There was an appeal play in the Cardinals game tonight on a sacrifice fly play.Anonymous is referring to a play that happened in the top of the 4th inning with one out and a runner on third base. Cardinals batter Daniel Descalso hit a fly ball to Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd. Nick Punto attempted to tag up on the play and crossed home plate without a close call. However, the Cubs dugout told catcher Koyie Hill to appeal the call. Hill subsequently threw to third basemen Aramis Ramirez, who tagged third base. 3B Umpire Paul Nauert (39) ruled that Punto had not tagged up properly, leaving the base early. Nauert ruled Punto out under Rule 7.08(d) [Ed. Note: The Rule # is 5.09(b)(5), as of 2015] which states, "A runner is out when...He fails to retouch his base after a fair or foul ball is legally caught before he, or his base, is tagged by a fielder. He shall not be called out for failure to retouch his base after the first following pitch, or any play or attempted play. This is an appeal play". As well as Rule 7.10(a) [Ed. Note: The Rule # is 5.09(c)(1), as of 2015] and comment which states,"Any runner shall be called out, on appeal, when...After a fly ball is caught, he fails to retouch his original base before he or his original base is tagged" and Comment: "“Retouch,” in this rule, means to tag up and start from a contact with the base after the ball is caught. A runner is not permitted to take a flying start from a position in back of his base. If possible, using the replay here, did Nauert rule correctly?
IMPORTANT NOTE (and Interpretation of this rule): The runner only need "tag up" or retouch his base at the time of the fielder's first touch or first contact with the baseball. The purpose of this interp is so that a defensive player, attempting to prolong his "catch" by bobbling the ball, does not benefit from the rule by forcing the offensive player to wait longer to leave third base before trying to score, or by decoying the offense into "leaving early" by delaying the catching action, either intentionally or unintentionally. This interpretation ensures the offense is not unfairly penalized in an attempt to adhere to the rule.
What do you believe is the best position for an umpire to rule on a tag play/appeal play on a sacrifice fly, specifically for a runner on 3rd base going home? Do you believe Nauert was in good position?