April 05, 2014

Ian Desmond Loses Inside-the-Park Home Run on Replay: Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond had an inside-the-park home run changed to a ground-rule double on Friday, a huge call in a 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Desmond drilled a ball into the left field corner, where it went under padding. Braves left fielder Justin Upton didn't attempt to field the ball, raising his hands to get the ground-rule call, but then fielded it easily as Desmond reached third.

posted by rcade to baseball at 09:37 AM - 3 comments

Baseball rule 705-F: "Two bases, if a fair ball bounces or is deflected into the stands outside the first or third base foul lines; or if it goes through or under a field fence, or through or under a scoreboard, or through or under shrubbery or vines on the fence; or if it sticks in such fence, scoreboard, shrubbery or vines."

posted by rcade at 09:38 AM on April 05

rcade, that is the rule as written, but how does one define "stuck"? Is a ball that is under the padding but clearly visible and reachable by a fielder "stuck" or out of play? Here we go with that old judgement thing. Back in the day (oh no, here we go again), the players in our state organization were taught to raise their hands, as Upton did, when they believed the ball was stuck or otherwise out of play. We umpires were taught to allow the play to continue until its conclusion and then go to the ball and determine whether or not the ball was really stuck or out of play. If the fielder touched the ball before the umpire got there, the play would stand. If the umpire determined from first-hand inspection that the ball was indeed unplayable, the correct base awards were made. If on the other hand the fielder was trying to steal a call, he would cost his team whatever was given away by failing to play the ball. So the question is why do the umpires not go out and inspect?

posted by Howard_T at 02:58 PM on April 05

The ball doesn't seem stuck to me either. It's visible and Upton retrieved it easily, as seen in the replay around 1:02.

posted by rcade at 03:23 PM on April 05

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