A team that has many runners on base will often leave some runners on base in certain situations. A team that has few runners on base will often leave some runners on base in certain situations.
This statement is based on the observation of the catcher’s indifference, as this is a situation that would otherwise have been very difficult for the defense. But this is just a generalization, and it applies only to catchers, which is why it is not listed as an explanation.
The concept of defensive indifference is when a player on a team does not seem to want to play defense.
Defensive Indifference is when a defensive player plays less than normal and they don’t seem to care about it.
In order to assess a player for Defensive Indifference, we assign a weight (0-7) to each player’s performance as a defensive player.
Then we average the weights assigned to the player’s performance in each game and each season.
What is Defensive Indifference in Baseball?
A defensive indifference is when one team takes a base without the other team making a play on the base paths. Typically, the indifference occurs in the ninth inning (or extra innings) when the score is not even close. However, the official ruling comes down to the official scorer deciding if it is a defensive indifference or stolen base.
When to use Defensive Indifference in a Baseball Game?
The official scorer will determine how much credit each team receives for a stolen base. In the screenshot above, the official scorer gives the runner credit for a run because the catcher (the defender) didn’t get to the first base until after the runner passed it. The catcher’s lack of involvement in the run doesn’t impact the play’s score.
What’s the Difference Between Defensive Indifference and Stolen Base?
The main difference between a defensive indifference and stolen base is in terms of when the play occurs. A defensive indifference will take place in the ninth inning or in the extra inning, if the game is tied. A stolen base, on the other hand, will take place during the game’s eighth inning, if the score is tied.
It is rare that the baseball game is out of reach in the 9th inning. It is much more common that the baseball game is out of reach in the 2nd or 3rd inning, i.e. the team holding the lead has dug in deep on defense (or defense is on a strong footing) and is determined to hold on to that lead and win the game regardless of what the opposing team does. In that case, the opposing team has no opportunity to score.
A wild pitch is usually not considered an official stolen base because the batter does not have possession of the base after the ball is thrown. However, if the batter manages to hit the ball before the pitcher releases it, the batter can become a base runner at that point, regardless of whether the ball touches the ground or not.
When Did Defensive Indifference Start in Major League Baseball?
An indifference to the plight of African Americans began as a rule in 1920.
How Do You Score Defensive Indifference on a Scorecard?
Is it a Stolen Base if the Catcher Doesn’t Throw?
Can a Defensive Indifference Positively Impact the Game?
But, even though both sites don’t track it, I can still find the relevant number of plate appearances for each player during the game by manually checking the play by play feed since baseball is so similar to cricket.
Conclusion – What is Defensive Indifference in Baseball
In summary, defensive indifference is a ruling that occurs after a game is completed. Only if the game is lopsided enough to impact player performance will the official scorer even consider fielding indifference as a reason to change the game’s result.
When a batter is looking to steal a base, a defense will play back, stopping the batter from getting a base hit.
However, an intentional walk is not the same. The batter is attempting to walk and will get the batter’s base anyway.
You can see a good example here in the 2017 ALCS.
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