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Foul Tip VS. Foul Ball

Foul Tip VS. Foul Ball

In yesterday’s game between the Kansas City Royals and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Angels’ manager Mike Scoscia was ejected by home-plate umpire Marty Foster.

Scoscia was arguing a play at home in which Foster originally signaled ‘strike three’ giving the Angels their third defensive out, but was overturned after an appeal to a ‘foul ball’ prolonging the inning.  It was a good call all around; Foster called what he saw, Ned Yost of Kansas City appealed properly, the umpires got together and made the right call. Kudos to the boys in blue.


My issue is with the announcers.


If you watched the above clip (if you didn’t, go watch it), you may have noticed that the announcers kept referring to a “foul tip”. They’re wrong.

By the definition found in rule 2.00 of the Official Baseball Rules, a foul tip is “a batted ball that goes sharply and directly into the catcher’s hands and is legally caught”. This ball was clearly on the ground, not caught, making it a foul ball.


Announcers need to learn proper baseball terminology, lest they create less-than-knowledgeable baseball fans (there are already enough of those).  If the guys on TV would start opening their rulebooks and paying attention to some “minor details”, they might actually help educate people and create a better fanbase for the game of baseball.

This is where I start pleading with you, my fellow baseball fans: please, for baseball’s sake, read the rules and learn how to interpret them.  Don’t rely on the “knowledge” of these overpaid commentators who are spoon-fed their super-creative quotes and quips via electronic machines.  You’ll be a better person for it.


If you don’t read the rules, you might end up misinformed, lonely, confused, and playing right field for the Nationals; they seem to have a knack for signing cocky idiots with no baseball-sense.


Crack open another beer and go digging through the Official Baseball Rules. You might learn a thing or two.

All rules, in full or part, are taken from the 2013 Official Rules of Baseball.



The Rules Guy is a high school and college baseball and softball umpire, and high school basketball referee. He is a rules guru and an officiating aficionado. He has utmost respect for the game of baseball and is one of its biggest fans.