Correct me if I’m wrong, but a force-out is only fully complete when the fielder has his foot the bag. Otherwise the runner is safe. That’s the way I’ve always known it, but apparently umpires these days award the force-outs at second base — mainly on double plays — if the shortstop or second baseman is at the very least standing over the bag.

Since when did standing over the bag become a free pass toward an out? I don’t get it.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but a force-out is only fully complete when the fielder has his foot the bag. Otherwise the runner is safe. That’s the way I’ve always known it, but apparently umpires these days award the force-outs at second base — mainly on double plays — if the shortstop or second baseman is at the very least standing over the bag.


Really?


How did this slide through and become OK?


It’s been going on in Major League Baseball for a while now, and it’s very sad to witness. I thought the umpire was the last line of defense on a baseball diamond when it comes to keeping the operations and rules of the game in tact, but I suppose I’m wrong. If they won’t make the right call at second base during a double play when a player isn’t even touching the base in the process of turning to first for the second out, what are they going to allow next? Is a runner going to stay safe if a ground ball hits his foot in the base path?


What’s even more disappointing is other leagues, other levels of baseball see this in the major leagues and before you know it the “hover over the base force out” is every where. I’ve seen it at the college level and it wouldn’t surprise me if some independent leagues have this going on, too.


Do the umpires feel compelled in some way to just give the effort to the second baseman or shortstop because they turned a swift double play? Do they want to avoid the game going beyond a certain time? What’s the deal?


Of course there were arguments when this started out, but those are always the arguments managers and coaches never win. Once a runner is out, he’s out.


Perhaps managers gave up on arguing since the umpires are making the call both ways thus, like the call itself, it trickles down to other levels of the game and becomes this freebie call even though it’s wrong.


If anything, this “hover over the base force-out” protects the legacy of legendary players like Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith, Pee Wee Reese and Ryne Sandberg. They never missed the bag, nor did they have to result to standing over it just to please the umpire.


Dominic Genetti writes for the Hannibal Courier-Post.