Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Izturis's foul ball - did the Umpire get it right?

Game Notes from Wednesday evening's scorecard - Game 3 of 4 between the visiting Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays --- the complete scorecard of which, is here: "Jays at Rays - Game 3" -

Game Notes

Final in 9
Toronto Blue Jays: 4
Tampa Bay Rays: 10

Izturis's foul ball - did the Umpire get it right?

This was a weird one.

I sat down to score tonight's game hoping to see the Tampa Bay Rays' phenom Matt Moore (5-0, 1.94 ERA) pitch towards his 6th win with whatever he does to get those kind of numbers. Instead I watched two teams play sloppily on the base paths and a couple of pitchers barely avoid being crushed by avalanches of their own design.

Ricky Romero had one out and the sacks full with three runs in, in the first before Gibbons pulled him in favour of veteran starter Edgar Gonzalez - today's call-up from AAA Buffalo to replace line-drive-to-the-head starter J. A. Happ (on the DL - he's OK; was at the ball park, gave press conference) - and Moore - the 6 win Moore - was just awful ... but just awfully wild enough that the Jays couldn't get that key hit all night long - with the bases full of runners - all night long. And when they did string together hits late, against the Tampa bullpen, ran themselves out of the inning with stupid base running and at one point actually scored a run on insane base running by two runners on the same play! (Arencebia and Davis in the 7th)

The foul ball

In the 6th the Umpires got into the act, calling a ball hit into the field of play a foul ball.

With the ball hit to 1st baseman James Loney fielding *behind* the 1st base bag, that ball should have been seen by the Umpire as a ball in play, a fair ball --- should it not?

On the replay though, the ball seemed to hit first in the left handed batter's, batters box - foul - before lining to the fair side of the bag at first to the waiting Loney.

The thing is, the batter's box is in foul ground - so therefore isn't that immediately a foul ball? Like when the batted ball hits the batter - still in the batters box - isn't is called a foul?

But then a ball in play can roll foul and then roll fair again along the fouls lines; the call - fair or foul - only happens after the fielder touches the ball (that's why you see corner fielders - who think they don't have a play at first on a slow rolling ball down the line - scoop the ball in foul ground away from the field of play - they're making sure there is no mistake, that they don't let it run fair again and allow the runner a base hit).


I have never seen a ball hit first foul and then on a seemingly straight line end up passing into the outfield fair.


I think that a hit ball has to hit in fair ground *first* before it can then go foul - and perhaps come back fair again.

I think the Umpire may have gotten it right after all.

But that's not what all the experts on the broadcast thought - and Joe Maddon the Rays' skipper got thrown out of the game by Home plate Umpire Scott Barry for arguing it.

What say you?

MLB - 05/08/13
"Maddon tossed for disputing call" (02:29)



  1. So on further investigation - apparently a struck ball can first hit foul territory - and then - if it continues on a path that takes it into the outfield while inside the playing area (inside the 1st or 3rd base bags), then that is a fair ball.

    So Izturis was out 3 unassisted, rather than several pitches later, on a strike swinging.

    Learn something new every game. :)

    And what everyone was thinking but what I didn't get was that Tim Welke at 1st base (the crew chief) made the call - and he thought the ball hit the batter while the batter was still in the batters box - which is - as everyone knows - just a foul ball.

  2. That doesn't read quite right. I think this is more clear: A fair batted ball can start in foul ground off the bat.