Re: Braves protest
From what I saw the IFF called in the Braves game was, by definition, a perfectly good call. I have pasted the entire rule below. However there are a few important points to highlight.
Some have suggested that it was a bad call because it was called too late. The rule tells us it was called at the proper time: "When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly.” When did the IFF become "apparent?"
The shortstop ran out into the outfield to catch the ball. While he was running with his back to HP there was no ordinary effort.Not apparent yet! However, note that the shortstop was able to eventually turn around and camp under it and even raise his arms too indicate that he was going to catch it. When the shortstop turned around and camped under the ball that is the time the IFF was apparent so it was called THEN. The had to be held because it wasn't until that moment that there was ordinary effort. It was at that same time when it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, so by rule it could not be called an IFF until this time. You can't all the IFF until all the conditions are met and it isapparent.
Even though the ball was about 50' into the outfield the IFF still needs to be called. The rule was written to stop the chicanery that players would use to get a cheap double play. The rule is there just in case the shortstop stayed under the ball and then intentionally stepped aside at the last second to create a force play, he could have picked it up and thrown it to 3B. Then F5 might have been able to get it to 2B in time for a DP. These are MLB players. They can throw! Since the IFF has to be called while the ball is still in the air, we can't know if they will catch it, screw up the play, or try to pull off chicanery until it lands.
I agree that in a HS game I probably would not have called it so far out in to outfield. But in MLB they got it right.
Rule 2.00 Infield Fly. An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare “Infield Fly, if Fair.”
The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.
If a declared Infield Fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared Infield Fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an Infield Fly.
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.
When an infield fly rule is called, runners may advance at their own risk. If on an infield fly rule, the infielder intentionally drops a fair ball, the ball remains in play despite the provisions of Rule 6.05(l). The infield fly rule takes precedence.