Sep 22, 2009, 11:55 PM EST
If I write this story and no one cares, should it count? (Don’t answer that please!)
I think of this after seeing an interesting story by the New York Times’ Jack Curry on the only time a stolen base doesn’t count as a stolen base: When the defense doesn’t care.
You may have already known this, but the “defensive indifference” rule has been around for 89 years. The people over at Elias actually keep track of them.
Usually this only comes into play late in a ballgame when the leading team doesn’t bother to stop a runner from stealing a base, preferring to keep its defense in place and focus on getting the final outs of the game.
So when a runner swipes a base under these conditions, “defensive indifference” is called, and the runner is not credited for a steal. I guess it’s sort of like when people leave their junk on the sidewalk with an attached sign reading “free.” If you take the junk, the previous owner can’t turn around and call the cops on you.
While some players might think that is hardly fair – after all, football and basketball players are free to pad their stats late in blowout games – the general consensus among those interviewed by Curry (including Carlos Beltran) don’t seem to mind.
“If the first baseman plays 50 feet behind me, there’s no way that’s a steal,” Beltran said. “As a base runner, I wouldn’t want that.”
And don’t worry baserunners, if you fall down and are tagged out, you won’t be charged with a caught stealing.
Hirdt noted that Rule 10.07(h) states that a runner cannot be nabbed with a caught stealing if he would not have been credited with a steal if he had been safe.
Fair is fair – after all – if they don’t care.
- Phillies GM told Ryan Howard they’d be better off “not with him but without him” 65
- Trea Turner’s agent is unhappy his client is in limbo after trade to Nationals 31
- Nexen Heroes accept Jung-Ho Kang posting fee from unidentified MLB team 21
- Giants acquire Casey McGehee from the Marlins 15
- The Padres have given their fans something to talk about. Which is badly needed in San Diego. 64
- Justin Upton traded to the Padres for three prospects 79
- Bud Selig will get a $6 million a year pension. Which is obscene. 144
- Jake Peavy agrees to a two-year, $24 million deal to stay with the San Francisco Giants 26
- The United States will seek to normalize relations with Cuba (144)
- Bud Selig will get a $6 million a year pension. Which is obscene. (144)
- Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Rangers, and Astros interested in Phillies’ Cole Hamels (111)
- Rays, Padres, Nationals agree to 11-player trade (97)
- Chase Headley signs a four-year deal with the Yankees worth at least $52 million. (95)