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Joined: 09/29/2011

R1 is on 2B with a lead. Pitcher has the ball and steps on pitching plate, takes his sign, comes set, then steps off pitching plate with pivot foot and fakes a throw to 2b. As the pitcher fakes the throw to 2B he tucks the ball under his armpit to hide the ball and starts walking off the dirt area towards the SS position. While the pitcher was faking the throw and hiding the ball, the 2nd baseman and SS both broke to 2B to "receive" the ball - no fake tag appeared, but they both had their gloves out to receive the "throw" and then turned to deceive the runner into thinking the ball went to CF. While the 2B and SS turned towards CF, the catcher yells, "ball! ball!", and the CF also crashes in to give the appearance of the ball being thrown to CF. R1 now gets up from his slide back to the base and starts to run to 3B thinking the ball was in CF. The pitcher tags out R1 between 2B and 3B. The coach from the offensive team, whose player was just tagged out, claims it was obstruction because the runner was deceived by a fake throw and tag.

Best I can tell from the rules is that this was not obstruction because 1) The runner went back into 2B diving with or w/o a throw and no fake tag was applied; and 2) the pitcher was outside of the dirt area around the mound and he had the ball, not another player.

I am just wondering if I have that ruling correct.

Joined: 04/11/2012
I agree with your call. 

I agree with your call.  No fake tag was applied and the pitcher disengaged the rubber legally.  It appears to be a well thought out version of a hidden ball trick.


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