About a second before, actually. But that's still way too late. The problem is the rulebook and the system MLB uses to enforce its rulebook. The infield fly rule is too much of a judgment call, and there's no recourse to correct a bad call.ampersand wrote:As bad as the NFL replacement and "professional" refers are, they got nothin' on the MLB umpires, especially that damning gaffe in the Cards - Braves tilt. The biggest problem as I heard from play-by-play folks was that the ump made the Infield Fly Ball rule after the ball had landed on the ground.
What bothers me the most about it as I reflect is that one of the extra umpires called the infield fly. During the regular season, there's an umpire at every base for a total of four. In the playoffs, they add two umps to stand along the foul lines in the outfield. It was the left field umpire that made the call. During an ordinary game that umpire would not have been there.
The umpire called the infield fly before the ball hit the ground, but according to the wording of the rule an umpire is supposed to call it as early as possible. Watching replays, it might be the umpire calling infield fly that gets the Cardinals' shortstop to peel off, mistaking that for Matt Holliday saying "I got it." (For the uninitiated: from little league on, an infielder is taught to cede to an outfielder on a fly ball if he hears the OF call for it.)
The entire reason the Infield Fly Rule exists: If there were runners on first and second and the batter popped the ball up to the shortstop, the shortstop could allow the ball to hit the ground, pick it up, throw to third base and watch the third baseman throw to second: a cheap double play. Because of infield fly, an umpire can call an out while the ball is still in the air. Also, once they call the out, any baserunners are free to advance at their own risk. (This is why the umpires didn't move the Braves' baserunners back to first and second after the call.) It prevents cheap tricks, but that's all the more reason it was a bad call in this case. There was no way that the shortstop could have pulled that off from as far out as he had to go to not catch that ball.ampersand wrote:And that got me thinking, why have an Infield Fly Rule anyway these days?
A) Josh Hamilton. Josh Beckett was the pitcher at the center of the Red Sox meltdown.ampersand wrote:If Texas wants to appease Josh Beckett, I think they'll have to fire Ron Washington. They've utterly choked away two World Series and now the last ten out of twelve games to end their season.
B) Why did Texas boo Hamilton?
C) I'm serious. Jerry Jones and Tony Romo work across the parking lot but they boo Josh "remember how many World Series the Rangers had been to before me" Hamilton? I don't know what else Texans want in a baseball team. If the Rangers are a tough sell for them, what's it going to take?
D) I wouldn't say the Rangers choked against the Giants in 2010. The Giants' pitching staff just got into a groove that October, and when they're going right good luck with that.
Another strange thing about the new playoff setup: the top seed in each league begins their playoffs on the road. Baltimore and St. Louis have homefield advantage for the first two games against the teams with the best records in baseball. (In an odd quirk, both of them were the road teams yesterday.)ampersand wrote:I'm thinking Baltimore will beat New York in Five, with Jeter be the reason for the Yankees demise this time.
Ah Cardinals-Cubs: sports' version of Lucy Van Pelt trying to get poor Charlie Brown to kick the football.ampersand wrote:My insanely crazy St. Louis Cardinals friend would like to remind you that today (10.06.2012) is the anniversary of the Billy Goat Curse on the Chicago Cubs. He reminds you to celebrate accordingly.