Originally Posted by TDog
That would have been an even worse call. The baseline is defined as the runner's route to the base, not by the dirt and grass, with the exception of the box up the first base line, which has limited application. Runners regularly run outside the basepaths. A runner can run onto the infield grass to get from base to base. A runner can run around a catcher blocking the plate. What he isn't supposed to do and should be called out for is run out his defined baseline when a fielder is attempting to tag him and for that purpose, umpires give runners several feet in each direction. It is purely a judgment call with limited application, and it is rarely made.
I thought the general rule of thumb is a runner has to at least be within reach of the bag on a slide, that way he can't slide completely away from the bag by some ten feet like the runner did here where he clearly can't reach the base. If I'm not mistaken the rules for home are different, so they'd be irrelevant in this case.