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Asdrubal Cabrera Punches Batter During HR Trot - Call?


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HP Umpire Kenny Garcia ejected Caribes 1B Asdrubal Cabrera for unsportmsanlike conduct in punching Tiburones batter-runner Carlos Castro during a home run, so what happens? The umpires properly ruled the play Obstruction (Type 2), and awarded Castro base touches and advancements to second, third, and home plate, deeming that had Cabrera not physically obstructed Castro, the batter-runner would have scored a run.

Although this differs from the Carlos Gomez vs Brian McCann play in Atlanta in which McCann obstructed Gomez during an out-of-the-field home run, both plays share the same ultimate game play ruling of obstruction: "If no play is being made on the obstructed runner, the play shall proceed until no further action is possible. The umpire shall then call “Time” and impose such penalties, if any, as in their judgment will nullify the act of obstruction" (Official Baseball Rule 6.01(h)(2)).

The Gomez play is slightly more complex as replays indicate Gomez verbally taunted the opposing Braves throughout his home run trot, but the ruling of Obstruction 2 on McCann still prevailed despite both players being ejected for unsporting conduct.

The reason is found within OBR 8.01(d), which states, "Each umpire has authority to disqualify any player, coach, manager or substitute for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike conduct or language, and to eject such disqualified person from the playing field. If an umpire disqualifies a player while a play is in progress, the disqualification shall not take effect until no further action is possible in that play."

Because the ejection doesn't take effect until the end of the play, the obstruction thus becomes the enforced infraction; however, upon the award's completion, the batter is ejected (in the MLB/Gomez play, not the Venezuelan play).

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Asdrubal Cabrera ejected after punching batter who bat flipped (CCS)

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