Insider Report

Infield Fly Rule Confusion by Fielder and Umpire

How runners react to an Infield Fly is important and can be confusing. The Infield Fly rule is explained here.

Confusion over the Infield Fly Rule occurred on August 22, 2017, when the Angels hosted the Rangers. In the bottom of the fourth, the Angels had Mike Trout on first and Kaleb Cowart on second and one out when Albert Pujols hit a pop fly in front of the pitcher’s mound. The umpires invoked the IFR and Pujols was out. Rangers’ catcher Robinson Chirinos attempted to make the catch but muffed it. The ball glanced…

Bat Boy, Ball Boy Interference

Bat boy, ball boy interference is called only if it is judged that the bat boy intentionally interfered with the play.

When a bat boy or ball boy interferes with a play, interference is only called if the interference is intentional. Because the bat boy is authorized to be on the playing field, as long as he or any authorized on field personnel attempts to avoid a fielder, there should be no call because interference in these situations is decided on the basis of the bat boy’s actions. If the bat boy fields a thrown or…

Austin Jackson’s Amazing Catch and the Catch Rule

Indians’ center fielder Austin Jackson arguably made one of the greatest catches in baseball history, when the Red Sox hosted the Indians on Aug. 1.  I’m sure you have seen this spectacular catch by now. The play occurred in the fifth inning, when Hanley Ramirez drilled a pitch from Indians’ reliever Dan Otero to deep center, where the ball appeared destined for Boston’s bullpen. Jackson sprinted to his left, closed in on the short wall in center…

Time Plays

If the third out occurs at about the same time a runner is crossing the plate and the out is not the result of a force or the batter-runner making the third out before reaching first base, it’s a race against “Time.” What occurs first, the runner touching home plate or the tag of a following runner that is the third out which is not a force out. Below are two contrasting “Time Plays” that…

Ozuna Throws Glove at Batted Ball?

The Cardinals hosted the Marlins on Wednesday night. In the bottom of the third, Tommy Pham was batting with one out and a runner on second. Pham hit a shot toward left center. Marlins’ left fielder Marcell Ozuna appeared to have thrown his glove at the ball in an apparent attempt to stop it or to keep it from rolling further. Ozuna’s glove never made contact with the ball and Pham ended up on second…

Holliday Interference?

Red Sox manager John Farrell protested the Red Sox 16-inning, 4-1 loss to the Yankees on Saturday, July 15, 2017, at Fenway Park. Here is what happened. In the top of the 11th inning, the Yankees had Matt Holliday at first base and no outs when Jacoby Ellsbury chopped a ball to first baseman Mitch Moreland, who threw to shortstop Xander Bogaerts for a force at second base. Holliday stopped between first and second and broke back toward first…

No Infield Fly Rule Call Results in a Triple Play

The Orioles pulled off a strange triple play at the expense of the Red Sox in Boston’s 5-2 win on May 2. With runners on first and second and no outs in the bottom of the eighth, Jackie Bradley Jr. skied a popup behind shortstop. O’s shortstop, J.J. Hardy, called off right fielder Joey Rickard before the ball fell between both players. Confusion plagued the Sox runners. Hardy quickly fired to second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who tagged Mitch Moreland as he stood a few…

The Second Play in the Infield: A Rare Base Award

On a throw into dead ball territory by an infielder, umpires must first determine whether it was the first play or second play by the infielders. On the first play by the infield, the runner is awarded one base. If it is the second play by the infield, the runner is awarded two bases.

In Wednesday night’s game between the Indians and Rangers, the Rangers were awarded a run on a rare “second play” in the infield overthrow into the stands. Do you know the difference between the “first play” and “second play” in the infield when it comes to making a base award? Let’s start with a very common play. The runner on first base is going with the pitch when the batter hits a ground ball to…

The Flawed Sliding Rule

The Orioles and Red Sox played in Baltimore on April 21, 2017. In the bottom of the eighth, the O’s had Manny Machado on first base with no outs when Mark Trumbo bounced a ball to shortstop Xander Bogaerts. The Red Sox shortstop threw to Dustin Pedroia covering second. Pedroia had his back to the runner and received the ball like a first baseman with arm outstretched. Machado went in hard to the base sliding…

Time Play Opening Day 2017

The 2017 baseball season wasn’t quite two days old when we had our first “Time Play” confusion. When the third out of an inning is not the result of a force play and it happens about the same time a runner is crossing the plate, the plate umpire must decide “in time,” what occurred first-the third out or the runner crossing the plate. Often times the plate umpire must distinguish between the time of a…