Minor League Player Strikes Out on One Pitch [VIDEO]
It turns out 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' got it wrong.
You don't always need '1-2-3 strikes' to be out in a baseball game. Sometimes it just takes one.
During a recent minor league game between the Midland Rock Hounds and Corpus Christi Hooks, Rock Hounds third baseman Vinnie Catricala didn't like a strike call from home plate umpire Ron Teague, and he let him know about it.
After a short argument, Catricala steps out of the batter's box, and the ump decides to step in, continuing to call strikes on Catricala, who, in the ump's opinion, was taking too long to resume play.
It's seldom-used Rule 6.02 (c), which reads as follows.
If the batter refuses to take his position in the batter’s box during his time at bat, the umpire shall call a strike on the batter.
The ball is dead, and no runners may advance.
After the penalty, the batter may take his proper position and the regular ball and strike count shall continue.
If the batter does not take his proper position before three strikes have been called, the batter shall be declared out.
Comment: The umpire shall give the batter a reasonable opportunity to take his proper position in the batter’s box after the umpire has called a strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(c) and before the umpire calls a successive strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(c).
The key wording is 'reasonable opportunity'. If you put a stopwatch to it, Catricala was out of the box for 3.9 seconds.
Was the ump a little hasty here? Perhaps.
I know one thing: Major League hitters better hope Ron Teague never gets promoted to work the plate in the big leagues. Considering how much time some hitters in MLB spend out side the box between pitches, you might see a slew of one-pitch strikeouts on SportsCenter every night!