Originally Posted by RedsManRick
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.
Then you weren't paying attention to the "Scoreboard Watching" thread, when I mentioned it last night. Not that you can be blamed for not noticing, given what that thread turned into. [Somebody did touch on it a bit earlier in this thread, too.]
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.