Mental Errors

Many scorekeepers know that according to the rules, mental errors typically don't get recorded as actual errors. I'll have to admit that I had thought this was a hard and fast rule that held true in EVERY case. But not so.

OBR states in 10.13: NOTE (3) "Mental mistakes or misjudgments are not to be scored as errors unless specifically covered in the rules."

So ARE there situations which are "specifically covered in the rules"? Turns out there are.

Situation #1:
- R1 attemtps to steal 2nd
- Catcher makes a good throw, but no one covers (mental error).
- Throw was there in plenty of time, but goes into CF.
(This was brought up in a previous thread entitled "How do you score these?".) I responded to that one, but should have first checked the following:

10.13 (f): "(e) An error shall be charged against any fielder whose failure to stop, OR TRY TO STOP, an accurately thrown ball permits a runner to advance, providing there was occasion for the throw. If such throw be made to second base, the scorer shall determine whether it was the duty of the second baseman or the shortstop to stop the ball, and an error shall be charged to the negligent player. NOTE: If in the scorer's judgment there was no occasion for the throw, an error shall be charged to the fielder who threw the ball."

Situation #2. This happened in my son's game last month.
- Bases loaded, no outs -- ground ball to the pitcher.
- Catcher forgets the bases are loaded (mental error)
- Catcher simply stands up about 2 feet in front of home plate.
- Pitcher throws home accurately.
- Catcher isn't on the base or close enough to make a tag
- Run scores

10.13(c) states: "An error shall be charged against any fielder when he catches a thrown ball or a ground ball in time to put out any runner on a force play and fails to tag the base or the runner."

So bottom line, while most of the time mental errors don't get scored as errors, there are a few occastions where the rules do allow an error to be credited for a mental miscue.
Original Post
Thanks for citing those rules.

10.13(c) looks like it only applys to force plays so I'm still in the dark on the 2nd scenario I presented in my other thread, which was during an attempt to steal second

#2 Throw to bag in plenty of time, 2nd baseman lays down tag on ground in front of bag then lifts it up before runner slides in and is safe.

In other words the tag would have been so easy but in his hurry to make a throw he pulled up before runner got there. No force but should have been an out. Definitely a mental error. I scored it an error on the 2nd baseman but I'm no pro at scorekeeping, just a volunteer.
Interesting situations -- thanks for posting them.

In answer to your remaining question, the very first paragraph of 10.13 states, "An error shall be charged for each misplay (fumble, muff or wild throw) which prolongs the time at bat of a batter or which prolongs the life of a runner, or which permits a runner to advance one or more bases.

I'd certainly classify this as a "misplay" score it as an eror like you did. I guess it depends on how technical someone wants to get with words like "misplay" and "muff". Seems like the spirit of the rule give justification for an error.

I'd say you did very well!

Add Reply

Likes (0)