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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Infield Fly Redux

Ok, after posting this play to the SABR list I received several clarifications that helped me to understand the situation.

1. Sweeney does not get a sacrifice fly since under normal circumstances under rule 10.09 a sac fly is only awarded if in the scorer's judgement the runner could have scored without the error or misplay. Normally, I would agree that on an infield fly you're not going to score. However, the play was more difficult than most infield flys and the fielder had his back turned to the infield. In any case, a sac fly would typically not be awarded.

2. See #1

3. Mientkiewicz did end up getting credited with an error which allowed the run to score.

4. No, Sweeney does not get an RBI since the run scored on the error. The run is now also unearned since the third out was made on the play.

5. No, the Twins don't get a double play since according to rule 10.12 "an error or misplay intervenes between putouts"

6. No, Beltran did not have to return to first. The rule is a bit confusing on this point since it does say that runners have to retouch after the ball is touched. Apparently, the touching here refers to bobbling the ball and the phrase "the same as on any fly ball" means that the runners are free to advance as long as the ball is not caught or tag up after the ball is caught. It should probably be amended to say "or retouch and advance after the ball is touched and ultimately ruled caught" since simply touching the ball does not require them to return and retouch. The phrase "the same as on any fly ball" doesn't really get across the fact that it must be caught in order for the preceding clause to apply.

Hoping for smoother sailing this weekend when Boston comes to town.

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