What is the fourth out?

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Author's Note: What is the fourth out?

As the fourth out reminds us, baseball's seemingly simple rules conceal a tangle of conditional triggers and oddball exceptions that can make the game feel inaccessible to first-timers. Don't believe me? Try explaining baseball to someone from another country.

Or consider this: The missed fourth-out opportunity that gained the Dodgers their extra run baffled most of the players and managers on both teams -- and they do this for a living.

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  • Boeck, Scott. "Rule Review: 'Time Play' Rule, 'Fourth Out' Often Confusing." USA Today. June 26, 2010. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dailypitch/post/2010/06/rule-review-time-play-rule-fourth-out-often-confusing/1#.Ud3DRPm1F8E
  • Deford, Frank. "A Gentleman and a Scholar." Sports Illustrated. April 17, 1989.
  • Gurnick, Ken. "Dodgers Get Run on 'Fourth-Out Rule.'" MLB.com. April 12, 2009. http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090412&content_id=4239682&vkey=news_la&fext=.jsp&c_id=la
  • Hernandez, Dylan. "Joe Torre Shows That Playing by the Rules Pays Off." Los Angeles Times. April 13, 2009. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/apr/13/sports/sp-dodgers-diamondbacks13
  • Major League Baseball. "Official Baseball Rules." 2013 Edition. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/downloads/y2013/official_baseball_rules.pdf
  • Piecoro, Nick. "Dodgers Take Series from D-Backs." The Arizona Republic. April 12, 2009. http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/sports/articles/2009/04/12/20090412spt-dbgamer.html

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