major League Baseball directly.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

24
votes
2answers
27k views

How to recognize baseball pitches when watching television games?

When I watch Baseball games on TV, I have trouble to identify the pitch that the pitchers are throwing. I know the pitch types but can't tell the difference of a fastball to a slider when watching ...
21
votes
4answers
13k views

Why does a foul ball not count as a third strike?

From the Wikipedia entry for foul ball A strike is issued for the batter if he had fewer than two strikes ... A strike is, however, recorded for the pitcher for every foul ball the batter hits,...
20
votes
1answer
22k views

Why is a foul bunt on strike three an out?

Following up on "Why does a foul ball not count as a third strike?", I can understand caught fouls and foul tips being counted as strike 3. But what is the logic behind a 3rd strike foul bunt being an ...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the reasoning behind the Uncaught Third Strike Rule?

In MLB, if a Catcher drops or misses the third pitched strike, the batter becomes a runner and can attempt to reach first base before tagged out or forced out at first. 6.09 The batter becomes a ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do umpires indicate whether a caught fly ball is fair or foul?

If a batter pops up or flies out down a base line, and the fielder catching the ball is within a couple feet of the foul line, the umpire will always signal the out, and then "fair" or "foul" ...
18
votes
6answers
896 views

What baseball rules or calls have become customary despite them not being in the rule book?

There are some rules in Major League Baseball that have "evolved" over time. One such example is the checked swing rule. Announcers talk about the bat "breaking the plane of the plate" to judge ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Has there ever been a situation where the outfielder has intentionally dropped a foul ball to prevent a run from scoring from third?

I can foresee a situation when a team is tied or up by one run, late in the game, where an outfielder may intentionally drop a catchable ball in foul territory to prevent an opposing runner from ...
17
votes
6answers
48k views

What gives a left-handed pitcher an advantage over a left-handed batter?

In baseball, a pitcher is often assumed to have an advantage over a batter based on his handedness (i.e. left-handed vs right-handed). I think it is that right-handed pitchers have an advantage of ...
16
votes
2answers
18k views

If a play ends with two runners at the same base who is safe?

In baseball if a play ends and two base runners are at the same base who is safe and who is out? Does the situation change if one of the runners can be forced?
15
votes
7answers
11k views

Why does the catcher decide what sort pitch the pitcher has to throw?

I have been reading few baseball related comics and, in all the comics what I have observed is that,the catchers always signal what the pitcher has to throw. It is as if the catchers are the brain ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Why are forfeits in baseball scored as 9-0?

In baseball, when a forfeit occurs, the score is 9-0. Why 9-0? What does this score mean, and what is the historical reason for this value?
13
votes
3answers
15k views

What do baseball umpires say when a strike/ball is thrown?

I am currently watching the Yankees vs. Rangers game. Just saw a few strikes and balls thrown, and it seems that, for a strike, the umpire just points to his right/left and yells "HO!". Furthermore, ...
13
votes
2answers
7k views

In baseball, can a player be replaced during an at-bat?

In baseball, a player can replaced by any other player who hasn't yet appeared in the game. Can this replacement be made after a player has started batting and is still at the plate?
13
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the history/reasoning behind the defensive indifference rule in MLB?

I'm struggling to find a good answer as to why a player would not be credited with a stolen base under the official MLB rules. It seems to me that most indifference calls are made when the defending ...
13
votes
2answers
44k views

What are the criteria for wins, losses, and saves in MLB?

I've read the rules for determining Wins, Losses and Saves for pitchers, and I've never been able to make heads or tails of it. Is there an easier way to explain it?
12
votes
6answers
8k views

Is the runner on first forced to run?

Looking for some clarification on this situation that came up today: There is one out and a runner on first base (R1). The batter hits a fly ball in the infield. The first baseman (1st) makes an ...
12
votes
4answers
21k views

Does a run count if it's made on the same play as the 3rd out?

Under what conditions can a run be scored on a play that results in a 3rd out for the team? I was under the impression that if a 3rd out happens, all runs that might have scored before time during ...
12
votes
2answers
654 views

Walkoff homer, decisive run scores but following runner leaves base path

This question is a hypothetical based on the last play of Game 5 of the 2014 NLCS. San Francisco batting in the bottom of the 9th, score tied 3-3, runners Arias at second and Belt at first, one out. ...
12
votes
1answer
360 views

Does MLB Rule 7.13(2) (on blocking the plate) apply to players other than the catcher?

There was an unusual play in tonight's NLDS game between San Francisco and Washington. With runners at second and third, and one out, the Nationals pitcher P threw a wild pitch (on an intentional ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Why the limit on manager mound visits?

I recall that Don Mattingly was forced to remove his pitcher due to two mound meetings in an inning. I've read articles that indicate that a limit was placed on manager-led mound meetings to speed up ...
11
votes
2answers
979 views

Why can't MLB teams trade draft picks?

Why can't MLB teams trade draft picks like the NHL or NFL? It would make for much more interesting drafts, and teams could "stock up" on young talent, then burn picks for veterans to make a playoff ...
11
votes
1answer
15k views

Why are pitcher's mounds higher than the rest of the baseball field?

On softball fields, the pitcher's "mound" appears flat. However, on baseball fields, the pitcher's mound is a mound. MLB Official Rules state (Rule 1.04, in part): The pitcher’s plate shall be 10 ...
10
votes
1answer
955 views

How is WAR defined as a baseball statistic?

WAR (wins above replacement) is a statistic that is often used to describe the value of a baseball player's performance in a given year. How is this statistic determined? What are the differences ...
10
votes
1answer
154 views

When and why did baseball players start exclusively running the bases counterclockwise?

In modern baseball, the players always run around the bases counterclockwise (anticlockwise). However, a book written in the 1830's - one of the first to describe the version of the sport we know ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

Can a pitcher also be a designated hitter?

Suppose an American League Team ended up with a good-hitting pitcher e.g Yovani Gallardo, or from an earlier era, Ken Brett, who had established this reputation in the National League. Could such a ...
10
votes
1answer
776 views

Use of the designated hitter (DH) in the MLB

With the Houston Astros moving to the American League starting in 2013, each league (National and American) will have an even amount of teams (15). As a result, the debate regarding designated ...
10
votes
4answers
13k views

What happens to the runner if he misses a base after hitting a homerun?

Scenario: No one on base. 2 outs. Batter hits a homerun. However, while rounding the bases, completely misses stepping on second base. Now, I understand that being a home run, it's a dead ball, and ...
10
votes
6answers
7k views

Why can't modern starting pitchers consistently pitch on 2-3 days rest?

I've been browsing through some historical pitching stats at Baseball-Reference.com. It seems that in the 1910s and 1920s, starting pitchers frequently pitched on 3 days rest, sometimes pitched on ...
10
votes
2answers
471 views

Who autographed this baseball?

Can anyone tell me whose autograph this is? I got this as a kid and it's definitely a national league player as it's on a national league ball. would have been in the mid-late 90s when I got it ...
9
votes
3answers
104k views

What does the stat WHIP in baseball mean?

Can someone please explain to me what the statistic "WHIP" means in the game of baseball?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Does a run score if the batter is tagged for the 3rd out before he reaches first?

There is a runner on third with two out. Batter hits a slow roller to first base. First baseman charges and picks up the ball. Runner from third crosses home. First baseman tags the runner running ...
9
votes
3answers
26k views

Can a switch hitter change positions during an at bat?

Just thought about this while playing wiffleball earlier. During a baseball/softball/wiffleball game, can a switch-hitting batter just switch positions in-between pitches during an at-bat or when he ...
9
votes
1answer
122 views

Why was Kansas City denied home field advantage in the 1985 ALCS?

In 1985 home field advantage in the league championship series was done on a rotating basis. In the American League it was East even years, West odd years. Why where the Royals denied home field ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any notable cricketing baseballers or baseball-playing cricketers?

Are there any attempts (in history or today) of top-level baseball players (cricketers) having a shot at "higher-level" cricket (baseball) (and perhaps succeeding in some sort of way)? I do not mean ...
9
votes
1answer
402 views

Are there any rules in baseball which prohibit teams from “borrowing” players via trade?

Every season near the trade deadline, we see teams that are out of it trading expensive players and/or free agents-to-be, typically for younger players or prospects. For example, Matt Garza, set to ...
9
votes
1answer
194 views

Switch-Pitcher versus Switch-Batter

A Switch-Pitcher is pitching (Can pitch with the left or right arm). A Switch-Batter is at the plate (Can bat from the left or right side). In the MLB, who is forced to choose what side they are ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a baseball player stop at a base after a home run?

Suppose a player needs a triple to complete the cycle. In the ninth innings, the player hits a solo home run. Suppose that the game is a blowout, has no postseason implications, and so on such that ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

When was baseball introduced to Latin America?

I was watching Sports Center this morning and realized that baseball has a lot of players of Hispanic origin. When was baseball first introduced to Latin America? When did recruiting Latin American /...
9
votes
1answer
357 views

Has the only hit in an MLB game ever been an inside-the-park home run?

Has there ever been a one-hitter MLB game in which the hit is an inside-the-park home run?
8
votes
2answers
434 views

What team has shortest longest losing streak within a season in MLB history?

Don't know if the wording of the title makes sense, but I want to know what team had the longest losing streak that was the shortest in MLB history (or at least the live ball era) A completely made ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

MLB no-hitter resulting in loss

According to Major League Baseball an official no-hitter consists of a pitcher having pitched at least 9 innings while allowing 0 hits. In MLB history has a team lost while having a pitcher throw an ...
8
votes
1answer
717 views

Is this a legal way to tag-up and run faster?

Scenario: With 1 out and a runner on third-base, the batter hits a sacrificial fly ball to right field, enabling the runner to head for home. Traditionally, the runner sits on third until the fly is ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Why do pitchers sometimes pitch “out of the stretch?”

My understanding is that this is done in critical situations, as when there are opposing men on base, usually more than one. Is this true and if so, why is that? Is it to increase the chances of ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there times when you can “recycle” a player in baseball?

In baseball, unlike basketball or football, once a player is removed from the game, he can't be put back into the same game. That is (probably) to prevent a repetition of matchups. Example: Late in ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

What is BABIP in Baseball, and what does it tell us?

How does one get a high/low BABIP? Is this statistic for hitters and/or pitchers? What does a high/low BABIP mean? Definition: BABIP = (Hits - Homeruns) / (At Bats - Strikeouts - Homeruns + ...
8
votes
2answers
163 views

Suspending a pitcher for misconduct

For an everyday player the standard 5 game suspension for misconduct certainly hurts both the player and the team as a whole. Whereas, the same standard 5 game suspension for pitcher doesn't even ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

In fantasy baseball, should I avoid playing pitchers who are starting against my batters?

One of the important things in fantasy football is to make sure that your defense isn't starting against your high-scoring offensive players, especially your quarterback. For example, if you had Tom ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are large MLB contracts backloaded?

Many MLB contracts are backloaded. For example, Alex Rodriguez will be making over $30 million USD per year at the end of his current deal, much higher than the average annual value. I understand ...
8
votes
2answers
152 views

Preventing a player from playing a specific position via suspension

In Major League Baseball, any player can play any position. This seems to be the main reason a Pitcher is suspended with the same standard suspension as a position player. This despite a pitcher's ...
8
votes
2answers
926 views

When does a player become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft?

During the annual meetings of baseball every winter there is a short reorganization of baseball teams. It's called the Rule 5 draft. During this draft a certain group of players from each team are ...