The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.
Before the game begins the umpire shall:
The manager shall immediately notify the umpire-in-chief of any substitution and shall state to the umpire-in-chief the substitute's place in the batting order.
... When two or more substitute players of the defensive team enter the game at the same time, the manager shall, immediately before they take their positions as fielders, designate to the umpire-in-chief such players' positions in the team's batting order and the umpire-in-chief shall so notify the official scorer. If this information is not immediately given to the umpire-in-chief, he shall have authority to designate the substitutes' places in the batting order.
Rule 8.02 states as follows:
The pitcher shall not intentionally pitch at the batter.
If, in the umpire's judgment, such a violation occurs, the umpire may elect either to:
- Expel the pitcher, or the manager and the pitcher, from the game, or
- may warn the pitcher and the manager of both teams that another such pitch will result in the immediate expulsion of that pitcher (or a replacement) and the manager.
If, in the umpire's judgment, circumstances warrant, both teams may be officially "warned" prior to the game or at any time during the game.
Rule 8.02(d) Comment: ... To pitch at a batter's head is unsportsmanlike and highly dangerous. It should be - and is - condemned by everybody. Umpires should act without hesitation in enforcement of this rule.
As the Rule itself implies, the first question is whether a pitch was intentionally thrown at a batter. Rule 8.02(d) does not apply in the absence of such intent. Whether the pitch was intentional or not is up to the umpire's judgement. In exercising their judgement, umpires have been instructed to be mindful that, given the skill level of most Major League pitchers, a pitch that is thrown at the head of a hitter more likely than not was thrown there intentionally. Umpires have been instructed to bear this presumption in mind in deciding whether a pitch was intentional.
Once Rule 8.02(d) is found to be applicable (because an umpire has determined in his judgement that a pitch was intentionally thrown at a batter) an umpire has two options: expel or warn the appropriate persons (the pitcher or the manager and the pitcher).
Rule 8.02(d) does not give the umpire the discretion to allow the opposing pitcher an opportunity to retaliate in kind before the warning or ejection. Nor does the Rule mandate, even in an instance where a pitcher has intentionally thrown at the head of a hitter, that the pitcher must be ejected.
Which of the two options is elected by the umpire under Rule 8.02(d) is at the discretion of the umpire, but the elected option will be based on all the surrounding circumstances. In assessing those circumstances, the umpire will take into account the note to Rule 8.02(d), which states that pitching at a batter's head is unsportsmanlike, highly dangerous and condemned within the sport.
The automatic fine for intentionally throwing at a batter is a minimum of $200. Each incident will be reviewed and further disciplinary action imposed on a case-by-case basis.
When a pitcher takes his position at the beginning of each inning, or when he relieves another pitcher, he shall be permitted to pitch not to exceed eight preparatory pitches to his catcher during which play shall be suspended. A league by its own action may limit the number of preparatory pitches to less than eight preparatory pitches. Such preparatory pitches shall not consume more than one minute of time. If a sudden emergency causes a pitcher to be summoned into the game without any opportunity to warm up, the umpire-in-chief shall allow him as many pitches as the umpire deems necessary.
Rule 9.02(a) Comment: Players leaving their position in the field or on base, or managers or coaches leaving the bench or coaches box, to argue on BALLS AND STRIKES will not be permitted. They should be warned if they start for the plate to protest the call. If they continue, they will be ejected from the game.
Rule 9.02(c) Comment: A manager is permitted to ask the umpires for an explanation of the play and how the umpires have exercised their discretion to eliminate the results and consequences of the earlier call that the umpires are reversing. Once the umpires explain the result of the play, however, no one is permitted to argue that the umpires should have exercised their discretion in a different manner.
The manager or the catcher may request the plate umpire to ask his partner for help on a half swing when the plate umpire calls the pitch a ball, but not when the pitch is called a strike. The manager may not complain that the umpire made an improper call, but only that he did not ask his partner for help. Field umpires must be alerted to the request from the plate umpire and quickly respond. Managers may not protest the call of a ball or strike on the pretense they are asking for information about a half swing.
Appeals on a half swing may be made only on the call of ball and when asked to appeal, the home plate umpire must refer to a base umpire for his judgment on the half swing. Should the base umpire call the pitch a strike, the strike call shall prevail.
Baserunners must be alert to the possibility that the base umpire on appeal from the plate umpire may reverse the call of a ball to the call of a strike, in which event the runner is in jeopardy of being out by the catcher's throw. Also, a catcher must be alert in a base stealing situation if a ball call is reversedto a strike by the base umpire upon appeal from the plate umpire.
The ball is in play on appeal on a half swing.
On a half swing, if the manager comes out to argue with first or third base umpire and if after being warned he persists in arguing, he can be ejected as he is now arguing over a called ball or strike.
Rule 4.01 Comment: ... The umpire-in-chief shall at all times try to complete a game. His authority to resume play following one or more suspensions of as much as 30 minutes each shall be absolute and he shall terminate a game only when there appears to be no possibility of completing it. ...
In January 1926, the major league rules committee approved the following regulation for the use of rosin bags. The rule was first approved only by the National League, but the American League followed suit a couple months later.
"Under the supervision and control of the umpire, the pitcher may use to dry his hands a small, finely meshed sealed bag containing powdered rosin, furnished by the League."
The current rule states the following:
"All umpires shall carry with them one official rosin bag. The umpire-in-chief is responsible for placing the rosin bag on the ground back of the pitcher's plate. If at any time the ball hits the rosin bag it is in play. In the case of rain or a wet field, the umpire may instruct the pitcher to carry the rosin bag in his hip pocket. A pitcher may use the rosin bag for the purpose of applying rosin to his bare hand or hands. Neither the pitcher nor any other player shall dust the ball with the rosin bag; neither shall the pitcher nor any other player be permitted to apply rosin from the bag to his glove or dust any part of his uniform with the rosin bag."
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to standardize the elbow protective equipment a player may use for all major league games, including spring training games. The following regulations apply to elbow protection:
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