Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 0
My take is that while the literal interpretation of the rule may allow such a call to be made, the situation it occured in needs to be surgically removed from the rule book.

Look it is called the INFIELD fly rule. It's intent is to PROTECT the baserunners. It prevents an infielder from deliberately letting a ball drop so that they can turn a double play or get a speedy lead runner off the bases. Such an action by an infielder is only possible if they are generally in very close proximity to second base. When said infielder is 40-50 feet into left field there is a zero percent chance that he would even consider dropping the ball on purpose.

In all my years of baseball watching I have never seen a call like this one. When the infield fly rule is called most times the infielder is standing squarely on the dirt or even on the infield grass. On occasion, they may drift a couple of steps into the outfield. I would say that universally, the call is made almost instantly. So, not only have I never seen this type of call made so far out into the outfield, I don't recall ever seeing it called so late either.

From where I sit, the Braves got hosed big time on this call. Note that I say this as a Mets fan who has been subjected to more than enough torment from this team (and the Mets themselves) over the years. Their three errors are a bigger reason that their season ended, but one can never know what they would have done with the bases loaded and one out.

That is the problem with most protests as I see it. If you upheld the protest, would you automatically erase all that happened after this and restart it from that point? The one protest that was upheld that probably sticks in most fans minds is George Brett and the infamous pine tar game in the 1980's. One key difference is that the onfield call in that game ended the game. When it was later reversed, the game was simply picked up from the point of Brett's HR and played out from there.

Considering this was the first play in wild card game, MLB once again ended up with egg on their face. They are stuck having to defend a dumb call that is technically allowed under the rules. Sometimes the embarrassments do lead to some rule changes. The Jeffrey Maier ball from the 1990's Yanks-O's series at least led to the video review we now have on HRs. Of course the changes can't fix the mistakes that were already made.

Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.