Some disjointed thoughts on the infield fly rule

1.  The infield fly rule is responsible for my marriage.  No, really.
2.  An unpopular suggestion:  Sam Holbrook made the right call, since the shortstop was standing there for a time waiting for the ball and had put forth no extraordinary effort to get there.
3.  It may be that this play shows a shortcoming of my infield fly rule as written. Should there be a geographic component…an actual line out there that is “too far” for an infield fly rule to be called? Or should that be left to judgement as well?
4.  As either Chris Singleton or his play-by-play partner Jon Sciambi suggested as I listened on the radio…if a major, Jim Thome-style shift is on, and the second baseman takes up residence in shallow-to-mid right field, should that be an IFR situation?  Under the letter of the law, it would, but under the spirit of the law, it would not.
5.  Umpires are required to call the letter of the law, not its spirit.
6.  This is why I love Hank O’Day’s call on the 1908 Merkle Boner play more than any call in baseball history.
7.  But the fact that he followed the law won’t stop people from vilifying Sam Holbrook, and for that, he has my sympathy, since the rule isn’t his fault.
8.  I missed most of the media firestorm that followed the game.  Looks like it was bad.  But Sciambi and Singleton were measured on the radio, which I appreciated, even though they disagreed with the call and I agree with it.
9.  If the.re’s an MLB version of Mike Pereira available for the commentators to call, this doesn’t develop into quite the torch-and-pitchfork situation it has become.
10.  If you’re scoring at home, the era of unprecedented ref-love that began with the standing ovation for NFL ref Gene Steratore’s crew in Baltimore last Thursday lasted exactly 8 days.
11.  I still need to blog about last Sunday’s ref camp.  That won’t happen tonight

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About Paul Hamann
I am a basketball referee in Washington State, working mostly high school games.

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