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Discussion: You Make the Call

Posted Discussion
Aug. 20, 2014
DCPete
238 posts
You Make the Call
Happened at the ISSA tournament in Virginia last weekend.
Runners on 1st & 2nd with nobody out, batter hits a pop-up to the 3rd baseman.
Umpire does not immediately call Infield Fly and when the ball reaches its peak the 3rd baseman yells out that he's lost the ball in the sun.
Ball lands 5 to 10 feet behind the 3rd baseman and the umpire declares all runners safe claiming that once the 3rd baseman lost the ball it eliminates Infield Fly call.
The 2 questions here are; 1) how soon after the ball is hit does the Umpire have to declare Infield Fly rule and 2) does the verbal declaration by the 3rd baseman of losing the ball in the sun eliminate the Infield Fly rule from being called?
Aug. 20, 2014
Joncon
289 posts
IFR not in effect. The player can't make the play with ordinary effort.

As far as the timing of the call, there can be MANY factors involved and, since we are talking about maybe a second to think about it and make a decision, it's just something left to the umpire.


The ball goes up and it seems playable but the ump sees 3B fighting the sun so maybe he hesitates a second and then hears 3B say he can't see it so the IFR is off.
Aug. 20, 2014
Joncon
289 posts
And the verbal declaration was alikely the deciding factor but doesn't necessarily cancel the IFR. Maybe the SS was close by.
Aug. 21, 2014
southernson
261 posts
IMHO the verbal declaration by the 3B has nothing to do with the IFR and should not effect the umpires decision to call IFR. Batter's out, runners advance at their own peril...
Aug. 21, 2014
stick8
1318 posts
To answer the questions:
1)I call infield fly as soon as I determine the infielder is camped under the ball in a position to catch it
2)absolutely not
Although I wasn't there from the way the situation was described the umpire should have called infield fly. I'm not familair with any rule that states once a fielder loses sight of a ball that it eliminates infield fly. If no infield fly was called then technically the ball is still live. Not being witness to the play I suspect the umpire covered himself to avoid the defense getting a potential double play or even a triple play--if the batter didn't run it out. That's why theres the infield fly rule--to protect the baserunners.
That being said if, in the umpires judgement, no infield fly was called and the fielder did this intentionally to try and bait baserunners he could call the fielder for making a travesty of the game and award the batter first base and all runners move up a base.
Aug. 21, 2014
DCPete
238 posts
Thanks for the replies; sounds like the ump blew the call since he expressly stated that the Fielder's verbal declaration of losing the ball in the sun was what negated calling the IFR. He said that it negated the normal effort part of the rule once the Fielder said he couldn't see the ball.
Having been there, the 3rd baseman wasn't guilty of baiting since all 3 runners ended up safe.
Seems like what the ump was trying to cover up was his neglecting to call IFR in a timely fashion and once the ball hit the ground he must have felt like calling IFR at that point would draw complaints from the hitting team.
We actually had an ump in our league this year declare to both teams he would no longer call IFR the rest of the season to avoid any future arguments.
Aug. 22, 2014
B.J.
62 posts
INF should be called at the peak of the hit, if the tour. was using SSUSA rules it could also be called after the play is complete if the umpires didn't call it but then deemed it neceaasry to protect the runners. The scenario you gave was that the ball landed 10 feet behind the 3rd baseman I would consider this umpire judgement in that it was not a routine catch and the fielder apparently was not camped out underneath the ball. I also think the umpires explanation of the 3rd baseman saying he lost the ball in the sun was a bail out.
Aug. 22, 2014
stick8
1318 posts
This is what it says in the SSUSA rules about failure to call infield fly:
"Failure of the umpire to call "infield fly," does not negate the infield fly. If the error is discovered prior to
the next pitch, the infield fly rule may still be called."
Here's a hypothetical scenario: Runners on 1st and 2nd, no outs. Batter hits a pop-up in the infield. Lets say the ss is under it but the ump does not call IFR. The ss let's the ball hit the ground and it spins away. As a result the baserunners on first and second move up a base so they are now on second and third respectively. The batter-runner who did not hear IFR ended up at first and then the play stopped. Obviously the ump made an error but the way I read the written rule the IFR can still be called meaning it's a correctable error. The batter would be out. The defensive team then argues that the baserunners should go back to their original bases. I say no. Whatsayyou?
Aug. 22, 2014
B.J.
62 posts
stick, I would say that after the defense argued the no call on the IFR that the umpires must now call it, as far as the runners I would leave them at 2nd and 3rd because this was still a live ball situation and the rule states that the runners may advance at there own risk....maybe next time the SS will just catch the ball...stick...a different outcome would be if runners were on 1st and 3rd and SS drops an easy pop up....then it would be a dead ball, batter is out and runners have to return to their original base.
Aug. 22, 2014
GordieLew
1 posts
The purpose of the IFR is to protect the runners on base. In this scenario, the runners, and even the umpires, don't know if the 3B or SS can catch the ball despite the sun. They must be protected by the umpire, which did not happen in this case. As others have said, the umpire blew the call.
Aug. 22, 2014
Garocket
Men's 55
160 posts
BJ
If runners on 1st and 3rd there would be no infield fly rule. Therefore if the SS let it drop it would stay live because the batter runner should be hustling to 1st but then the SS would have to touch 2nd base for the force out.

However I do undertand if the umpire thinks the SS is doing this to try and turn a double play he could call dead ball and call the batter out on and intentionally dropped ball
Aug. 22, 2014
B.J.
62 posts
Garocket...Rule...1.37 • INTENTIONALLY DROPPED FLY BALL
If a fielder intentionally drops, or lets drop, a fair fly ball, including a line drive,
that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort with first base only, or first
base and any other base(s), with less than two outs, only one recorded out may
be made on the play. This is an umpire's judgment call. SECTION 9 MISCELLANEOUS 9.1 • DEAD BALL....U. When a fair batted fly ball, including a line drive, that can be handled by any
infielder with ordinary effort, is intentionally dropped, with less than two outs,
and with a runner or runners on base at the time. EXCEPTION: An “infield
fly” is a live ball.
Aug. 22, 2014
stick8
1318 posts
BJ your answer is correct!!
Here's the SSUSA rule on intentional drop:

"If a fielder intentionally drops, or lets drop, a fair fly ball, including a line drive, that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort with first base only, or first base and any other base(s), with less than two outs, only one recorded out may be made on the play. This is an umpire's judgment call."

Being an umpire it's sometimes tough to make a judgement call
Aug. 22, 2014
Garocket
Men's 55
160 posts
The one addition that I wish the associations would make is.
If the defense lets the fly ball drop intentional then the offensive team has the choice of which runner would be declared out.
That way if a slow runner was on first and a faster runner batting the offensive team could chose the runner on first out and the faster runner be placed on 1st.

That would stop a bunch of that silly crap
Aug. 23, 2014
stick8
1318 posts
Garocket I understand the principle your getting at but having courtesy runners in senior ball it wouldn't matter all that much would it?
Aug. 23, 2014
OZZIE#8
13 posts
the ump blew it.once the ump calls it,that's what it is.
if not whats to stop a guy from yelling i lost it in the sun
the runners take off and he catches it cause he lied.easy triple play.
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