I have a follow up to the question on imaginary line question. I told a buddy of mine what you had said about no imaginary line in pro ball, as there is in High School which there is it is stated in high school rule book.
Since there is no imaginary line in pro ball and I know this would probably never happen someone would pick it up before it rolled foul, but we would like to know just for argument sake. If a fly ball lands just in front of 2nd base and has such a spin on it that it rolls and settles untouched by a fielder into foul territory between 1st and home or 3rd and home: its a Foul Ball, right?
in rule 2.00 it states the the ball has to hit or pass 1st or 3rd base before rolling foul to be a fair ball. So is it that a ball would have to hit or pass 2nd base before rolling foul to be fair? even though a ball hitting in front of 2nd and rolling foul would of really passed 1st or 3rd as far as distance goes.
If you stand on 1st and look across at 3rd, you can see that between the pitching mound and 2nd there is an area that the ball is passed 1st and 3rd.
Like I said i know this would probably never happen that the ball would be picked up before rolling foul.
Just to make sure it a foul ball in pro ball. I know it a fair ball in high school it clearly stated in the high school rule book.
I hope you don't mind me picking your brain
thank for your time and consideration in this matter.
Curiouser and curiouser, eh? Wait for it…
That's my understanding. The rule is extremely vague on the matter. It mentions second base only once, and that's if the ball hits second. Here's the rule broken into its components:
A FAIR BALL is
A) a batted ball that settles on fair ground between home and first base, or between home and third base,
B) or that is on or over fair territory when bounding to the outfield past first or third base,
C) or that touches first, second or third base,
D) or that first falls on fair territory on or beyond first base or third base,
E) or that, while on or over fair territory touches the person of an umpire or player,
F) or that, while over fair territory, passes out of the playing field in flight.
G) FLIES: A fair fly shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the fielder is on fair or foul territory at the time he touches the ball.
If a fly ball lands in the infield between home and first base, or home and third base, and then bounces to foul territory without touching a player or umpire and before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball; or if the ball settles on foul territory or is touched by a player on foul territory, it is a foul ball.
If a fly ball lands on or beyond first or third base and then bounces to foul territory, it is a fair hit.
Clubs, increasingly, are erecting tall foul poles at the fence line with a wire netting extending along the side of the pole on fair territory above the fence to enable the umpires more accurately to judge fair and foul balls. [When was this part written, I wonder.]
The rule stats that it is fair if it "falls first on fair territory on or beyond first or third base". However, what is the definition of "beyond"? Not to be Clintonian, but I could see three possible answers: any balls over the imaginary line between first and third (which I believe is the case in high school ball), any balls beyond the arc between first and third that is ninety feet from home, or the entire square area with corners at the bases.
The only other mention the rules make to this is to say that a ball that hit's the pitcher's plate and then goes foul before passing third or first is foul:
A FOUL BALL is…a batted ball not touched by a fielder, which hits the pitcher's rubber and rebounds into foul territory, between home and first, or between home and third base is a foul ball.
However, Pythagoras tells us that the most constrictive of the above options (i.e., the imaginary line) would still be beyond the mound (63.64 feet—or the square root of 90^2*2 divided by 2—from home as opposed to the rubber's 60'6").
From the rules themselves it appears to be left to the umpire's discretion or perhaps to precedents that have been established. My take is that if such a play occurred, then the ball would be foul. The intention of the rule is that to ensure that a ball is considered fair once it leaves the infield, which the rule implies. So that is why hitting the bases is mentioned, but not bouncing out in front of second.