For years, fans and players alike have complained that no one knows what a catch is in the NFL, but no one knows what it means to block an at-bat in Major League Baseball either. I don’t think so.
Case in point: During Tuesday’s home game between the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox, Rangers catcher Jonah Haim was on the home side, caught Travis Jankowski’s perfect throw, and tagged out Elvis Andrus. . Keep the game tied at 6-6.
The White Sox disputed the call, claiming Andrus was safe and Haim blocked the at-bat, but New York’s replay review team overturned the call and sent Rangers manager Bruce Beausey disgruntled. .
“I’m stunned to get a call like that,” Bochy told reporters after the game. “This is definitely one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen and it was done by a replay. I just don’t understand. I don’t care how many times they try to explain. In that situation I can’t do that. It’s a shame. It’s embarrassing, really.”
White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said after the game that he had not reviewed replays of the incident and believed Haim was at fault.
“If New York felt it was a violation, it was probably the first thing that was set up, because that’s the rule,” Grifol told reporters.
Video of the play shows Haim poised slightly behind and to the side of the plate. However, the Replay Review Center in New York ruled that he was in violation of the rules and issued the following statement: “The catcher’s initial positioning was illegal and his subsequent actions while not in possession of the ball blocked and blocked the runner’s path home,” the plate. “
But Tuesday’s game between the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants featured a very similar play, adding to the confusion when catcher Austin Nola was not called in to prevent the at-bat. .
Clashing at home plate was banned in 2014 following several high-profile injuries, including that of San Francisco Giants All-Star catcher Buster Posey. This rule applies to both how runners approach the plate and how catchers receive the ball.
However, the text of Rule 6.01(i)(2) indicates that some degree of discretion is included to determine the circumstances under which the catcher interferes.
Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, he may not impede the path of the runner attempting to score. If, at the discretion of the umpire, a catcher who does not have the ball impedes the path of a runner, the umpire shall call or signal a safe to the runner. Notwithstanding the above, if the catcher obstructs the path of a runner on a legal throw attempt (e.g., direction, trajectory, hop of incoming throw, or reaction to throw from pitcher or pulled infielder). In addition, if the runner manages to avoid collision with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) by sliding, the catcher not in possession will not be ruled to have violated this Rule 6.01(i)(2). shall be
The comment accompanying this rule states, “The catcher shall not violate Rule 6.01(i)(2) unless he blocks the plate without possession of the ball (or in a legitimate attempt to make a throw). shall not be deemed to have , or impedes or obstructs the progress of a runner attempting to score. “
Views from the outfield show Andras was able to slip past Haim cleanly, so it’s unclear how Haim broke those conditions.
Especially for Haim, it was unclear.
“I asked the referee if he could have done something different,” Haim told reporters. “I set it up in the corner. I also backed it up. I don’t know what else to do.
“I don’t know how to block the plate from behind it.”
Once the world has figured out what makes a catch a catch in the NFL, then maybe the top minds can solve the mystery.