I've umpired a lot and while you want to wait long enough to be sure of where the ball is, IMO he called that way way too late. I think you could make an argument for ordinary effort there, but his timing was off.
I took several umpiring classes in my 10 years of umpiring. Legion ball, which I did a lot of, uses major league rules. He absolutely 100% did exactly as everything I've ever been taught in training.
It's pretty clear the rule was misapplied. It's called immediately because the nature of any ball off the bat that should be an infield fly will be immediately clear as an infield fly.
If you have to wait on it and judge it, so do the fielders, meaning it's no longer a routine pop out.
I just watched the replay on MLB.com again - Kozma was never once under the spot where the ball landed. The ball land 2 steps behind him and a step to his left. That from the furthest spot that Kozma traveled to, NOT where he ended up.
That said, IMO, this was not the right call. Kozma had yet to reach the spot where the ball landed before he bailed on it. Could he have made the catch? Probably. Would it have been easy? Not really.
It doesn't have to be obvious as soon as the ball is hit. If the infielder doesn't have to sprint to the ball, it's generally considered ordinary effort. And if the ball hangs up long enough for an infielder that is back pedaling or jogging, that's usually considered an infield fly when the umpire deems the infielder is going to be able to make a play on the ball.
Last edited by Brutus; 10-05-2012 at 10:12 PM.
Protest denied by MLB.
So what you're saying is, in contrast to your previous statements, that Kozma was not once directly underneath where the ball finally landed?