Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by edinatlanta, Feb 3, 2011.
Dude- he was halfway to the left field wall. And it was NOT an easy play for an infielder.
The criterion isn't "easy;" it's average effort. It did not require greater than average effort to catch that ball.
The criterion isn't "average effort," it's "ordinary effort." A shortstop who is backtracking that far from his position and who thinks that the left fielder is going to catch the ball isn't really making an ordinary effort.
The rule also says, "When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare 'Infield Fly.'" The ump didn't make that call until the ball was descending and the SS had already backed away from trying to catch it. That's undisputed by watching the video. If the fly ball was so ordinary, then the ump would have been able to make the call much more immediately.
The umpire made two poor judgements, his ordinary effort judgment and his timing of making the call. They were judgements that I think basically everybody can see were poor, regardless of which team you support. Umps make bad calls. It's fine to admit it, even if they fall your way.
I also think that basically everybody can see that the Braves put themselves in a position to lose the game through their poor defense, inability to hit with runners in scoring position, and a few questionable strategic choices.
I should have looked up the exact language; I had a feeling I didn't choose the exact word. The point I was trying to emphasize was that "easy" sets the bar too high for an infield fly call. I guess here's how I'm thinking about it: if the SS catches that ball, there aren't many people at all who would regard that as an extraordinary play, or as requiring extraordinary effort. (But you probably wouldn't say it's "easy" either.) You expect the SS to make that catch if he's a decent major league SS. But that, of course, is a judgment call. If I really wanted to contest the call, I'd focus on the purpose of the rule, which is to prevent fielders from unfairly doubling up the runners. The chances are probably poor that he could have done it from that far back. And I agree of course, calling the infield fly that late defeats the whole purpose of the rule, since the runners obviously need to know whether the rule is being invoked or not. But even though the call really was way too late, I don't think that part actually disadvantaged the Braves. (Unless I'm missing something there, which is not impossible.)
EDIT: Also, my response to Steve B. came off as more dismissive than I intended.
Can someone explain to me what the benefit of this new 'play-in' wild card game is?
it makes the regular season more important. if you win your division then you are exempt from playing in it. remember all the WS champions who were wild card winners?
think about it.... texas is a juggernaut in a 5 or 7 game series.... but they collapsed down the stretch and lost the division to the A's.
and the result of the wild card? texas goes home. while the O's continue their magical run....
If we are going to have a wild card, I like this version better, as if forces the wild card team to burn their best pitcher before facing the team with the best division record. I also like that the team winning the one game playoff can play a team in the same division, if the records work out that way.
why not just have the extra team in? I would have much rather seen Texas and Atlanta play a whole series rather than one game.
Just saying more or less the same thing, the new format incentivizes winning your division in a way that the old format didn't. That brings it more into line with pre-Wild Card practices, which were good in their time, but don't work so well now that there are so many teams in MLB.
Scheduling prevents adding a whole new series. They already push so far into the cold weather and extend the season so long, they don't want (too much) November baseball.
I think the 1-game play-in is fine. It actually is just like you'd have if 2 teams tied for the division, even under ancient playoff rules like we had when there were just 2 divisions per league.
And a first round bye for division winners? That's another option, I suppose. But at that point, there's a HUGE bonus for best division record, and little to separate spots 2-5.
I am just generally against the trend of playoff expansion. I understand all the reasons; I simply don't like them.
I do admit that a 1-game playoff seems a bit gimmicky, for lack of a better word.
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)?
By the way, the worst call related to the Braves game was Chipper's decision to wear an Affliction shirt to his final post-game interview.
I was thinking something similar, but you articulated it just right!
I feel kind of bad for Josh Hamilton, booed out of town. I think that's pretty classless.
I know he foundered at the end, and it may have seemed like he didn't care, but I can't help but feel that the lack of "passion" he showed is a result of addiction recovery. You can't get too high or too low or you can end up back in trouble. And he still had a monster year.
He'll have to be careful about chasing the money though. He needs a small market team with a less aggressive press and a more cohesive clubhouse.
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