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Old Wed May 28, 2003, 12:13pm
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Question

I was recently told by an ump that on an infield fly rule, runners do not have to retouch the base if the player does not actually catch the ball. We were specifically discussing FED rules and I cited

2-19.1 2nd paragraph

"(See 8-4-1j for batter being out and right of base runner to advance after retouching his base.)"

His opinion was that this "retouching" is assuming that the ball will be caught.

My argument was that it doesn't matter if the ball is actually caught or not, that the play evolves as if it was caught and therefore retouching is required.

Thoughts?
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Old Wed May 28, 2003, 12:21pm
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An infield fly is just like any other fly ball, except that the batter is out. So just like any other fly ball, runners would not have to return if not caught.
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Old Wed May 28, 2003, 12:55pm
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Correct-a-mundo, OMQ. Just like any other flyball; if not caught the runners do not need to tag-up.

There is an article on the In-Field Fly Rule in Referee magazine by Jay Miner this month. I think it includes some statements that could be misleading. Perhaps he is trying to discuss some of these misperceptions. He makes some discussion about wind affecting the flight of the ball and sunshine in the fielder's eyes... etc.

Perhaps after I have accurately read the article, I will make some other comments here for discussion.

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Old Wed May 28, 2003, 12:56pm
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Review the recent Toronto - San Francisco game.
Bonds hits Infield fly which lands untouched approx. 8-10 ft from the plate. Ball is touched in fair ground and then handed to catcher. Catcher assumes(?) force out at home and leaves plate to talk with fielders.
Base runner, who left on contact or he would not have been in this position, then touches plate behind gaggle of players and scores.
Plate ump has called Infield fly and watches all ensuing action(or inaction) and correctly calls play.

Veteran MLB ump scores the run when the runner left after the ball was batted and did not return to base after missed catch.

Seems clear - no catch, no retouch required.
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