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Anger in Atlanta after controversial infield-fly rule call

Oct 5, 2012, 8:00 PM EDT

Fredi Gonzalez Getty Getty Images

Craziness during the bottom of the eighth inning in Atlanta, as left field umpire Sam Holbrook called the infield-fly rule on a pop-up in shallow left field off the bat of Andrelton Simmons. However, it was far from a routine play.

The controversial play was some 30-40 feet into the outfield and the ball ended up falling between shortstop Pete Kozma and left fielder Matt Holliday. It was also a very late call by Holbrook, which was the major part of the argument by Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. Kozma tracked the ball for a long time, so it’s possible the sound of Holbrook’s voice caused him to back off the ball, perhaps thinking it was Holliday calling him off. It would have set up a bases loaded situation with one out.

The controversial call was met with anger from the Atlanta crowd, who threw all sorts of debris onto the field. It’s naturally a pretty dangerous situation for all involved, so both teams are currently off the field as order is trying to be restored. When play resumes, the Braves will have runners on second and third with the pitcher spot coming up. It’s 6-3 Cardinals.

As just relayed through the broadcast on TBS, the Braves will play the rest of the game under protest. Good luck with that.

UPDATE: Jason Motte walked Brian McCann to load the bases when play resumed, but Michael Bourn struck out swinging to end the threat. The Cards have a 6-3 lead going into the top of the ninth.

UPDATE II: Here’s video of the play in question.

107 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. mrwillie - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Simple question. Has anyone ever seen an infield fly called with the infielder in a full sprint towards an outfield wall?

    I can’t think of one, usually an infielder standing under a fly, not chasing one.

  2. 8man - Oct 5, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Bad call. MLB deserves whatever pain ensues. Holbrook blew it. Take the human element out of the game.

  3. bringbackkosar - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Way to send off Chipper on a national TV broadcast, Braves fans. First we get the moronic chop and chant all game, then you trash the field after the questionable call. You guys make Philly fans look smart and classy in comparison. Glad they’re out

    • fashawks8 - Oct 6, 2012 at 3:29 AM

      In the ’60s Philly fans whipped batteries at the team’s only black player so often he started wearing a batting helmet in the outfield. They are in a class of their own.
      What happened in Atlanta is no more complicated than alcohol + people + anger. I’m from Atlanta and was at the game tonight. The 20 minute delay was idiotic and embarassing. But it could have happened just about anywhere.

      • greenkeeper15 - Oct 6, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        Fashawks you are a first class moron. Wow the sixties. I am sure a black man was well recieved in Atlanta back in the sixties you idiot. This happened LAST night fool and you cant handle the fact you are the national embarrasment. Philadelphia fans are the best always will be the best and continue to laugh at fan bases like yours that suck. So please refrence something a little more revelant then a black man getting mistreated in the sixties and also that same man also has his name on our wall of fame jackwagon.

        Way to send chipper out sure he loved that send off

      • kaitgamer - Oct 6, 2012 at 10:26 AM


        where is that jerk that always posts articles mocking philly fans???

        The absolutely wonderful outcropping of all this is not only did his Braves get totally robbed, the fans there totally and completely shamed the city of Atlanta…there is nothing he can ever ever ever say to change it, and now every single time he posts some jerk article about the phillies, we phils fans can just say …

        well at least we didn’t get screwed out of the wild card by the new rule, get screwed out of the game by a bad call, and look like a pathetic drunken mod in front of millions of viewers…

        so go ahead and point to the 60’s and 70’s as if they matter…forget santa clause, forget the disco sucks disaster…The Atlanta Braves are now the post child of bad fans..

        bye chipper, hope you enjoyed your last game (btw, he was out on that last play)

      • rarson - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM

        Yeah, you guys got “robbed” by a bad call THAT WENT IN YOUR FAVOR. So not only are Braves fans classless, they’re also dumber than a pile of bricks.

      • spellingcops - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        Not a fan of either team, but wow. You two Philly fans are really making a great case for being “great fans” when both of you laugh at how a future hall of famer went out in his last game. I think it is known all across America that Philly fans are a bunch of classless losers (generally speaking of course), and one display of anger by Atlanta fans does not jerk that title from you guys.

      • fashawks8 - Oct 7, 2012 at 1:44 AM

        Philly fans are universally considered the worst in all of sports. It’s not even a contest. I picked the most egregious example (but they put his name on a wall so it all evens out right?)…feel free to choose another. There’s a long list. You guys have been pulling that shit since fat met drunk.

      • powercorrupts2 - Oct 12, 2012 at 3:27 AM

        The black man in Atlanta in the ’50s – ’60s who was not well received was Hank Aaron. And it wasn’t alcohol related. We don’t have to visit the Hall of Fame to know what he did.

  4. mogogo1 - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Who on earth makes a call like that in a game of that magnitude? Dude should never be allowed to umpire again. I’d be a bit more sympathetic if it had been called immediately…like it’s supposed to. But with that call if you wait to make it, then it’s too late. The infielder is sprinting away from the infield, halfway to the wall. If that’s ordinary effort, then infielders might as well play without gloves because they’ll never need to catch a ball again, the umps can just call everything an out.

  5. eagles512 - Oct 6, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Amazing how all of the talk is about the call. If this were Philly, all the talk would be about the idiots in the crowd. But I’m not surprised at all.

  6. kvanhorn87 - Oct 6, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    @hawks8 that never happened. Nice makeup of a story. You do realize that this one was already debunked. Meanwhile the south held onto slavery and went to war over states rights. Then denied our people the right to go to their white schools. Let’s not try to take the moral high ground. Historically, you rednecks are trash and you proved it last night. Don’t worry I heard there is a NASCAR race coming up. Later scumbags

  7. dannythebisforbeast - Oct 6, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    fn hilarious, come on hear to read about the blown call and all comments are talking about philly fans. were not even in the playoffs.

    atlanta fans making excuses-what happened could happen anywhere. No $H!T, same as when something happens in philly. except when it does its completely overblown.

    Been to games everywhere and seen ahole fans everywhere, usually the total aholes are just drunks not real fans.

    Dont be mad cuz your fanbase is weak and your chop is weak and zombie like and your one and done. it happens

  8. lembeck4 - Oct 7, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Exactly when is someone from HBT going to call Braves fans out on the carpet for their absurd, bush league behavior Friday? It was a terrible call, without question, but hundreds of fans showering the field with beer bottles and garbage in response is completely pathetic, and embarrassing. I cant believe this putrid display has gone without comment from a hard core baseball blog. And spare me the “a few bad apples” defense….hundreds of dipshits acted like spoiled children in a mob mentality. Can’t believe that disgusting behavior has gone without the appropriate rebuke. The Braves did nothing to stop it, and should play the home opener next year with an empty stadium because of it. Sickening.

  9. sparky1002 - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Fair call if you read what the rules say. The “infield fly rule” was called AFTER the infielder Pete Kozma settled under the ball for a routine catch. The ball does not have to be caught after the umpire makes that call as the batter is automatically out when the call is made. People who claim the call was made late are ignorant of the above facts even though all replays vindicate those facts. The call can be made even in the outfield as long as it is made in a timely fashion AFTER the infielder settles under the ball.

  10. roverboy1949 - Oct 8, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    This is why many people don’t want to go to games anymore. There always seems to be someone throwing things at players or other fans. couple that with the violence in the parking areas, and it takes away from what should be a fun and memorable experience. Also, that call was poor, at best.

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