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Old Wed Jul 20, 2005, 01:57pm
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I am stealing this thread from another board. It made me think and that is dangerous for me so I wanted to see if I was on the right page.

Situation BR heading to first, hard bunt hits glove and bounces toward plate going right at batter, who avoids fielder and ball by almost stoping and heading to foul territory continuing on to first. Fielder get control of ball and throws runner out by 2 steps.

Now thoughts on OBS or INT on this play. 1st I don't think you can have OBS on this play as fielder is going after a batted ball, and even though she defected it that fielder had the opportunity to make an out. So question #1 is it agreed there would be no OBS on this play, assumming she was the only fielder involved and she had the best chance to get an out.

Interference: The BR is liable to get called for interference if she does anything intentional, as it is a deflected batted ball. In this case she did not so no INT, but it would be possible if those criteria were met. Q2 Am I thinking right?
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Old Wed Jul 20, 2005, 02:59pm
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Sounds like no OBS, no INT.
Could be INT if the BR did anything intentional to reduce the fielder's ability to get the ball or if the BR did anything unintentional within the "fielding a batted ball" limits. Then it's a question of how you interpret the limits of "fielding a batted ball", step and reach or whatever, etc.
The fielder still being able to make a play doesn't matter because if some INT occurs , the BR is out, ball is dead and other runners might be affected.
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Old Wed Jul 20, 2005, 03:15pm
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Got the impression from the original sitch that this ball deflected several steps away from the fielder and the fielder, while chasing the ball, obstructed the runner.

I had OBS in the initial sitch, and still do. Given this less precise post here, the OBS is less clear and highly dependent upon how far the ball deflected from the fielder.
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Old Wed Jul 20, 2005, 03:26pm
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mcrowder,
I struggle with why distance matters. If I interp the rules correctly any batted ball that is deflected and a runner intentionally interferes with when a fielder has a chance to get an out will draw an INT call. If the fielder is going after a deflected batted ball that the umpire judges they could still get an out from obtaining they can be interfered with. It must be intentional since deflected, but where does the rule have any distance listed? Am I looking too literally? I see it quite simply as deflected ball, fielder with a chance to get an out there is a chance of INT, and since INT overrules OBS there is no chance of OBS.
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Old Wed Jul 20, 2005, 03:51pm
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ah...

Dave-

I don't have rulebook in front of me so I'm flying by the seat of my pants. But I'm with mc here, unless as you point out the BR does something intentional to interfere (i.e. intentionally kick the ball, blatantly push fielder, swipe at the glove with his hand ala derrick jeter in the ALCS last year). Now, I may be thinking baseball accepted interp here but isn't it the fielder is protected as long as the ball is within a step and a reach. In your stitch, it seems that the ball is further away than that so they're initial play on the ball is over. Now you have a fielder who blocks the basepath AND impedes the runner's progess without possession of the ball which is the def. for OBS. My view is all dependant on the "step and a reach" interpretation being correct". Just my thoughts.

-Josh
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Old Wed Jul 20, 2005, 03:57pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by CecilOne
Sounds like no OBS, no INT.
Could be INT if the BR did anything intentional to reduce the fielder's ability to get the ball or if the BR did anything unintentional within the "fielding a batted ball" limits. Then it's a question of how you interpret the limits of "fielding a batted ball", step and reach or whatever, etc.
The fielder still being able to make a play doesn't matter because if some INT occurs, the BR is out, ball is dead and other runners might be affected.
Cecil, the point I have tried to make (and that Dave is following) is that the standard for the limit of fielding a batted ball is the fielder still being able to make an out. That standard is listed in the rules in reference to interfering with a deflected batted ball; the "step and reach" appears no where but in the minds of baseball gurus. I think you are thinking Dave meant it is a delayed call while we find out; the interference is, of course, a dead ball, so the judgement has to be made at the time of the interference.

Mcrowder and Josh, as long as the interference rule protects the fielder, then obstruction cannot be ruled. It is a clear standard that interference trumps obstruction, and the obstruction definition provides the exception for a fielder fielding a batted ball. It doesn't except if the ball is deflected or muffed, it states fielding a batted ball. I submit we have to use the definitions in the book with consistency, rather than look to baseball standards (a la step and a reach) to apply when the ruling we question isn't specifically stated. Distance isn't a factor noted in the book, just the ability to still make an out.
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Old Thu Jul 21, 2005, 09:36am
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OK, if it is not obstruction because the fielder is still protected and it is not interference because the BR did nothing intentional, what is it?

Interference does indeed trump obstruction, but not the theory of possible interference. If the BR did nothing intentional, the BR has not committed interference, therefore there is nothing to trump obstruction.

In this situation (speaking ASA) the fielder is protected from intentional interference, not given carte blance to commit obstruction because she muffed the ball.
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Old Thu Jul 21, 2005, 10:40am
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Forget inteference on this - there is no intent. (And nothing BR does inteferes with the fielder's play anyway).

Perhaps it's a matter of how you read the initial post (on esleeze) and this one. I don't use the step and reach baseball philosophy. I use the "likely out" philosophy.

I'm envisioning a hard bunt fielded by F1 or F3 that hits them and rolls foul. It rolls far enough away from the fielder that they have to chase it, crossing BR's path, and causing him to slow and alter his path. F1 or F3 then retrieves the ball and makes the throw to first, getting a close out.

To me, had the fielder NOT caused BR to alter their path, BR would have gotten to the base significantly sooner, and would not have been out. So the fielder crossing the path of BR is the CAUSE of the out. Without the OBS, there would not have been a "likely out" at first. This is my logic for obstruction on this play.

I will say that the esleeze post seemed more clear cut than this one. It says 2 steps here. It's possible that F3 or F1 had a likely out anyway, even had BR not been forced to alter her path. It's grey, and HTBT - but what I'm ruling on as PU in this case is: "Would batter have made first if she hadn't had to alter." If yes, OBS. If no, OUT.
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Old Thu Jul 21, 2005, 12:40pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by mcrowder
Perhaps it's a matter of how you read the initial post (on esleeze) and this one. I don't use the step and reach baseball philosophy. I use the "likely out" philosophy.

I will say that the esleeze post seemed more clear cut than this one. It says 2 steps here. It's possible that F3 or F1 had a likely out anyway, even had BR not been forced to alter her path. It's grey, and HTBT - but what I'm ruling on as PU in this case is: "Would batter have made first if she hadn't had to alter." If yes, OBS. If no, OUT.
Now we are getting to the meat, I think; and Dakota kind of stated the same, if indirectly. HTBT, for sure, but:

If fielder still had a chance for an out, then it could be an out, but not obstruction. In the same case, if BR had an opportunity to avoid interference but didn't, that would be interference. If fielder has a chance for an out, BR has no chance to avoid the collision, we have a wreck and no call in ASA.

If fielder did not have a chance for an out without the runner altering, we cannot have interference (protection is off), but we can and likely have obstruction.
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