MLB rule 6.08(b)

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MLB rule 6.08(b)

Postby darthtuttle » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:14 pm UTC

Someone claimed that if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light the resulting physics would result in the batter being granted first base under MLB rule 6.08(b); however I understand the rule to say that the batter must make an attempt to avoid being hit by the pitch. Could a batter react fast enough to take affirmative action to avoid being hit by such a pitch?

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Re: MLB rule 6.08(b)

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

The Statement
A careful reading of official Major League Baseball Rule 6.08(b) suggests that in this situation, the batter would be considered "hit by pitch", and would be eligible to advance to first base.

The Rule
The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when --
[(a) omitted]
(b) He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (1) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (2) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball;
If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a strike, whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched.
APPROVED RULING: When the batter is touched by a pitched ball which does not entitle him to first base, the ball is dead and no runner may advance.

In the description of the What-If, the ball does not actually strike the batter. Rather, some of the remains of the ball and the explosion strike the batter. Some remains also pass through the strike zone, some without. It is simultaneously a ball and a strike. Given the speed at which it's traveling, any movement on the part of the batter, including respiration and heartbeat (or what little respiration and heartbeat can occur in that time) should be counted as an attempt to dodge the ball.
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Re: MLB rule 6.08(b)

Postby Sean_Mc » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:42 pm UTC

So my first post is going to be one that disagrees with someone with 20k+ posts. Great start, no?

My interpretation would be that because the question asks "What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball...", then 6.08(b) would not apply. The batter tried to hit it (either by starting his swing during the windup, or having super-human speed himself), and therefore he has not only been vaporized, but is also behind 0-1 in the count.

Now, what about the particles of the ball that hit the particles of the bat?......

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Re: MLB rule 6.08(b)

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:56 pm UTC

There is now a thread for this in the Individual Comic Threads forum. Discussion should probably continue there.
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Re: MLB rule 6.08(b)

Postby dragonfiremalus » Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:31 pm UTC

The main thing about 6.08(b) is that in the scenario, the ball is actually passing through the strike zone, therefore it doesn't matter whether or not he was hit or whether or not he swung. Therefore, the only possible way to avoid the strike is if the batter then manages to hit a fair ball (6.09(a)) or if the catcher or another fielder somehow interfered with the swing (6.09(c)). One could perhaps argue that the reactions caused by the pitcher throwing a ball at 0.9c in fact do interfere with the swing, and therefore he is entitled to a base as long as the batter's team manager does not elect to overlook the interference and accept the play (also 6.09(c)).

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