May 23, 2023

Foul Ball Changed to Fair

Aaron Boone ejected after foul ball overturned in Yankees vs Reds

Foul Ball Changed to Fair

The Yankees and Reds played at Great American Ball Park on May 21, 2023.

In the bottom of the first, the Reds had Jonathan India on first base and two outs when Spencer Speer hit a slicing fly ball down the right field line. India was running on the pitch. Yankees’ right fielder Jake Bauers made a sliding attempt at the ball near the foul line but dropped it. First base umpire Nestor Ceja called it a foul ball as India was rounding second.

The Reds challenged the play and replays showed that Bauers first touched the ball in fair territory. The call was overturned by the Replay Official in New York. The Replay Official allowed India to score and placed Speer on second base.

Boone, angry because India slowed down between third and home and was allowed to score, came out to argue and was ejected by second base umpire and crew chief Brian O’Nora.  Boone reportedly argued that India should not have been awarded home, since the call on the field was foul and Bauers had no incentive to get up and throw home.

In an article written by Yankees beat writer Greg Joyce,  Boone said, “I shouldn’t have gotten thrown out there-I’m saying my bad. In the end I think it was probably the right call. I was just upset I didn’t get the explanation right away.”

Ruleball Comments

  1. When a manager argues the Repay Official’s ruling it calls for automatic ejection. The field umpires do not place the runners if a call is overturned. The Replay Official is empowered to overturn a call and place runners in his judgment to the base they would have made had the correct call been initially made.
  2. The Replay Official does not take into account the reaction of the runners, or the defensive team based on an umpire’s improper decision.
  3. The Yankees could have argued that Ceja’s incorrect call affected Bauers’ reaction, and the Reds could have argued that India slowed down once the ball was declared foul. But those behaviors do not factor in the Replay Official’s decision.
  4. BTW-the position of the ball, not the fielder’s feet, determines whether a ball is fair or foul. If a fielder has his feet in foul territory but the ball is in fair territory when the fielder makes contact with the ball, it is a fair ball. This is unlike the other major sports that determines whether or not a ball is in play by the position the player’s feet.

Rich Marazzi

Rules consultant/analyst:  Angels, D’backs, Dodgers, Nationals, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Rangers, Royals, Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Bally Sports, YES, and NBC Sports Chicago.  

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