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Old Fri Sep 16, 2011, 07:11pm
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Astros/Cubs ending - Whose call?

Bottom of 12th, one out, bases loaded. Cubs batter hits a slow chopper down the third base line. Astros F5 inexplicably tries to one hop it as it is going foul. He deflects it into fair ground - action about two-thirds of the way up the line. BU emphatically signals fair. The announcers (Cubs radio) say it is the PU call until it reaches the bag and the replay showed the Cubs caught a break.

Looking at the replay, PU was behind the plate, looking down the line but his view was blocked by the catcher and runner. My question is, how can the PU be responsible for both the anticipated banger at the plate and making the fair/foul call obstructed by the catcher and runner? Does the usual mechanic change when there is an R3?
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Old Fri Sep 16, 2011, 07:49pm
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http://http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameda...b_1&mode=video

Looks like a fair ball that Jim Evans demonstrates at his clinics. From one angle you have daylight between FL and ball. Move overhead or inline and edge of ball is over the line.
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Old Fri Sep 16, 2011, 08:42pm
JJ JJ is offline
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Technically it's the plate umpire's call till it gets to the bag, but if he's blocked and the base guy has a good look, he can call it once he realizes the plate umpire isn't making a call.

JJ
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Old Fri Sep 16, 2011, 09:03pm
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With the bases loaded, the plate umpire will give up fair/foul decisions outside the circle to the wing umpires so he can prepare for a possible play at the plate. This is an advanced 3- or 4-man mechanic.
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Old Fri Sep 16, 2011, 09:46pm
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Originally Posted by umpjim View Post
http://http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameda...b_1&mode=video

Looks like a fair ball that Jim Evans demonstrates at his clinics. From one angle you have daylight between FL and ball. Move overhead or inline and edge of ball is over the line.
The best replay view seemed to show the ball barely landing foul and then it hopped up and deflected off the glove. It was an incredibly stupid play by F5 Russ Johnson - the only thing that would have made it "better" would have been if it closed out the first 100th loss in team history instead of just the 99th. You've got to make your share of plays like that to lose 100 games.
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Old Fri Sep 16, 2011, 10:06pm
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The best replay did not have a straight line view of the play. U3 did and maybe the PU did. Whose call it was depends on the crew. It looks like the PU did not miss a beat in explaining the call to the manager. The edge of the ball was over the FL in my opinion. This was advanced because at my level U3 would not poach my call and I as PU might not have a clue. At least nobody killed the ball. You can always fix an improper fair signal but you have to take your lumps. In this case I believe it was fair.
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Old Fri Sep 16, 2011, 10:10pm
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Originally Posted by BigTex View Post
With the bases loaded, the plate umpire will give up fair/foul decisions outside the circle to the wing umpires so he can prepare for a possible play at the plate. This is an advanced 3- or 4-man mechanic.
That makes sense. It seems it would be best to do it that way whenever there is a runner on third. The crew looked like they called it seamlessly with the BU immediately taking control of the call - like he should have.
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Old Fri Sep 16, 2011, 10:24pm
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Originally Posted by umpjim View Post
The best replay did not have a straight line view of the play. U3 did and maybe the PU did. Whose call it was depends on the crew. It looks like the PU did not miss a beat in explaining the call to the manager. The edge of the ball was over the FL in my opinion. This was advanced because at my level U3 would not poach my call and I as PU might not have a clue. At least nobody killed the ball. You can always fix an improper fair signal but you have to take your lumps. In this case I believe it was fair.
I see your point - on further review. Indeed, the edge of the ball did appear to be over the line. Usually at the MLB level the fielder is trying to "field it fair" so he can make the out at the plate. In this case, a reasonably bright Little Leaguer would have had the presence of mind to let it roll foul.
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Old Sat Sep 17, 2011, 12:05pm
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Impossible play to umpire. PU must take position for a collision play and is screened by oncoming R3. U3 gets to stare at F5's backside. Nobody has a great look.

Correct call. Sphere of the ball is hanging over line.
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Old Sat Sep 17, 2011, 12:55pm
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Originally Posted by TussAgee11 View Post


Impossible play to umpire. PU must take position for a collision play and is screened by oncoming R3. U3 gets to stare at F5's backside. Nobody has a great look.

Correct call. Sphere of the ball is hanging over line.
Quite true on all accounts. At the MLB level you just don't expect F5 to make such a dumb play to put everyone in that predicament. I saw a few web articles using this play to call for expanded use of replay. Jeesh, no replay views were perfectly definitive and the best one shows they likely got it correct and used perfect mechanics. One report said Mills went out to argue that it was the PU's call but it was explained that the mechanics change with R3 and he got quiet pretty quick after that.
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Old Sat Sep 17, 2011, 01:29pm
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Originally Posted by TussAgee11 View Post


Impossible play to umpire. PU must take position for a collision play and is screened by oncoming R3. U3 gets to stare at F5's backside. Nobody has a great look.

Correct call. Sphere of the ball is hanging over line.
Admittedly this is a long time ago, but I heard Bruce Froemming explain to us that the base line is not the same as the plate when it comes to three dimensions. The ball in the photo shown is touching foul territory. The foul line is only considered to extend upward when judging a ball that is in air. This ball was foul according to what we were taught, it is in contact with foul territory.

From MLB Rule 2.00

A FAIR BALL is a batted ball that settles on fair ground between home and first base, or between home and third base, or that is on or over fair territory when bounding to the outfield past first or third base, or that touches first, second or third base, or that first falls on fair territory on or beyond first base or third base, or that, while on or over fair territory touches the person of an umpire or player, or that, while over fair territory, passes out of the playing field in flight.
A fair fly shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the fielder is on fair or foul territory at the time he touches the ball.
Rule 2.00 (Fair Ball) Comment: If a fly ball lands in the infield between home and first base, or home and third base, and then bounces to foul territory without touching a player or umpire and before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball; or if the ball settles on foul territory or is touched by a player on foul territory, it is a foul ball. If a fly ball lands on or beyond first or third base and then bounces to foul territory, it is a fair hit.
Clubs, increasingly, are erecting tall foul poles at the fence line with a wire netting extending along the side of the pole on fair territory above the fence to enable the umpires more accurately to judge fair and foul balls.

FAIR TERRITORY is that part of the playing field within, and including the first base and third base lines, from home base to the bottom of the playing field fence and perpendicularly upwards. All foul lines are in fair territory.

Last edited by MikeStrybel; Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 01:33pm.
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Old Sat Sep 17, 2011, 02:49pm
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@ Mike Strybel

Interesting aspect about a ball settling in foul territory. The ball bounced twice. The first time it hit the line and kicked up chalk. The second time it touched the ground only in foul ground with the conjecture that an edge of the sphere was still over the outer edge of the line.

A baseball is about 3 inches wide (diameter). Let's say that it leaves a 1 inch imprint when it hits the ground. So the point of impact would take up 1/2 inch of the 1 and 1/2 inches of the half of the ball that could have been at risk of being above the edge of the line. That leaves 1 inch of the ball to be over the line - max. It seems impractical to be able to judge that with the naked eye from 30 to 60 feet away or even with ultra slo-mo high definition replay. Any parallax from a camera or eye angle that is not precisely down the line would introduce a margin of error of at least an inch.

So, if replay is ever to be used for a case like this, it is probably best to call it foul if it does not definitely hit the line and show some chalk kicked up.
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Old Sat Sep 17, 2011, 03:42pm
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I have a ball that was touched while part of it was over fair territory. I have it fair and so does Jim Evans.
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Old Sat Sep 17, 2011, 05:19pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeStrybel View Post
Admittedly this is a long time ago, but I heard Bruce Froemming explain to us that the base line is not the same as the plate when it comes to three dimensions. The ball in the photo shown is touching foul territory. The foul line is only considered to extend upward when judging a ball that is in air. This ball was foul according to what we were taught, it is in contact with foul territory.
I'm not douobting what you were taught, but it doesn't make sense to me.

If the ball was 30' farther out, it would hit third base -- fair ball. If it was 330' farther out and 30' higher, it would hit the foul pole -- home run. So, the ball in this play should be fair. That's how I was taught, and what makes sense to me.
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Old Sat Sep 17, 2011, 06:33pm
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Originally Posted by bob jenkins View Post
I'm not douobting what you were taught, but it doesn't make sense to me.

If the ball was 30' farther out, it would hit third base -- fair ball. If it was 330' farther out and 30' higher, it would hit the foul pole -- home run. So, the ball in this play should be fair. That's how I was taught, and what makes sense to me.
Bob, that makes sense. However, consider a ball hit on a line 250 feet further that landed in the same proximity to the line without kicking up any chalk and bouncing away into foul ground. It might be better to call that one close but no cigar.
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