Our very own Mike Morse, better known to you as the author of our Ask-the-Ump feature, has a new book out, and we’re very pleased to offer an excerpt here. All-New Baseball Brainteasers is full of entertaining rules conundrums, many involving the Yanks and Sox. Remember when Mike Pagliarulo scored a run that no one noticed? When Trot Nixon lost count of the outs and tossed a live ball into the crowd? Both in there. This is the perfect pre-season gift for the Yanks or Sox fan in your life, and it’s only $6.95!
Better still, YFSF is giving away one free copy of the book to someone who knows their foul tips from foul balls, obstruction from interference, and all the exceptions to the infield fly rule. But before we get to the contest, here’s an excerpt from the book:
With runners on second and third and no one out, the batter hits a foul pop near the third-base dugout. The third baseman makes a spectacular catch and then falls into the fenced-off area for photographers. The runner from third base tags up and scores. The runner from second tags up and tries to advance, but the third baseman recovers and manages to get the ball to a teammate, who tags the runner out at third. Is this a valid double play? Does the run count? Certainly, it should sound familiar.
Whenever the Yankees and Red Sox meet late in the season, something interesting is bound to happen. In 1997, when the Baltimore Orioles had all but won the American League East, the Yankees were pursuing a wild card playoff berth and needed a victory against their biggest rivals. Trailing by one run in the sixth inning, the Yankees had Jorge Posada on second and Derek Jeter on third when Tim Raines came to bat.
Raines hit a foul pop that Boston’s John Valentin caught before falling into the photographer’s pit. Jeter scored and Posada was apparently thrown out at third base when Valentin flipped the ball to Nomar Garciaparra, who then threw to Jeff Frye, covering third. The Red Sox then left the field thinking the inning was over. Was it?
When a fielder falls into a dead ball area after catching the ball, the ball becomes dead. If he does this with runners on base, then each runner is awarded one base. If a fielder enters the dugout after making a catch or goes in there and catches a fly ball, then the ball remains alive unless the fielder falls down, in which case the ball is dead and each runner gets one base.
In this case, Jeter was awarded home and Posada was awarded third. The Yankees went on to win the game, 7-6, when Jeter singled home Paul O’Neill with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Okay. Now here’s the quiz for you. First correct entry in the comments gets a free book:
In each of the following, what’s a ground rule double, what’s a home run, and what’s neither?
1. Batted ball hits outfielder on head, flies over fence.
2. Batted ball hits fence, bounces on outfielder’s head, then flies over fence.
3. Batted ball hits top of fence and flies over.
4. Bounding fair batted ball is touched by fan who reaches over fence.
5. Score tied, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, and batted ball bounces over fence.
The Fine Print: From All New Baseball Brain Teasers: 60 Major League Puzzles by Michael Morse. Copyright (c) 2007 by Michael Morse. Used by permission of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.