|Redmond disputes the call with Culbreth.|
With none out and two on (R1, R2), Marlins batter Jacob Turner squared to bunt a 1-1 sinker from Cardinals pitcher Jake Westbrook, dropping the bunt in front of home plate and catcher Yadier Molina who raced to field the fair ball. B1 Turner, however, did not move, producing contact with Molina who eventually picked up the ball and threw to third base in advance of baserunner R2 Adeiny Hechavarria with R1 Jeff Mathis reaching second base.
After HP Umpire Fieldin Culbreth ruled Turner out for (a) interfering with Molina or (b) being tagged by Molina (see below for why the result of this play makes it clear the call was not interference), 3B Umpire Brian O'Nora ruled R2 Hechavarria out at third base on an assumed force play.
The double play call sent Marlins Manager Mike Redmond out to visit crew chief Culbreth, whose call along with O'Nora's may only be supported by one Rule (do you know which one?), regardless of the QOC of the umpires' judgment. One of the following OBR Rules pertains to this play while the others do not. What follows is an explanation of these rules and whether the specified rule was invoked and/or enforced on this play:
Rule 2.00 Interference, which specifies that offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play, the penalty for which is a dead ball, out and the return of all other runners to the last bases occupied at the time of (because we're speaking about a batter-runner) the pitch ("TOP"). If this was runner's interference, the return would be the last legal touch at the time of interference. Was not enforced as such and is accordingly not applicable.
Rule 7.09(g) specifies that in the case of a batter-runner's willful and deliberate interference with a batted ball or fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball with the obvious intent to break up a double play, both the batter-runner and the baserunner closest to home plate (in this case R2) shall be declared out. However, if this truly was a 7.09(g) invocation, R1 Mathis should have been returned to first base (he was permitted to remain at second base). Was not enforced as such and is accordingly not applicable.
|Did R2 rely on O'Nora's call prior to abandonment?|
Rule 7.08(a)(2) puts a runner out if he leaves the base path, obviously abandoning his effort to touch the next base. PLAY. If a runner believes he is called out on a tag at first or third base and starts for the dugout, progressing a reasonable distance indicating by his actions that he is out, he shall be declared out for abandoning the bases. This rule applies, was enforced as such.
To conclude, B1 was ruled out on F2's tag while R3 was ruled out for abandonment under Rule 7.08(a)(2). The fact that U3 O'Nora employed an improper mechanic (ruled R3 out due to a Rule 7.08(e) force) would appear irrelevant and enter into a "Scott Rule" (Dale Scott's inadvertent foul ball mechanic in 2012 that led to a triple play and Bud Black's ejection arguing the misleading mechanic) type of situation.
In May, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia filed a protest after Culbreth's crew permitted the Astros to substitute a pitcher before that pitcher had fired a single pitch, in violation of Rule 3.05(b). After the Angels subsequently won the ballgame, rendering that protest null and void, MLB suspended Culbreth and sanctioned crewmates O'Nora, Adrian Johnson and Bill Welke for failure to enforce the rule.
Following the current play, Redmond did not elect to protest the game, for under the confines of Rule 7.08(a)(2) and abandonment, the umpires technically made the correct call, even if an erroneous mechanic led to it.
Wrap: Miami Marlins vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7/5/13
Video: Jacob Turner out interfering with Cards catcher Molina's attempt to play the ball, resulting in DP (MIA)