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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

ARod and Interference

For those interested here is the relevant passage in the rule book relating to last night's interference call on Alex Rodriguez.

"(a) Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. If the umpire declares the batter, batter runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules. In the event the batter runner has not reached first base, all runners shall return to the base last occupied at the time of the pitch."

This is a part of rule 2 and was clearly violated by ARod. However, as Craig Burley points out the umpires also use a manual that interprets various rules which says in section 6.1:

"while contact may occur between a fielder and runner during a tag attempt, a runner is not allowed to use his hands or arms to commit an obviously malicious or unsportsmanlike act such as grabbing, tackling, intentionally slapping at the baseball, punching, kicking, flagrantly using his arms or forearms, etc. to commit an intentional act of interference unrelated to running the bases."

This also makes it clear that the umpires were correct.

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