The Wackiest Triple Play Ever?
The Red Sox were the victims of a crazy triple play in Boston on May 2, 2017 when the Orioles turned three on a pop up to shallow left field. Once you have seen the play, you might come to your own conclusion as to whether the pop fly hit by Jackie Bradley, Jr. should have been called an Infield Fly or not. But as is often the case, it is a misunderstanding of the Infield Fly Rule (IFR) on the part of baserunners that enabled the Orioles to escape a late inning jam.
Umpires are instructed to consider several variables when deciding to call a pop fly an Infield Fly. Sun, wind, player positioning, and height of the pop fly are all factors that umpires calculate before they make the IFR decision. Umpires are also instructed to wait until the pop fly reaches its apex (highest point) before calling an Infield Fly. This explains why it umpires seem to wait a long time to make an obvious Infield Fly ruling. The signal for an Infield Fly is the umpire making the call to raise his right arm to the sky, with some umpires adding a pointing finger for emphasis.
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Ted Barrett explains when umpires should make the Infield Fly call:
Here is the triple play by the Orioles on May 2, 2017
Orioles – Red Sox Triple Play Case Study
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Insider Report by Rich Marazzi