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Video: Kurt Suzuki has quick reflexes

Jul 9, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

Reader Eric alerted me to this nifty play in the Twins-Mariners game. It features Kurt Suzuki missing a foul-tip with two strikes but then recovering nicely to record the out.

Eric makes a query along with the video link: “I wonder at what point a foul tip becomes a foul ball eligible for an out catch instead of a strike call.” Well, Eric, that’s more a matter of philosophy than science. It’s like asking whether a hot dog is a sandwich or something:


  1. brentsalish - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    It’s always a foul tip, by definition a ball that flies straight and direct from the bat to the catcher’s glove. What happens afterward doesn’t change it. Either the catcher makes a legal catch for the out or he doesn’t (e.g., drops or traps it).

    • seeinred87 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      Exactly, sharp and direct, touched first by the catcher’s glove or bare hand are what make it a foul tip.

      It’s not a philosophical thing at all. If it’s not sharp and direct to the catcher’s hands, it’s a foul ball

  2. baberuthslegs - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    If a man says something in the forest and no woman is there to hear him, is he still wrong?

    • paperlions - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      Probably. If he would have just asked for directions, he wouldn’t be lost in the woods.

  3. Bryz - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    I believe a foul tip becomes a foul ball if it goes above the batter’s head after contact.

    • bfunk1978 - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      Oh good, all those grounders don’t count.

  4. stlouis1baseball - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    It is my understanding a foul ball is anything over the shoulders. No?
    So in this case…it’s still a foul tip.

    • seeinred87 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      This is a common belief, but it’s not really supported by the rulebook.

      Here’s a ball that doesn’t go above the batter’s shoulders but is still caught for an out.

      • moogro - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        You’re right, but your video doesn’t support your statement. The ball goes to the top of the head.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        Thanks for the link/clarification 87.

      • seeinred87 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        The ball only goes to the top of his head because he crouches way down

  5. lalocrawford503 - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Derek Norris did this a couple days ago too,

  6. maddog11896 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    Someone should try and find the video, I saw it on YouTube a few years ago I think it was at a Huntsville Stars game. Runner on 2nd, 1 out, 2-2 count and almost the exact same thing that happened to Sazuki happened to this catcher, only he lost his balance and started falling backwards after the catch. Surprisingly, he proceeded to throw the ball at an arc of sorts to the 2nd basemen and the runner at 2nd was tagged out. The weird thing about it? The runner on 2nd wasn’t moving…

    When the catcher caught the foul tip, the runner (I guess not paying attention) said an expletive before putting his hands on his hips and looking at the ground, I guess in disbelief that the ball was caught or something. The catcher claims that he thought the runner was going, so he tried to throw to 2nd, lost his balance, and threw a high arcing throw that went a few yards behind 2nd base. None of the infielders except the 1st and 2nd basemen seemed to notice the throw, and the 2nd basemen snuck up behind the runner, and waited for him to move. He lifted his foot maybe an inch off the base, but he was tagged out. The umpire (I believe it was Tyler Funneman, don’t hold me to that) watched the whole thing unfold and knew what was happening.

  7. blacksables - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Fair balls and foul balls are determined by the foul lines, and nothing else. 1 inch off the ground, or 2 miles high, it doesn’t matter.

    The reason foul tips are named foul tips is that the catcher sets up in foul territory, and so the ball is caught in foul territory, after hitting the bat.

    If the catcher has to move from his set-up position and step towards the ball, it is then a foul pop (if in foul territory) or a pop fly (if in fair territory). Based on where the ball is in relation to the foul line and nothing else.

    • blacksables - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      A ‘pop’ is determined by the parabola of the ball, not the height.

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