What is it about fly balls to Matt Holliday in the post season?
They are always an adventure.
And today the very first Wild Card Game (we need a better name) will be forever marred by a bizarre and nonsensical call.
Fly ball to shallow left field. Notice it was not a fly ball in the infield.
Look at the screen grab there. There is no infield in sight.
The ball was actually Holliday’s, but no doubt Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma remembers Hollday dropping the ball in Los Angeles in 2009. He calls off Holliday, leaning back, awkward position. By no means a given that it is the shortstop’s play.
Confusion ensues. The ball drops.
Braves have the bases loaded with one out in a 3 run game.
Sam “Don’t call me Hal” Holbrook says it was an infield fly.
We will never know for sure. He also called it basically as the ball hit the ground.
He blew the call.
According to the rule book the Infield Fly is “An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an
attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary
effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are
occupied, before two are out. “
He went out to left field and was awkwardly positioned.
Not ordinary effort.
The call was blown. And it could have been easily fixed.
A quick look at the video. In less than one minute it would be clear that it wasn’t.
Holbrook says “My bad.” Everyone else says “Don’t worry about it.”
Bases loaded, 1 out in a playoff game.
The Cardinals would probably win the game, but the discussion would be their excellent play and not the mysterious Infield Fly call.
You wouldn’t have the fans throwing crap on the field. No games played under protest.
This game’s legacy and the Cardinals continued participation will be overshadowed by a call that could have been overturned in shorter time that you are spending reading my blog right now.
Is that the human element every opponent of instant replay loves so much?
When people who hate instant replay so much talk about how bad calls are good for the game, were they beaming with happiness when the game was put under protest?
You can’t use the “Replay slows down the game” nonsense. And you can’t talk about the integrity of the game.
Chipper Jones’ last game will be remembered not for him or any play on the field but for an umpire’s call.
Check it. Realize it was a mistake. Correct the mistake. Keep playing.
Not too hard.
Opponents of instant replay… you are wrong.