While uncommon, baseball players sometimes commit actions that are more dangerous or severe than simply forgetting to tag a base. These actions result in penalties, that often might lead to a player or coach being ejected from the game.
Charging the Mound
Charging the mound occurs when a batter approaches the pitcher during or after his at-bat, often to initiate an attack or fight with him. Charging the mound commonly happens if a batter is hit or almost hit by a pitch, and thinks it was on purpose. Bench-clearing brawls (fights in which members from both teams leave the dugout to fight on the field) are usually started after a batter charges the mound. Umpires have the discernment about who to penalize, and what their penalty is.
Interference occurs when a person (be it coach, player, or fan) illegally disrupts the game or changes the course of the play in ways that are not allowed or expected to happen. Interferences vary in degrees of severity, and different rules decide the penalty for different kinds of interference. We will learn about interferences in greater detail in the next chapter.
Fights, sometimes called brawls, occur when members of the opposing team begin physically attacking each other during the game. They usually are started by one or two players, then quickly involve many members from both teams until quelled by an umpire. Since there are often many people participating in the fight, the umpire will not usually punish every single member. Usually, the player(s) who initiated the fight will be penalized, and it is up to the umpire to decide what the penalty is. The penalty can be ejection from the game, and it can also include fines and/or multi-game suspension.
Unsportsmanlike conduct covers many actions from players and coaches that are not allowed. The punishment for acts of unsportsmanlike conduct varies. Some actions of unsportsmanlike conduct include the following:
- Inciting or trying to incite a specific response from spectators.
- Purposely committing any action with the intent of making the pitcher balk.
- Purposely make physical contact with the umpire.
- Mingle with spectators or members of the opposing team.
- For fielders, intentionally obscuring the batter's line of vision or attempting to distract him.
- Not immediately leaving the field or dugout after being ejected from the game.
- Continuing to overtly express disapproval of the umpire's decisions, even after the umpire has given him a warning.