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There may be others, so the "defense must make a clean play in order to record an out" rule has a lot of exceptions.
Just thought of another play where the defense can record an out without making a play: foul bunt with 2 strikes. There may be others, so the "defense must make a clean play in order to record an out" rule has a lot of exceptions. All of them justifiable IMO, but maybe enough that the DTS rule is on shakier ground than I first thought.
leaving the runner being hit with a batted ball as the exception. That probably exists simply to keep umpires from having to determine intent though they are required to determine intent in other situations (e.g. second play by a fielder - Reggie in the '78 WS).
Many of those rules are league specific(what I mean is major league and minor league specific but isn't necessary for the sport at all levels)
The eleven broad categories of baseball outs, with their populations, are Tags (2), Forces (1), Catches (1), Strikeouts (4), Interference (12), Touching a Live Ball (4), Batter’s Comportment Errors (4), Basepath Indiscretions (10), Coach’s Monkeyshines (2), Conspiracy (1), and the Infield Fly (2).
It's important in one sense that the dropped-third-strike with first occupied, less than two out is written like the IF rule. In neither case does a DP have to be assured, so the umpire doesn't have to make a judgment call about whether the batter should be out or not. If 1B was occupied with less than two outs, the strike three can scoot way past the catcher's reach and ricochet from dugout to dugout (and the runner go from base to base), but the batter is totally out from the get-go.
Again, this is only true in the absence of the pass the runner option. As long as that rule exists, then the offense will likely take it every possible time, and all you've done by eliminating the rule is taken an elegant solution and replaced it with an awkward one.
I'm betting the Braves see how the play is unfolding before making the pass-the-runner commitment.
I hate this intentionally-pass-the-runner thing, and I'm guessing it would occur about two times before it was outlawed.
As to the frequency of IF flies, I watch for the play intently, and I do think it's less common than the dropped third strike. Having the right base/out state happens a couple of times a game, and the pop fly in those situations is even rarer. Most dropped third strikes result in a simple throw to first or a quick tag to be sure. But I could be asleep or reading a book during IF flies. I see them once in a while, but not very much.
I'm guessing it would almost never happen. As long as the option is there for the offense, there's no reason for the defense to deliberately let the ball drop. The defense would simply catch the ball, as it does now. The only time the defense would be encouraged to let the ball drop is if the batter failed to run the play out (in which case, he wouldn't be able to pass the runner intentionally). See, it all balances out.
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