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Old Fri Jul 19, 2002, 07:47pm
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1)Is the following situation obstruction, interference or neither.


2) Also, is it ok to confer with your partner after one team complains about a call?

3) How can I better handle the situation next time?

Runner on First and Third. F3 is playing about a foot in front of the bag. The batter runner hits a blooper to short right field. A collosion occurs between R1 and F3 in the baseline about 2 feet from first base. F9 picks up the ball and easliy throws R1 out at second. The offense of coach is arguing for an obstruction by F3. I decide to confer with the home plate umpire because of his complaint. We subsequently decided to change my "no call" to obstruction because at the time we felt that it was obstruction.

After talking with the home plate umpire again after the game, we theorized that any of three calls may have been correct:

1)Obstruction by F3 for being in the baseline as R2 tries to reach second.

2) Interference by R1 for not attempting to move around F3 who was moving back across the baseline to try to catch the ball

3) Incidental Contact because F3 was going for the ball and just happened to be in the baseline as R1 was heading for second. In this situation, neither player has time to react to avoid a collision.

Did I make the right call? I should emphasize that the defense of coach was really upset because I decided to talk with the home plate umpire only after the offensive coach complained that I should have originally called obstruction.
I just wanted to get the call right but his point was well taken. How can I better handle this situation the next time?

Thanks,

Greg

[Edited by Gre144 on Jul 19th, 2002 at 07:54 PM]
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Old Fri Jul 19, 2002, 08:36pm
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I see Offensive Interference.

Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders, or confuss any fielder attempting to make a play. Under OBR rules, a fielder is protected while he is in the act of fielding the ball. A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is OUT weather it was intentional or not
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Old Fri Jul 19, 2002, 11:23pm
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It sounds like #1 to me. The description says that there was a collision, THEN F9 picks up the ball and throws it.
Therefore, F3 was not fielding a thrown ball (and never did, the ball went to F4). F3 was in the baseline as R1 tried to advance, so he obstructed the runner.

True, it would have been better if the umpire(s) had called this right away, not in response to the coach. As usual, this is probably a play you have to see in person to know exactly what happened.
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Old Fri Jul 19, 2002, 11:58pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gre144


1)Is the following situation obstruction, interference or neither.

2) Also, is it ok to confer with your partner after one team complains about a call?

3) How can I better handle the situation next time?

Runner on First and Third. F3 is playing about a foot in front of the bag. The batter runner hits a blooper to short right field. A collosion occurs between R1 and F3 in the baseline about 2 feet from first base. F9 picks up the ball and easliy throws R1 out at second. The offense of coach is arguing for an obstruction by F3. I decide to confer with the home plate umpire because of his complaint. We subsequently decided to change my "no call" to obstruction because at the time we felt that it was obstruction.

[Edited by Gre144 on Jul 19th, 2002 at 07:54 PM]
With interference, the runner is not expected to have to avoid all fielders who chase a batted ball. The umpire must judge which fielder has the best opportunity of fielding that ball, and he is the protected fielder. That protection is allowed to change during the course of the play, but only one fielder can be "protected" at any given time.

So, did F3 have the best opportunity to field the ball?
Was he the "protected" fielder?
If so, then you likely have interference.
If not, then you likely have obstruction.

Letting the play run and discussing it is not wrong. It occurred last year in MLB in a Dbacks game vs. Philly or Cincy with a ground ball being missed by F4 and a relatively immediate collision thereafter with R1 occurring. Nothing was called, the play ran, the umps then conferenced after the play, and the call was made (obstruction on that play). Still, if you are certain of the call, it's best made and easier sold if called when the situation arises. Getting it right slowly can be much better than getting it wrong quickly. Some plays must have immediate decisions, some can wait. Knowing which is which comes with experience that never stops.

Although I was not there to see it, based on your description I'd guess you got it right I'd think a "no call" would be difficult to happen. Something happened, and that's why you are getting paid the big bucks to decide what it was.

I hope this helps to answer all of your questions.


Just my opinion,

Freix

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Old Sat Jul 20, 2002, 12:20am
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Incidental contact. Let play stand. Tell coach to get back in dugout. Hold firm! Not all bumps and trips are a penalty!!!

Stand Large....Be in Charge!
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Old Mon Jul 22, 2002, 11:59am
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Now I'm kind of curious. Was the ball hit short enough into right field where F3 could catch the ball if there was not a collision?
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Old Mon Jul 22, 2002, 07:25pm
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Red face

Yeah Marty, You got this one right. It sounds like offensive obstruction all the way. Protect BR to second base. F9's throw might not have beaten the runner if he hadn't been obstructed by F3.

Oh, by the way Bfair, in the interest of making the right call, confer with your partner. How else are you going to learn.
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Old Mon Jul 22, 2002, 07:42pm
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wpiced: "Yeah Marty, You got this one right. It sounds like offensive obstruction all the way."

Rule citation for "offensive obstruction", please.
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Old Mon Jul 22, 2002, 11:13pm
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I got the message, Garth. Lets just skip the "offensive" and call it obstruction. Section 2.00 of the OBR- definition of obstruction.

On the other hand, offense is the next word in the definitions. *LAUGH*
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2002, 02:06am
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Yes, F3 may have had a possible play.
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2002, 09:33am
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GRE 144,

It is my guess that F3 never had a play while standing in the base line -- obstructing the BR. My reasoning is because F9 threw the ball to F4. It would seem that F3 was at no time in the play, other than just hanging around the base line. BR should be given 2B, don't you think?
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2002, 10:44am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gre144
Yes, F3 may have had a possible play.
That, in and of itself, doesn't matter. You need to decide which fielder (F9 or F3 in your example) is the fielder most likely to make a play. That's the "protected fielder." Contact between the runner and the protected fielder is (most likely) interference. Contact between the runner and the non-protected fielder is (most likely) obstruction.

If it's obstruction, and FED, you award at least one base.

If it's obstruction and OBR, it's "type B" obstruction (no play was being made on the runner). The "award" depends on whose opinion you believe -- it's either a one base award, or the runner is still out since that would have happened absent the obstruction (iirc).
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2002, 11:48am
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Bob, in the original example/question, F9 fielded the ball and threw to F4, and in fact threw BR out. That is a "type A" obstruction. It still looks to me like F3 obstructed BR and the play at 2B put him out.

I would go for a simple obstruction call, give BR 2b and get on with the game. The fist base coach in this example was right-on the whole time.
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2002, 03:16pm
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Originally posted by Gre144
Yes, F3 may have had a possible play.

If F3 may have went for the ball (which he did) would he have been closer to the play than F9?
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2002, 11:47pm
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I really don't no who was closer F3 or F9. This is why the play was so confusing.

Greg
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