Skip to content

Jean Segura was involved in one of the weirdest baserunning plays you’ll ever see

Apr 20, 2013, 10:10 AM EST

Jean Segura Getty Getty Images

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t steal first base. Brewers’ shortstop Jean Segura did it last night against the Cubs. Hang with me for a second.

It all started after Segura reached on an infield single to begin the bottom of the eighth inning. After he successfully stole second base, Ryan Braun reached on a walk. Segura then got caught in a rundown between second and third base and eventually dove back into second base, where he was met by Braun, who attempted to advance on the play. While Braun was called out because he was the trail runner, Segura assumed he was also out and began to run off the field. However, once he realized that he wasn’t out, he scampered back to first base. Yes, he went backwards.

Just to put a nice bow on the bizarre sequence of events, Segura was eventually thrown out trying to steal second base for the second time in the inning. I mean, could it really end any other way? Check it out below.

While it looks like second base umpire Phil Cuzzi missed that Segura was tagged by Luis Valbuena before he went back to first base, a runner is technically allowed to advance in the opposite direction. According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the only exceptions are if a baserunner does so “for the purpose of confusing the defense or making a travesty of the game.”

The rule was initiated after Germany Schaefer retreated to first base on August 4, 1911 in an attempt to distract the defense and allow the winning run to score from third. It didn’t work and he was eventually thrown out trying to steal second, much like Segura. Appropriately enough, Schaefer played with the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association as a prospect and with the Cubs in the majors. You can find an interesting profile on Schaefer on SABR.org.

  1. jarathen - Apr 20, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    At first I had thought Segura was pulling some next-level rules knowledge strategy, but no, he just kind of fumbled around out there, just like the ump who clearly missed the tag.

  2. manchestermiracle - Apr 20, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    I’d have to say that whole sequence was “making a travesty of the game.”

  3. paperlions - Apr 20, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Well, to complete things the ump missed the call on the second steal of 2nd as well, because his hand was clearly on the bag before the tag comes down.

  4. koufaxmitzvah - Apr 20, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Human element.

  5. brewcrewfan54 - Apr 20, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    It was really confusing because I was pretty buzzed up by that point of the game.

    • shaggytoodle - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      keep drinking I have been doing that lately and the Brewers are on a streak. Hopefully the pitcher (Burgos) can keep it going.

  6. onbucky96 - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Bud just put his arms out, he has no clue. As mentioned above…The Human Element.

  7. cubanxsenators - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    “According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the only exceptions are if a baserunner does so ‘for the purpose of confusing the defense or making a travesty of the game.'”

    This is like saying, according to Jeffrey Toobin the Fourteenth Amendment applies not only to citizens but to “any person with in the State’s jurisdiction.”

    Well okay, but why quote the intermediary when the document is easily looked up?

    “Rule 7.08 Any runner is out when — . . . (i) After he has acquired legal possession of a base, he runs the bases in reverse order for the purpose of confusing the defense or making a travesty of the game.”

  8. cwillhe - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Why is everyone skipping over the comment to Rule 7.01?

    “Rule 7.01 Comment: If a runner legally acquires title to a base, and the pitcher assumes his
    pitching position, the runner may not return to a previously occupied base.”

    I think the Rule 7.08i comment makes it clear that the only permissible time to run in reverse order is if you think a ball was caught and you have to go back to tag up.

    Also, the first base coach touched Segura as he as walking back to the dugout.

    • gloccamorra - Apr 20, 2013 at 9:14 PM

      I believe rule 7.01 was written not after Germany Schaefer did it in the AL, but later when the other Germany, Germany Schulz did it in the NL, and that was deliberately running back to first from second to draw the throw and let the runner at third score on a delayed double steal. In both cases, they stole second first, then went back to first when the catcher refused to throw the ball to second.

      Rule 7.08i is, I believe, the Jimmy Piersall rule. When he hit his 100th homer, he ran the bases facing backward, backpedaling. That’s the “travesty of the game” part.

  9. gmagic9044 - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    I blame Abbot and Costello.

  10. moogro - Apr 20, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    The second steal was the make-up call. Human element.

  11. cowboysoldiertx - Apr 20, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Germany Schaefer seems like one cool cat. The crazy always die young.

    • gloccamorra - Apr 20, 2013 at 9:28 PM

      Schaefer was the first to do it, but it was Germany Schulz, Joe Schulz senior, who did it in the NL and got the rules changed. Schaefer was unsuccessful in getting the runner at third to score.

      Schulz, though let out a blood-curdling yell when he ran to second to pull off the delayed double steal, but the catcher held onto the ball. Schulz then let out another yell and ran back to first. The NL umpires stopped the game and consulted the rule book, and had to let him stay. As soon as play resumed, Schulz let out another yell and ran back to second. The catcher threw the ball into center field and the runner at third scored, with Schulz making it to third himself.

      After the game, the crew chief sent a report to the NL president recommending a rule change, and he forwarded it to the commissioner. That’s where rule 7.01 came from. Segura was out based on that rule alone.

      • gloccamorra - Apr 20, 2013 at 9:37 PM

        BTW: “Germany” Schaefer was actually born in Chicago. “Germany” Schulz was born in Pittsburgh. By that standard, Adrian Gonzalez, who was born in San Diego, should be called “Mexico” Gonzalez.

  12. deaninajijic - Apr 20, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Obliviously, Cuzzi was woozy.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Gonzalez (2252)
  2. D. Ross (2135)
  3. J. Grilli (2106)
  4. A. Pierzynski (2027)
  5. D. Young (1985)
  1. S. Smith (1920)
  2. M. Scutaro (1903)
  3. T. Stauffer (1872)
  4. W. Myers (1853)
  5. D. Haren (1836)