Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bernier Burned by Baserunning on Pseudo Infield Fly

At face value, an infield fly no-call during the Twins-Angels game Wednesday proved costly for Minnesota as a no outs, runners on first and second situation transformed into a two outs, runner on third situation after a weak pop fly, legal untouched drop and an ensuing 1-3-6-3 double play.

Runners hold as the ball falls untouched.
With none out in the top of the 9th inning, the Angels held a 1-0 lead while Minnesota threatened with R2 Clete Thomas (BB) and R1 Doug Bernier (HBP). With B1 Justin Morneau at the plate, Angels pitcher Ernesto Frieri fired a 1-0 fastball and induced a shallow pop up near the mound. Replays indicate Frieri allowed the ball to fall untouched, fielding it on the first bounce, and fired to first baseman Mark Trumbo to retire B1 Morneau. At this point, R1 Bernier was stuck between first and second base and, after an abbreviated run down, he was tagged out by Trumbo, R2 Thomas advancing to third on the play.

Oddly enough, had R1 Bernier held his position on first base throughout the play, he would have been safe.

Gardy discusses the play with Muchlinski.
Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire briefly argued the play with HP Umpire Mike Muchlinski. After a wayward fan ran onto the field before being tackled by ballpark security behind first base, Freiri struck out Chris Herrmann to end the game.

After the game, crew chief Ted Barrett told a pool reporter, regarding the pivotal double play: "That one definitely had enough arc, but the fielder has to get comfortably underneath the ball to catch it. That's the criteria that wasn't met."

Gardenhire rebuffed with: "There was a reason he wasn't camped underneath it. He was going to let it fall."

Nonetheless, Barrett alluded to the three considerations for an infield fly (since broken out into 1+3).
(1) Indicator: The rule applies only to situations in which first and second are occupied with less than two out.
** The bases may or may not be loaded, only so far as first and second are occupied at time-of-pitch (TOP) **

[Plus] (1) The batter must hit a fair fly ball, which is not a line drive or bunt (OBR 2.00 [FLY BALL]);
(2) That, in the umpire's judgment can be caught by an infielder (pitcher & catcher = infielders for this rule);
(3) With ordinary effort (skill exhibited compared to league average [OBR 2.00 [ORDINARY EFFORT]).

As color coded above, Barrett's statement indicates consideration #3 (in red) was not satisfied.

This is hardly the first time ordinary effort has caused confusion amongst teams and fans. As the 2012 NL Wild Card Game's infield fly call proved, the "comfortably underneath" principle, also cited as "camped" in some... camps... seems to garner the most misconception amongst those not on the third team.

Wrap: Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 7/24/13
Video: Frieri fields the bounce, leading to a double play after rookie Bernier takes off for second (LAA)

30 comments :

Gil Imber said...

That was an IFF and should have been called as such. Doesn't matter
whether the fielder was "camped" out or not - only if the ball can be
caught by a fielder of average skill "with ordinary effort" - which it
clearly could have been here. With proper mechanics, Batter would have
been called out and R1 could have decided to stay on first (the right
decision for him) or advance to second "at his own risk", which would
then result in exactly what did happen - 2 outs. But to say this wasn't
an IFF is baloney.

Gil Imber said...

It's pretty obvious the only reason he isn't under it is because he's trying to let it drop. All four umpires kicked this one.

Gil Imber said...

definitely the infield fly rule.
the ball was hit high enough and the pitcher had plenty of reasonable opportunity to make the play,

Gil Imber said...

100% infield fly rule. I was watching this game live and once the ball was in the air i thought one of the umps would call it.

Gil Imber said...

If it had enough arc, it should have been IFF. That ball could have been caught with ordinary effort.

Gil Imber said...

how did Gardenhire not get ejected here. I expected him to be on the field before the play was over. He usually gets tossed for a lot less. Especially down in the ninth with the tying run on second

Gil Imber said...

Even if the conditions of an IFF weren't satisfied, why not invoke 6.05 (l)? I think we have a missed call here either way.

6.05 (l) (A batter is out when) an infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third base occupied before two are out. The ball is dead and runner or runners shall return to their original base or base

Gil Imber said...

Read the entire rule, including the "Approved Ruling."

Gil Imber said...

Cricket has the right idea here Steve. In order to invoke 6.05 (I), the ball must be touched before it is allowed to drop.

Gil Imber said...

Pitcher stared at the flight of the ball while he let it land; he could, and should, have easily caught the ball. "With ordinary effort", the pitcher just needed to take two steps to catch it, but he obviously chose to stare at it and let it fall and made "no effort" to catch it. Smart play by pitcher, bad call by umps.

Gil Imber said...

arc has nothing to do with it. I agree with you it should have been an IFF, not a "sac fly" as announcer said.

Gil Imber said...

maybe umps think pitchers are pathetic fielders and have zero skill.

Gil Imber said...

Any F1 could have caught that even at U12 level of ordinary effort.

Gil Imber said...

Why is CCS implying that teams and fans were confused about the "ordinary effort" concept on this play? I agree that teams/fans can't correctly articulate the IFF criteria, but whatever inarticulate explanation one might give to this missed call would probably be correct.

Gil Imber said...

Um. 45 second mark...Scott Barry at first signals infield fly.

Gil Imber said...

Is it just me, or does it look like the 1st base umpire is about to call infield fly(begins to raise his hand) and then puts it down to get set for the play at 1st.

Gil Imber said...

Saying that they did call IFF (somewhat) and players have the responsibility of recognizing an IFF would have been a better defense for a DP, then to say that "That one definitely had enough arc, but the fielder has to get
comfortably underneath the ball to catch it. That's the criteria that
wasn't met."

Gil Imber said...

I gotta say, that after seeing it a couple of times...Muchlinski just might have been right! I will guarantee you he told Gardy that he saw the ball twist away from the pitcher, thus negating Part 3 of the clause. And for those calling for the Intentional Drop, that was not even close to that! If you want to see a good example of an ID not being called when it could have, go look at the infamous 'Reggie Hip Twist' from the 78 WS - the first part of the play is Bill Russell lunging for a small sinker. Brinkman and Vargo (2B and 3B) both thought they blew THAT part of the play, thinking it could have been an intentional drop! Instead Pulli at 1B got yelled at for the other thing.

Gil Imber said...

Looks like he stats to call it, then realizes no one else is calling it and then tries to disguise it before anyone notices.

Gil Imber said...

A Pony league pitcher could have caught that ball.

Gil Imber said...

Davey Johnson just got ejected by HP Umpire Mike Winters for arguing a called third strike.

Gil Imber said...

Two matinee ejections so far this afternoon:
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson ejected by HP umpire Mike Winters.
Atlanta Braves manager Freddi Gonzalez ejected by 3B umpire Chad Fairchild.

Gil Imber said...

And 1B umpire Laz Diaz just tossed Clint Hurdle for arguing a play at first.

Gil Imber said...

Arc matters in deciding whether it is a fly ball or not, and a fly ball is required for the IFF rule.

Gil Imber said...

Because for 6.05 (l) to be in effect, the field has to actually touch the ball. It's in the Approved Ruling under 6.05 (l).

Gil Imber said...

He's even got that "I'm not touching that with a 10-foot pole" body language....look at the way he puts his hands out like he's gauging it so he's ready to play it when it drops. That's brutal.

Gil Imber said...

Can someone help me understand this sentence from the writeup above?

>>Oddly enough, had R1 Bernier held his position on first base throughout the play, he would have been safe.<<


How can that be? Since no IFF was called R1 was forced as soon as the ball landed.

Gil Imber said...

Because they threw to first. Once they throw to first, B1 is out so R1 can stay. If they had thrown to second first he would be out.

Gil Imber said...

If no IFF is called and runner stays on first. Make it easier, take the runner then step on first.

Gil Imber said...

Tag, not take sorry

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