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The Obstruction Call


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#1 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:21 PM

This should be in a separate thread.

 

So what is Middlebrooks supposed to do there? What could he have possibly done to not get in the runners way if all he did was try to get up?



#2 Alcohol&Overcalls

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:23 PM

This should be in a separate thread.

 

So what is Middlebrooks supposed to do there? What could he have possibly done to not get in the runners way if all he did was try to get up?

 

In slo-mo, it looks like Craig went directly into his body, too - the type of play you'd be taught in travel ball to try to game a base (legally).  In real time, though, it looked pretty bad, like Middlebrooks kicked up toward him intentionally ... it sucks, but the 3B ump's angle probably looked pretty open-and-shut.  I will now throw up everywhere.



#3 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:24 PM

Apparently nothing, according to noted call-blower Jim Joyce. Once Craig decided the shortest path to home plate was over WMB's thighs, they were gonna get tangled up. If that's the standard for obstruction, then it's unavoidable.

 

Obviously one of the worst calls in World Series history. Fitting it's made by the ump who cost a guy a perfect game (and initially blew Bellhorn's 3 run homer in Game 6).



#4 mabrowndog


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:24 PM

Here's the voluminous section of the MLB Rules that covers it.

 

Tons of gray area, I believe.



#5 Boston Brawler

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:24 PM

Is he supposed to just lie flat? I know he doesn't know where the ball is, but in that case he wasn't going to be the first one to get it.



#6 Yaz4Ever


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:24 PM

Middlebrooks should have said - "Salty!  Don't throw the ball down here, we've got no play anyhow and you guys keep fucking up throws to third!" and then the whole thing is irrelevant.  As soon as he released the ball, I knew it wouldn't end well.  God, that sucks.



#7 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:25 PM

Is there any reason the umps didn't get together to discuss it?



#8 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:26 PM

Is there any reason the umps didn't get together to discuss it?

 

 

 Because they're assholes?

 

Justgement call, I'd guess. Home plate ump backed up Joyce immediately.



#9 Van Everyman


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:26 PM

Wow, Torre up there.

#10 Paul M


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:26 PM

If he didn't lift his legs he *may* have avoided the call. But, have you ever seen two games basically decided on two ill-advised throws to third base?



#11 No Guru No Method

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:27 PM

Classic Ump wants to be a hero call IMO.

#12 semsox

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:27 PM

Bottom line: wrong call



#13 Mark Schofield


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:27 PM

Is there any reason the umps didn't get together to discuss it?

 

Does the fact that it is a judgment call, according to the rule(s), factor into play there?



#14 mabrowndog


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:27 PM

Press conference right now on CSNNE with Torre, Joyce & Demuth.

 

EDIT - Aaaaaand just as someone asks about the legs sticking up, and otherwise WTF is Middlebrooks supposed to do to avoid obstruction, CSNNE breaks away due to technical difficulties.


Edited by mabrowndog, 26 October 2013 - 11:29 PM.


#15 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:27 PM

Does anybody have a gif or video link?

#16 yazisgod

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:27 PM

Rule 2.00  OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner.

 

There was no act.  Middlebrooks was getting up and stopped because Craig tripped over him!

  



#17 Van Everyman


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:28 PM

The players love Jim Joyce.

Still, he should've been fired for the perfect game fuckup.

#18 Van Everyman


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:28 PM

LOL, the feed died.

#19 terrisus


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:29 PM

Press conference right now on CSNNE with Torre, Joyce & Demuth.

 

They'll all back each other up - nothing to see there.



#20 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:30 PM

These umpires do not seem confident. 



#21 DukeSox


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:30 PM

Classic Ump wants to be a hero call IMO.


Bingo. "Look at me I'm calling the rules".

Fuck that shit that would never be called a game winning play in June.

#22 phrenile


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:31 PM

Does anybody have a gif or video link?


Video

#23 threecy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:31 PM

Is he supposed to just lie flat? I know he doesn't know where the ball is, but in that case he wasn't going to be the first one to get it.

 

From the replay I saw, WMB was trying to get up and Craig pushed WMB's back down, which caused WMB to kick up his legs.



#24 Curll

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:31 PM

Worst call in postseason baseball history? 

 

Harsh, hyperbolic?



#25 findguapo

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:32 PM

Middlebrooks was not even in the fucking baseline.

#26 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:32 PM

Joyce 100% wrong about the runner being right on the chalk. Wow. 



#27 The Napkin


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:32 PM

"He was right on the chalk" Bullshit - no he wasn't!



#28 Zedia

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:33 PM

No, he was not "right on the chalk."

#29 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:33 PM

Infuriating to watch the replay and see that Salty had literally zero chance at anything positive coming from that throw.

Craig takes a pretty odd route from third there.

Wtf

Edited by Rudy Pemberton, 26 October 2013 - 11:34 PM.


#30 Sausage in Section 17


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:34 PM

What irritates me about the play is that WMB is on the 2nd base side of the bag. He's not really in the baseline between 3rd and home.

This game didn't get settled by the players on the field and that is pathetic.

#31 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:35 PM

Lol at Joyce saying he was right on the chalk as the replay plays showing Craig well inside the chalk.

#32 mikeford


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:35 PM

3rdbase1.gif

 

Craig even initiates the contract by trying to PUSH MIDDLEBROOKS BACK TO THE GROUND as he tries to get to his feet.



#33 NomarRS05

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:36 PM

The more I watch that replay the more it screams "bullshit". Why make such a massive call if you're not 100% sure about it? 

 

Of course, the call never should have had to be an issue but Salty decided to try and be the hero. His defensive miscues have cost the Sox one or two games now depending on how you look at it.



#34 There is no Rev


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:37 PM

Am I the only one who agrees with the rule and the call?

Even if WMB didn't intend to, he impeded the runner. This seems to me alot like the infield fly rule or sacrifice flies not hurting your average. If the runner would have made it home were he unimpeded, then he gets home. That's how baseball is structured.

I understand Salty's impulse to throw it, but he shouldn't have thrown it. And I admit to feeling lost and confused when they were saying the Red Sox had lost after watching making a second awesome tag out at home.

Edited by Reverend, 26 October 2013 - 11:38 PM.


#35 ragnarok725

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:38 PM

Really horrible call. Salty has just absolutely no reason to throw that. An overall shitty ending to an otherwise excellent baseball game. 



#36 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:39 PM

Am I the only one who agrees with the rule and the call?

Even if WMB didn't intend to, he impeded the runner. This seems to me alot like the infield fly rule or sacrifice flies not hurting your average. If the runner would have made it home were he unimpeded, then he gets home. That's how baseball is structured.

I understand Salty's impulse to throw it, but he shouldn't have thrown it. And I admit to feeling lost and confused when they were saying the Red Sox had lost after watching making a second awesome tag out at home.

 

Nope.

 

Watch Craig carefully. He takes 2 steps INSIDE 3B to start home. He then PUSHES Middlebrooks down on his way over him. Watch Middlebrooks' arms, he's pushing himself up which is why his legs go up. THAT'S NOT OBSTRUCTION. When the runner essentially seeks out contact with a prone fielder, that should never be called obstruction.



#37 sheamonu

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:39 PM

You are entitled to the space you already occupy - that's why there isn't an obstruction call every time a ball trickles away from the first baseman on a pickoff attempt.  Middlebrooks never goes outside the area he already was in, his feet go straight up  - he didn't even try to roll over.  A non-call is the right call there.



#38 CoRP

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:40 PM

Am I the only one who agrees with the rule and the call?

Even if WMB didn't intend to, he impeded the runner. This seems to me alot like the infield fly rule or sacrifice flies not hurting your average. If the runner would have made it home were he unimpeded, then he gets home. That's how baseball is structured.

I understand Salty's impulse to throw it, but he shouldn't have thrown it. And I admit to feeling lost and confused when they were saying the Red Sox had lost after watching making a second awesome tag out at home.

If he ran down the baseline, he might have made it home. He started almost heading toward the mound when he got up. Middlebrooks wasn't even in between third and home.


Edited by CoRP, 26 October 2013 - 11:41 PM.


#39 Jack Rabbit Slim

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:40 PM

 

 

Nope.

 

Watch Craig carefully. He takes 2 steps INSIDE 3B to start home. He then PUSHES Middlebrooks down on his way over him. Watch Middlebrooks' arms, he's pushing himself up which is why his legs go up. THAT'S NOT OBSTRUCTION.

 

 

That's the problem for me.  If Craig runs down the baseline WMB isn't in the way.  But he jumps back toward second and then tries to run over him



#40 Frisbetarian


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:40 PM

From the rule book:

 

"OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner.

If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered "in the act of fielding a ball." It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the "act of fielding" the ball. For example: an infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner."

 

Tough call...



#41 Seels

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:41 PM

I just want to know one thing, how could Middlebrooks possibly have avoided that call? Is there anything a reasonable baseball player can do in those circumstances to not have obstruction called? If not, than that is a shitty fucking rule.



#42 mabrowndog


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:41 PM

Here's the frame where Craig takes his first steps off 3rd base after sliding in. He stepped toward centerfield with his left foot and regained his balance before heading toward home with his right. Meanwhile, look where Joyce's gaze is directed. It sure as shit isn't the entanglement at third base. He's watching the overthrown ball.

 

vpua10.jpg



#43 swingin val

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:41 PM

Why didnt Middlebrooks just catch the damn ball? He was brutal in the field on the two most important plays of the game

#44 Infield Infidel


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:42 PM

Am I the only one who agrees with the rule and the call?

Even if WMB didn't intend to, he impeded the runner. This seems to me alot like the infield fly rule or sacrifice flies not hurting your average. If the runner would have made it home were he unimpeded, then he gets home. That's how baseball is structured.

I understand Salty's impulse to throw it, but he shouldn't have thrown it. And I admit to feeling lost and confused when they were saying the Red Sox had lost after watching making a second awesome tag out at home.


I also agree There's nothing WMB can do

but he had to get off the bag to make the catch. The ball cannot get by him

#45 plucy

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:42 PM

Craig gets up, steps TOWARD second with his head turned, and trips over Middlebrooks. WMB was not in the baseline between 3rd and home.

#46 rembrat


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:43 PM

 

Nope.

 

Watch Craig carefully. He takes 2 steps INSIDE 3B to start home. He then PUSHES Middlebrooks down on his way over him. Watch Middlebrooks' arms, he's pushing himself up which is why his legs go up. THAT'S NOT OBSTRUCTION. When the runner essentially seeks out contact with a prone fielder, that should never be called obstruction.

 

It's clear as day and Jim Joyce can save his fucking tearful apology.



#47 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:44 PM

Am I the only one who agrees with the rule and the call?


Nope.

#48 Wingack


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:44 PM

Torre going over the rule on MLBN, with the exact situation that happened tonight from the rulebook as an example. Nearly indentical.



#49 JimBoSox9


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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:44 PM

-Craig's position inside of 3B is irrelevant. He gets to slide, stand up, and run straight home from wherever he is.

-Since Craig has the right to a free path, WMB is de facto interfering

-This happens all the time at 2B, but 99.999% of the time the runner stays home and it isn't called. Craig keeping on going really forced the issue, making it a pivotal call either way with no 'out' for the ump.

-To be honest, it reminds me a little of the Tuck Rule in that the text of the rule forces a counter-intuitive result. As much sense as it would make for there to be some pass interference-style wiggle room about inadvertent contact in the rule, there isn't (yet).

Edited by JimBoSox9, 26 October 2013 - 11:46 PM.


#50 jarv

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 11:45 PM

If you watch the slow mo from above replay, Craig stands up, Middlebrooks is trying to get up, and Craig shoves him to the ground. If Craig didn't move to shove Middlebrooks to the ground and instead TOOK THE BASELINE TO HOME PLATE, none of this would have happened.

First the infield fly BS in Atlanta and now this. What are the chances of these extremely controversial calls in the postseason going the way of the Cardinals every single time?

Also, seeing Joe Torre's shit  eating grin makes me want to take a shit.






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