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I'M out of order?!? YOU'RE out of order! The whole damn courtroom is out of order! Mach II.I
2003-08-18 21:16
by Mike Carminati

Larry Mahnken points out that my statement, "If they had appealed before the first pitch to Batista, then Fordyce would have been out instead of Gibbons to end the first...", was in error. Reviewing the rule, I notice that it states that the batting out of turn is legalized after "the first pitch to the next batter of either team". My assumption that the next pitch must be delivered to the next batter of the errant team was inaccurate.

There were still three instances of batting out of order. It's just that the Yankees could not appeal the play to end the first after they themselves had had their at-bats in the top of the second.

By the way, here are some examples of the rule's use over the years from the peerless The Rules and Lore of Baseball:

In the seventh inning of the third game of the 1925 World Series between the Pirates and Senators, Earl McNeely ran for Nemo Leibold who had batted for pitcher Alex Ferguson. McNeely then went onto play center field. Sam Rice moved to right, and Fred Marberry went to the mound. Under the rules, McNeely should have batted ninth, but in his place Marberry came up. The Pirates were caught napping, and when they realized the error, it was too late to do anything about it. Sam Rice, the next batter, was already pitched to!

Joe Pignatano played for Forth Worth in the Texas League in 1956. In a game against Shreveport, Pignatano was listed eighth in the batting order but batted seventh on his first trip to the plate. He hit a home run that was protested by Mel McGaha, Shreveport Manager. It was ruled that the proper number seven hitter was out. Pignatano batted again and hit the first pitch for a home run. In Texas, Joe Pignatano will always be remembered for hitting two successive homers, but one was an out.

On April 17, 1958, Birmingham of the Southern Association managed by Cal Frmer met Chattanooga. When Red Marion, Chattanooga pilot, filled out his lineup card, he listed one batter twice and omitted another. The slipup resulted from the similarity in the last names of Vein Morgan, his third baseman, and catcher Guy Morton. Marion wrote Morgan's name in the second position and again in the number six slot, where he intended for Morton to hit.

In the first inning, Morgan batted second and was retired, but Chattanooga filled the bases with two out, bringing up Morton. He singled to drive in a run. However, Ermer immediately called Umpire Frank Girard's attention to the lineup card, which showed Morgan as the sixth batter as well as second. Girard then ruled Morton batted out of turn, making the third out and nullifying the run. With the aid of this break, Birmingham went on to win 1-0.

To begin with, the umpire should carefully read the lineup cards before the game. If he notices that the same player is listed twice in the batting order, he should have the manager correct the error prior to the start of the game.

In the episode above, since Morgan was listed in both the second and sixth spots, he became the legal number two batter when he batted in that position. With all of the players written on the lineup card in the game, this leaves the number six spot for Morton, the catcher, and he should have been treated as an unannounced substitute, making his hit and RBI legal. This relates to rule 3.08(a-2) which states, If no announcement of a substitution is made, the substitute shall be considered as having entered the game when jf a batter, he takes his place in the batter's box.

Ermer was alert to the situation, having managed Chattanooga with Morgan and Morton on his team the previous two seasons. Ermer admitted that he had caught himself several times writing down one or the other twice.

Umpires can get confused over the rule like anyone else; as this excerpt shows.

In a game played between the Athletics and White Sox in the early '50s, the following fiasco took place. Philadelphia won the game, 5-1, but the first inning proved to be trouble. You see this was the second game of a double-header, and manager Jimmy Dykes of the Athletics forgot to make a lineup card change for the second game. Here is what happened.

Eddie Joost led off for the A's in the bottom of the first and struck out. Ferris Fain followed with a double to left. Dave Philley then drew a base on balls. Gus Zerniel then doubled to left scoring Fain and advancing Philley to third.

That's when Chicago manager Paul Richards came striding from the dugout, and the rhubarb began. He told umpire Bill Summers that the A's had batted that way in the first game, but before the second game started, manager Jimmy Dykes had revised the batting order, switching Allie Clark to the third spot from fifth and dropping Philley to fifth from third. Dykes did admit that Richards was correct and that he forgot to notify his players between games. So here is what the A's order should have been: Joost, Fain, Clark, Zerniel, Philley, and Michaels. But the improper order was followed: Joost, Fain, Pbilley, Zerniel, Clark, and Michaels.

After twenty minutes of discussion, with players, fans, and the press box in a great state of confusion, the umpires ruled:

Philley, who batted out of turn, became a legal baserunner when no protest was made before the first pitch to the batter following him.

Zerniel was an improper batter because he followed the wrong man. He was deprived of his double, Fain was returned to second base and Zerniel to the bench to await his next turn in the proper order.

And Cass Michaels, the batter following Philley on the official list, was out because he didn't appear at the plate in his proper turn.

In the case mentioned, Clark should have been the proper batter after Fain batted. However Philley, the improper batter came up. An appeal was not made until Zerniel had batted.

Rule 6.07(c) says, When an improper batter (Philley) becomes a runner or is put out, and a pitch is made to the next batter (Zerniel) of either team before an appeal is made, the improper batter (Philley) thereby becomes the proper batter and the results of his time at bat become legal.

Since a pitch was thrown to Zerniel and Philley was on base, this legalized Philley's base on balls. Since Philley was on base and could not bat after Zerniel, Cass Michaels should have taken his turn at bat.

If Richards appealed while Philley was at bat, Allie Clark would have stepped in and inherited the count. If Richards appealed after Philley walked, but before the first pitch was thrown to Zerniel, Philley would be removed from first and Allie Clark would be out. Zerniel would then be the batter.

I think the umpires got lost on this one. The rule sounds a lot more confusing than it really is. From the defensive manager's standpoint, it is suicide to alert the umpire while the improper batter is at bat. If the error is corrected, the proper batter just assumes the count. From the offensive manager's standpoint, it is advisable to put the proper batter up and replace the improper batter if it is possible. The proper batter just inherits the count.

Oriole Manager Paul Richards pulled a reversal to the rule by instructing Jerry Adair to purposely bat out of turn in 1960 in a game against Detroit.

In the eighth inning, Richards let Adair bat when it was pitcher Gordon Jones' turn to bat. When Adair hit a two-run single, Detroit Manager Jimmy Dykes brought the mistake to the umpire's attention.

"Guess I might as well admit," said Richards, "I purposely had Adair bat out of turn. I was hoping the count would get to 3-and-0, and then I could send up Jones to get a walk. I didn't have another pitcher hot, so I didn't want to take out Jones."

In this case Jones was out, and Adair, who normally followed Jones in the order, batted again in his normal spot.

If you want to force a weak hitter to get ahead of the pitcher, this is a pretty good trick.

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