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.”
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. “
A similar controversy erupted that night when San Diego Padres catcher Gary Sanchez came to the baseline to catch a throw and tagged a runner well before he reached home plate. According to Major, the act is legal. League baseball rules once ruled that an at-bat was blocked by the New York replay team. With two outs in the inning before play, the San Francisco Giants were leading the Padres 1-0. By the end of the inning, the Giants were out with a 4–0 lead. 4-2 win.
Like Bochy the night before, Padres manager Bob Melvin was ejected for disputing the decision. “It was one of the worst decisions I’ve seen this year,” he told reporters after the game.
Before becoming managers, Bochy and Melvin were long-time major league catchers, playing at a time when blocking at bats was considered a required skill.
But things changed for catchers in 2014 when they banned hitting at home plate. The decision comes after 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. “
In Haim’s case, footage from an outfield camera showed Andras was able to slide past a catcher successfully, and it’s unclear how Haim broke that condition.
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.