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Old Fri Jul 25, 2008, 12:13am
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Interference or Obstruction?

R1 and R2 1 out, Batter bunts down first base line. First baseman comes down line and starts to crouch to field ball as catcher starts yelling "let it go foul". While the firstbaseman is still crouched and within inches of the ball (still fair and remained fair) the batter runner bumps the firstbaseman moving him a step . The first baseman then goes back to the ball and picks it up to late for a play.

I was not umpiring this game but my opinion is interference on batter send R1 and R2 back. My reasoning is that the batter runner must avoid the fielder who was in the act of fielding. Even though he had just started to track the ball, he was still in the act of fielding. The umpires involved ruled nothing on the call (no interference or obstruction). They reasoned that since the fielder, after contact, waited for the ball to stop before picking it up. I believe they erred in that interference should be called immediately. We cant wait to see what occurs afterwards then decide.

What do you think....
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Old Fri Jul 25, 2008, 12:20am
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I'm with you. Interference with fielder in act of fielding a batted ball. It is up to the runner to avoid the contact in this case.
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Old Fri Jul 25, 2008, 06:06am
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Naw, it's Interf-uction! Call the runner out, eject F3, then eject the 1st base coach before he can say anything, toss the OF manager just on general principle, negate the last 2 runs on the defensive team for being off side then administer a 15 yard penalty to F1 and make him pitch from center field. If F2 complains, get rid of him too! Now you and your partner dance the "dosi-do", leave the field going "ya, ya, ya. yaaa, ya" and head for the hot dog stand for your reward!

See, Interf-uction can work!
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Old Fri Jul 25, 2008, 09:13am
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If the fielder has had an opportunity to make a play on the ball and elected not to play the ball, runner interference cannot occur unless the interference is intentional.

This is a situation in one of the case books I have (OBR). In the OP it is not clear whether F3 was "trailing/following" the ball down the line, however. If F3 is moving with the ball down the line (presumably waiting for it to go foul), he has already had an opportunity to field the ball. If contact then occurs, I've got nothing unless something intentional/malicious happens.

Just my two cents. I'll try to find where I saw that.

-Josh
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Old Fri Jul 25, 2008, 09:29am
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Hi, Josh,

Don't know if you were thinking of Jaksa/Roder, but it says:
Quote:
The granting of protection to a fielder may be withheld momentarily on slowly developing plays:

(b) If a ball is rolling along a foul line, and a fielder is moving along with it, but opting not to reach for the ball (waiting to see if the ball will roll foul), the fielder is not protected.
(2004 ed. at 98, italics in original)

I agree, it's hard to tell from the original post if F3 was attempting to field the ball at the time of contact, or was essentially heeding F2's call to let it roll foul. Might be interference, might be nuttin'. This statement would seem to indicate the former.
Quote:
the fielder, after contact, waited for the ball to stop before picking it up.
I'm leaning towards interference, since it reads like F3 was still crouched to field an approaching batted ball, and only decided (was forced?) to let it roll to a stop after contact.

Cheers,

Bob James
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Old Fri Jul 25, 2008, 01:01pm
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Hey all,

In the OP, it says that F3 was coming down the line (heading toward the ball, crouching, getting ready to field the ball), F2 said to let the ball go foul, and F3 gets bumped by BR while he is still crouching in an attempt to field the ball. F3 didn't move until he was bumped, so I have interference, BR is out.

LomUmp
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Old Fri Jul 25, 2008, 01:30pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rookieblue
Hi, Josh,

Don't know if you were thinking of Jaksa/Roder, but it says: (2004 ed. at 98, italics in original)

I agree, it's hard to tell from the original post if F3 was attempting to field the ball at the time of contact, or was essentially heeding F2's call to let it roll foul. Might be interference, might be nuttin'. This statement would seem to indicate the former.

I'm leaning towards interference, since it reads like F3 was still crouched to field an approaching batted ball, and only decided (was forced?) to let it roll to a stop after contact.

Cheers,

Bob James
Actually I wasn't thinking of the J/R but that's only because I don't have on Yet something I need to purchase soon. I believe it was one of Jim Evans books that I say that situation in.

The OP didn't exactly specify if the fielder had an opportunity to field the ball prior to the contact; Therefore, I didn't specify what I would call in this circumstance. It seems to be a HTBT type of play.

-Josh
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Old Fri Jul 25, 2008, 07:48pm
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From what I read in the OP this is interference but I would have to actually be there to see if there was an attempt to field. In actual fact this could occur quite fast with an attempt/no attempt opinion by the umpire as the runner
contacted the fielder. Would have to be there !!
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Old Fri Jul 25, 2008, 11:30pm
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The first baseman had just arrived at the ball as the contact was made. (I really think the catchers yelling to the first baseman might have influenced the umpires.) The first baseman had not given up his attempt at fielding the ball. It was only after the contact that he let the ball stop. Sorry for the confusion...
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