With the World Series set to kick off tomorrow night in Boston, let’s take a look back at Game 1 of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park. In this video, 2B umpire Dana DeMuth initially calls Dustin Pedroia out at second base, ruling that Cardinals SS Pete Kozma was transferring the ball from glove to hand.
That call was changed after the crew conferenced and determined Kozma never controlled the ball. The relevant “rule” is actually found in the Official Baseball Rules definitions of terms, which was formerly Rule 2.00 and is now located in the back of the MLB rulebook.
A catch is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it … In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional. If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught.
This call occurred prior to this play being reviewable with instant replay. Of course, many of us who work below the professional level do not have the option to check the video. Replay regulations have basically eliminated the “neighborhood play” at the pro level, with pivot men forced to keep their foot in contact with the base when making a turn for a potential double play.
How do you try to officiate a play like this and see all the elements? Lock in on the bag, see the foot tag the base while listening to sound, then move your eyes up to check the catch? As you can see in this video, by the time 2B umpire DeMuth looks up to check the catch, he seems something that appears to indicate a transfer, when in fact that’s not what happened.
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