Sunday, June 24, 2007

Trying to make sense of the rundowns

Pie on second. Pagan on first. No outs.

DeRosa lines a pitch over Dye's head in right field. Pie holds up, as the ball might have been caught while Pagan rounds second and is obstructed by Uribe. DeRosa rounds first on his way to second. Felix Pie was held at third by third base coach Mike Quade, because of his late start.

As the throw returns to the infield, Pie is standing on third with Pagan halfway between second and third and DeRosa standing on second. The defense goes after the runner caught in between the bases. Pagan retreats to second base and DeRosa heads back to first base to give the base back to Pagan.

Pagan is out at second and now DeRosa is caught is caught in a rundown between first and second base. Pie sees this and attempts to score, but the infielders see this and catch Pie in between third and home. Pie is eventually tagged out as DeRosa coasts into second base safely.

So the White Sox 9-3-6-3-2-5 double play. Or did they?

So what the hell happened here. To be honest, I would've mis-applied the rule. I would've still had an out, as Pagan would've been in no man's land had he not been obstructed with. The umpires in the game handeled the situation poorly, but got the final call right, by loading the bases and erasing all of the outs.

A play was made on the obstructed runner. That's type "A" obstruction, persuant to Rule 7.06(a). The ball should have been killed immediately. The umpires made it confusing by allowing the play to continue.

I found Ozzie Guillen's reaction interesting. His first words to crew chief Joe West were "I'm not here to argue," but his actions were definitely different from his words. Guillen went out there to get himself ejected. How do I know? After leaving the dugout and halfway to the umpires, he stopped, took a couple of steps back towards his own dugout, pulled out his lineup card and threw it to his assistant. Then, he continued out on the field and proceeded to tell West that he wasn't looking for an argument.

OBR, Rule 7.06(a):
"When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal
"Obstruction." If a play is being made on the obstructed runner ... the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire’s judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction. Any preceding runners, forced to advance by the award of bases as the penalty for obstruction, shall advance without liability to be put out."

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