Monday, August 04, 2014

Questionable judgement call costs the Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates lost a game in extra innings yesterday when a double play was broken up when Nick Ahmed threw up his arm and deflected a throw that might have been an inning ending double play. In the judgement of the umpires, the runner did not intentionally interfere with the play. I find that ruling a bit spurious.
Here is the play:

Ahmed certainly threw his arm up and it wasn't just a natural part of his slide. That's my humble opinion anyway. And if you look at the Interference Rules as listed on Page 17 of the official MLB rule book, intentionally interfering with the act of fielding the ball is interference.
Many old timers like me can remember a similar play in the World Series past when Reggie Jackson did the same thing and got away with it too. It was wrong then and it is wrong now.
I would be okay if Nick Ahmed had slid in a normal motion and got hit with the ball. No harm, no foul there. But Ahmed's arm went up in a not natural motion and was clearly trying to block the baseball.
I think the umpires got it wrong here and the play was not reviewable (which is not really a word but has become one in baseball parlance).
One thing I got a kick out of was's spin on the play. The headline and writing go a long way out of the way to back up the umpire's call and not give any inkling of a doubt that perhaps there is a problem here.
The bottom line is that the Pirates are in the middle of a battle for the division and the wild card and a judgement call cost them a game.


ScottyD67 said...

RE: the non-interference call… Intent should have nothing to do with it when the video clearly shows the fact. And the fact is the thrown ball struck the runner, right?. How can an umpire judge a players ‘intent’ anyway? I am sure the Pirate second baseman had intent to complete the double-play or at least had intended NOT to hit the runners arm. Total crap. Call what happens not what you think the players were thinking or ‘intending’ to do. How the hell can a game official ever know ‘intent’?

William J. Tasker said...

It is clear (if you read the rule book) that the umpires are charged with determining "intent." If you think that is impossible, I cannot argue the point. I think it is, but I understand where you are coming from. But, and this is the big but, the rule book believes the umpires can rule on intent and charge them to do so.

Basically, they are charged to determine if the runner intentionally impeded the fielding play (interference) or not.

Anonymous said...


You have no knowledge of baseball rules and should stick to checkers.