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Larry in TN

WS Game 5: INT No-Call

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I'm wondering why there wasn't an interference call during the first at-bat of game 5.

Fly-foul ball coming down in the Indians bull-pen area.  Heyward (F9) running and seems to have a chance of making a play.  Two Indians players in the dugout bull-pen are in his way and don't move.  Heyward slides early and does contact one of the Indians players in his slide.  His slide is short and the ball falls foul.

Why wasn't that INT and what would have had to happen for there to be INT from the bull-pen players?

 

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Was this in the dugout or in the (open) bullpen?  If it's in the dugout, the players do not have to move to get out of the way (edit: as I read the play described with the ball short of the dugout.)  (re-edit: never mind -- it was the bullpen.  After viewing the play, it could have been INT, imo.  It's possible the umpire judged that Heyward slid to avoid the wall, and not to avoid the players, and that he would not have caught the ball anyway).

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Yeah I looked up the rules and it seems that this would apply. Maybe they ruled that heyward wouldn't have been able to catch it even if they weren't there?

Quote

(b) (7.11) Fielder Right of Way The players, coaches or any member of a team at bat shall vacate any space (including both dugouts or bullpens) needed by a fielder who is attempting to field a batted or thrown ball. If a member of the team at bat (other than a runner) hinders a fielder’s attempt to catch or field a batted ball, the ball is dead, the batter is declared out and all runners return to the bases occupied at the time of the pitch. If a member of the team at bat (other than a runner) hinders a fielder’s attempt to field a thrown ball, the ball is dead, the runner on whom the play is being made shall be declared out and all runners return to the last legally occupied base at the time of the interference.

 

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32 minutes ago, Gfoley4 said:

Yeah I looked up the rules and it seems that this would apply. Maybe they ruled that heyward wouldn't have been able to catch it even if they weren't there?

 

It's kind of a grey area whether the bullpen guys are covered under old 7.11 or old 3.15. If 3.15 then intent comes into play:

3.15 No person shall be allowed on the playing field during a game except players and
coaches in uniform, managers, news photographers authorized by the home team,
umpires, officers of the law in uniform and watchmen or other employees of the home
club. In case of unintentional interference with play by any person herein authorized to be
on the playing field (except members of the team at bat who are participating in the game,
or a base coach, any of whom interfere with a fielder attempting to field a batted or thrown
ball; or an umpire) the ball is alive and in play. If the interference is intentional, the ball
shall be dead at the moment of the interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties
as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference.
Rule 3.15 Comment: For interference with a fielder attempting to field a batted or thrown
ball by members of the team at bat or base coaches, who are excepted in Rule 3.15, see Rule 7.11. See
also Rules 5.09(b), 5.09(f) and 6.08(d), which cover interference by an umpire, and Rule 7.08(b),
which covers interference by a runner.

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42 minutes ago, Gfoley4 said:

Yeah I looked up the rules and it seems that this would apply. Maybe they ruled that heyward wouldn't have been able to catch it even if they weren't there?

 

Key word is "hinders". No hindrance - no interference. Judgment.

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The bullpen guys are covered under both rules:

  • Under the "fielder right of way" rule, they must get out of the fielder's way. They did so, though somewhat lackadaisically.
  • Under the "authorized person" rule, they may not pick up our touch the ball. They did not do so.

All is well.

Also on Gil's site:

 

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Wrigley is a mess, the foul line in right field, and the on-field bullpens. There was another foul ball to left, where the fielder (Koglin?) had to deal with traversing the bullpen mound while watching the ball. 

Although random pop-up obstacles could definitely add some excitement to the game. :)

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I think Hudson got a poor look at it.  He came in and then had to turn around and was a little too close to the wall to get a good look.  I think it blew up on him a little bit.  On replay, I think Heyward was close enough to making the play (as was clearly hindered) to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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4 hours ago, Gfoley4 said:

Yeah I looked up the rules and it seems that this would apply. Maybe they ruled that heyward wouldn't have been able to catch it even if they weren't there?

 

So if a base coach or whoever is attempting to clear the area and they still get in the way is it INT?  I see this happen occasionally in youth ball where it's a pop up by either the 1st or 3rd base coach and they are trying to get out of the way but don't do a very good job of it.  Still INT?

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6 minutes ago, stl_ump said:

So if a base coach or whoever is attempting to clear the area and they still get in the way is it INT?  I see this happen occasionally in youth ball where it's a pop up by either the 1st or 3rd base coach and they are trying to get out of the way but don't do a very good job of it.  Still INT?

Yes, if the ball could be caught (by the fielder involved).

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Mr. stl_ump, a base coach can be called for interference on a batted ball if you judge it to be intentional. Please see OBR 6.01d (old number 3.15). Here’s what the Jaksa/Roder manual says about base coach interference:

“It is interference if a base coach 1. blatantly and avoidably hinders a fielder’s try to field a fair or catchable batted ball or thrown ball.

A coach must try to avoid a fielder trying to field. If he tries to avoid, but contacts a fielder, it is not interference. In most cases, a coach who does not try to avoid contact with a fielder will have interfered.

2.    intentionally hinders or impedes a fielder’s try to field a fair or catchable batted ball or a thrown ball."

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2 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. stl_ump, a base coach can be called for interference on a batted ball if you judge it to be intentional. Please see OBR 6.01d (old number 3.15). Here’s what the Jaksa/Roder manual says about base coach interference:

 

“It is interference if a base coach 1. blatantly and avoidably hinders a fielder’s try to field a fair or catchable batted ball or thrown ball.

 

A coach must try to avoid a fielder trying to field. If he tries to avoid, but contacts a fielder, it is not interference. In most cases, a coach who does not try to avoid contact with a fielder will have interfered.

 

2.    intentionally hinders or impedes a fielder’s try to field a fair or catchable batted ball or a thrown ball."

 

That rule is a little confusing. It "excepts" participating offensive players and coaches from the unintentional act but then gives an example of a coach unintentionally interfering with no penalty:

"

PLAY: Batter hits ball to shortstop, who fields ball but throws wild past first baseman. The coach at first base, to avoid being hit by the ball, falls to the ground and the first baseman on his way to retrieve the wild thrown ball, runs into the coach. The batter-runner finally ends up on third base. Whether the umpire should call interference on the part of the coach is up to the judgment of the umpire and if the umpire felt that the coach did all he could to avoid interfering with the play, no inter- ference need be called. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the coach was attempting to make it appear that he was trying not to interfere, the umpire should rule  "

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It might be that the guys in the bullpen were only watching the infielders and didn't see Heyward.

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5 minutes ago, umpstu said:

It might be that the guys in the bullpen were only watching the infielders and didn't see Heyward.

You could discern that or you could discern that this our territory. But do you absolve them because they did everything they could?

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6 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

You could discern that or you could discern that this our territory. But do you absolve them because they did everything they could?

I just said it looked liked they were looking elsewhere. Wasn't inferring anything or absolving anybody.

 

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I'll go one step further and say, I thought this was a blown call.

Heyward did nothing to sell INT, and everyone knows the "friendly confines" at Wrigley aren't so friendly ... but with two separate bullpen members making really zero effort to give ground, I'd have called INT.  All the official has to judge is, "did Heyward have a legit chance at catching it absent the hinderance."

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