Can't win with 'em
Can't win without 'em
I think the Braves got hosed on that call, but they sure played poorly enough to deserve to lose. The Cardinals were less "offensive" in the way that they played that game, so as much as I think the call was horrible, I think the team that was the better team on this day won the game.
"All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH
Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS
I just want to know what could happen in between the last part of a balls downward trajectory and it hitting the ground that could change enough that it takes that long for it to be apparent that it's an infield fly.
It's not about being contrarian... it's about understanding the rule based on several years of training. At best, at very worst, it's a subjective 50/50 call. But the interpretation of the rule is absolutely 100% correct.
The fact that you and others continue to cite the timing of when it was called as a reason for being "incompetent" shows a clear lack of understanding of the rule itself. Timing is irrelevant. The umpire can wait as long as he feels it's not apparent that ordinary effort could result in a catch. Once he feels an infielder is in fact in position to make a play with ordinary effort, only then does it have to be called.
The infielder stopped right in the vicinity of the ball a full 2 seconds before it dropped and then got out of the way for an outfielder. At that moment in time, the umpire felt it was apparent that it could have required ordinary effort. And indeed, if the shortstop had not been called off, or at least thought so, he'd have made an ordinary catch.
Arguing something that is not completely understood and haven't been trained on, then calling someone that does and has a contrarian, is rather poor form.
"No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda
OK even arguing under those terms
What did Kozma or that ball do that took THAT long for him to realize it was a routine pop out? Everything was pretty much set in motion by the time he made the IFF signal.
Either he mangled the rule, or he's a bad ump for having to wait that long to call it.
I know it sounds like BS equivocation, but I think that was a bad call, not a wrong call. In a game riddled with "unwritten rules" and "the human element," it's not even like that's an oxymoron. If I'm on the field, it's not a call I make; but if I'm MLB, then I also can't overturn the call/uphold the protest, because the call still does conform to the rule, as written.
It's a catch-22, but upholding the letter of the law trumps an umpire who made a mistake in applying the spirit of it, I guess.
The TV guys came the closest to hitting the nail on the head, I thought: the only reason this call is made is because it was an extra ump, in a position where there normally isn't an ump. Leave it up to the 2nd or 3rd base umpire, and all they see is the SS drifting out at a steady jog, and it probably never occurs to them to call an infield fly when the fielder is getting further and further away from the infield. But an ump down the LF line has a different perspective, and sees the LF running after the fly and still not getting to it as fast as the SS, so he calls the infield fly rule.
I sort of painted that mental picture for myself, and it made a bit of sense, anyway.
Honestly, I don't know what else to say. That rule is called a lot. I'd say given the spot on the field where the ball landed, it probably doesn't happen very often that a shortstop gets to the ball with 'ordinary effort' or typically the LF calls him off early on in the play so umpires have a lot less to go on. But truly, that call really isn't atypical. I saw it a few weeks ago in a Reds' game, in fact. But the TV guys didn't mention it, and the only reason I know it was called is because I was actually listening to the Pirates radio broadcast and they did say it on the air.
Kozma. Back and to the left.
My points with that picture are:
1) Kozma gave up BEFORE the call was even made
2) Kozma NEVER reached the point where the ball landed
3) At point Kozma quit on ball, there was NOT "2-3 seconds" left until ball landed.