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Discussion: Rule Interpretation

Posted Discussion
Nov. 9
Hamstring

3 posts
Runners on 1st and 3rd, one out. Batter hits a popup to the 2nd baseman. Umpire calls "infield Fly", but only the batter hears it and he slows down going to first. The 2b misplays the ball. Runner from 1B takes off for second, 2B recovers ball and throws to middle fielder for what should be a force for out number two. Middle man throws to first to complete double play. We all know that umpire made a mistake. Batting team claims batter slowed down hearing umpires call and therefore should not be out at first. A twenty minute discussion ensued with field director and a compromise was created with one out posted.

How should the umpire have handled this scenario?
Nov. 9
lowprofile

65 posts
Thinking the batter is automatically out once the ump called infield fly, the runners would advance at there own risk, no force play at second once the infield fly rule was called. Thinking it should of been a tag play at second, not a force out. I could be wrong? Ump or director maybe should have looked it up in the rule book?
Nov. 9
B.J.

1108 posts
what mistake did the umpire make?? .. he called IF and per your scenario the 2b just missed the catch.. I'm not sure how only the batter could hear the IF call while he was on his way to 1st base.. where was the catcher and the pitcher??

I agree with lowprofile on the rest of the scenario the runner going to 2nd is no longer a force play since the batter was out on the IF call.. I have runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs
Nov. 9
Player

86 posts
Sorry, but I have to throw a different perspective on the interpretation presented. I was on the team which was batting. Several of us in the dugout heard the “infield fly” call. The runner on first heard it also and remained on first until most players of both teams realized there was no runner on 2nd. Ergo, no infield fly. By the time the runner on first had proceeded to 2nd, the fielder had retrieved the ball and made the force out at 2nd. The delay created the out. Under normal circumstances (no infield fly pronouncement) and the fielder dropping the ball, the very good possibility existed that both the runner, as well as the batter, could have been safe. Since we had one out, the ruling was the the batter was awarded 1st base, the runner was out (now called a force out) and we had two outs. Question. If the umpire created the confusion, what ruling would have been fair to both teams?
Nov. 10
B.J.

1108 posts
ooops!!! not only did your umpire suffer a senior moment so sis I ... I never read the scenario correctly that runners were on 1st and 3rd..

so if the umpire called out IF and it obviously effected the play then the umpire should have awarded bases and outs under his judgement of what could have happened if he hadn't made the mistaken call..

in that case I would award the batter 1st base have the runner that was on 1st out at 2nd and the runner on 3rd would remain with 2 outs and tell everyone ...sorry my mistake
Nov. 10
Hamstring

3 posts
If we go by the umpire ruling infield fly, why is the batter awarded 1st base. He is out. ( LOW PROFILE) THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RULE BOOK COVERING THIS UMPIRE MISTAKE

IMO, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A DOUBLE PLAY; THE FORCE OUT AT 2ND IS THE FIRST OUT AND THE BATTER/RUNNER WHO WAS NOT RUNNING FULL SPEED WAS THROWN OUT AT FIRST FOR THE 3RD OUT

SHOULD'NT THE BATTER AND RUNNER UNDERSTAND THAT IT WAS NOT AN INFIELD SCENARIO

Nov. 10
B.J.

1108 posts
hamstring.. this could go 2 ways .. if the umpire tried to stay with the IF call there could be a protest for misapplying a rule because there were runners on 1st and 3rd..no runner on 2nd base..

also in your OP you said that the runner slowed down after hearing the IF call .. and now you want to penalize him on the umpire error??

you posted.. (If we go by the umpire ruling infield fly, why is the batter awarded 1st base. He is out.)

if they went with the batter is out on the IF then you still wouldn't get a double play because the runner going to 2nd was not a force play and had to be tagged for the out

you said the batter and runner should have known that it wasn't an IF scenario... once you hear the umpire making that call don't you think they may have been confused by it

Nov. 10
stick8

1992 posts
This may sound odd. As horrific as this call sounds like and as confusing as it must have been, imho the play is played out going with the call. An umpire should not change a call in the middle of the play, that will add even more confusion.
The infield fly rule is put in to protect the baserunners, not the defense.
Since IF was called the batter is out and runners advance at their own risk. If the runner at first went to second he must be tagged out. After the play is dead then the umpire can then convey to both teams that he made a huge mistake. This being said I’m not certain if this is a correctable situation or not. BJ might have more insight on that.
Unfortunately s—t happens, a team may get the shaft.
The umpire has to eat this call.
Nov. 11
lowprofile

65 posts
Hamstring, I'm just going by what the called play as you say...infield fly ruled was called, the batter is automatically out. The runners then advance at there own risk. because the other players say they didn't hear the Infield Fly called well that's a he said she said moment by the runners and the ump.

Here's part of the rule...When it becomes apparent that a batted ball will be an infield fly, the
umpire shall immediately declare, "infield fly - batter is out", to aid the runners.
If the ball is near the foul lines, the umpire shall declare, "infield fly - if fair". The
ball is live and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or
re-touch and advance after a fielder touches the ball.

I can't help you with...THERE IS NOTHING IN THE RULE BOOK COVERING THIS UMPIRE MISTAKE (CAPS YELLING LOL) I don't know what to say about the runners not hearing the call? that's on the ump as he needs to say it loud and clear, I gotta believe the batter and catcher heard it lol.
Nov. 12
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1224 posts
runner at second is safe, it's not a force on infield fly rule dropped ball... and everyone on base should of known it is a infield fly even if they didn't hear it..
Nov. 12
chico senior
Men's 60
134 posts
Swing - I’m not sure why you say everyone on base should know it is an infield fly. It was not an infield fly rule play. Runners on first and third is not an infield fly situation. This is a situation that used to be found in an umpires “case” book which were screwy plays that might happen once every 50 years. The play was botched in many ways by the umpire.
Nov. 12
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1224 posts
my bad,, it was the umpires fault. guess the rule is to run everything out.. umpire should of made the determination that the batter would of made it to first base and put him there on his bad call.
Nov. 12
chico senior
Men's 60
134 posts
I’m not even sure where you start with this umpire screw up. This is one of those situations that come up that you’re only going to make 50% of the people happy. I feel that even though it was the wrong call on the infield fly you should still call the batter out. It is not fair to let the double play stand because of the umpires mistake. As far as the runner who was on first base to begin with I think the fair thing would be to put him back on first. Again, 50% of the people are going to be pissed off. Maybe they just use rock, paper, scissors to solve the problem. Can you even imagine how long this situation took to straighten out?
Nov. 13
chico senior
Men's 60
134 posts
Tom Bussey - What would you do in the situation described?
Nov. 14
stick8

1992 posts
I side with lowprofile on this. Allow me to add the umpires right arm goes straight up when verbalizing the IF call.
To answer chico seniors question: I would let the play play itself out with the call that was made. After the play is over I would call both managers over and explain that I blew it!! (After consulting with a hall of fame umpire that I know this case is a correctable situation). I would put runners on the respective bases where I feel they would be at if the correct call (or in this case no call) was made. Normally the runners on first and third wouldn’t go anywhere. I would have runners on 1st and third with 2 outs. You cant penalize the batter (potential double play) for obiding with an umpires misapplying a call in this situation.
The idea is to get it right and if it takes a few minutes after the play is over to sort it out then so be it.
Also I most certainly would stop the game clock until the next pitch.
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