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2014 MLB Season Thread - Page 104

post #1546 of 4151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambo View Post

Yeah, but why penalize teams that are obviously stronger and play in better divisions (Texas, Baltimore, Atlanta) rather than teams who won their division but played in obviously weaker divisions (Cincinnati, Detroit)?

Is this in response to my comment about the one game wild card winner being able to play a team in the same division in the first round? Neither option is going to be "right" in every case; I just hate it when a team has the best record in the league and has to play a better opponent because the wild card happens to come from their division.
Quote:
Originally Posted by L'Incandescent View Post

I was thinking something similar, but you articulated it just right!

Smartassery aside, I do think that (by the book), the call was correct. Certainly it came later than I'd have liked, but there's not much to be done about that. The fact that SportsCenter keeps repeating about it being some 50' further into the outfield than any other dropped infield fly is interesting, but not particularly relevant - that it has not happened does not change the wording of the rule.
post #1547 of 4151
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcg View Post


Smartassery aside, I do think that (by the book), the call was correct. Certainly it came later than I'd have liked, but there's not much to be done about that. The fact that SportsCenter keeps repeating about it being some 50' further into the outfield than any other dropped infield fly is interesting, but not particularly relevant - that it has not happened does not change the wording of the rule.

As I mentioned upthread a bit, I think the call was correct, just based on the wording of the rule. I do think one could make a reasonable argument about the purpose of the rule not applying to a pop-up that deep, but that's a judgment call.
post #1548 of 4151
There is also reason to believe that the ball was not caught because the call was made. Something made the SS flinch, and looking at the video, I think it's plausible that hearing the call made him flinch a little. He could have caught that ball.
post #1549 of 4151
Quote:
Originally Posted by L'Incandescent View Post

As I mentioned upthread a bit, I think the call was correct, just based on the wording of the rule. I do think one could make a reasonable argument about the purpose of the rule not applying to a pop-up that deep, but that's a judgment call.

One could absolutely make that argument, but the ump's job is to enforce the rule book, not to act based upon his interpretation of the original intent of the rules.

I agree that the rule needs changing, but this is a failing of baseball's definition of the rules, not of the ump in question.
post #1550 of 4151
I agree with both Douglas and dcg above. My first thought when the SS pulled away from the ball was that he'd heard something--not just crowd noise, but someone near him calling out loudly.
post #1551 of 4151
Conceivably, given a short enough left field, a low enough wall, and a high enough fly ball, it would be possible for a home run to be determined an infield fly based on the current rule.
post #1552 of 4151
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcg View Post

Conceivably, given a short enough left field, a low enough wall, and a high enough fly ball, it would be possible for a home run to be determined an infield fly based on the current rule.

The picture I have of that in my head is quite funny. To me at least.
post #1553 of 4151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post

There is also reason to believe that the ball was not caught because the call was made. Something made the SS flinch, and looking at the video, I think it's plausible that hearing the call made him flinch a little. He could have caught that ball.

I think it's very difficult to reach this conclusion, if you watch the video.

infieldflyoriginal.gif

The shortstop moves away BEFORE the call is made. He's looking at Holliday. He never looks towards the umpire. It's pretty clear.
post #1554 of 4151
One more point about this, which sort of cuts against my original argument. One of the most important features of any system of rules, whether it be laws or rules for games, is predictability, so that the people governed by those rules know with a high degree of certainty what's permitted and what's not, etc. If an infield fly rule is never invoked for balls that far beyond the infield, then it seems like there's something like a baseball common law that should be respected.
post #1555 of 4151
Kozma has actually said that he didn't hear anything, so that takes care of the "he backed away after the ump's call" theory.
post #1556 of 4151
Quote:
An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare Infield Fly for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare Infield Fly, if Fair.
The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.
If a declared Infield Fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared Infield Fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an Infield Fly.
Rule 2.00 (Infield Fly) Comment: On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether the ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infieldernot by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the base lines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpires judgment, the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder. The infield fly is in no sense to be considered an appeal play. The umpires judgment must govern, and the decision should be made immediately.
When an infield fly rule is called, runners may advance at their own risk. If on an infield fly rule, the infielder intentionally drops a fair ball, the ball remains in play despite the provisions of Rule 6.05 (L). The infield fly rule takes precedence.

source: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/official_rules/definition_terms_2.jsp
Bolded portions mine

A theory of why the ball was not caught is not necessary. If this were an infield fly where the SS didn't have to move at all, and he just happened to drop the ball, everyone would say "wow, that sucks...but that's the rule." The reason this is an issue is because of the location where the drop occurred, which is outside of where most (all?) of us think when we think "infield fly". However, based on the rule, IMO there's no doubt the play is technically an infield fly.

I don't know if the "comment" section above is an official part of the rules, but since I pulled this from the MLB website, I assume so. The fact that it mentions that an outfielder can handle the ball suggests that a fairly deep ball can still be an infield fly. Further, it is stated that the umpire's judgement governs the call. Arguments about "ordinary" effort seem silly to me; any MLB SS should make that play with relative ease.

If you want to consider it one of those rules that's never called, I suppose you can make that argument. But can any of us ever remember a situation where we said "well, that ball was technically an infield fly, but that call is never made..."? I can't. Baseball is inconsistent with that sort of thing, anyway - for example, it's ok for a 2B to make a phantom tag of the bag during a double play, but it's not ever ok for a runner to miss touching a bag.
post #1557 of 4151
it was a fucking fly ball to left field.
post #1558 of 4151
Yeah, but according to the rules, that doesn't matter.

Rule needs to be rewritten.
post #1559 of 4151
ordinary effort shouldn't be considered backpedaling 50 feet into left field. the intent of the rule is to prevent infielders from just letting the ball drop in front of them and then turning a double play, or something of the sort. CLEARLY, that was not an option here, so it was a blown call.
post #1560 of 4151
To only consider distance traveled is insufficient; the amount of time available to travel that distance has to be considered as well.

Intent of the rule doesn't come into play - ump's job is not to interpret intent, it is to enforce the rules. Call was correct; rule is shitty.
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