What is the Right Thing to Do Here?

What is the Right Thing to Do Here?


Okay, simple video. It’s the bottom of the 9th inning and the tying run is rounding third base. It’s a close play at the plate and the ump calls the runner out. Game over.

The only thing is the catcher did not hang on to the ball. He tagged the runner with an empty glove, which makes the player safe at home. The ball is lying on the ground. The only person who spotted the ball on the ground is the catcher.

At this point, the catcher has a choice to make, and it’s a simple choice:

A. Call the ref over and tell him he didn’t catch the ball. The ref would reverse his call and the runner would tie up the game.

B. Nonchalantly pick up the ball and pretend that he made the play at the plate, thereby securing his team the win.

Joe’s Perspective: It’s interesting isn’t it?  Our parents teach us not to lie or cheat. It’s morally wrong. Our teachers and administrators teach us similar principles. We all know right from wrong. It’s not a fuzzy line with shades of gray. You steal money from your mom’s purse, it’s wrong. You cheat on an exam at school, it’s wrong. And yet, in sports, somehow we can justify the actions of this catcher. Our coaches may have not set clear directions if something like this ever happened on our team. We may even have an inner conflict on this matter with opposing thoughts that go something like this:

Pro: Integrity is standing up for what you know is right, regardless of the consequences. The catcher knows the rules. He knows that he didn’t catch the ball and that the runner is safe. He knows it. Yet, he chose to cover up the lie and walk off with an underserved win. In so many ways, he cheated the game, cheated the other team and cheated himself. It’s a hollow victory. When this video was discovered later, the catcher should have felt shame, not pride. This is an example of poor sportsmanship. We expect golfers to call penalties on themselves, we expect high school tennis players to honestly referee their own games, so why do we expect anything less from a baseball/softball player? It’s lying, it’s cheating and it is the wrong thing to do.

Con: Baseball is a game that is refereed by an umpire. Players should play to the best of their ability and umpires should officiate to the best of their ability.  Sometimes an umpire misses a call.  Sometimes it goes in our favor and sometimes it goes in their favor. Those are the breaks of the game… And, it’s not up to me to notify an umpire when he/she misses a call in our favor. If it were the other way around, the opposing team would not do the same for us. Because of my quick thinking, we won the game, which is the goal of sports. I bet my coach and my teammates were proud of what I did.

Your Turn: Here is your opportunity to talk it over with your coach. Tell us what your coach would want you to do in this situation.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Pingback: What is the Right Thing to Do Here? – Kevin Mauermann's WordPress Site

  2. Of course everyone wants to say that they would tell the ump the truth, I want to say that too, but at the end of the day if I’m in that moment I don’t know if I would. Ump needs to be more aware.

  3. I hope he chose to tell the ref and let the player tie up the game. He knows it is the right thing to do even if everyone hates him. Later he is going to feel regret and know that they didn’t win fairly. He wouldn’t have been put in this position if his teammate wasn’t a liar. But even though his teammate lied doesn’t mean he has to.