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Old Fri May 11, 2007, 07:09pm
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Controversial MLB Interference Call

Stay tune for a whacky 4th inning play in the Braves/Pirates game. Braves Chipper Jones ran/leaped over the Pirates' Jose Bautista just after Bautista fielded the ball on the baseline near 3B. The umpires ruled that the fielder has fielded the ball cleanly. As Bautista was clobbered, he went down to the ground and never raised his glove to tag out Jones. Chipper made no effort to run around F5, landed hard on top of the bag and was later ruled safe. The Pirates skipper managed to stay in the game after the call against the Pirates. WOW. Pirates scored in the following half-inning to take a 0-1 lead, but lost the game 4-1.

Edited to add a salute to Bobby Cox who tied {Sparky} Anderson for fourth in all-time managerial wins, 2,194th.

Had trouble with the video link: http://mlb.mlb.com/media/player/mp_t...e=v_free&_mp=1

Last edited by SAump; Sat May 12, 2007 at 08:48am.
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Old Fri May 11, 2007, 09:03pm
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I saw this play and I don't know how this cannot be interference, considering that the least F5 was going to do was get the out at first.

I think they blew this one.
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Old Fri May 11, 2007, 09:08pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peruvian
I saw this play and I don't know how this cannot be interference, considering that the least F5 was going to do was get the out at first.

I think they blew this one.
I didn't see the play, but putting together the first two posts, it sounds like the umpires ruled that F5 had completed fielding the ball, so no interference there, and that Jones did not intentionally interfere with F5 as he was attempting a play, so no interference there.
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Old Fri May 11, 2007, 09:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAump
Stay tune for whacky 4th inning play in Braves/Pirates game. Chipper Jones ran/leaped over the Pirates' F5 just after he fielded the ball. The umpires ruled that the fielder has fielded the ball cleanly. As he was clobbered, F5 went down to the ground and never raised his glove to tag out Mr. Jones. Chipper made no effort to run around F5. Chipper landed hard on top of the bag and was later ruled safe. The Pirates skipper managed to stay in the game after the call against the Pirates.
Was there going to be a throw after F5 fielded the ball to possibly retire a runner?
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Old Fri May 11, 2007, 09:38pm
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I saw the game also and the runner may not have intentionally interfered but he did interfere. He made contact with the fielder about 1/2 second after he fielded the ball. Then fell over him trying to get to third. As a result, the attempt to get the batter-runner at first was truly hindered. Intentional or not.

I thought that they would have called out the batter-runner.
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Old Fri May 11, 2007, 09:40pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DG
Was there going to be a throw after F5 fielded the ball to possibly retire a runner?
There was a throw but, it was not very good because the fielder had the runner on his back. That is why I thought there would be some call.
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Old Fri May 11, 2007, 09:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jicecone
I saw the game also and the runner may not have intentionally interfered but he did interfere. He made contact with the fielder about 1/2 second after he fielded the ball. Then fell over him trying to get to third. As a result, the attempt to get the batter-runner at first was truly hindered. Intentional or not.

I thought that they would have called out the batter-runner.
Sounds like BR is placed at 1B and runner who interfered is OUT. Interference does not have to be intentional.
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Old Sat May 12, 2007, 01:04am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DG
Sounds like BR is placed at 1B and runner who interfered is OUT. Interference does not have to be intentional.


Well, I don't have access to my books right now, but off the top of my head that is not a universally true statement.

Interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball does not have to be intentional, true. Apparently, the umpire ruled the fielder had already fielded the ball.

Intent does come into play with interference with a thrown ball. Would it also come into play with a fielder attempting to get set to throw a ball or make a play?

When the called interference on A-Rod for slapping the fielder's arm, they made a point of calling it an intentional act.

I believe that if the umpire had ruled the fielder was done fielding the correct call would be no interference on the the ensuing contact unless the umpire was convinced the the contact was intentional.
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Last edited by GarthB; Sat May 12, 2007 at 01:17am.
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Old Sat May 12, 2007, 02:22am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarthB
I believe that if the umpire had ruled the fielder was done fielding the correct call would be no interference on the the ensuing contact unless the umpire was convinced the the contact was intentional.
MLBUM 6.1: Note that under the Official Baseball Rules, a fielder is protected while in the act of fielding a batted ball. In addition, a fielder is also protected while in the act of making a play after having fielded a batted ball. If, after a player has fielded a batted ball but before he is able to throw the ball, a runner hinders or impedes such fielder, the runner shall be called out for interference."

In the play under discussion, as described, the runner made contact with the fielder a half second after he fielded the ball and in so doing prevented the fielder from making a good throw to retire the batter-runner. I believe the correct call is runner OUT, BR to 1b.
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Old Sat May 12, 2007, 09:00am
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Hate to say it, but

Indeed, Joe Morgan read straight from the MLBUM 6.1 during the discussion on live TV. For all the money it dishes out, MLB listened to all the complaining and has asked the networks to do a better job on rule interpetations and coverage. Someone {unknown} finally provided a MLBUM copy for the announcers to use during live telecasts. I don't think the announcers have read it and believe someone still has to tell them where to look for a ruling in the MLBUM, too. At least Joe doesn't have to make things up anymore.

Last edited by SAump; Sat May 12, 2007 at 09:09am.
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Old Sat May 12, 2007, 09:15am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DG
MLBUM 6.1: Note that under the Official Baseball Rules, a fielder is protected while in the act of fielding a batted ball. In addition, a fielder is also protected while in the act of making a play after having fielded a batted ball. If, after a player has fielded a batted ball but before he is able to throw the ball, a runner hinders or impedes such fielder, the runner shall be called out for interference."

In the play under discussion, as described, the runner made contact with the fielder a half second after he fielded the ball and in so doing prevented the fielder from making a good throw to retire the batter-runner. I believe the correct call is runner OUT, BR to 1b.
You're correct. Mea Culpa. I forgot that wording. I've decided to punish myself by re-reading MLBUM on my way to my football game today.
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Old Sat May 12, 2007, 10:27am
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Is there another view. I think so.

Seems to me like the "play" should have been tagging Chipper.

Fielder has ball, Chipper runs into him, fielder misses tag, THEN tries for first.

Sounjds OK to me.
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Old Sat May 12, 2007, 10:45am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Ives
Is there another view. I think so.

Seems to me like the "play" should have been tagging Chipper.

Fielder has ball, Chipper runs into him, fielder misses tag, THEN tries for first.

Sounjds OK to me.

Bottom line, I think, is that one needsto see the play. I've been looking for replays on all the sports channels but haven't seen one yet. I can imagine three scenarios;in two of which a no call would be a good call.
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Old Sat May 12, 2007, 11:11am
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I have also looked for a replay and have not found. I have a hard time figuring out how a fielder with the ball was knocked over by the runner and he couldn't get a tag on him.
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Old Sat May 12, 2007, 11:51am
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The inning ended with "no harm done"., on a double play. So there may be no replay or further discussion about this however, it would be interesting to know why there was no call, purely from an umpires perspective.

It just goes to show no matter how long you have been officiating, always, expect the unexpected.
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