June 13, 2023

Runner and Umpire Collide

Jake Cronenworth collides with umpire Ryan Wills

Runner and Umpire Collide

The Padres hosted the Cubs on June 4, 2023. In the bottom of the third inning the Padres had Fernando Tatis Jr. on second base and Jake Cronenworth on first and two outs when Ha-Seong-Kim hit a ground ball to Dansby Swanson. The Cubs shortstop tossed to second baseman Nico Hoerner for the inning-ending force out.

Cronenworth on his way to second base collided with umpire Ryan Wills.

Was this a form of umpire interference?

Ruleball Comments

  1. This was not umpire interference and the “no call” was the proper call.
  2. Umpire interference can only occur the following ways: (a) if the second base umpire is hit by a batted ball when positioned in front of the infielders; (b) when the plate umpire interferes with the catcher who is making a throw to prevent a stolen base or retire a runner on a pick-off play; or (c) when the plate umpire interferes with the catcher’s throw back to a pitcher with a runner/s on base.
  3. On thrown balls that hit umpires, interference cannot be called as they are treated as part of the ground.
  4. In my opinion, Wills could have been positioned a few feet more toward the grass, which would have cleared the path for the runner.

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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