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Rougned Odor Executes Straight Steal Of Home On Run-Scoring Balk


Per the official scorer’s account of tonight’s Tigers-Rangers game, Rougned Odor did not steal home tonight. Technically, the Texas second baseman scored on a balk from Detroit pitcher Daniel Stumpf—because a player already aboard must advance one base on a balk, and he explicitly cannot be credited with a stolen base if a balk is called on the play. (That would be Rule 6.02(a) and Rule 9.07, respectively, in the riveting document that is the Official Baseball Rules as I understand it.)

So technically, then, this is not a steal of home. But for the non-technical purposes of any and all who enjoy watching cool baseball shit, this is Odor stealing home. This is him taking a lead that turns into a sprint toward the plate, rattling Stumpf enough to lead him into a motion that was called a balk just before Odor crossed home.  


Because of the second rule mentioned above—Rule 9.07, or “The official scorer shall credit a stolen base to a runner whenever the runner advances one base unaided by a hit, a putout, an error, a force-out, a fielder’s choice, a passed ball, a wild pitch or a balk”—it’s just a balk. It’s a steal of home that never was. But it’s one that sure does look cool from this angle:

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