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PeteWard
07-02-2011, 07:47 PM
Weird question but these things keep me up at night:

There does not seem to be a rule limiting how long a home team can let its grass--infield or outfield - grow. What keeps a slow-footed power team from just letting its grass grow wild? Is it just fair play or is there a rule I do not know about? Is there any history of slow teams doing this?

Daver
07-02-2011, 08:06 PM
Weird question but these things keep me up at night:

There does not seem to be a rule limiting how long a home team can let its grass--infield or outfield - grow. What keeps a slow-footed power team from just letting its grass grow wild? Is it just fair play or is there a rule I do not know about? Is there any history of slow teams doing this?

Try looking here (http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2011/Official_Baseball_Rules.pdf).

Zakath
07-02-2011, 09:05 PM
The field of play rules are covered in Section 1 of the rules, and I don't believe there's anything in there about the length of the grass.

PeteWard
07-03-2011, 07:25 AM
Try looking here (http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2011/Official_Baseball_Rules.pdf).


Thanks Daver but I already looked there and it is not addressed.

tacosalbarojas
07-03-2011, 11:37 PM
Probably anything that looks fishy...like the grass looks like you've left the grass for three weeks or you're mowing it every hour on the hour, then you'd probably get a visit from MLB.

Daver
07-03-2011, 11:45 PM
Thanks Daver but I already looked there and it is not addressed.

It is addressed, but not directly, the umpires really have final say. If the visiting team thinks the field is unfit they can file a protest with the umpire crew.

HomeFish
07-04-2011, 06:49 AM
I've read on WSI that the White Sox manipulated their grass length in the 1950's to exploit the fact that they had good defensive infielders.

TDog
07-04-2011, 03:05 PM
It is addressed, but not directly, the umpires really have final say. If the visiting team thinks the field is unfit they can file a protest with the umpire crew.

There is a rule (near the beginning of Section 9, but I'm too lazy to look up the specific subsection) giving umpires the authority to rule on anything not specifically covered in the rules. I would think a ruling on the length of the grass, which isn't an emergent situation, but something in place hours before gametime, would have to be done with the blessing of MLB, which would most likely postpone the game so that ridiculously high grass could be cut. I can't imagine any grass being considered too short. If the umpire-in-chief called a forfeit based on the length of the grass, it would certainly be appealed by the home team. The George Brett pine-tar appeal of a ruling made by an umpire because there was no penalty specified for violating the rule about having pine tar too far up the bat, of course, resulted with an umpire being overruled.

Of course, umpires have forfeited games because the home team failed to maintain a field suitable for play. One that I can remember, anyway. It had more to do with disco than the length of the grass, though.

Lip Man 1
07-04-2011, 05:15 PM
Absolutely they did and also they had a bunch of ground ball pitchers. When you had the type of defensive players the Sox had up the middle in the 50's and 60's you wanted them to get as many chances as possible.

The base lines were also sloped inwards towards the pitchers mound so their bunts would stay fair and they also soaked the home plate area then covered it up with fresh dirt to keep balls from shooting through to the outfield.

It's called "gamesmenship."

Lip

PalehosePlanet
07-04-2011, 05:39 PM
I remember Dave LaPoint back in the early '80's-- pitching w/The Giants at the time, I believe -- asking if the Cubs mowed their infield lawn with a helicopter.

Zakath
07-04-2011, 05:42 PM
There is a rule (near the beginning of Section 9, but I'm too lazy to look up the specific subsection) giving umpires the authority to rule on anything not specifically covered in the rules.

9.01 (c)