Friday, July 18, 2014

Case Play 2014-02: Turning Away Interference Double Play

2B Umpire Angel Campos' interference call on the turn of a double play attempt during Friday's Brewers-Nationals game provides us with a quick post-All-Star Break Case Play. This peculiar sequence occurred right out of the gate, in the bottom of the 1st inning with Milwaukee protecting a 1-0 lead. With none out and one on, Nationals batter Anthony Rendon hit a 3-2 fastball on the ground to Brewers shortstop Jean Segura, who threw to second baseman Scooter Gennett as Nationals baserunner R1 Denard Span slid into second base, Span beating the throw, before Gennett threw to first baseman Mark Reynolds ahead of B1 Rendon's arrival.

After Campos' initial and factually correct ruling that Gennett did not tag second base prior to Span's arrival, Span's popped out of his feet-first slide and made contact with Gennett, U2 Campos identifying the interference as Reynolds caught Gennett's throw at first base, good for U1 Vic Carapazza's out call.

In response to Span's post-slide actions, Campos ruled R1 Span out for intentionally interfering with Gennett's attempt to retire B1 at first base, declaring B1 Rendon out for the actions of his teammate, a double play.

After argument from Nationals Manager Matt Williams, 3B Umpire and Crew Chief Bill Miller assembled the umpires: Campos, Carapazza and HP Umpire Chad Fairchild, and after consultation, R1 Span was declared out while B1 Rendon was awarded first base.

Question: Is this the proper call and application of rules? Should both Nationals players have been ruled out, safe, etc.? If so, what runners should be placed (if any) and where (if applicable)? What rule(s) apply?

This Case Play is of the Group variety and expires no earlier than the final out of the final regularly scheduled game Monday, July 21. Participants may receive up to two UEFL points for discussion and solution.

Wrap: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Washington Nationals, 7/18/14
Video: Brew Crew-Nats game encounters a five-minute first-inning delay on interference play (WAS)

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