I see a LOT has changed since I was last on here, but I see some of the same folks.. just wondering what your thoughts are on the IFF call during the ATL-STL game.
My initial thought was WTF?? How does a ball that's hit over 200' where you have an infielder and outfielder converging on it even warrant an IFF call? It seems some umps need to remember what the IFF rule is for - it's not to give the defense a free out, but rather to protect the offense from being doubled or tripled up by a clever defense... and that just isn't going to happen on a ball that's hit 200+ feet. And if it does happen, shame on the offense for not being alert enough to run when the ball drops.
In the two days following, and after reading some of the press, I have some other thoughts... most of which are not very complementary to Holbrook or Torre(and the rest of the MLB execs). In my opinion, an OF ump should NOT be making the IFF call. Also, IMHO, Holbrook is arrogant and stubborn for saying he "absolutely made the right call." Clearly there are a lot of people, including STL fans, that don't agree. And Torre's position of "what can I do, we don't have time to deal with a protest" is simply ridiculous, and MLB execs should be embarrassed for not allowing due process and for using that as an excuse for not allowing the protest. What if it had been a situation where rules had more clearly been applied incorrectly.. would Torre still maintain that they didn't have time to deal with a protest?
Horrible call, not only horrible but very late.
It looked for a minute like they were using replacement NFL referees !!!
Don't have time to deal with a protest.
What if they had rain and lightning or a power outage and had to postpone the game, do they have time to do that !!!
Yes, it was very late... if you're making the call right before the ball lands, you've not only defeated the purpose of the IFF, but also made it obvious that it's not ordinary effort.
I can see the LLers learning from this.. Infielder going back on ball, but not sure he's gonna make the catch... so he calls it and waves his arms as if he's got it hoping to get the BU to call IFF. And it give it a little more perspective - the ball traveled approximately 225'. If that were down the LF line at the original Yankee stadium(1923), it'd only be 60' from the fence. IFF!!!!
Absolutely the right and proper call. The fielder camped under the ball and waved off the outfielder. Thus the criteria for "ordinary effort by an infielder" was met - no ifs ands or buts.
The fielders then turned it into a clusterr-mess. Their problem - not the umpire's.
Don't apply LL skills to MLB players. Ordinary effort varies by level. What is impossible for a LL player is routine for a MLB SS.
Rule 2.00 (Infield Fly) Comment: On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether the
ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infielder—not by some arbitrary limitation such as the
grass, or the base lines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even if handled by an
outfielder, if, in the umpire’s judgment, the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder. The
infield fly is in no sense to be considered an appeal play. The umpire’s judgment must govern, and the
decision should be made immediately.
Pro umpires are taught to NOT make the call until it is on the way down AND they see the infielder in position to catch it.
The runners were NOT hindered. They had to tag anyhow assuming it would be caught unless they were incredibly stupid. The notion that it kept them from advancing is pure BS.
Rich I hear ya, but......
I agree that the lateness of the call was REQUIRED because you needed to determine is an infielder had a chance. I had the same sitch where I made the a non-call (NO IFF) until I was conviced that F6 was camped under the ball. It was a higher level game than LL, so I had to respect the talant as you point out.
But a ball that was 275 feet from home plate is NOT one that needed the IFF to prevent a "cheap double play" which is the foundation of the rule in the first place.
If the fielder had intentionally dropped that fly ball--and R1 and R2 were out half way--there is NO WAY a cheap double play was going to happen.
Therefore, this was a gardern variety fly ball, IMO, and it neither met the intent of the IFF rule, and I respefully disagree that the ordinary effort criterion was met.
U7 blew that one all the way to Keokuck, Iowa!
Despite the purpose of the rule, which is, as you say, to prevent the cheap double play, the rule, as written, defines the IFF as one that could be caught by an infielder using ordinary effort. Period. There's no other judgment to be made.
So, when Kozma stops under the ball, that's when Holbrook judges "ordinary effort", which is sufficent to make the IFF call.
Can't argue with you. It's 100% judgement as you pointed out.
But I still think that U7 has his head wedged up his a$$ so far he needed a glass navel to see the play! He ruled by the rules, not with the rules.
Watch a lot of MLB. You'l see a lot if infielders go deep to catch popups.
That's what I meant in my post - for those of us doing LL or even HS ball it wasn't ordinary effort.
But for a MLB infielder it was.
I still think the infielder that's 225' away from home plate should at least be camped... but Kozma was not. He was still backpeddling when the call was made... and the call was made WAY too late to be meaningful to any runners, nor was it even necessary if one is calling WITH the rules rather than by the rules.
There was a stat that surfaced regarding dropped balls this year that had been called IFF... the deepest of which was around 178' from home plate. Yes, it's a judgement call, but only poor judgement leads to calling IFF on a ball hit 225', IMHO.
Without the Infield-Fly rule, would the defense have played this for a double play? (I presume this something they would practice and would not have played as it was).
There's not a chance in hades that the defense turns a DP on a ball that's hit 100' beyond the baselines, unless the baserunners are napping or legally handicapped.
I'm with Rich on this one. By rule, it was absolutely the right call. Was it ordinary effort? Yep. Was the fielder camped under the ball? Yep, he even waved off F7 and he deferred to the infielder. In the pro game, this is definitely an IFF. Could the defense have turned a double play on this one? Dunno. I wasn't watching the runners to see where they were. It is certainly possible though. The throws from where F6 was weren't going to be much longer than a 5-4-3 double play if they had tried to go 6-5-4.
All of that being said, and I've seen some pretty deep IFF calls in the pros, would I have made that particular IFF call? I'm not sure. I have zero problem with the call being made in this situation as it certainly was made in accordance with the rules. I'm just not sure I, personally, would have made it.
Mark, are you sure you've seen the play in question? A - he was not camped, but was still going back... and I'm not saying that it wasn't ordinary effort, although I question that to some degree. B - That first throw is a LOT longer than the one in a 5-4-3, which at most is only 90', and usually a little less. The ball landed 225' from home, so at best (if it were down the LF line), you're talking about a 135' throw to F5(who probably wasn't covering 3B).
All that being said, would you wait until the ball was 20' from the ground before you'd call it?
In one of the articles posted about the play, there was a stat posted about dropped/missed IFF balls, the longest one about somewhere around 190' from home.
The fielder was waving off everyone with both arms. Thats what they do to signal they have it in the bag.
Ordinary effort FOR A MLB SS
This was a MLB game.
You're too locked in on what a LL or HS player can do. Forget it - This is MLB.