I a agree with RMR though.
The rule protects the runners,who earned their way on base;the ground ball double play rewards the defense,it seems balanced and fair,I have no problem with this.But like Rick said,the defense should have to catch the ball.
One angle I've not heard discussed much is that the call was made by an additional umpire who would not normally had been on the field in that location.
If that call were left to the ump positioned right behind the bag at 3rd, would he have interpreted it differently? Given that he would have had a vantage point where the SS was running away from him, I think he would have been much less likely to make that call. Possibly he still would have; Reynolds showed the example of Starlin Castro.
But either way, putting extra umpires on the field simply has not resulted in higher quality of umpiring. We have replay to help the umps make difficult boundary calls. Adding 2 additional umps to the field simply puts them in a position that they are not accustomed to. Get rid of the extra umps.
I just came across this. It's a satellite image of Turner Field's new infield dimensions:
I have no problem with people saying the umpire's judgement was wrong (although I think he made the right, although late, call). However, I think the rule is necessary and that is why it has been there for so many years. We do not want the XFL shenanigans in MLB.
But credit where it's due: I didn't think of it all by myself. The TV guys were putting this theory forward during the delay. All I did is go back to my umpiring days, and put myself in the situation. I still don't think I'd have called the infield fly, but running the simulation in my head, I could see why you'd be a lot more tempted to do it if you're watching from LF. I definitely thought it was a theory worth sharing/discussing.
So in the end, I think it's a bad call, but not -- by the rule -- a wrong call. Kind of the inverse of the ol' neighborhood play when turning two: when that happens, it's a wrong call by the rules, but nobody really thinks it's a BAD call when it's applied within reason (because you want the same protection for your SS/2B, too). It's all a matter of context and the spirit of the law being considered when making a call.
I think that's what's got so many britches bunched. It seems like such a common sense thing NOT to call, but at the end of the day, it was still properly called as the rule is written. Cognitive dissonance. Brain goes splodey.
Anyone considering the merit of the rule should read this.
One thing I can say for sure is the reason Holbrook was late making that call was he had to stop and think what his responsibilities were on the play, where to stand, who has fair foul, who has the catch etc.. Keep in mind this stuff happens in a split second so with everything else going on in Holbrooks head suddenly the infield fly idea popped into his head albeit a little late and IMO with poor judgement.
I would almost rather see umpire crews promoted to the playoffs as opposed to individual umpires. Also don't add more umpires to the crew because by doing so it will change rotations, responsibilities etc. which will result in more confusion like what we saw last night. An umpire crew is a team so if that team is doing well keep them together and don't split em up.
It is a fly ball and an infielder had time to run out there and catch it? Infield fly rule!
Might as well station all the outfielders on the warning track because any fly ball short of the warning track is an "infield fly rule". :lol:
They are going to have to re-phrase the rule to make sure the gullible umpires don't get confused and make a fool of themselves in front of tens of millions of people like that goofball did last night.
No chance of a double play = no infield fly rule.
If he let the ball drop on purpose they would not have gotten a single out, much less a double play. It was a moronic call and the whole nation is mocking him for it. The umpire is the laughingstock of the country right now. Deservedly so.