Ground-Rule Doubles, Automatic Ones and a Wild Moment at Fenway

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As people debated if Kevin Kiermaier’s double in the 13th inning of Sunday’s division collection activity among the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Crimson Sox at Fenway Park was called effectively by the umpires (it was), a second discussion emerged about what to call these kinds of a strike.

Was it a ground-rule double, as an umpire referred to it soon after the video game? Or an automatic double, as quite a few men and women on social media referred to it?

The response is nearer to the latter, by the definition of the phrase “ground rule.” But in colloquial usage, the conditions have become fairly interchangeable.

Unlike sports with uniform specifications for their fields, baseball has often allowed for at minimum some variance. As a end result, parks have formulated sets of ground guidelines, independent from the common procedures of the game, to account for quirks caused by the park’s design and location.

While lots of ground principles are uncomplicated, like a ball currently being lodged in the vines on the wall at Wrigley Subject currently being termed a double, other folks over the a long time have presented their share of laughs. One particular of the oddest arrived in the 1903 Planet Sequence when far more than 25,000 persons experimented with to cram into Exhibition Park to see the Pittsburgh Pirates consider on the Boston People in america for the 1st championship between the National and American leagues. So numerous spectators had been on the discipline that they put a rope in between the outfielders and the overflowing group. A spur-of-the-minute ground rule was established in which a ball that rolled into the crowd beyond the rope would be declared a ground-rule triple. According to, 17 floor-rule triples had been hit in the nine-video game collection.

The Rays are amid the teams most very well-versed in floor regulations many thanks to their residence game titles currently being played at Tropicana Industry. The catwalks and other obstructions in the roof of their dome need a sequence of floor principles that umpires have to implement in their online games dependent on where the ball is hit:

  • Batted ball that strikes both of the decrease two catwalks (recognised as the ‘C-Ring’ and the ‘D-Ring’), including any lights or suspended objects hooked up to both of individuals catwalks as nicely as any angled guidance rods that connect the ‘C-Ring’ to the masts that assistance the ‘D-Ring’ in good territory: Household Operate.

  • Batted ball that strikes both of the higher catwalks (recognized as the ‘A-Ring’ and the ‘B-Ring’), including the masts that assistance each and every of these catwalks as perfectly as any angled assistance rods that join the ‘B-Ring’ to the masts that support the ‘C-Ring’ in truthful territory: In Enjoy. If caught by fielder, batter is out and runners advance at possess danger.

  • Batted ball that is not judged a property run and stays on a catwalk, mild or suspended item: Two Bases.

  • Batted ball strikes catwalk, light or suspended item about foul territory: Lifeless Ball.

In Kiermaier’s situation, there was no floor rule involved. The ball landed in the area of participate in, ricocheted off Boston’s Hunter Renfroe, and landed on the other side of the fence. As Renfroe hardly ever experienced possession of the ball, Rule 5.06(b)(4)(H) obviously states that the batter and any runners are provided two bases from the time of the pitch. It is a uniform ruling that would be known as in any park, and hence would extra accurately be referred to as an automated double.

But anybody becoming perplexed by the terminology can be forgiven. Sam Holbrook, the crew chief who the right way enforced the ruling on the discipline, utilized the time period “ground-rule double” at least three occasions in his postgame reviews.

“There’s no, he would have done this, would have done that,” Holbrook claimed. “It’s just flat out in the rule reserve, it is a floor-rule double.”