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Can't Assume a Double Play


It is common to hear that "you can't assume a double play" when a shortstop or second baseman makes a poor throw to first base in an attempt to complete a force double play.  In such a case, the fielder is not charged with an error, unless the batter is able to reach a further base (beyond first) because of the play.

The Major League Official Baseball Rules, followed by the Atlantic League, states the following in Rule 10.14(c):

No error shall be charged against any fielder when he makes a wild throw in attempting to complete a double play or triple play, unless such wild throw enables any runner to advance beyond the base he would have reached had the throw not been wild. NOTE: When a fielder muffs a thrown ball which, if held, would have completed a double play or triple play, charge an error to the fielder who drops the ball and credit an assist to the fielder who made the throw.

This rule is referenced by the notes to games 85 and 97 of the 2003 season.

These rules are quoted directly from the Major League Official Baseball Rules, which “govern the playing of baseball games by professional teams of the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, and the leagues which are members of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues."




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