You all certainly remember the wacky baserunning of Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Jean Segura in Friday's Cubs/Brewers game.
To recap, Segura thought he had been tagged out when he and Ryan Braun were both on second base after Segura was picked off second base by Shawn Camp. Braun was out, since Segura was entitled to second base, but Segura started trotting toward the dugout. When he realized he wasn't out, he stopped at first base. Now, had Darwin Barney, who had the ball, tagged him, Segura would have been out -- definitively.
But the umpires, citing a portion of MLB rule 7.08(i), allowed him to stay on first base, because he hadn't done the reverse baserunning in order to deceive anyone. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, though, tells us Segura should have been immediately ruled out. Here's why:
• Rule 7:O1 says a runner can't settle in at one base and then return to a previous base once the pitcher "assumes his pitching position." In other words, a runner on second can't go back to first for any reason once the pitcher has thrown a pitch -- let alone several, as happened in Segura's case. • Then there's Rule 7:O8(a), which includes a specific comment about a fellow like Segura, who thought he was out, was on his way to the dugout, then found out he was safe and pulled into first for safekeeping. That comment reads like this: "Any runner after reaching first base who leaves the base path heading for his dugout or his position believing that there is no further play, may be declared out if the umpire judges the act of the runner to be considered abandoning his efforts to run the bases." So what's that mean? It means, in Segura's case, he should have been called out because he "abandoned his effort" to keep running the bases when he left second base "and started towards the first base line."
Stark further writes that MLB has issued a "clarification" to these two rules in case this situation ever happens again. You have to admit that the situation was amusing; at the time. online play-by-play stated that Segura had been caught stealing third base (which he sort of was, having been picked off second to start this whole mess). Finally, online play-by-play reflected reality:
J Segura reached on infield single to shortstop. J Segura stole second. R Braun walked. S Camp relieved K Gregg. R Braun caught stealing second, pitcher to third to second. J Segura to first. R Weeks struck out swinging. J Segura caught stealing second.
You'll never see that again, so remember it well. If only the Cubs could have won the game.