View Full Version : Question on Fielder's Choice Rule

Tools of Ignorance
06-20-2006, 04:41 PM
I know the rule is as follows:

FIELDER'S CHOICE is the act of a fielder who handles a fair grounder and, instead of throwing to first base to put out the batter-runner, throws to another base in an attempt to put out a preceding runner. The term is also used by scorers (a) to account for the advance of the batter-runner who takes one or more extra bases when the fielder who handles his safe hit attempts to put out a preceding runner; (b) to account for the advance of a runner (other than by stolen base or error) while a fielder is attempting to put out another runner; and (c) to account for the advance of a runner made solely because of the defensive teamís indifference (undefended steal).

But how much leeway does the scorer have?

Scenario: Runner at first. Batter hits a grounder to second. Second basemen throws to shortstop at second base. No bungle on the play, but the runner beats the throw. This is still fielder's choice isn't it? Seems a shame to give the batter 0-1 on this at bat.

What if the runner at first was going to beat the throw (judgement), so they threw to second instead and where still late?

What if the runner was stealing, got to second well ahead of the play, the ball was caught but would not have got the runner at first, and the infielder flipped to second anyway to try and get the lead runner leaning off base?

Is there any judgment based on if the runner would have beaten the throw at first?

06-20-2006, 04:46 PM
If the official scorer believes that the hitter would have beaten the throw to first it's a base hit all the way. It's only a fielder's choice when the fielder attempts to throw out a runner when he could have gotten the guy at first.

There's nothing unfair about a batter going 0-1 on a play where he could have been easily thrown out.

You'll often see a base hit awarded on a ball hit deep into the hole when the only play that the SS can make is to 2nd. If he's unsuccessful in making the out at 2nd, a basehit will be awarded if the official scorer doesn't believe there was a viable play at first.

Tools of Ignorance
06-20-2006, 05:09 PM
Thanks. That seemed to make the most sense to me as well.