Boundary Call Overturned and Runners Placed Accordingly
The Nationals and D’backs played in Arizona on July 24th. In the top of the seventh, the Nats had Cesar Hernandez on first base and two outs when Josh Bell hit a fly to deep right field. The umpires judged the ball to be a ground rule double and called “Time.” Both runners were awarded two bases. Hernandez was placed on third and Bell on second.
Nats’ manager Dave Martinez argued that the ball remained in play and there was no reason to kill the play. He challenged the call on the field and the Replay Official overturned the call. Hernandez was allowed to score, and Bell was given second base.
- Dave Martinez wisely challenged the call that gave his team a run in a game they won, 4-3.
- It appeared the umpires initially ruled that the ball left the field of play after ricocheting off the wall.
- When the umpires improperly call “Time” for any reason, including a ball that is incorrectly ruled as “lodged,” and if the play is challenged, the Replay Official is empowered to reverse the call and at his discretion place the runner/s at the base they would have made if the initial call had been properly made.
- In the above play, the Replay Official took into account the position of Hernandez and Bell on the bases in relation to the distance of the ball from the infield. Hernandez was actually given a three-base award from his original base at the start of play and Bell was given two bases. The speed of the runner/s can also be factored into the base award.
- There is no rule that says all runners should be given the same base award. This holds true when spectator interference is called. There is no automatic base award. The umpires/Replay Official can arbitrarily award the runner/s the base they would have made had there been no interference.
Rules consultant/analyst: D’backs, Nationals, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Rays, Red Sox, Rangers, Royals, Tigers, Twins, Yankees, Bally Sports, ESPN, YES, and NBC Sports Chicago.