Major League Baseball has denied the Atlanta Braves protest of their Wild Card game against the St. Louis Cardinals. While most people hated the call when it was made, by the letter of the law, it was the correct call. Here’s the explanation via USA TODAY Sports:
Rule 2.00 (Infield Fly) Comment: On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether the ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infielder — not by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the base lines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpire’s judgment, the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder.
Watch replays closely and you’ll see that Holbrook, the left field umpire, watches as shortstop Pete Kozma backpedals into left field. As soon as Kozma waves his arms to communicate that he’s ready to catch the ball, Holbrook raises his arm to signal an infield fly.
In other words, the umpire waits until he’s certain it’s a play the infielder can make. Kozma apparently thought it was a play he could make.
It is too bad we can’t see an alternate timeline where the infield fly rule is not called, the ball drops and Kozma is a scapegoat as the Braves loaded the bases. I can’t imagine anyone complaining that the infield fly rule was not called.
[USA TODAY Sports, US PRESSWIRE]