Saturday, October 6, 2012

hey hey, ho ho, infield fly rule's gotta go

yet another disclaimer: i'm kind of a mets fan, atlanta losing is normally a good thing, but...

sports get better when judgement calls go away.  until yesterday the MLB's own twitter site  contained this snarky quote in the bio section:

"yeah, we don't understand the infield fly rule either"

oops, probably best to get rid of that.  so they did.

why does the infield fly rule exist?  well, i found this on the internet so i know it's true:

"is a fair fly ball which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, blah, blah, other stuff about existing runners and outs"

oh geez, i love this part of MLB's own rules:

"[this is a judgement call] not by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the base lines"

well sure, because lines are arbitrary [eye roll]. we wouldn't want baseball muddled with other lines like foul lines, the batter's box, the pitcher's mound, the outfield fence.  let's just make it all judgement.

baseball is so adorable in the way it's steeped in clumsy traditions, nutso superstitions, and unwritten codes.

i can hear it now... but jimbarry, it's so that the fielder isn't able to choose whether he wants to catch it (and double up runners who stray too far) or drop it (and double up runners who didn't stray far enough).

i know.  i get that.  my answer is, "so?"  why can't that be part of a fielder's strategy?  the ball is in play, let it be in play and let the players on the field all decide what they want to do.  just like any other ball in play.

in fact, while we're at it...

let's make balls and strikes a judgement call

i mean, we all know that the edges of the plate are lines, also knees, armpits.  even 30 year old technology can locate a 100mph fastball well within one millimeter well within one millisecond.

let's toss that out and ask the home plate ump to just call it...

so that he can toss in personal bias, his own body position, game situation, and how cool he's going to look to the home crowd and espn rambo-punching out that third strike a foot outside to end that playoff game.

oh wait, we already do that.