TORONTO (AP) Text from the Major League Baseball Umpire Manual on the rule covering the play in which Toronto catcher Russell Martin’s throw back to the pitcher deflected off Rangers batter Shin-Soo Choo and allowed a run to score:
54. BATTER INTERFERES WITH CATCHER’S THROW BACK TO PITCHER
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Rule 6.03(a)(3) (former Rule 6.06(c)):
If the batter interferes with the catcher’s throw back to the pitcher by stepping out of the batter’s box while at bat (no runners attempting to advance), it shall not be considered interference under Official Baseball Rule 6.03(a)(3) (former OBR 6.06(c)). In such cases, the umpire shall call ”Time” only (no interference).
The ball is dead and no runner shall advance on the play.
This interpretation does not, of course, give the batter license to interfere intentionally with the catcher’s throw back to the pitcher, and in such cases the batter shall be called out. If the batter becomes a runner on ball four and the catcher’s throw strikes him or his bat, the ball remains alive and in play (provided no intentional interference by the batter-runner).
If the batter interferes with the catcher’s throw to retire a runner by stepping out of the batter’s box, interference shall be called on the batter under Official Baseball Rule 6.03(a)(3) (former OBR 6.06(c)).
However, if the batter is standing in the batter’s box and he or his bat is struck by the catcher’s throw back to the pitcher (or throw in attempting to retire a runner) and, in the umpire’s judgment, there is no intent on the part of the batter to interfere with the throw, the ball is alive and in play.