The Ultimate Guide to What is Defensive Indifference in Baseball?

What is Defensive Indifference in Baseball

It is a mechanism used by one team in baseball that tries to reach a base and the other team doesn’t throw the baserunner from the base.

To understand this in easy terms It happens when a baserunner tends to steal the base without the catcher throwing the ball on the base to knock him. When to use Defensive Indifference in a Baseball Game? The right time to do it is when you see the batting team try to remove the double play option.

In this way, the runner advances a base without getting out. The defensive team doesn’t try to throw out the baserunner. The pitcher and runner don’t care about the player advancing the base because they are more likely to defend the home plate. When Did Defensive Indifference Start in Major League Baseball? As per New York Times it’s started on Jan 30 1920 under the 10.7 rule. It was first published in Chicago Tribune.

What’s the Difference Between Defensive Indifference and Stolen Base?

The main difference Between Defensive Indifference and Stolen Base is slight.  Depending on how quickly it occurs and what score is scored, they tend to have different results and reactions from the fielders, scorers, and pitchers.

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Defensive Indifference:

  • Defensive indifference usually happens when a team is hands down with a lot of runs. When a scorer decides not to count the defensive indifference as a stolen base. It is not considered a stolen base. 
  • A defensive base usually occurs when pitchers and fielders ignore them.

Stolen Base:

  • Stolen base occurs when the scorer doesn’t ignore the baserunner advancing a base without the pitcher throwing. When pitchers and fielders don’t react to this. They remain silent on this. 
  • Stolen base happens when the defensive team tries to knock him out during his attempt in advancing. A player can have stolen base either on second, third, or home plate.

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How Do You Score Defensive Indifference on a Scorecard?

How Do You Score Defensive Indifference on a Scorecard

It’s really simple on the scorecard. The defensive indifference is denoted as DI and FI if it is seen. However, if a stolen base occurs then SB is shown on the score card. SB is written and shown where the baserunner reaches after hitting it. If the baserunner is caught stealing the base CS is written on the scoreboard.

Is it a Stolen Base if the Catcher Doesn’t Throw?

People often confuse Defensive indifference with Stolen Base and ask Is it a Stolen Base if the Catcher doesn’t throw? No, a catcher doesn’t have to throw to record as if it is a stolen base.

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Can a Defensive Indifference Positively Impact the Game?

Can a Defensive Indifference Positively Impact the Game

Defensive indifference doesn’t usually impact the game’s score. Defensive Indifference usually happens when the score is not that high. Hence it doesn’t impact the game either positively or negatively. This is the reason why many fielders don’t care about the players stealing the second base rather they focus on preventing the baserunner reach the home plate more. Because Defensive Indifference doesn’t influence the game.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Defensive Indifference used in Baseball?

To lessen the number of stolen bases. Before this rule was made there were tremendous cases where confusion occurred as to count this action a Stolen base or not. When defensive Indifference was introduced, it lessened it by giving the players a proper rule.

What is Offensive Indifference?

Offensive indifference is the opposite of defensive indifference. In this case, the batter is seen whether allows the ball to pass or not.

Does Defensive Indifference Count as a Stolen Base?

No defensive indifference is not counted as a stolen base.

The Bottom Line on What is Defensive Indifference in Baseball?

In conclusion, the defensive indifference rule was made to differentiate between a stolen base. When a baserunner tries to reach second base without the fielder throwing the ball towards him. The pitcher and the fielder ignore him going to the base then it is called Defensive Indifference. It is different from a stolen base where the scorer notices and does not allow him to advance the base.

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