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The Brewers-Padres game ended … oddly. But I think the umps got it right.

Apr 25, 2013, 10:28 AM EDT

How did the Brewers’ winning streak end? One run down, a man on second and Martin Maldonado being called out for interfering with a ball in fair territory:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think this was a botched call as many have said this morning. Yes, Maldonado’s foot is still in the batter’s box when the ball hits him, but my reading of the rule is that he can be out even if only one foot is out of the box, contrary to what the broadcaster said in this clip:

Rule 6.05 says:

6.05 A batter is out when—(g) His fair ball touches him before touching a fielder. If the batter is in a legal positionin the batter’s box, see Rule 6.03, and, in the umpire’s judgment, there was nointention to interfere with the course of the ball, a batted ball that strikes the batteror his bat shall be ruled a foul ball…

Rule 6.03, defining the legal position in the box says:

The batter’s legal position shall be with both feet within the batter’s box.

Thus, if only one foot is in the box, he is no longer legally in the box, thus he would be out. This, in effect, is no different than if a batted ball struck him running between first and second.

I get why Ron Roenicke was mad — it’s a close call and you hate to see a game end like that — but I think the ump got it right.

  1. Jason Collette - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    When the ball struck him, one foot was in the box and the other was in the air and had not yet come down outside of the box. This looked like nothing more than natural momentum after chasing a pitch on the outer half as his body had nowhere else to go.

  2. Old Gator - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:35 AM

  3. heyblueyoustink - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    You stick your one foot in, you stick your one foot out, you stick your one foot in, and you shake it all about….

  4. billyboots - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    It almost looks like he is stumbling without control of his direction. I would have ruled this ‘incidental contact’ and called it foul. I’m just hoping this never comes up in the youth leagues I ump in every summer. The parents there would make Roenicke look like a little girl.

    • heyblueyoustink - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:24 AM

      Go all Janice Soprano on them then.

  5. number42is1 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    If I may play Devil’s advocate for just a moment

    no but seriously… how much of this do you think was the Ump making the “right call” and how much do you think it was the Ump making the call and accidentally getting it right?

  6. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Looking at this totally objectively, I could buy either side of the argument. It’s not an open-and-shut case for people who think blue got it right, nor is it clear-cut for those who think it should’ve been a foul ball. If I were a Brewers fan, though, I suppose I’d probably be upset or at least irritated by the way it went down and the circumstances (long winning streak) involved.

  7. gbrim - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Did the ump get it right? Possibly. Is the rule, in practice, judged that way? Almost never. The real world practice should be the standard, not parsing each comma in the rule book.

    • djpostl - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      I want you to take a minute and think about how stupid that comment was…

      You want umpires to not just the rule book as written, but rather, enforce the “rules” in a manner consistent with how the other umpires in the league do, i.e. making stuff up as they go, being overly antagonistic and barely a handful having the slightest amount personal accountability.

      Um, yeah. Pass.

      • sabatimus - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:48 AM

        However, the umps already do this: the check-swing-strike appeal. There’s nothing in the rule book that states that a player’s bat must cross the plane of the plate or go beyond parallel to the plate’s front edge in order for a strike to be called.

      • djpostl - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        Apples & oranges.

        One is considered the single most subjective call in MLB and on the other hand someone is saying “the umps should apply/interpret all of the rules in what they view ‘the real world application’ way”.

        Not an entirely appropriate analogy.

        In this specific case I think it was just “a close call” and one side is going to feel they got shafted though.

      • sabatimus - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:43 PM

        Oh don’t worry, I wasn’t blanket-statementing everything that umpires do. I’m in no way advocating the “argument” gbrim is saying. I’m just saying that umps routinely take liberties that just aren’t there with the rule book (the “float your foot near 2nd base on a DP is enough” one is another example). I’m in favor of the rules being followed TO THE LETTER :).

  8. Senor Cardgage - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Maldonado did not have both feet still planted in the batter’s box. It was his own motion to leave the box that initiated contact with the ball (rather than the ball coming all the way back into the box to hit him). The ball was over fair territory and was not over the batter’s box when contact was made. I therefore believe this was the correct call.

  9. padraighansen - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    If you freeze it at the point of contact between Madanado and the ball – from the angle shown, it’s possible that his right heel is on the chalk of the batter’s box as well. Either way – brutal call to make. I do not think he got it right, and it shouldn’t have been called. That crew had a really rough series all the way around. The Pads got the short end of a couple of very close, bang-bang calls last night as well.

    • blacksables - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      There is a difference between interference as a batter, and interference as a runner. In this case, the call was runner’s interference.

      The ball was in fair terroritory. The runner touched the ball. Runner out.

      Why is there a question about it? Oh yeah, most people here don’t know the rules and just make them up as they go along.

      The effort to learn is much harder than the effort to post stupidity.

      • padraighansen - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:35 PM


        Nice post, and I especially love the chickenshit sentence at the end.

        So, since you’re not a real man with the stones to post under your real name….

        I played collegiate baseball. Several of my former teammates are now umpires at various levels, both in the minors and collegiate baseball – and each one agreed – judgment call, but not one they would have made.

        And you’re right – the effort to learn is so much harder than to stupidity – and in your case, making gutless, ignorant comments behind a fake name qualifies as snarky wisdom you think you bestow.

        Bottom line, as a former player, I believe the umpire got the call wrong. As an asshole, you think you are smarter than anyone else. I guess you win.

        BTW, I do want fries with my order.

      • blacksables - Apr 25, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        You still don’t the rules.

  10. paperlions - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    I don’t think where the batters feet are is what is relevant…it where the ball is. If the ball is fair and a batter interfere’s with the ball, he can be called out for interference. The ball was clearly fair. Bad break.

  11. notsofast10 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    After watching it in slow motion…. definitely should have been ruled foul, Period!

  12. jm91rs - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    It seems to me like the rule could be cleared up to just say if the ball is in fair territory and touches a runner before a fielder, it’s an out.

  13. kinggeorge96 - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    There’s really a question about that being the correct call?

    • sabatimus - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Yes, because when bad luck happens so fast at a game-deciding time, people will always whine about it.

  14. shaggytoodle - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    I don’t know if you guys have watched the series, but this umpire crew is the reason for expanded replay.

  15. brewcrewfan54 - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    It doesn’t matter anymore because nobody is going to change the result.

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