- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Disputed call nearly causes riot at wild-card game
ATLANTA (AP) - Andrelton Simmons lifted a pop fly into shallow left field. Not a hard-hit ball, by any means, but at least 50 feet beyond the infield.
St. Louis shortstop Pete Kozma drifted back, throwing up his hand in that universal baseball gesture, “I’ve got it.” Only one problem. Right before the ball came down, the rookie veered out of the way, apparently thinking left fielder Matt Holliday was going to take it.
The ball dropped harmlessly in the grass. The crowd roared, thinking the Atlanta Braves had loaded the bases with one out. Only one problem. Standing nearby, umpire Sam Holbrook had thrown up his right arm, signaling Simmons was out.
This grab was made by the infield fly rule.
The first wild-card playoff game in baseball history turned out to be just plain wild Friday, thanks to a complicated rule that has long been part of baseball, even if many people _ even hard-core fans _ don’t know exactly what it is. The disputed call led to a protest by the Braves _ which was quickly denied _ and an ugly display as fans littered the field with debris, causing a 19-minute delay.
That only delayed the inevitable for the Braves. The Cardinals moved on to the divisional series against Washington with a 6-3 victory in baseball’s new one-game, winner-take-all playoff round.
“You never want to see something get violent like that,” said Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who played his final game. “But when you’ve got (what is essentially) a Game 7 and your whole season is on the line … things like that are going to happen.”
What, exactly, did happen?
The infield fly rule gives umpires the discretion to call an automatic out on a popup with more than one runner on base, largely to prevent the team in the field from intentionally letting the ball drop so they can get an extra out, since the runners can’t drift too far away from the bag for fear of getting doubled off after the catch.
“The infield fly rule is to protect the runners, really,” Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
This time, it cost the Braves.
At issue was whether Kozma had established his position to make the catch, and whether it should have been made under any circumstances on a popup that far beyond the infield.
“I thought we have a legit beef,” Gonzalez said.
Joe Torre, who played and managed for both the Braves and the Cardinals, was on hand as the executive vice president of baseball operations. He turned down the protest, ruling it was a judgment call by the umpires.
“Not that you can’t protest,” Torre said. “But you can’t uphold a protest based on that.”
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House pushes through two-year Ryan-Murray budget deal
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow