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IFF, Confusion ensues, Ejections.


johnnyg08

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Listening to the video, I would bet the call was drowned out by the crowd noise. Plus I would bet the defensive players on the field are also yelling 'I got it' loudly, or something similar adding to the confusion.

100% Eddings messed up, but so did the two base coaches who should know this is an IFF as well. R1's coach should have been yelling for him to stay on the base since he would have little to no chance to acquire 2nd base.

As so eloquently stated in Full Metal Jacket after the surprise night attach on the marine base... 'This is a $h!t sandwich, and we're all going to have to take a bite.' No matter what the crew did here, someone was going to go bye bye. If they let the out at 2nd stand, then the Cubs manager is coming out to argue and leave early. If they fix it, which they should and did, then the other manager is going bye bye. No winners on this one with the errant initial call.

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48 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

Does anyone know if U3 verbalized this...we see him point...then we see PU point (presumably because he saw U3's signal)...but it's quite evident that U2, R1 and R2 were not aware...not to mention the defense who played for the force rather than tag.  Goldschmidt seemed to realize right at the end that it was an IFF, but judging by his reaction to the force at second, he wasn't aware at that point...I think he finally noticed U3 pointing (or maybe even saying something) right at the end.

I see two options - U3 didn't verbalize...or he was drowned out by crowd noise.   Am I wrong to expect a pro ump to come up HUGE with this call?   A non-verbal signal isn't good enough here...the players are looking at the ball, not the umpires.

Ending this play with only one out is the right thing to do, but frankly, IMO, if IFF is communicated properly, loudly and in time, those runners stay on first and second...otherwise, R2 is tagged out by about ten feet at third.

Cardinals-Cubs, late in the game, lead run at the plate?  Imma go with "no one's lungs are strong enough to get heard" in that situation.  I had 2 IFFs this weekend with 14ish year olds, and a smattering of parents, with no other fields around.  No one heard, or paid attention, to me, either.

At some point, one has to also look at players - who've been playing the game for 15, 20 or more years at this point - and say "you're a nitwit, and you F*#Ked up."

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On 9/29/2021 at 12:26 PM, HokieUmp said:

Cardinals-Cubs, late in the game, lead run at the plate?  Imma go with "no one's lungs are strong enough to get heard" in that situation.  I had 2 IFFs this weekend with 14ish year olds, and a smattering of parents, with no other fields around.  No one heard, or paid attention, to me, either.

At some point, one has to also look at players - who've been playing the game for 15, 20 or more years at this point - and say "you're a nitwit, and you F*#Ked up."

at some point..............your a nitwit..............

like this-guess the movie Bull Durham hasn't been shown in years and years on pitchers handling anger or fights with the non pitching hand (which hand did you hit me with?) sure this is not first or last time for this.

https://www.actionnewsnow.com/content/national/575423482.html

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On 9/29/2021 at 11:26 AM, HokieUmp said:

Cardinals-Cubs, late in the game, lead run at the plate?  Imma go with "no one's lungs are strong enough to get heard" in that situation.  I had 2 IFFs this weekend with 14ish year olds, and a smattering of parents, with no other fields around.  No one heard, or paid attention, to me, either.

At some point, one has to also look at players - who've been playing the game for 15, 20 or more years at this point - and say "you're a nitwit, and you F*#Ked up."

I hear you...there are games that I work where it's really windy and there's no chance anybody's going to hear me and I'm certainly not going to scream it....I do that and it's likely everybody just stops...b/c why is the umpire screaming? 

Both the defense & the offense is responsible for knowing the situation...especially at the MLB level 

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Heart warming and encouraging to see a 4-man Pro crew (actually just U-2) mess this play up. U2 wisely called Time! B4 R-1 was tagged off the base as soon as U2 realized he had kicked the force out call at 2nd, and that arguably stopped the cluster from getting any worse.

The one good thing I like about the discussion above (and will add to my bag) is to always say (to myself) "No force!" after I shout or hearing a partner yell, "Infield fly if fair!" That's a great reminder and will get my head on straight for umpiring the remainder of the play. Because often when that ball drops uncaught, it becomes a circus show.

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23 hours ago, johnnyg08 said:

Both the defense & the offense is responsible for knowing the situation...especially at the MLB level 

This is a cop out and I hate this statement with every fiber of my being.   Any ump who says this is almost certainly shirking their responsibility. Even U2, who certainly knew the situation, wasn't aware that IFF had been called.

So, the players are supposed to know it's an IFF, even if nobody says so, or it's not widely evident that someone said so, or the call comes really late, and just stay on their bases.

And if the umps don't call IFF and the runners just stayed on their bases, then getting forced out, then the players were supposed to know they're supposed to run...because nobody called IFF.

Which is it?

Even if everyone knows the situation they are lost without knowing the umpire's judgment...an IFF is only an IFF if the umpire says so.  Less than two out, check.  R1/R2, check.  Pop fly to an infielder, check.  Could be caught with ordinary effort, check.  What does the umpire think?   Haven't heard anything.  As a runner and fielder am I required to take my eye off the ball and look at all four umpires in hope to find one who's calling IFF.  Do I sit back on my base and just hope the umps "get it right"?   

Every player at every level knows that a ball that lands three feet right of the right outfield foul line is a foul ball...they know the situation.   To the point where most outfielders will just let up and jog to the ball - it's "obviously" foul (you know, so obvious that at many levels the umps don't even say anything)...Only to realize that the umpire is in fact pointing fair.  (real world example of something that really happened...and without exaggeration...if anything, I'm being generous by saying only three feet)

Knowing the rule book cold doesn't help you a single bit when you don't know the umpire's judgment....or you assume wrongly about their judgment, no matter how out of whack it may be...because, by rule (MLB replay rules aside) an umpire's judgment cannot be wrong.

The only defense we have is clear communication of said judgment.   And when that doesn't happen (even if the explanation is completely legitimate for why it couldn't happen - including loud crowd noise) don't blame the players for not knowing the situation.

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I like what @beerguy55 is saying. As I move up, the vets are telling me not to say as much. Don't verbalize clearly foul balls. Don't verbalize can of corn outs. Things like that. Then I think of situations that could cause confusion.  And I don't know what to think. 

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42 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

This is a cop out and I hate this statement with every fiber of my being.   Any ump who says this is almost certainly shirking their responsibility. Even U2, who certainly knew the situation, wasn't aware that IFF had been called.

So, the players are supposed to know it's an IFF, even if nobody says so, or it's not widely evident that someone said so, or the call comes really late, and just stay on their bases.

And if the umps don't call IFF and the runners just stayed on their bases, then getting forced out, then the players were supposed to know they're supposed to run...because nobody called IFF.

Which is it?

Even if everyone knows the situation they are lost without knowing the umpire's judgment...an IFF is only an IFF if the umpire says so.  Less than two out, check.  R1/R2, check.  Pop fly to an infielder, check.  Could be caught with ordinary effort, check.  What does the umpire think?   Haven't heard anything.  As a runner and fielder am I required to take my eye off the ball and look at all four umpires in hope to find one who's calling IFF.  Do I sit back on my base and just hope the umps "get it right"?   

Every player at every level knows that a ball that lands three feet right of the right outfield foul line is a foul ball...they know the situation.   To the point where most outfielders will just let up and jog to the ball - it's "obviously" foul (you know, so obvious that at many levels the umps don't even say anything)...Only to realize that the umpire is in fact pointing fair.  (real world example of something that really happened...and without exaggeration...if anything, I'm being generous by saying only three feet)

Knowing the rule book cold doesn't help you a single bit when you don't know the umpire's judgment....or you assume wrongly about their judgment, no matter how out of whack it may be...because, by rule (MLB replay rules aside) an umpire's judgment cannot be wrong.

The only defense we have is clear communication of said judgment.   And when that doesn't happen (even if the explanation is completely legitimate for why it couldn't happen - including loud crowd noise) don't blame the players for not knowing the situation.

U2 knew as soon as he called the force out that he messed up and it was an IF. What we don't know is if he was aware of U3 or the PU signal. His time call would have been correct using a BRD J-R interp if he thought no one signaled an IF and a DP resulted. That interp, no IF called, DP,  has the batter out and runners back on TOP bases. 

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24 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

U2 knew as soon as he called the force out that he messed up and it was an IF. What we don't know is if he was aware of U3 or the PU signal. His time call would have been correct using a BRD J-R interp if he thought no one signaled an IF and a DP resulted. That interp, no IF called, DP,  has the batter out and runners back on TOP bases. 

I believe that he's calling time because the only reason the runner over-ran the base was because he called him out.   I suspect that, like Goldschmidt, he realized, right at the end, that IFF had been called, but by then it was too late.  (I'm curious if there's any footage of U1)

I would have no problem with runners returned TOP here, in the spirit of the rule.  It would have been a real CF if R2 had been tagged, instead of the base.

Shildt is right that they "F*#Ked up"...he's wrong if he wants a DP...he's right, IMHO, if he wants R1/R2. 

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5 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Even if everyone knows the situation they are lost without knowing the umpire's judgment...an IFF is only an IFF if the umpire says so. 

I agree with everything stated, except this to the following extent. Umpires can certainly declare an IFF after the dust settles, and should. It certainly can create a cluster, confusion, and temporary uncertainty for runners if no umpire signals or verbalizes the IFF call, but and IFF is an IFF. It either happened or it didn't. It's the batted ball that creates the IFF, not the signal or shout by the umpire while the ball is still in flight. Assume base coaches keep R-1 on 1st and R-2 at 2nd because of the IFF (batted ball which can be caught by infielder with ordinary effort--no umpire makes any call whatsoever). Ball drops untouched, F-6 throws to 2nd, F-4 tags R-2 standing on the base, F-4 then touches 2nd base to retire R-1 on the force, and then throws to F-3 to retire BR. Triple play??  Nope!

"Hey, Mike, that was an IFF!"

"Oh, Geez, you're right, it was . . . R-2 is safe at 2nd, R-1 is safe at 1st, and batter is out on the IFF!"

Embarrassing? Yup! The right call? Yup!

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22 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

This is a cop out

Except it's not a cop out. It's the truth. There are all kinds of situations in the game where they offense & defense are simply responsible for knowing the situation. 

R1, and a check swing, ball 4, on appeal R1 is tagged as he's jogging to 2b on ball four...defense appeals the check/half swing and it's ruled a strike. R1 is out. Offense is responsible for knowing the situation. 

It's definitely not a cop out...I also don't think this situation was handled very well by U2...they're not mutually exclusive.

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On 10/1/2021 at 4:59 PM, Recontra said:

I agree with everything stated, except this to the following extent. Umpires can certainly declare an IFF after the dust settles, and should. It certainly can create a cluster, confusion, and temporary uncertainty for runners if no umpire signals or verbalizes the IFF call, but and IFF is an IFF. It either happened or it didn't. It's the batted ball that creates the IFF, not the signal or shout by the umpire while the ball is still in flight. Assume base coaches keep R-1 on 1st and R-2 at 2nd because of the IFF (batted ball which can be caught by infielder with ordinary effort--no umpire makes any call whatsoever). Ball drops untouched, F-6 throws to 2nd, F-4 tags R-2 standing on the base, F-4 then touches 2nd base to retire R-1 on the force, and then throws to F-3 to retire BR. Triple play??  Nope!

"Hey, Mike, that was an IFF!"

"Oh, Geez, you're right, it was . . . R-2 is safe at 2nd, R-1 is safe at 1st, and batter is out on the IFF!"

Embarrassing? Yup! The right call? Yup!

You disagreed with my statement "an IFF is only an IFF if the umpire says so", and then went on the explain exactly why my statement was correct.  In your example, whether the call happened during the play or after the play the only thing that made it an IFF was the umpire(s) determining that it was.   

It doesn't matter if the most blindingly obvious (to everyone participating in, or watching, the game that is not an umpire) IFF occurs, if none of the umpires determine it's an IFF, either during the play or in discussions after, then it's not an IFF.

On 10/2/2021 at 10:31 AM, johnnyg08 said:

Except it's not a cop out. It's the truth. There are all kinds of situations in the game where they offense & defense are simply responsible for knowing the situation. 

R1, and a check swing, ball 4, on appeal R1 is tagged as he's jogging to 2b on ball four...defense appeals the check/half swing and it's ruled a strike. R1 is out. Offense is responsible for knowing the situation. 

It's definitely not a cop out...I also don't think this situation was handled very well by U2...they're not mutually exclusive.

It's the truth AND it's a cop out (that's why it's a cop out...because it's a "technical" truth that people use as a crutch to absolve themselves of culpability).  Yes, the players need to be aware of the situation AND they need to know the umpire's judgment to know what to do.   As a runner, I absolutely know the situation...if IFF is called I can stay put...if IFF is not called and the ball drops I need to run.  All I need is for you to tell me if it's actually an IFF. 

In your example, R1 can stand on first base, with no repercussions, until he's sure it was a ball.  Even if in his mind there was "no way" the batter swung, there's zero down side for waiting.  If he starts jogging and gets tossed out when the check appeal rules a strike, that's on him.  IFF is unique here in the players are damned if they do, damned if they don't.  And it's the offense that gets the brunt of this.   They NEED to know the umpire's judgment to know what to do (or not do).

So, I'll ask again...is the runner required to look at all four umpires to find one that has made an IFF call?   Or, is the runner expected to assume that it will be called an IFF and act accordingly - ie. stay on their base unless they're really sure they can make it (and get royally screwed when the ball drops and no umpire determines it was an IFF) - keep in mind that the runners are watching the ball, not the umpires.

In this scenario, assuming no verbal call was made (or just not loud enough), two of the umpires never signaled IFF, one did so after the ball hit the ground, and the other did so a fraction of a second before it hit the ground.   So, even if they're looking at three of the umpires, they players have no indication IFF has been ruled by the time they need to know to run or not...and if they're looking at U3, they may not see the call depending on timing.   As the ball is coming down, and it looks like F5 isn't going to make the catch...if U3 is just starting to verbalize at this time, R2 is already going...he has no choice.    So even if R2 (and everyone else) hears U3 call IFF at this point, R2 is dead...he'll be about 45 feet from either base when F5 picks up the ball.   Now he's in a rundown and likely doubled off.   The call came too late for it to do anyone any good - meaning we're back to expecting the players to simply assume the umpires are going to call it, so stay put.   Is that what we want?

The fact is, this could have been an even bigger CF then it turned out to be...imagine F5 and F6 had seen the IFF call that R2 did not...F6 would have tagged him out by about 30 feet and it would have been David Ross getting tossed (even though the game was over).

I don't think U2 is the problem here...he didn't see/hear an IFF call (I'm also assuming he's not watching the ball/catch, so he's not assessing "could be caught"), he called R1 out on a force, and then when he realized there was an IFF killed the play, knowing R1 came off the base only because he had called him out.   The problem is, regardless of any discussion about verbalization or loudness, the IFF call came too late.   Only dumb luck kept this from being a bigger mess than it was.

This is not on the players.   

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  • 2 weeks later...

In a State LL Juniors Allstar Game last summer, I was U-2 with bases loaded. Infield fly dropped between pitcher and F-6 on a muffed catch, I physically and verbally called the infield fly. A CF was fixing to unfold as players, coaches, and fans for both teams started screaming all sorts of nonsense. So, I repeated the "Infield fly, batter's out, batter's out!" call loudly two more times, emphatically hammering the out each time. Everyone finally dialed a clue before a CF developed.

In the OP situation, the cluster happened so quickly after the ball dropped, that I don't blame U-3 for not emphatically repeating the call. In my sitch (and I assume most of our games), if a cluster had ensued and I had not emphatically and vociferously repeated the call, I think that would have been on me.

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