It’s been a fun post season from an umpire standpoint. Everyone wanted to talk about Dana Demuth’s missed call in Game 1. And today, everyone wants to talk about The Obstruction Call. I umped a coed slow pitch game today – my lone exception to “I don’t do adult leagues” – and all the guys were trying to explain it to all the girls. I had two text’s about it, And even a Facebook message. The truth is – there’s not much to say. The play is a text book example of obstruction – whether Middlebrook lifted his feet or not. When working with a 2 man crew, that’s a play that can easily be missed. But with 6 guys out there, 3rd base ump Jim Joyce had nothing else to look at. If you look at the replay and watch Joyce, you’ll see that he does, in fact, turn away from the play and follow the ball, and then swivels back quickly – just in time to see the play. That would have been a terrible miss. Anyway, simple stuff. You see runners get obstructed all the time – in the overwhelming majority of cases, it has no effect on the play. In this case it did – clear as a bell and an easy call to make.
by Paul Simko
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