Through the Eyes of a Patriots Fan: The Infield Fly Rule and the Somerset Patriots
The Infield Fly rule is defined in rule 2.00 by describing it, and then later on to explain the reason(s) the batter is out is stated with rule 6.05e. I have been coaching for many years, starting with the T-ball level up to Babe Ruth League. At one time I was also responsible for assigning the umpires at the lower levels, every year I gave my speech, making sure that my young baseball mediators knew the “Infield Fly” rule. Each year the group would nod their heads. Of course I could count on my one hand the amount of times I saw any of them call it.
I will attempt to explain in simple layman terms: When there are fewer than two outs with runners on first and second or when the bases are loaded, and a ball is popped up, and if the umpire deems that it is catch able, the rule is evoked. This is the judgment of only the umpire. The ump must declared immediately as it happens to avoid any future havoc.
Oh and it does not matter if the ball is caught or not…it is an out, and runners advance at their own risk. Thus negating any shenanigans of multiple outs. The rule was introduced in 1895 by the N.L., because infielders intentionally dropped pop-ups on a regular basis for their deceptive purposes. It was not until 1901 that the rule was modified and the current wording reflected two or less outs. Before that, it only stated one.
Anyway, my purpose of writing this blog is talk about the Patriots.
I was at an enjoyable game to watch. The Patriots were in the middle of a match up with the Sugar Land Skeeter. Brad Thompson was on the mound for Somerset. This hurler pitched in a World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals; so being down 3-0 is no pressure, in the fourth he went on to give up another run, so he was down 4-2. Brad define the word gutsy, battling the pesky Texas team for six innings plus innings, giving way to Cedrick Bowers with two out in the seventh Bowers threw five pitches, the last one Dominic Ramos hit to Jorge Cortes for the third out. Bowers was credited with the win, but it was Jason Lowey who pitched the most impressive inning of the game, the eighth. After giving up a single to Aaron Bates, singles to Langerhans, and Gorecki to load the bases, he struck out Roger Clemens’ son Kody, then Ramos popped up to Sanchez for out number two before retiring Jeff Dominguez on a broken bat taper to the mound.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, the night belonged to Jorge Cortes, and he would score the deciding run in the eighth via a sacrifice fly.
While it is true that my main purpose is writing about the Somerset Patriots; it is also my responsibility to describe or speak of things that only a fan would feel. Tonight is no different.
Well before the game I found out that Nancy, a girl that I grew up with was going to the game with her husband, her brother Billy and his sons. I just reconnected with her through the wonderful world of Face book, and I had not seen her brother in 30+ years. Nancy told me that her youngest nephew was a ballplayer. He lives and died the game. So I decided to test him out. After the game when I met him, I asked whether he knew what an “Infield Fly” was. He informed me that one happen in the game. I was blown away and impressed.
Based on that, he could have umpired for me anytime!