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...in your one-game coin flip. I won't be watching it. I'll see you in the Division series should you be there.

v/r
Tom
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You missed an unforgettable game, though I wish I could. Chipper was flat on the field and at the plate, Andrelton fell victim to rookie disease, and the umpires, well, I've never seen anything like that, both the radical call by the outfield umpire and the fans ugly reaction. Watching the stands from the stands, it looked like a communications mixup where the shortstop thought the left fielder was calling for the ball. The noise at Turner Field was deafening so it had to be hard to hear.

The radio broadcasters were as incredulous as the Braves manager and the fans. Technically, the Infield Fly Rule does not define the play by field location but by position. According to the radio explanation, the umpire (never been called from the outfield before that I know of) has only to believe that an infielder could reasonably be expected to make the catch. Whether the catch is made by an infielder, an outfielder or dropped, the play is considered dead and any advancement by runners is at risk.

The problem is timing. The rule calls for the umpire to make an immediate determination but last night, the call wasn't made until the ball was nearly caught. The shortstop didn't peel away until the last moment, a good 20-30 feet into the outfield grass. The reason for the requirement to make a quick call is to give runners notice so they can make good base running decisions. This was denied the Braves through the late call, even though in the confusion (not even the players were expecting the Infield Fly Rule to be invoked) the runners did advance.

This was the second source of confusion and delay. The Cardinals argued that the runners should have been sent back to 1st and 2nd and the back room review contributed toward the 18 minute delay. The fan reaction during that period was inexcusable. A guy in front of me crumpled up a beer can and threw it, but since we were on the upper level, all he did was throw a can onto someone on the lower level. Inexcusable.

Fifteen minutes later, the guy was complaining that other fans wouldn't stop throwing bottles onto the field. Unbelievable.

For his part, Chipper bore the burden of the game on his shoulders. In what was his last appearance as a Major League Ball Player, he took the blame for poor fielding (his was one of 3 errors), stifled offense (Chipper's only hit was a 9th inning broken bat gift), and 12 runners left on base. The only bright point in the Braves lineup was a terrific post season performance by Kris Medlin.

Bottom line is, my October nights have opened up. Go Cardinals, see you next season.

Fuskie
Who notes that League Disciplinarian Joe Torre, who was at the game, immediately denied the Braves protest since it was an on field judgement call, and there's no guarantee that the Braves could have turned it around, but believes this was a call that should never have been made and was inappropriate for the situation in the post season (or any time for that matter)...
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For his part, Chipper bore the burden of the game on his shoulders

As I said in my earlier post, he went out as the gentleman that he is.

According to the radio explanation, the umpire (never been called from the outfield before that I know of) has only to believe that an infielder could reasonably be expected to make the catch.

The call was made by the left field umpire who I believe isn't there during the regular season. Why it took him so long to make the call (which I agree with you was the wrong one) is unknown.

...the guy was complaining that other fans wouldn't stop throwing bottles onto the field. Unbelievable.

On a radio show yesterday, I heard an Atlanta fan say that she thought that the initial throwing of debris was OK as it was to show the fans' total disbelief at the call. But apparently there were then announcements at the park saying that if the fans kept throwing debris onto the field, the Braves would have to forfeit the game. And yet, the debris kept coming, according to her.

Christina, sorry to see Chipper's last game be such a poor one for him (and the Braves)
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On a radio show yesterday, I heard an Atlanta fan say that she thought that the initial throwing of debris was OK as it was to show the fans' total disbelief at the call. But apparently there were then announcements at the park saying that if the fans kept throwing debris onto the field, the Braves would have to forfeit the game. And yet, the debris kept coming, according to her.

Yes, and plea's on the radio for those fans listening to the game (like me).

Fuskie
Who fully understands but in no way excuses the behavior of those fans...
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On a radio show yesterday, I heard an Atlanta fan say that she thought that the initial throwing of debris was OK as it was to show the fans' total disbelief at the call. But apparently there were then announcements at the park saying that if the fans kept throwing debris onto the field, the Braves would have to forfeit the game. And yet, the debris kept coming, according to her.


So were they throwing the garbage as a representative symbol of how their team was playing? One would hope it's the latter.

Alternatively I guess it could be some sort of moron protest of the umpires over the infield fly call but that just seem likes so much convenient and misguided blaming of the messenger. It ain't like the umpires made three errors, ran out of the baselines, left 12 MOB and pitched poorly....

As far as the infield fly call is concerned, spare me. I don't hear any Braves fans complaining about the blown call on Ross' HR. Time to move on from this non story, nothing was taken away from the Braves. They simply were outplayed and lost a ballgame.
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They simply were outplayed and lost a ballgame.

I agree. I also didn't hear any Braves players saying that the call cost them the game. In fact, as I said in an earlier post, Chipper said that it was all on him - for both the fielding error and lack of offense.

I just wish that the ump had made the call quicker instead of standing there motionless for so long.

Christina
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