October 30, 2019

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 9 comments

Game 7 tonight in a series with 0 wins by the home team! That's ridiculous!

posted by bender at 11:41 AM on October 30

I couldn't understand the confusion on the interference call. The rule is clear, video showed that the batter-runner was completely inside the baseline, and the ability of the fielder to make a play was impaired. It was an easy and correct call; why delay the game for so long. Still, it was nice for us umpires to have something to talk about.

posted by Howard_T at 02:25 PM on October 30

The funny part was that Nationals fans were saying things like "they never make that call", "I've never seen that called" and other things like that.

Jon Bois tweeted some nonsense about the rule not being enforced since "1905".

Of course, almost the EXACT same play and umpire call happened in 2018...in a game involving the Nationals.

posted by grum@work at 02:53 PM on October 30

I thought the interference call was ridiculous when it happened. Harold Reynolds' explanation on MLB Network after the game, though, was fairly reasoned for how the call was correct by the letter of the law. That said, (1) I don't think this call is being made a lot of the time, and I don't think it's absence would have been noticed if it wasn't called, and (2) when Turner is hit while he is stepping on the base, it is hard to argue that he should have been anywhere other than where he was at that moment. A technicality let the Astros off the hook for a bad throw (or an intentionally "bad" throw) on a play they weren't going to make anyway.

Also, (3) why does the rule require runners on base to return to where they were? Considering that there is no need for tagging up, even if the batter is ruled out, it seems perfectly reasonable to allow the runners to advance one base (assuming the interference out doesn't end the inning) and then call the play dead on interference.

posted by bender at 03:00 PM on October 30

I think they should play Game 7 at a neutral site. No road team advantage.

posted by beaverboard at 03:05 PM on October 30

why does the rule require runners on base to return

The basic rule covers interference in general. Specific infractions are covered in the rules governing runners, batters, and the like. To specify the placement of runners in each case of interference would make an already complex rule book into an unwieldy monster. Thus, the general penalty of putting the offending player out and returning the runners.

posted by Howard_T at 03:23 PM on October 30

I don't think this call is being made a lot of the time, and I don't think it's absence would have been noticed if it wasn't called

It's called a lot more often (where "a lot" = a few times a year) when the throw is from a sharper angle and the ball hits the runner (who is outside the running lane) before it gets to the glove. Here, the interference is with the receiving glove and not the thrown ball.

when Turner is hit while he is stepping on the base

It was that he hit the fielder's glove BEFORE stepping on the base and was running the entire time outside the marked running lane.

posted by grum@work at 03:43 PM on October 30

Here, the interference is with the receiving glove and not the thrown ball.

I understand that, but considering that it was on his last stride to reach the base, I think this interference happens even if he is running outside of the base line. I think they got the call right, but I just don't like that rule (which I was admittedly previously unfamiliar with). Perhaps more to the point, I wonder how many players understand that they are supposed to run outside of the foul line. Of course, ignorance of the law is not a defense.

I also forgot to mention earlier, with regard to Howard_T's post, about the length of the delay. My understanding--despite the affirmation of the Out call afterward--is that the review was not actually a review of the play. The Nationals were told that the play could not be reviewed and were then trying to place a protest. The review was to determine if the protest would be allowed, which it was not.

posted by bender at 04:09 PM on October 30

Perhaps more to the point, I wonder how many players understand that they are supposed to run outside of the foul line.

I have to imagine it was explained to them at SOME point in their Little League, college, minor league, or major league careers. I mean, would they not ask why that long rectangle appears on the ground, starting halfway between home and first?

It's the only marking on a baseball diamond that I know of that doesn't have a mirror image on the other side of the diamond.

posted by grum@work at 06:08 PM on October 30

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