In baseball, defensive indifference is a term used to describe a situation in which the defense decides not to attempt to prevent a base runner from advancing to the next base, typically because the runner’s advance would be unlikely to affect the outcome of the game.
Defensive indifference is most commonly seen in situations where the game is already decided, such as in the late innings of a blowout game. For example, if a team is leading by a large margin and there is a runner on first base, the defense may decide not to throw the ball to first to try to pick off the runner, even if they have a chance to do so, because the runner’s advance would not make a significant impact on the game’s outcome.
Defensive indifference can also occur in other situations where a team is trying to conserve energy or limit risk. For example, if a team is leading by a comfortable margin late in a game and a base runner attempts to steal second base, the catcher may not attempt to throw the ball to second base, as doing so would risk a wild throw or injury to the infielder covering the base.
Overall, defensive indifference is a strategic decision made by the defense based on the situation and the risk vs. reward of attempting to prevent a base runner from advancing.