Friday, June 13, 2008


I've written, at times at nausea, about the prevalence of illegal pitching in modified softball.But under the radar another issue has quietly cropped over the years -

In most softball leagues, you are allowed to substitute 1 or 2 runners a game with another runner. The person being run for is NOT out of the game, someone else (usually some sucker) simply runs for him. Hence, the term COURTESY RUNNER.
The replacement runner is usually the last batter out.

The legendary maverick Oakland A's owner Charley Finley wanted to institute this idea in MLB back in the 70's, but thankfully it never came to fruition.

However, it is used in softball.

It's good intent is to let older or injured players participate and help keep players safe and healthy. OK, I have no problem with that.

Unfortunately, it is a very abused and manipulated rule - heck I've twisted it to my advantage. Almost every manager has.

As Chris Rock would say That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

Let's look at the cons ( and I don't mean criminals) of this rule

Top Ten Ways The COURTESY RUNNER Rule Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

10. People fake Injuries to get a runner in a key situation.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!
This is just wrong and deserves punishment from the softball gods.
A future real injury is good payback!!!!!!!

9. Abusive and Over used - I played on a team the other night that had 3 courtesy runners in the lineup.
I was running for everyone at one point.
Only 1 of the guys was really hurt.
What the fuck?
I'm slow and have a bad ankle and I have to do this shit?
Mexican that you pick in front of home depot have more rights than this.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

8. Changes the dynamic of the game - A team just worked hard to retire a fast runner, then the next guy gets on base and now that speed demon is aboard anyway?
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

7. Promotes Cheating/Lying - see points 8 &9 above.
The rules was put in to give everyone a chance to participate in good competitive spirit. Not to tip the scale in your favor.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

6. It's Stupid - Use a pinch runner instead. Moreover, how about you get in shape and at least be able to move on the bases I'm very slow, but I run hard and try to keep in decent shape. Injuries and age are inevitable, but once I saw an out of shape 28 year old being run for by a in shape 50 year old named Angel "Q" Quinones.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!
"Q" said the following and I'll never forget it "They don't make men like they used to"

5. Creates Confusion and stoppages in the game - so ghetto - no one knows who the last batter out is or the actual courtesy runner is in the bathroom and you have to wait. Ironically, speed slows the game.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

4. Causes team tension/turmoil - Nothing is more annoying than when your teammate tells you
"You better get a hit b/c if not you will have to run for me" - so fucking obnoxious.
No one likes to be reminded that you made an out, especially if you just got robbed.
Also, god forbid if your slow and run funny and then to run for someone else.
Your own team heckles you.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

3. The Pitcher gets a Runner - OK sometimes this is valid, but more often than not it's an unnecessary privilege especially in younger athletic hurlers so ...
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

2. Lead-off batter gets a Courtesy Runner - If that is not a contradiction then I don't know what is.
I've put good hitters who are slow in the one hole before and then courtesy ran for them.
I mean the idea is to get on base, but your lead-off batter by definition should also be one of you fastest runners. So I'm sorry but this
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

and the #1 way COURTESY RUNNER Rule Ain't Right !!!!!!!!

1. It promotes LAZINESS -
I've seen great hitters who are fast always get a courtesy runner. It leads to people thinking the guy is not fast when in fact he can run, except he is just lazy b/c he's a great hitter.
I've also seen guys who pay for teams do this.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!
Your best players should not only lead by performance, but should also lead by hustling.
That's called LEADERSHIP!!!!!!!!!!
When you don't need a runner and you get one it sets a bad tone that you are
above everyone else because of ability of financial influence.
That Ain't Right !!!!!!!!


  1. Those who hit, don't run. The softball gods are punishing you for not getting on base by having you run for someone who does.

  2. hmmmm, all very good points. I think the Courtesy Runner rule will be modified for the Inwood fall league.

  3. These courtesy runners are lucky they are out of High School/College. If you don't hit in Varsity or College, you have to run suicides or up hills..or like my grand dad use to tell me..He ran up hills, in the snow, both ways. Must of been some need trick to do that in Dominincan Republic.