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Friday, October 05, 2012

Bradley: Lousy call, lousy game, lousy system: A lousy Braves’ exit

The one-game play-in…the worst idea since The Elvis Vegiform? You decide! I have…and I ain’t watching.

Why to hate baseball’s newly minted play-in game: Because you can be, as the Braves were over the course of six months, the demonstrably better team and still give a performance than fuses the three-error Brooks Conrad game of October 2010 and the Epic Collapse of September 2011. Because you can go home having sipped from the postseason cup for all of 189 minutes. Because you can put yourself in position to be rooked by those darn replacement umps.

Wait. These aren’t replacements? These are the real umpires? Is this a real sport?

Had Andrelton Simmons’ pop that dropped been allowed to stand, the Braves would have had the bases loaded and one out. When you’re trailing by three runs in the eighth inning, that’s rather different than having men on second and third with two out, which is what they wound up having. But not before the game was halted for 19 minutes as the field was cleared of the cups and bottles that had been flung, with somewhat greater accuracy than the Braves’ infielders displayed this night, by incensed patrons.

...We’re lucky that, as time does its work, we’ll have our memories of Chipper Jones to keep us warm. And maybe someday we can get past the strange doings on a lousy night in October 2012, when a good team played badly and got unlucky to boot, and thanks to this silly professional “system” it was eliminated. At least in the College World Series they play double elimination.

Repoz Posted: October 05, 2012 at 10:29 PM | 266 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, cardinals

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   101. Rob_Wood Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:56 AM (#4256561)
UCCF -- you have no idea who I am, do you? I am not a Braves fan. I have been watching baseball for over 40 years. This was one of the worst calls I have ever seen.

Think about why baseball needs the infield fly rule. It is to protect the baserunners from a simple double play. This play was never ever going to be a double play. Both runners were around 1/3 to 1/2 from their original base since it was not an ordinary infield fly.

Jeez, this is not hard to understand.
   102. puck Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:01 AM (#4256566)
I wish the people at my office felt this way. I'd go to every meeting with a bag full of apple cores to fling at people who won't shut up...


Just get a speech jammer.
   103. esseff Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:05 AM (#4256567)
Count me in as one who found the call proper, at least defensible. As I said in the wild-card chatter. In fact, when the play first happened, I said -- watching with others at the office -- that the infield fly rule should have been called, not realizing it had been.
   104. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:26 AM (#4256569)
I thought a big part of the IF rule was to let the runners know that it was going to be an out so they decide wether to advance or not. By calling it so late, doesn't that defeat the purpose?

Right. The biggest problem with this call was that it was made so late. The runner at second looked like he was much farther off the base than he would have been if it had been called earlier.

The runners still have to tag up if it's caught, so as long as the call is made before the ball is caught or drops, it doesn't make much difference.

There's a big difference between being halfway and being on the bag. If the SS or LF caught this while standing up, it looked like there would have been a DP opportunity at second base, if not an easy DP opportunity.

This play was never ever going to be a double play. Both runners were around 1/3 to 1/2 from their original base since it was not an ordinary infield fly.

If the LF or SS makes the catch while standing up, he easily could have made the 100-foot throw to 2B before the runner retreated ~45 feet.

All of the above said, this probably would have been a less controversial call if the bases had been loaded. The lack of a runner on third limited the amount of damage that could have been done.
   105. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:32 AM (#4256570)
It was a defensible call based on the wording of the rule and what Holbrook saw, but one which should lead to revision of the rule. If the point is to prevent trick double/triple-plays, just make it clear that if a team tries that the umps will call the batter out and send runners back, instead of having them make an on the spot judgement call.
   106. shoewizard Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:44 AM (#4256572)
I was coaching little league practice here in Dongguan when I got a phone call from a friend watching the game, who told me the happenings going on. I then turned and told our head coach, who is both a former professional player (minors and here in Asia) and also a professional umpire. The first thing he said was that if the infielder was backpedaling ALL THE WAY then even if it was deeper than usual, it's the right call, but if the infielder turned his back to the infield then the minute he did that he could not see what the runners were doing and it should not be an infield fly. So we couldn't wait to get home to see the replay.

When I saw the replay, the fact that Kozma was running turned at an angle away, but still back to the infield, and during those first 4 or 5 steps, before he turned around could in no way know what the runners were doing immediately signaled to me it was a wrong call. The depth of the ball....225 feet ?? yeah that is too far too. I understand why the umps made the call they did because Kozma did finally turn and wave his arms. But that was AFTER he turned his back to the infield. (yes, I know he was angled somewhat...but again from that angle could not see the runners).

BAD CALL.

WRONG CALL.


Ray, put a bullet in your head.


I'm sorry, this is WAY the #### out of line, even for BTF. Ya know, every time I read a thread, I see people making ad hom attacks against Ray. Yeah, he is an opinionated, stubborn, always right, condescending know it all.....in other words the typical BTF poster.

I get that he can be frustrating to debate or argue with.....but you guys need to back off. The ad hom crap needs to stop. ESPECIALLY stuff like that encouraging someone to commit suicide. Because, ya never know what your words may mean to someone else or what kind of effect you might have.
   107. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 04:51 AM (#4256575)
It was a defensible call based on the wording of the rule and what Holbrook saw, but one which should lead to revision of the rule.

I'm not a big fan of knee-jerk rule changes based on fluke plays. More than anything, what MLB needs to learn is that the postseason LF and RF umpires are positioned too close to the infield. Even if it was correct, there was no reason for the LF umpire to be making that call in the first place.

When I saw the replay, the fact that Kozma was running turned at an angle away, but still back to the infield, and during those first 4 or 5 steps, before he turned around could in no way know what the runners were doing immediately signaled to me it was a wrong call.

But it can be caught by an OF and still be an infield fly, and the LF was right there, albeit a couple steps away.

The depth of the ball....225 feet ??

Maybe the camera angles are tricking me, but that ball didn't look like it dropped 225 feet from home plate (or ~135 feet from third base).
   108. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: October 06, 2012 at 06:26 AM (#4256579)
OK, stop the presses! DMN and Ray disagree on something!

I'm with DMN! Go O's!

That ball was too deep to be called an IF. If caught by the SS, while it would not have been an "OMG!!!" play, it would have been better than ordinary.
   109. Barnaby Jones Posted: October 06, 2012 at 06:45 AM (#4256582)
If Holliday had continued coming full-tilt, he'd have either made the catch or (potentially) played it on one hop. If the latter, he gets the 7-5 force at third. If the runner on first headed back to tag, assuming that the ball had been caught (let's say it's a close catch/trap call), Freese might have a chance to force the runner at second for the DP.


So assuming everything was different than it was, there's a slight chance that something different might have happened. Good point?

Anyway, as others have said, the Braves lost this game themselves, but anyone who thinks this was a "good call" is a lunatic.
   110. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: October 06, 2012 at 06:49 AM (#4256583)
Regarding the call itself, it seemed to be a strange call but it's a judgement call and these things happen. I do like the idea of penalizing the fielding team for not catching an IF Fly by letting the batter reach base and the runners move up one base. The rule should be changed. I don't like the idea of making the WC game a best of 3 since I don't want the real playoff teams to have to wait for the 4th and 5th most deserving (not necessarily best) teams to decide which one is really 4th most deserving. On a personal note, now that the Cards won, I can go to Game 1 of the NLDS and watch Gio and Kurt. Too bad Henry won't be there.

I was coaching little league practice here in Dongguan

Wow! You coach baseball in Dongguan? Can I visit and watch?

   111. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: October 06, 2012 at 07:25 AM (#4256586)
It shocks me that so many people here are on the wrong side of this.

Don't you know? - being a contrarian means you're smarter than other people.


The important thing is, you get to be superior to both!
   112. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: October 06, 2012 at 07:34 AM (#4256591)
As I spent half the night arguing, I think that it was a horseshit call and should have been reversed.

I don't, however, think it was a judgment call. I think it's clear from the rule, both by saying that the umpire "shall immediately" call an infield fly when it comes apparent and from the fact that it outlines that the rule is for the benefit of the runners, that the call was not timely enough to do anything but hurt the runners. So judgment of whether or not the ball was an infield fly is besides the point - the call was way too late, so the call itself never even happened. In a rule written to protect runners, it's not reasonable to allow an umpire to rule at a time at which it's a detriment to the runners, thanks to a reaction time slower than someone in a persistent vegetative state.

No, the rule does not explicitly say what the time frame is for the ball being an infield fly becoming apparent, but without specific guidance and with the explicit knowledge that the rule is there to protect teh runners, it's reasonable to infer that the time frame for judging the ball an infield fly is before the point at which a call of an infield fly is not protecting the runners. After all, if there's no time frame for an infield fly becoming apparent, an umpire could technically invoke the infield fly rule to negate a dropped play made from, say, 1985 if they catch the play on ESPN Classic and see it for the first time since 1985.

So I argue the rule was misapplied, a protest therefore should be allowed, and then the call overturned. As far as I'm concerned, we're still in the 8th inning of last night's game and the Cardinals have advanced to the next round of the playoffs based on the results of an incomplete game.
   113. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 06, 2012 at 07:47 AM (#4256597)
that call manages to obscure gonzalez mismanaging this game completely.

pretty clear the guy has the ability to manage 162 games. he has had the braves in it for 2 straight seasons and the roster isn't dripping with talent.

but one gathers why braves fans are so frustrated. in situations where the game gets beyond managing the players and getting them to maximize effort and calls on a manager to make tactical decisions that can push the team toward victory fredi falls flat.

that and the braves mucking up defensively.

i feel for chipper but i wrote about his defense evaporating earlier this season after watching him against the brewers. he just cannot make a series of physical moves common to the position on a regular basis. that ability has abandoned him. it was gutwrenching to see
   114. Stevis Posted: October 06, 2012 at 07:55 AM (#4256602)
I've been taught to call the infield fly at about the apex of the ball's flight. That being said, that's a mechanic, not a rule, and mechanics are not protestable.

Your inference is reasonable, DJS, but if it didn't become apparent to Holbrook until right at the end of the play...then that's when he's supposed to call it. There's definitely an argument for a rubric of that "if that's when you think it's reasonable, then you're wrong," and several umpires I know have said that. But several haven't.

I'm of the opinion that it's an unusual, but defensible call, and certainly not one of the most hideous blown calls ever (stuff like the Maier interference or the Denkinger play where you're not sure if the were watching the same game everyone else is.) And yeah, the Braves lost that game six other ways to Sunday. Why was Medlen allowed to give up 5 runs in a one-and-done game again?
   115. JLAC is engulfed in a harmless burst of flame Posted: October 06, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4256611)
UCCF has this well in hand. Too bad he wasn't working national TV or in the press.
   116. JLAC is engulfed in a harmless burst of flame Posted: October 06, 2012 at 08:12 AM (#4256612)
Shoewizard, your friend needs to retake his umpiring course. Ordinary effort doesn't depend on whether a guy gives up on the play.
   117. Tippecanoe Posted: October 06, 2012 at 08:42 AM (#4256617)
Let;s say the bases are loaded with one out and David Ortiz is up. Madden decides, for whaterver reason, to keep the shift on (it's hypothetical, and its Madden, so why not).

The second baseman, an infielder, is positioned way out in right field, such that he can catch a medium depth fly to right field with "ordinary effort". Should the ump call that one? It might be a sac fly, but by the letter of the rule it is infield fly rule. Or, possibly, because of his understanding of the intent of the rule, could he decide not to intrude on the action?

As Torre said, this is a judgment call, therefore not reversible. But the judgment stunk.
   118. SoSH U at work Posted: October 06, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4256619)


I don't, however, think it was a judgment call. I think it's clear from the rule, both by saying that the umpire "shall immediately" call an infield fly when it comes apparent and from the fact that it outlines that the rule is for the benefit of the runners, that the call was not timely enough to do anything but hurt the runners. So judgment of whether or not the ball was an infield fly is besides the point - the call was way too late, so the call itself never even happened. In a rule written to protect runners, it's not reasonable to allow an umpire to rule at a time at which it's a detriment to the runners, thanks to a reaction time slower than someone in a persistent vegetative state.


This is utter nonsense. There is no timing on the IF fly call that can possibly "hurt the runners," (other than calling it earlier, though that isn't an option absent that time machine that takes you back to 1985). As long as no call is made, the runners have to guard against the possibility of both a) the ball falling, and b) the ball being caught. Once the IF fly call is made, regardless how late, the runners now have more information at their disposal to guide their decision making. And the fact is, in this play, the Braves baserunners were not hurt in any way, as both advanced to the next base safely despite no obligation to do so.

The earlier you call it, the better. But the reason the "immediate" is inserted into the rule is to alert the baserunners as soon as the umpire determines the IF fly is warranted, which is exactly what Holbrook did in this case.

   119. depletion Posted: October 06, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4256621)
I'm open to the idea that I might be wrong here, but what if the umpire had _not_ called infield fly and the SS dropped it on purpose and they turned a DP?

Exactly. Would the Braves fans have thrown crap on the field if no IFR call was made and the Cards got a double play out of it? It's a judgement call, like a called 3rd strike or ball four with the bases loaded (Kenny Rogers, 1999 NLCS against ATLANTA). The ump had to make a decision in a very short amount of time. Sometimes they go your way, sometimes they don't.
   120. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 06, 2012 at 08:58 AM (#4256624)
They HAVE to make it two out of three. One game playoffs like this are just wrong.
   121. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4256630)
the roster isn't dripping with talent.

HW, I think you need to rethink this statement. McCann, Freeman, Jones, Heyward? Prado and Bourn aren't talented? Uggla might be nearing the end or just had a bad season. Andrelton Simmons is young but looks like a multiple all-star for the future. Medlen, Hudson, that bullpen? There's talent all over the place.
   122. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4256632)
Has the shortstop mentioned if he backed off when he heard the umpire yell infield fly? If that's the case, he would in 99.9999 percent likelihood have caught it had the call not been made, rendering this debate moot.
   123. phredbird Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:19 AM (#4256638)
hey guys i was traveling last night and didn't get to see a TV or computer ... did anything happen in last night's game?
   124. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4256641)
ed

what i was trying to convey was that fredi didn't have a standard set of guys to run out there and not fuss over things. he had to manage a beyond broken down chipper into a fine part time season. he had to manage through a banged up mccann. a seemingly disintegrating uggla

fredi has a good core but he also had to 'manage'

he can that for 162 games but boy when the expiration date hits on game 162 it hits 'hard'
   125. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4256642)
Also, the fans were absolutely right to throw garbage in response, and my only regret is that the ump only got hit by one bottle. He deserved a brick in the face - maybe it'd shake loose some common sense.


Finally, some sense in this thread. The fan reaction was by far the best thing about the entire game. The only regret is that Holbrooke had security to get out of the stadium without meeting the taut end of a short piece of rope.
   126. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4256643)
I'm sorry, this is WAY the #### out of line,


Do you wear little girl panties yet, or are you still in pull-ups?
   127. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:35 AM (#4256645)
Also, does anyone think the champagne parties are getting absurd? Champagne for winning the stupid wild card game? It's bad enough they do it after the division series.
   128. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:39 AM (#4256646)
Also laughing about the "Orioles upset win "comments on MLB tonight. Oh yeah, huge upset. ??
   129. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4256647)
Also, does anyone think the champagne parties are getting absurd? Champagne for winning the stupid wild card game? It's bad enough they do it after the division series.


Champagne party for clinching a tie for the second wild card
Champagne party for winning the playoff for the second wild card
Champagne party for winning the wild card play in game
Champagne party for winning the DS
Champagne party for winning the LCS
Champagne party for winning WS
   130. BDC Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4256650)
SoSH U makes an interesting point in #118: the IF fly meant that the runners took 2nd and 3rd, instead of holding as they would on a normal caught fly ball. IOW, the fans' anger was directed at getting a smaller advantage out of the play than they'd initially expected. A smaller advantage, but better than 1st and 2nd, two outs.

Which is irrelevant to the call, of course. After reading the thread and poring over the video, I'd have to say that the rule was invoked correctly, but it was called in a dizzy delayed way that poisoned the whole affair. The few times I've seen the IF fly rule invoked (see this immortal infield-fly example), an umpire, as Stevis notes, invokes the rule when the ball is high in the air (at a point where he can track its flight and reckon that it will land among infielders). And does so vigorously (and I'd imagine loudly), not with a casual raised hand after the ball has hit the ground in left field somewhere. It's true that there's no requirement for the umpire to stride into left field pumping his finger in the air, but everybody and his brother would have felt much better about this play if he had.

So I'm with Ray and not DMN on this issue, though with compunctions. But congratulations to the Orioles, David!
   131. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4256651)
I like the champagne parties. Why do we have to be so serious? Have some fun, celebrate each step in the journey.
   132. depletion Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4256653)
Finally, some sense in this thread. The fan reaction was by far the best thing about the entire game. The only regret is that Holbrooke had security to get out of the stadium without meeting the taut end of a short piece of rope.

Do you wear little girl panties yet, or are you still in pull-ups?


Ha ha ha ha ha. Shut and watch football, loser.
   133. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4256654)
Ha ha ha ha ha. Shut and watch football, loser.


Your wife gives good head.
   134. Busted Flush Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4256655)
But this never could have happened. This hypothetical is useless.

If Holliday...If the latter...If the runner on first headed back to tag

So your defense of a useless hypothetical is to put out three more useless hypotheticals?
   135. Tippecanoe Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4256668)
Since I was at the game, I have a few comments about the fan reaction.

1. For big crowds, Turner Field can become close to inaccessible due to traffic gridlock. Plenty of Georgians have had the experience of getting to a big game in the third inning. The public transportation options are not great -- it's Atlanta. So it was widely publicized leading up to the game that the parking lots would open at noon, and that the gates would open at 2PM. I was there by 3, and the stadium was bustling. It was a warm afternoon, perfect for knocking back a few brews. By the second inning the men's restrooms were overwhelmed and stinking.
2. This was not a typical Atlanta suburban family crowd. There were no kids in attendance. Nor was it a notorious non-sellout Braves playoff game, nor was this all about corporate schmoozing. The tickets were bought by men who were charged up to see the game.
3. While it was a correct call, the Braves had already had a rally snufffed after an apparently advantageous play was reversed when Simmons was called out for running inside the basepaths on a bunt. I had a good angle on the play and could tell that it was not a bad call, but there was no replay, and I'm sure many in attendance questioned it. BTW, this is one of my least favorite rules.
4. The Braves played very poorly in the one game after playing very well for the whole season. Fans were frustrated.
5. I'm a Cardinal's fan, and I thought the IF fly rule call was awful.

Lots of booze, lots of young men, lots of energy, lots of frustration...
   136. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4256669)
the IF fly meant that the runners took 2nd and 3rd, instead of holding as they would on a normal caught fly ball.


No. The runners took second and third because the ball wasn't caught, not because the IF fly rule was invoked. The call did not give the Braves any advantage whatsoever. The dropping of the fly ball did. You can't assume that the ball would have been caught absent the IF fly call.

Once the IF fly call is made, regardless how late, the runners now have more information at their disposal to guide their decision making. And the fact is, in this play, the Braves baserunners were not hurt in any way, as both advanced to the next base safely despite no obligation to do so.


No. The point again, is that the Braves runners advanced because the ball was dropped (not because of the call), and were at risk (however small) of being doubled up had the ball been caught. The lateness of the call absolutely is relevant.

That said, while I do think the call might well have changed the final score, I don't think it would have changed the outcome. The Braves brought the tying run to the plate in each of the last three innings, and did squat with those opportunities.
   137. DA Baracus Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4256670)
For big crowds, Turner Field can become close to inaccessible due to traffic gridlock. Plenty of Georgians have had the experience of getting to a big game in the third inning. The public transportation options are not great -- it's Atlanta.


I always take public transportation to the game and have never had a problem. It's cheaper and faster.

EDIT: That said, public transportation in this city is otherwise a joke, but that's what people want.
   138. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4256671)
tippe:

you last line sounds like someone describing a bachelor party where the strippers are late showing up and the guy responsible can't get get them on the phone
   139. DA Baracus Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4256673)
he can that for 162 games but boy when the expiration date hits on game 162 it hits 'hard'


This is a very strange observation to me. Especially when the one change Fredi made to the starting 8 paid huge dividends.
   140. BDC Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4256677)
No. The runners took second and third because the ball wasn't caught, not because the IF fly rule was invoked. The call did not give the Braves any advantage whatsoever. The dropping of the fly ball did. You can't assume that the ball would have been caught absent the IF fly call

Oh, any number of things could have been different; all I'm saying is, the Braves were a little bit better off afterwards than they might have been.
   141. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4256679)
da:

are you referring to david ross?

i am referring to sitting there with a great bullpen as medlen gave up runs, among other things.

he showed no sense that this game had to be won or the world ended.

and fredi himself has come out and said he did not handle things well in the late stages of 2011.
   142. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4256681)
I've fine w/ a one game playoff.
The Braves would have likely lost regardless of the outcome of this call.
Throwing stuff on the field was not remotely acceptable.

This was a terrible call.
   143. shoewizard Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4256682)
Shoewizard, your friend needs to retake his umpiring course. Ordinary effort doesn't depend on whether a guy gives up on the play.


Thats not at all what I said. I didn't mention anything about ordinary effort, or giving up on the play.

Please go re read my post. I can't respond to you because your response appears to be in response to someone elses post !
   144. DA Baracus Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4256684)
i am referring to sitting there with a great bullpen as medlen gave up runs, among other things.


Two relievers does not make a great bullpen. Durbin, Gearrin and Venters don't inspire confidence. Criticising him for saving O'Flaherty for the 8th is fair.

What other problems did you have? Fredi's not the greatest but he's not the reason the Braves lost last night.
   145. shoewizard Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4256685)
Wow! You coach baseball in Dongguan? Can I visit and watch?


Sure. There are 3 groups every saturday. The really young team, (herding cats basically) from 9-10:30, then the 9-12 year olds from 10:30-12:30, and then the 13 + team from 1-3

Level of play is not very high at all... program is just a year old. But we have some kids that are learning fast and love the game. It's a lot of fun.

I have to work October 13th, but I'll be there the 20th. We have a big tournament up in Xiamen thanksgiving weekend.

It's held at ISD, (International School of Dongguan)

   146. Lassus Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4256686)
Jesus, what a thread.
   147. Bourbon Samurai Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4256690)
It was a horrendously bad call, but I doubt it influenced the outcome of the game. Especially considering the Umps gave Chipper a free single in the 9th.
   148. Dan Evensen Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4256691)
I was coaching little league practice here in Dongguan

Wow -- another Primate out here in China. My family and I are in Shenyang right now, which is only like a 5 hour plane ride from Dongguan.

Is Dongguan's economy doing as bad as I hear? I've been reading all about big companies closing up down there.

Of course, here in Dongbei, the big companies were never here to begin with. ;-)
   149. Corn On Ty Cobb Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4256692)
Don't you know? - being a contrarian means you're smarter than other people.


aka the Rob Neyer School of Journalism.


What other problems did you have? Fredi's not the greatest but he's not the reason the Braves lost last night.


Calling a safety squeeze with a slow as molasses Freeman at third base and the pitcher on deck was pretty egregious.
   150. Bourbon Samurai Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4256693)
Would the solution to this be to simply modify the infield fly rule to state the catch still actually has to be made, and if it isn't its a single? Takes away the option for the fake out double play as the rule is meant to, but ensures the fielder still has to execute?
   151. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4256694)
Would the solution to this be to simply modify the infield fly rule to state the catch still actually has to be made, and if it isn't its a single? Takes away the option for the fake out double play as the rule is meant to, but ensures the fielder still has to execute?
I don't think this needs a solution.
   152. Hack Wilson Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4256695)
The Cardinals never should have started Ducky Medwick in a post-season game.
   153. shoewizard Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4256696)
Wow -- another Primate out here in China. My family and I are in Shenyang right now, which is only like a 5 hour plane ride from Dongguan.

Is Dongguan's economy doing as bad as I hear? I've been reading all about big companies closing up down there.

Of course, here in Dongbei, the big companies were never here to begin with. ;-)


Well, I am a bit insulated, as I work mostly with medium and small companies, and most of the ones we work with are doing OK...but a few factories have gone under in the last year or so.

But yeah....China is going to keep losing jobs in the export sector.

   154. salvomania Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4256697)

Do you wear little girl panties yet,


Why the "girl panties"?

Are you a misogynistic jerk, or do you just play one on-line?
   155. Sweatpants Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4256698)
but one gathers why braves fans are so frustrated. in situations where the game gets beyond managing the players and getting them to maximize effort and calls on a manager to make tactical decisions that can push the team toward victory fredi falls flat.
Gonzalez is a Bobby Cox protege who was brought on because the Braves figured he could manage like Bobby Cox. That's just who he is - knows how to make his roster work in the long haul, not very good tactically. I generally think he's okay, but he played a part in mucking this one up.
Especially when the one change Fredi made to the starting 8 paid huge dividends.
As much as starting David Ross paid off, his inexplicable decision to have Andrelton Simmons bunt with men on the corners was a killer.
Edit: A glass full of tears to Ty Cobb.
   156. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4256700)
I don't think this needs a solution.


Right. There really isn't anything wrong with the rule, and you can't prevent poor implementation by changing the rule.
   157. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4256707)
Medlen faced 25 batters, allowed 3 hits (7 tb), no walks, and plunked a guy.
.136/.160/.318
Keeping him in was not where things went wrong.

He gave up more runs than base runners.
   158. Tripon Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4256709)
They should change the name of the rule from the Infield fly to the "Wherever the ball ####### goes, it's still an out called by the umpires". Because that's what happen.
   159. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4256710)
The second baseman, an infielder, is positioned way out in right field, such that he can catch a medium depth fly to right field with "ordinary effort". Should the ump call that one? It might be a sac fly, but by the letter of the rule it is infield fly rule.

The rule is explicit in one direction: 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. It's not explicit the other way, but my reading is that 'infielder' is defined by who is, and is not, stationed on the infield at the beginning of the play.
   160. spike Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4256711)
6/15/2012 - AJC quotes following Wednesday’s loss. Fredi Gonzalez on Andrelton Simmons bunting with the pitcher on deck: “It’s a learning thing. He probably hasn’t hit eighth before and he’s playing National League rules every day now. It’s an aggressive mistake really. We talked to him about it and I don’t think we’ll see him do it again.”
   161. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 06, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4256713)
Judging by the Ross bunt single and the Simmons bunt, the scouting report probably said Freese is injured and immobile (which would be accurate). I'm guessing Simmons acted on that, and then Gonzalez wisely covered for him. That's what managers are for.
   162. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4256717)
Having now watched the replay several times, it looks like Holbrook made the call right at the point that Kozma looked as if he were about to catch it. What made it confusing was that immediately after Holbrook signaled the out, the Cardinals started playing Alphonse and Gaston with the ball. Holbrook should have made the call earlier, but again, at the point he made it, Kozma clearly looked like he was about to make a play that he would have made 99.99% of the time.

But where Holbrook went wrong was that he should have factored in the crowd noise and the distance of the ball from the infield dirt, and not made the call at all, since in a situation like that, the crowd noise can sometimes cause exactly the sort of miscommunication between fielders that we saw last night. Not to mention that there was almost zero chance that at that point of the game, the Cardinals were going to try an intentional drop-and-throw to third maneuver, which is what the infield fly rule is supposed to guard against.

Bottom line is that it was a judgment call, but given the overall context of how the play was developing, it was a poorly made one. And given the context of the game situation and the importance of the game, it ranks almost right up there with Denkinger.

Of course given that my opinion of Atlanta from top to bottom is roughly equal to Gamingboy's opinion of the Yankees, I can't say that the outcome exactly filled me with tears of sadness. But it was still a lousy call.
   163. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4256723)
why was no error assessed when the runners moved up on a ball that could have been caught by the SS, who called for it, with ordinary effort was allowed to fall safely?
   164. BDC Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4256725)
There really isn't anything wrong with the rule

The only suggested change I've ever seen that I've liked is the "Steve Treder rule" (I hope I'm representing Steve correctly): just eliminate the rule. If you are unlucky enough to hit a short fair popup in the IF situation, you have hit into a double play: if the defenders can execute it.

The play is complicated enough, rare enough, and seems to confuse even major-leaguers often enough, that it might be worth just playing it the way they so often play it. And as to that not being "fair" to the runners, geez, they're grown men playing a game of tag in the first place, they'll survive the injustice :)
   165. DA Baracus Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4256730)
Calling a safety squeeze with a slow as molasses Freeman at third base and the pitcher on deck was pretty egregious.


That's fair. Which reminds me that I didn't like having Prado bunt with Bourn on first. Why not just hit and run with a hitter like Prado? I'm not saying that Gonzalez is blameless, but when you leave 21 men on base, for me it's to hard to point to the manager first. The first five batters had five total hits. That's a much bigger reason why they lost.
   166. PreservedFish Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4256731)
I am surprised that it isn't more common to exchange baserunners on easy popups. Speedy guy on first, slow guy at bat, infield pop-up ... let it drop and you get the slow guy on base.
   167. Spahn Insane Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4256734)
For those who think the call was correct, I ask you this: do you think there's a snowball's chance in hell Mike Matheny comes out of the dugout to argue if that call's NOT made?
   168. Spahn Insane Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4256737)
The fact that the IF rule's raison d'etre is to protect the offensive team from being unfairly taken advantage of just adds to the egregiousness of this call; Kozma wasn't turning that ball into a DP if you strap a bazooka to his shoulder and lop off one of Simmons's legs, Black Night-style.
   169. Lassus Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4256738)
For those who think the call was correct, I ask you this: do you think there's a snowball's chance in hell Mike Matheny comes out of the dugout to argue if that call's NOT made?

I'm not really convinced one way or the other, but this is a really interesting question. My initial guess is actually "yes" but more in a "well, you know guys, you really should have called that, why didn't you?" for appearances and groundwork.
   170. Spahn Insane Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4256744)
Lassus: I agree with you on much, but not on this, largely because, as another poster pointed out, this may be the deepest-hit ball to draw an IF call in history. And because, contra Ray's apparent MLB feed from a parallel universe, Kozma was nowhere near "camped under" the ball; the very fact that he was still running back and that he and Holliday seemed confused as to whose play it was makes the"ordinary effort" clause inapplicable.

Edit: I realize your "yes" was heavily hedged, but I don't think this play would have even warranted a "standing up for my boys" argument if the IF call's not made.
   171. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4256749)
They HAVE to make it two out of three. One game playoffs like this are just wrong.

That's silly. If one game was enough to resolve a tie when only 4 division winner made the playoffs, and in the single division AL, was enough to award the pennant, then it's enough for two 2nd place teams.
   172. Lassus Posted: October 06, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4256750)
Lassus: I agree with you on much, but not on this, largely because, as another poster pointed out, this may be the deepest-hit ball to draw an IF call in history. And because, contra Ray's apparent MLB feed from a parallel universe, Kozma was nowhere near "camped under" the ball; the very fact that he was still running back and that he and Holliday seemed confused as to whose play it was makes the"ordinary effort" clause inapplicable.

I didn't answer "Do you think this was the correct call?", I answered "Would Matheny have opened his mouth with no call?" ;-)

To be clear, I do think it was most likely a very bad call. (I rather wishy-washily think there is a ARGUMENT, even if it isn't good, it certainly exists) I do think it's POSSIBLE someone could have gotten in an ump's ear in about making that call if it hadn't happened, again, just to play the game of getting in the ump's ear, not expecting anything.

If that makes more sense.

EDIT: TO be even more accurate, enough intelligent non-Ray people here have made the argument it was not a terrible call, so I'm considering it more than I had prior.
   173. Howie Menckel Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4256763)
"I'm fine w/ a one game playoff.
The Braves would have likely lost regardless of the outcome of this call.
Throwing stuff on the field was not remotely acceptable.

This was a terrible call."

ok, I was gonna post that.

meanwhile, Denkinger's call was in GAME SIX, NOT GAME SEVEN. The terrible call left the Cardinals leading the series, 3-2, with a 1-run game in the 9th inning and now a runner on first base. does that sound like some impossible obstacle to overcome?

how about getting out of the inning, just allowing the bogus runner to score and then winning in extra innings or - I'll just throw this out there - WINNING GAME SEVEN?

Just because Whitey Herzog got his team to quit in the 9th inning and then Game 7, doesn't mean we have to accept the whining afterwards about how some call ruined their season.

And I say this even though my wife's cousin played for the Cardinals in that series.

   174. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4256766)
Howie -- does the cuz agree that Whitey got them to quit?
   175. Howie Menckel Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4256767)

Mayor, he passed away before I ever got to meet him. But I think the Game 7 performance speaks volumes.
   176. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4256769)
I agree with you on much, but not on this, largely because, as another poster pointed out, this may be the deepest-hit ball to draw an IF call in history.


I started reading near the end of this thread, so apologies if I'm repeating others, but I thought Harold Reynolds did a really good job on MLB Tonight last night of explaining the rule and why it was called correctly. And, as part of that, they showed tape of the exact same call being made on a pop-up that Starlin Castro caught in basically the exact same place in left field. Now, I agree that a ball this far into the outfield violates the spirit of the law, but if they're always calling that play, then the issue's with the way the rule's written, not in this particular call.
   177. Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4256780)
I have gotten complaints about this thread. I have only skimmed it but I do find some of the comments childish. Childish won't generally get anyone suspended. It just makes them look childish. Telling someone somethlng like "put a bullet in your head" will get people suspended.

I have suspended the writer of that pithy comment. I haven't had time to completely review the whole thread and to review the comment history of the writer. I also don't have time to contact him at the moment as I am going out again in a few minutes. When I have time I will review everything, contact the writer, and decide how long the suspension will be.
   178. Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4256785)
BTW, it was a bad call. It was either a routine play, which should have been called much earlier, or it wasn't, which means it shouldn't have been called at all.

   179. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4256796)
For those who think the call was correct, I ask you this: do you think there's a snowball's chance in hell Mike Matheny comes out of the dugout to argue if that call's NOT made?

I'm not really convinced one way or the other, but this is a really interesting question. My initial guess is actually "yes" but more in a "well, you know guys, you really should have called that, why didn't you?" for appearances and groundwork.
Of course he wouldn't argue if the call wasn't made; that wouldn't make any sense. "You should have ruled that this ball my infielder couldn't catch would have been caught with ordinary effort!"
   180. JE (Jason) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4256806)
I am still unclear: If, before the pitch, the second baseman is playing in short-med right field in a modified shift, is he still deemed an infielder? Heck, what happens if he is hanging out at the warning track when the batter swings?
   181. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4256807)
Thanks, Howie, and sorry. The cuz was Darrell Porter?
   182. PreservedFish Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4256811)
I think the rule (and defenses of last night's call) rests on a false dichotomy between a ball that can be caught with "ordinary effort" and one that cannot. There are some balls that can be caught with ordinary effort that do not provide a realistic opportunity for engineering a double play. Those balls should not be called outs. The popup last night was, possibly, one of those.
   183. booond Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4256819)
This was 3-5 strides too far from an infield fly rule. The outfielder could've caught the ball. This was an error.
   184. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4256824)
why was no error assessed when the runners moved up on a ball that could have been caught by the SS, who called for it, with ordinary effort was allowed to fall safely?


I'd have given an error, but it's possible that with all the ensuing goings-on, the official scorer simply forgot to account for the runners advancing. Or maybe he just couldn't decide who to charge the error to. Alternatively, since the IFF rule does state that runners may advance at their own risk, it's possible (if not plausible) to argue that the advance did not depend on the ball being dropped. I guess it's retroactively scored a fielder's choice. After all, the choice doesn't have to be a wise one. Checking the play by play on Yahoo, it just says "A. Simmons popped out to shallow left, D. Uggla to third, D. Ross to second" which makes it seem like Uggla was able to tag up and advance to third on a pop-up to shallow left. Holliday's arm isn't that weak, is it? The Gameday PBP does specify that the IFF rule was invoked.
   185. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4256827)
Gameday had to revise it. While the #### was unfolding, Gameday had one out and bases loaded while TBS had x-2-3 and 2 outs.
   186. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4256828)
If, before the pitch, the second baseman is playing in short-med right field in a modified shift, is he still deemed an infielder? Heck, what happens if he is hanging out at the warning track when the batter swings?


I suspect that this is also a judgment call. The umpires decide who are infielders and who are outfielders based on how the players are positioned before the play. If the second baseman is playing too deep to allow him to turn a DP by letting the ball fall and throwing to third for a relay to second, then the IFF rule shouldn't be called. IMO. YMMV.
   187. winnipegwhip Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4256829)
Watching both games yesterday and not having a horse in the race I didn't feel the urgency or excitement that other one game playoffs had. This may be due to some factors:

1) The day break after the regular season.
2) The teams weren't competing against each other in the standings up to the last day of the regular season. With other one card playoffs the urgency for both teams existed to the last day of the season and when a tie occured the drama lasted one more day. The one game playoff was an added bonus where the teams settled the direct race once and for all.
   188. esseff Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4256834)
There are some balls that can be caught with ordinary effort that do not provide a realistic opportunity for engineering a double play. Those balls should not be called outs.


That's an argument against the wording of the rule, but not against the call.
   189. PreservedFish Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4256835)
If, before the pitch, the second baseman is playing in short-med right field in a modified shift, is he still deemed an infielder? Heck, what happens if he is hanging out at the warning track when the batter swings?


I believe it's irrelevant, with regard to the rule. Infield fly can be called on a ball that the centerfielder is camped under.
   190. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4256839)
This was 3-5 strides too far from an infield fly rule. The outfielder could've caught the ball.


There are a lot of plays where the outfielder can catch the ball where the infielder, with ordinary effort, can also catch the ball - they're usually on balls hit by players with little power, like Simmons, where the outfielder isn't playing that deep. Most of the time, the outfielder takes it because he's coming in while the infielder is going out.

I've looked at this play on tape about a dozen times, and I think the infield fly call is defensible. Kozma would have made the play fairly easily if he hadn't peeled off. It wouldn't have been an over-the-shoulder catch or a reach - he had virtually stopped moving when the call was made. Nor was he sprinting back at full speed or anything close to it. There wasn't extraordinary effort on his part to get to where the ball landed.

-- MWE
   191. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4256844)
1) The day break after the regular season.


The day break is obviously necessary, in case ties need to be broken before the WC game is played, but it seems to me that the two off days go a helluva long way toward mitigating any disadvantage that the WC winners will face in advancing further.

Infield fly can be called on a ball that the centerfielder is camped under.


Yes, as long as an infielder also could have made the play, or if the CF was positioned in the IF before the play. But that doesn't make the pre-pitch positioning of the fielders irrelevant. If it were irrelevant, the rule wouldn't discuss it specifically.
   192. Tippecanoe Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4256846)
Infield fly can be called on a ball that the centerfielder is camped under.


Can be called, but usually should not be.

I'm not clear on when, if ever, a shifted infielder is no longer an infielder for the purpose of the rule as written. But I have made up my mind that umpires should not call IF fly rule unless there is an incentive without the call for the defensive team to intentionally drop to get the DP. If that incentive is not present, do not make the call. Intrusive umpiring is bad umpiring.

   193. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4256847)
I have made up my mind that umpires should not call IF fly rule unless there is an incentive without the call for the defensive team to intentionally drop to get the DP.


The only downside to this is that it requires the umpire to process more information before making (or not making) the call. Which means more time. Which can lead to more late calls like this one. And IMO, a late IFF call is (almost invariably) a bad IFF call.
   194. Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4256850)
The fact that the IF rule's raison d'etre is to protect the offensive team from being unfairly taken advantage of just adds to the egregiousness of this call; Kozma wasn't turning that ball into a DP if you strap a bazooka to his shoulder and lop off one of Simmons's legs, Black Night-style.

It seems people are seeing what they want to see here rather than what actually happened. Due to the infield fly being called so late, the runner on second had drifted at least halfway off the base to hedge against the no-catch. If the SS or LF caught the ball while standing up, which Kozma likely would have done if he didn't bail out, there would have been a clear DP opportunity at 2B and probably an easy DP opportunity at 2B. (The runner from second arrived at third about a second or 1.5 seconds after the ball dropped. That means he was at least halfway off second when the ball hit the ground. As for Kozma, watch where his feet were before he bailed out and then watch where the ball lands. It looks like Kozma was no more than a half-step away from an easy standing catch.)

For those who think the call was correct, I ask you this: do you think there's a snowball's chance in hell Mike Matheny comes out of the dugout to argue if that call's NOT made?

The question isn't whether Matheny would have argued if the call wasn't made; the question is whether Gonzalez would have argued if the catch was made and a double play ensued — or the catch deliberately wasn't made and a DP ensued — because infield fly wasn't called or wasn't called early enough.

But I have made up my mind that umpires should not call IF fly rule unless there is an incentive without the call for the defensive team to intentionally drop to get the DP. If that incentive is not present, do not make the call. Intrusive umpiring is bad umpiring.

Problem is, not calling the infield fly will occasionally mean that the defense doesn't need to intentionally let the ball drop in order to turn a DP. Last night was a perfect example. If the ball was caught with no infield fly call, the runner at second would possibly if not likely have been doubled off, since the lack of the infield fly call essentially forced him to drift much farther off second base than he otherwise would have.


[goes back to politics thread, where death threats are less frequent]
   195. Mike A Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4256852)
I don't think anyone has claimed 'extraordinary' effort, just that Kozma's effort was beyond 'ordinary.' And of course, that's where we get into personal interpretation, since 'ordinary effort' is not clearly defined in the rulebook (nor *can* it be clearly defined). That said, throughout baseball history, the IF fly has almost never been called on a ball in that area. I guess that's what bothers me...you can theoretically/technically interpret the rule as Holbrook did, but it's pretty much never been interpreted that way. I've seen way too many IFs/OFs miss on balls like that to think it should be an automatic out (Candlestick with the wind blowing, good luck).

I think the rule should be amended so that it can only be called if the fielder has established position under the ball for a set amount of time. Let's say...two Mississippis. Yes. Two Mississippis shall be the number thou ump shalt count.

Good news is I can now order a T-Shirt with 'Worst Call Ever 10/05/12' on it. That should help with the pain.
   196. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4256853)
The day break is obviously necessary, in case ties need to be broken before the WC game is played, but it seems to me that the two off days go a helluva long way toward mitigating any disadvantage that the WC winners will face in advancing further.

Seems to me that there's a rather elegant equity in the scheduling.

The two teams with the best records in their respective leagues are getting three days off since their last game on Wednesday.

The other four division winners are getting two days off since their last game.

And the two wild card survivors are getting only Saturday off since last night, and in addition they've each had to make two long trips since the end of the season.

What's wrong with any of that? The only mitigating factor is that the Yanks and the Nats had to wait until last night to know where to head, but of their entire rosters only Kuroda and Jackson aren't fully rested and available for tomorrow's games.
   197. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4256858)
I think the call was appropriate. Except that it was made immediately after Kozma bailed out. Clearly the ump had just determined that it was an Infield Fly situation, because Kozma seemed to have no trouble getting to it, and he was about to raise his hand and make the call. Then Kozma bailed out for some reason, and this event surprised the ump, who suddenly raised his hand, leading to a resounding "WTF" from all corners.

If it had been called an infield fly, and THEN Kozma bailed out, I don't envision a lot of controversy. Because Kozma was still keeping an eye on the baserunners, he wasn't facing the outfield wall at any point.
   198. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4256860)
Problem is, not calling the infield fly will occasionally mean that the defense doesn't need to intentionally let the ball drop in order to turn a DP. Last night was a perfect example. If the ball was caught with no infield fly call, the runner at second would possibly if not likely have been doubled off, since the lack of the infield fly call essentially forced him to drift much farther off second base than he otherwise would have.


Except that the IFF rule doesn't protect against this. It allows the runners to hold their bags without risk of being forced out at the base they would otherwise be forced to advance to; it does not absolve them of the obligation to return to their bags in the event of a catch. Runners may advance at their own risk, whether the ball is caught or not, but they must tag up if the ball is caught.
   199. Rob_Wood Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4256865)
That makes no sense Joe. The reason why the runner on 2nd got to 3rd so quickly was that the SS peeled away and the LF was not close to the ball. So the runner(s) had a pretty good idea that the ball was not going to be caught at that point. Your argument would equally apply to many routine flyballs to LF with runners at 1st and 2nd. The runner at 2nd has to take a few steps off of 2nd in the off chance that the ball is not caught so he can make it to 3rd safely, but he cannot stray too far off of 2nd for fear of being doubled off in the very likely chance that the ball is caught. We don't need the infield fly rule in that case since no "easy" double play is possible. Of course, an easy double play is possible in the case of an infield popup with runners on 1st and 2nd since if the ball is not caught there is plenty of time to double up both runners.

As many have stated, the reason for the rule is important. If the umpire(s) cannot understand that, they should not be umpiring major league games. The chance of that ball being turned into an easy double play after letting it drop was approximately .000001%.
   200. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4256869)
I think the rule should be amended so that it can only be called if the fielder has established position under the ball for a set amount of time. Let's say...two Mississippis. Yes. Two Mississippis shall be the number thou ump shalt count.


Again, the IFF rule does no good if it isn't called immediately. That's why the rulebook specifically says "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." Immediately.
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