Sharp and competent people, probably, but the authors of the Constitution and Bill of Rights were probably even more so, and they still wrote in some misguided or ambiguous things, and had some oversights.
On further review, both of the rules we quoted are applied to "batters," not "runners" (the heading of 6.05 is "A batter is out when--" and 6.06 is "A batter is out for illegal action when--"). So apparently they are still considered batters when they're running to first base. In that case, 6.06(c) does sound like it could actually be a valid basis for an appeal here:
"A batter is out for illegal action when he interferes with the catcher's fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter's box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher's play at home base."
The catcher arguably was "at home base," and Konerko did interfere his throwing (the definition of interference being "an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play"). I don't think that's the intent of the rule, but I think it could be interpreted that way.
--"If the intent of the 45 foot lane was to block a throwing lane, wouldn't it be in the rules?"
I could say the same thing about the intent being to keep the first baseman from getting run over -- it doesn't say that's the reason either. I just don't see the logic in needing a whole 45 feet of being towards the outside of the bag, just to avoid a collision right next to the bag, do you?
Your rule change would give fielders carte blanche to throw as hard as they can at any vulnerable spot on a runner's body, then? You really think that's a good idea? Do you also want this rule to apply to college, high school, and little league? That's insane. It would destroy the game.
I'm trying to prevent injuries, and you're trying to encourage them, apparently. I guess we have a fundamental difference of opinion.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Major League Baseball has denied the Los Angeles Angels' protest of their 8-6, 10-inning loss at the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.
The decision by MLB executive vice president Joe Torre was announced Monday.
Chicago's Paul Konerko grounded to third with the bases loaded and no outs in the first inning. After getting an out at home, catcher Chris Iannetta fired wide to first, pulling Albert Pujols off the bag.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia argued that Konerko was not within the baseline for the last 45 feet, as is required, but umpires upheld the safe call and Scioscia protested. A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer with two outs for a 4-1 lead.
--Sharp and competent people, probably, but the authors of the Constitution and Bill of Rights were probably even more so, and they still wrote in some misguided or ambiguous things, and had some oversights. --Not really... not for the time they were written.
Rule 6.06 is possible, not 6.05.
--I could say the same thing about the intent being to keep the first baseman from getting run over it doesn't say that's the reason either. --Basically it does.
I'm not surprised.
So next time throw at the runner and hit him in the back.
Make him pay for not allowing a throw to first base.
To my memory, there is only twice the Angels should have won the protest.
Once Steve Palermo lied. Gene Mauch had him dead to rights, and Palmermo showed how little integrity he had and lied about why he made a bad call, changing it from a rules violation to simply a horrible call.
The other Bobby Grich charged a ball against the new york Yankees, and stopped in the baseline as was common for him. The runner knocked him down and the umpire did not call interference. To this day I have no idea why the Angels lost that protest.
Ryan's first no-hitter was played under protest by Jack McKeon.
No, they don't have carte blanche. Just like a pitcher, if a fielder were to obviously throw intentionally at a runner (e.g. the pitcher fielding it near the mound and throwing at a runner midway between home and first), they'd get tossed and probably suspended. When Clemens threw the broken bat near Piazza, umpires concluded it wasn't intentional, but he got fined anyway. It's not in the best interest of the game to have players trying to injure each other, clearly.
If the rules were changed to make hitting the runner a legitimate out method, not only would you not be punished for trying to deliberately throw at a runner, but it would probably become a preferred method for getting an out, in a lot of situations.
I don't see anywhere in 6.05(k) anything about protecting the first baseman from getting run over:
"A batter is out when -- In running the last half of the distance from home base to first base, while the ball is being fielded to first base, he runs outside (to the right of) the three-foot line, or inside (to the left of) the foul line, and in the umpire’s judgment in so doing interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base, in which case the ball is dead; except that he may run outside (to the right of) the three-foot line or inside (to the left of) the foul line to avoid a fielder attempting to field a batted ball;"
The definition of offensive interference, again, is "an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play." That's a lot broader than just running into the first baseman. You could successfully argue that the runner (or "batter," apparently) blocking the first baseman's view of the ball counts as interference, even if it doesn't hit him, it appears.
As for ambiguity in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, how's this:
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Why add in the part about well regulated militias? Why not just say the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed? That addition sounds like it could be a limitation, so it creates confusion.
How are they ever going to prove it? We are talking about a ball, not a broken bat, and they couldn't even prove a broken bat.
--"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."--It's not ambiguous, then. Back then you couldn't carry a cannon. If you could carry it, you were entitled to it. It's ambiguous today for grenades.
< Your rule change would give fielders carte blanche to throw as hard as they can at any vulnerable spot on a runner's body, then? >
They can do that now. As far as I know there is no rule against throwing at a runner. If there is one please cite it. The big difference would be eliminating the "intent" part of the rule as it is now when it comes to interference. If the ball touches the runner while off the base he is out, simple.
Usually it goes this way: A runner is advancing from 2nd to 3rd on a throw from the OF. By looking at the 3rd baseman's eyes and watching his body language the runner can tell where the ball is going to be as it approaches 3rd base. By deviating his path to the base, or deciding to go in standing up instead of sliding he can force the ball to hit him, usually resulting in a automatic "safe" call and perhaps even allowing him it run home as the ball bounds away.
By changing the rule to if the ball touches the runner while off the base he is out, it would eliminate the runner from interfering with the ball. In fact, the opposite would occur. The runner would likely purposely move away from the path of the ball.
If a fielder chooses to throw at a runner instead of the fielder, all the runner has to do is make sure the ball misses him, and it is far more likely the runner will advance by having the ball miss both him and the intended fielder than it would by simply throwing to the base.
As a shortstop, I've thrown at runners, and as a runner, I've been thrown at.
It's part of baseball.
As a runner, I would love to get hit in the back from a firstbasemen as I went into second. It's never happened, but it sure beats getting thrown own.
--"As far as I know there is no rule against throwing at a runner."
Well, going back to the original rules of the game again (Knickerbocker), I think it must have gotten lost in the translation between now and then, or that people thought it was so obvious that it didn't need to be specified:
"13TH. A player running the bases shall be out, if the ball is in the hands of an adversary on the base, or the runner is touched with it before he makes his base; it being understood, however, that in no instance is a ball to be thrown at him."
All we have left now, that I can see, is 9.01(d): "Each umpire has authority to disqualify any player, coach, manager or substitute for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike conduct or language, and to eject such disqualified person from the playing field. If an umpire disqualifies a player while a play is in progress, the disqualification shall not take effect until no further action is possible in that play."
A pitcher intentionally throwing at a batter's head is specifically mentioned as an example of unsportsmanlike conduct in the comments of 8.02(d), so obviously a fielder intentionally throwing at a runner should be considered unsportsmanlike as well.
The Knickerbocker rules were just strange. Things like "A batter is out on a batted ball, fair or foul, if caught on the fly or after one bounce."
National League / Major League Rules had some bizarre ones as well:1879 - The number of "called balls" became 9 and all balls were either strikes, balls or fouls.1880 - Base on balls was reduced to 8 "called balls."1884 - Six "called balls" became a base on balls.1885 - One portion of the bat could be flat (one side).1887 - Calling for high and low pitches was abolished. Five balls became a base on balls. Four "called strikes" were adopted for this season only.... and here is the doozy:"The batter was awarded first base when hit by a pitch." So apparently before 1887 the pitcher could throw at the batter consistently without any penalty, other than perhaps a "judgement call" based on intent.
Its the whole "intent" thing I would like to see eliminated. Even the whole thing about the umpire having the discretion to remove a pitcher or not, and sometimes without the batter even being hit by a pitch is ridiculous... as are "warnings" to the pitcher.
Ever wonder why rule 8.02(d) specifically mentions a batter's head? Is it ok for the pitcher to aim somewhere other than the head? So according to you a fielder throwing at a runner's head "should" be considered unsportsmanlike as well, although it happens quite frequently, much as AG alluded to.
Do you remember a game against the Yankees where Jorge Posada was running from 1st to 2nd on a ground ball to short and refused to get down out of the way of the double-play throw? Aybar promply hit Posada in the face with the ball, breaking his nose in the process. There was no "warning" and Aybar remained in the game. It happens all the time.. and I bet Posada always made sure to get out of the way after that incident.