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 the runner can run without liability. But say he misses second, touches third, hits home, and goes to the dugout. What happens in this case?
This is governed by Rule 7.10
[The runner is out on appeal when] With the ball in play, while advancing or returning to a base, he fails to touch each base in order before he, or a missed base, is tagged.
So if you miss a bag on your home run trot, you not only have to hit that bag, but you need to go back to each one and re round the bases. IIRC it is still a dead ball so there is no harm in doing so. However, generally if you miss a bag you're going to end up out because you won't know it until the appeal is made.
An appeal is made by either tagging the runner or the missed bag. The pitcher will throw the ball to the fielder and the fielder will tag the base. If there is confusion the fielder will need to verbally tell the umpire they are making an appeal. However, I've never seen a case where verbal communication is required. If the fielder knows to ask for the ball, the umpire has also seen the miss.
Also related to this is MLB rule 7.12
Unless two are out, the status of a following runner is not affected by a preceding runner’s failure to touch or retouch a base. If, upon appeal, the preceding runner is the third out, no runners following him shall score. If such third out is the result of a force play, neither preceding nor following runners shall score.
That's a little confusing, but the long and short of it is that unless there is a force play, all the runners ahead of the player who is called out score. The force plays in a bases loaded situation are as follows:
- Runner on Third misses home
- Runner on Second misses third
- Runner on First misses second
- Batter misses first.
These are the plays that negate the entire home run if the force is a third out. Any other play will only negate the following runners if it's the third out.
See Section 4.09 of the official MLB rule book "How a Team Scores" http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2014/official_baseball_rules.pdf
A few examples are provided for different scenarios, for example: APPROVED RULING: Two out, bases full, batter hits home run over fence. Batter, on appeal, is declared out for missing first base. Three outs. No run counts.
First let's go over the appeal process. It is basically the same for any appeal in any situation.
After the play is over the pitcher will engage the mound/rubber. Then step off and then throw to the base where the infraction occurred. There is no need to tell an umpire what you are appealing. They would understand that this is an appeal and make their decision. For instance if the runner missed first base and the pitcher stepped off and threw to third base the umpire would signal a "safe" sign. The pitcher may appeal to every base after the play is over.
When is the play over? This is a judgement call by the umpire but basically the rulebook states when a player has officially retreated from the play. Meaning the player has begun to go to the dugout or is in the dugout or "quit" the play. Note that this is not when the player hits homeplate or crosses home. For instance a player could round the bases, cross home, run another 10 feet and a team could yell, "Go back and hit first!" The player then would have the opportunity to hit home, then third, then second, then first, then second, then third and home again to complete their homerun.
It is crucial for the defensive team to not let on that they will appeal until the play is over and why you will notice that teams are very quiet/sneaky when they feel like something is missed. The rulebook in my opinion gives the offensive player too much of a chance to correct their mistake.
The rule is that no run shall count with two outs if a player misses a bag and is out on appeal.
Read reference from the book:
APPROVED RULING: Two out, Jones on second, Smith on first and batter, Brown, hits home run inside the park. All three runs cross the plate. But Jones missed third base, and on appeal is declared out. Three outs. Smith’s and Brown’s runs are voided. No score on the play.