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Situation Positioning
60' Field

B Position

Runner On 1st Base

Steal At 2nd Base

   If the runner on 1st base is stealing, the plate umpire will watch carefully for the batter interfering with the catcher's throw to 2nd. If it is questionable as to whether or not the batter interfered with the catcher's throw, it is permissible, but not required, for the plate umpire to call and signal, "That's nothing" (arms extended in a safe mechanic), indicating there was no interference on the play. Again, this is an optional mechanic and is not required but is permissible. After the ball is thrown to 2nd base, the plate umpire will simply observe the play, not leaving the plate area other than perhaps swinging out a few feet to his/her left to watch the play. This is because if the throw gets away at 2nd base and the runner decides to try for 3rd, the play at 3rd base would belong to the base umpire. The plate umpire would remain at home.
   On steals at 2nd base, it is important that the base umpire has established a good original position, one that will be advantageous for both steals as well as pick-off at 1st base.
   The base umpire should be adept at recognizing that the runner on 1st is stealing while being alert and picking up on certain actions and cues on the field. For example, the base umpire should be able to pick up the initial movements of the runner breaking to 2nd base through his/her peripheral vision, even though his/her eyes are still focused on the plate. Also, the base umpire should react to the defense's exclamation, "Going!" as the runner breaks for 2nd base. Carefully watching the catcher's reactions is also important.
   The base umpire should begin his/her reactions to the steal as the ball is about to be caught by the catcher. The base umpire must be aware of the fact that the ball may be hit or that a check swing is possible, and therefore he/she be careful not to take his/her focus away from the plate area too soon. He/she must also keep in mind the count on the batter and whether the plate umpire calls the pitch a ball or a strike (for example, on 3-1 or 3-2 counts). The base umpire will begin the steal mechanic by making a step or two toward 2nd base from his/her original position, keeping his/her eye on the ball. Then, as the catcher throws the ball to 2nd base, the umpire should continue to move towards 2nd. In essence, the ball will take the umpire into the play. The base umpire already has everything in front of him/her and it is a simple matter to step forward and develop an angle. It is imperative that the umpire become completely set and not moving for this play; it is recommended that the umpire have his/her hands on his/her knees for this play.
   Should the ball get away at 2nd base and roll towards the outfield, the base umpire must be prepared to move into position for a possible play at 3rd base if the runner decides to go. The umpire must also keep his/her eye on the original play at 2nd base, watching for possible obstruction. As the runner is getting up and deciding to try for 3rd base, the base umpire should move into the infield and move towards the cutout at 3rd base for a possible play. The base umpire must make sure to keep his/her eye on the play for any possible obstruction. He/she must glance at the location of the ball and then back at the runner so as to "key" off the reactions of the runner. The base umpire should try to get to the 3rd base cut out, get set and let the ball take him/her to the play, but if the umpire finds that he/she cannot make it all the way to the cut out the umpire must be completely stopped and set for the play in the best position and angle that the base umpire can possibly get too make the call.